Bicycling is a great way to get- around as well as fun and healthy, but as more and more people are using bicycles as an alternative way to get around, cyclists and drivers need to be aware of each other on the roadways.
Drivers need to remember that bicyclist have the same rights on the roads that they do. Because a bicyclist may need use of the whole lane to maneuver, the driver should exercise caution when driving behind one. If there is room to pass and it’s safe to, signal your intention and try to give at least 3 feet of passing space. Remember, they may be moving faster than you think so continue to exercise caution when merging back in!
There are basically three types of bikeways – bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes.
Bike paths offer the most separation between bicyclists and cars. They are usually separated from the roadway by landscaping and generally offer the most safety for all types of users. While we call them bike paths, pedestrians are allowed to use them and bicyclists must share the path.
Bike lanes are in the roadway and are separated by striping. Protected bike lanes offer additional separation with a physical barrier such as delineators, curbs, or parking. The King Street protected bike lane is an example that has all three of those.
Bike routes are just preferred routes for bicyclists and don’t offer any special separation from cars. They can include signage and shared lane markings, also known as sharrows. Sharrows help alert drivers to expect bicyclists and to share the road with them. They help bicyclists with positioning in the roadway.
In addition to these bikeways, bicyclists are allowed on all roadways except the freeways. Bicyclists are also allowed on sidewalks as long as it is not in a business district.