We hear this statement pretty regularly. The story goes that a cyclist is just riding along minding his own business when POW, they got their clock cleaned by a car pulling out of an alley. But, the cyclist gets the ticket and has to pay for the damage to the car. All because they were riding their bike on the sidewalk.
Lots of people ride on the sidewalk. And lots of people have no idea that it is illegal. But, the law is very clear about it:
Sec. 54-576. Riding on sidewalks.
(a) Riding bicycles upon or along sidewalks, whether on public property or private property opened for use by the general public, shall be unlawful except when the operator or rider thereof is a uniformed city employee riding a bicycle or a police officer riding a bicycle is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties, or when the operator or rider thereof is engaged in the delivery of newspapers or where the sidewalk is part of a designated bicycleroute. Bicyclists shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the sidewalks, and shall leave the sidewalk or dismount if necessary to yield such right-of-way.
(b) Riding motorized bicycles upon or along sidewalks shall be unlawful.
(Code 1950, §§ 522.19-1, 522.19-2, 852.5; Ord. No. 464-02, § 1, 6-17-02)
Taken straight from here.
So, tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Yell self-righteously at the dude who almost mows you over every morning when you are walking to the corner store. But, most of all, lead by example whenever possible.