When walking in Manassas, you might think it easy to avoid danger: just stay off the road. The area does indeed have several miles of sidewalks on which you can walk. However, pedestrians must also be aware of bicyclists. A collision with a bicyclist can be almost as devastating as one with a car. There can be dangers to both pedestrians and bicyclists when they are not aware of each other.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, bicycles can be ridden on the sidewalk in the Commonwealth unless prohibited by local ordinance. No such laws or policies exist in Manassas or Prince William County. Thus, a bicyclist has as much right to be on the sidewalk as you do as a pedestrian.
The Virginia DOT does go on to say, however, that bicyclists are expected to observe certain safety standards when riding on the sidewalk. When approaching pedestrians on the sidewalk, a bicyclist is expected to slow down and notify pedestrians of their approach by using a bell or stating that they are coming on either your left or your right. Bicyclists should not retain their same speed or begin to speed up again until the pedestrian has moved over. More information on safely sharing the sidewalk with bicycles can be found throughout our site.