My ‘burb has a well maintained system of bike/jogging paths. It makes it easy for me to ride to the grocery store or library without spending much time on busy roads, which is good, because I am not the most confident rider. Cars whizzing past at high speeds make me nervous.
Here, riding on the sidewalks is legal. In many places it is not. (Do you know the regulations in your town?) Sidewalks are not necessarily safer, though.
I had a few close calls with cars pulling into or out of driveways while riding on sidewalks. After reading How to Not Get Hit by Cars I realized why the drivers had not seen me, and I stopped riding on sidewalks as much as possible.
If you or your children ride your bicycles around town or just in your neighborhood, please take a minute to read this article. It doesn’t talk about wearing helmets, bicycling rights, or regulations. It’s practical advice centered on making yourself visible to cars so they don’t hit you.