Bicyclists should travel on streets on the right side of the
right lane, most of the time. The most common exception for all
bicyclists is when making a left turn.
The bicyclist, after scanning behind for other vehicles, should
move to the left of their lane and into the lane from which vehicles
make left turns. When there is a bicycle lane, bicyclists should
leave that lane well before a left turn so as not to impede bicycle,
pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic.
In communities that have designated bike lanes it is wise to
travel within this space, except when making turns. Always go in the
same direction as other traffic, except in barrier separated and
designated bicycle lanes. In about 1/3 of all bike crashes with
motor vehicles, the bicycle was traveling wrong direction to traffic
NOTE: Very few crashes involve an overtaking motorist and most of
these are in the dark with unlighted bicyclist or where the motorist
is traveling rural high speed roads (over 55 MPH) and often has been
consuming alcohol. Wanting to see oncoming motorists is not a good argument for
wrong direction bicycling. Nothing is!
If a less experienced bicyclist wishes, he or she may make a
pedestrian crossing, using the crosswalk. This does not mean
"swerve toward the crosswalk" so you don't have to stop
for a stop sign or red light. All traffic laws apply to bicyclists
whether riding or walking.
On higher speed roads, bicyclists generally want to travel in the
paved shoulder area, and if bicycling is common in that roadway a wider
paved shoulder is often available.
Other vehicles are prohibited from using this space. In some
communities there are also bicycle or multi-use trails available to
There is no requirement that bicyclists use these facilities
instead of the road or street. In fact, the bicyclist has the right
to travel on every roadway like any other vehicle operator, except
for a limited number of limited-access high-speed highways. The
higher speed bicyclist may legally take the center of the right
lane, even if there is shoulder space to ride in.
Roads that are prohibited for bicycles are marked as such.
Everywhere else the bicyclist may use the right lane or the
shoulder, and other lanes for left turns if left turns are
Stay on trails whether riding for transportation or recreation.
Remember, smaller users such as pedestrians, skaters and animals
should be yielded to.
Also, yield to horses on combined paths. The lack of noise of a
bicycle can scare a horse. It is polite to walk a bicycle in areas
shared with horses, or to make quiet reassuring voice noises
sufficiently far behind and continuing as you pass horses and their
riders. Courtesy is everything on shared facilities - trails and
paths or streets, roads and sidewalks.
On trails where motor vehicles are permitted, they should yield
to bicycles and other smaller users.
Only small children learning to ride should use sidewalks for
regular riding. They should have adult supervision even on sidewalks
or in the family driveway.
All other bicyclists should learn to ride on streets or marked
bicycle lanes, except in rare circumstances, such as when a wide
sidewalk is part of a designated bicycle route.
Studies have shown that the sidewalk is considerably less safe
for bicyclists than the street. The bicyclist is never required to
ride on paths or sidewalks. Local jurisdictions can pass ordinances
allowing bicycling on sidewalks if they have unusual circumstances
where the sidewalk is safer for certain bicyclists.