Sidewalk Cycling in Prescott Valley, Arizona

First, to understand the legal position you must first understand what the State of Arizona says about Sidewalk Cycling in Arizona.

I was taken aback by this newspaper story Bicyclists, motorists go by same rules, The Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ), Jan 31, 2008.

Two police officers and somebody from the group Prescott Alternative Transportation  (ug, they lost their domain in 2018 or so,,  here is a webarchive from 2017, or check out their facebook page) make statements claiming sidewalk cycling is illegal, and/or cyclists must dismount and walk through crosswalks, I take issue with three particular points in the story — and after each quote from the story, the truth is added in red italics:

The Prescott Valley police officer at the scene did not cite Sylvester or the driver. But he did tell her that when using a crosswalk without a bike path, a cyclist has to dismount to cross.
I spoke to Sergeant Wayne Nelson of the Prescott Valley PD in early April by telephone, he said that he did check into this matter and that the officer did give this information to Sylvester that was published in this story, but that indeed there is no such law. He was quite helpful and stated that all their officers have been apprised of the situation.

Sgt. Steve Francis of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (says) “…It is also unlawful to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. And people must get off of their bike to cross a crosswalk.” This is the strangest part, I contacted the Sheriff’s office and they replied: “Sir, We do have a Steve Francis employed by the Sheriff’s Office, however his rank is Captain and at no time has he ever provided such a quote to the Daily Courier reference this issue. I suggest you contact the Courier to determine who they received the actual quote from since it is incorrect. Thank you. Cathy David, Sheriff’s Assistant”

Cyclists routinely break the law by… riding on sidewalks and riding through pedestrian crosswalks, according to Prescott Alternative Transportation.This was pretty confusing. PAT told me the nobody from their organization spoke to the reporter. So then I asked the reporter, who told me that she got the information from PAT’s website, in particular the 10PrescottBicyclingMyths. Unfortunately there is no such law regarding crosswalks, and the law about sidewalks applies only to the city of Prescott, not the town of Prescott Valley.

Could they all be wrong? Apparently yes, they can. Or to put it another way, if in fact sidewalk cycling is illegal in Prescott Valley (or Yavapai County) it is a well-kept secret.

There is a link to the Town Code on Prescott Valley’s website. I don’t see anything about about bicycling on the sidewalk (though it is 811 pages long!).

I can’t find anything with regard to a code in Yavapai County.

If anyone has an information regarding local codes I may have overlooked please contact me.

P.S. (Thanks to Eric Post): In the City of Prescott, sidewalk cycling is banned: “9-1-14(A) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk”.

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