A new sidewalk ordinance allowing children ages 12 and below (along with parents) to ride their bicycles on sidewalks passed on February 7, 2017 at the Cupertino City Council meeting. Now in Cupertino, children age 12 or below may ride alone or with a parent/guardian accompanying them. Children over the age of 12 or adults may not ride on the sidewalk unless accompanying the younger rider.
Laws vary from municipality to municipality regarding bicycles being used on sidewalks. There is no state law on this, and the County of Santa Clara states that “any person riding… a bicycle on any sidewalk … shall exercise reasonable care for the rights and safety of others using any sidewalk…[and not] ride.. a bicycle on any sidewalk…fronting any business or commercial establishment.”
Other cities such as Sunnyvale and San Jose, with a few exceptions in business districts, also allow cyclists aged 12 and younger to ride on the sidewalks. Some, such as Los Altos and Saratoga do not restrict using a bicycle on the sidewalk for riders of any age. Santa Clara is the most restrictive, not allowing anyone to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk.
An issue of great concern is potential collisions of cyclists and cars at driveway intersections along sidewalks. It is important that cyclists take extra care at these locations, especially if traveling in the opposite direction of traffic. Walking your bike (for all ages) in crosswalks is also the law in Cupertino.
For more information on the Bike Pedestrian Commission and proposed plans for the city, please see: Cupertino Bike Pedestrian Commission.