How to Use Bike Lanes Correctly

June 19, 2019 10:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In many American cities, bike lanes have become all the rage. While it is an important step forward to give cyclists their own space in which to ride on the road, some find that bike lanes cause confusion, and can even exacerbate dangers for cyclists in some traffic situations.

When cyclists ride on the sidewalk, it poses a safety risk to pedestrians, and can make it challenging for people in wheelchairs and other mobility devices. That’s why it’s illegal for cyclists to ride on sidewalks in the vast majority of municipalities. At the same time, riding on the street can be exceptionally dangerous for cyclists in many circumstances.

It may seem like bike lanes are the ideal compromise: a section of street set aside explicitly for use by cyclists. In some cases, however, bike lanes require cyclists to hug the right side of the street, which could complicate left turns for cyclists and right turns for motorists.

It’s important that both cyclists and motorists know how to legally and safely navigate the bike lanes that may be present in their cities. Here are just a few things to consider when it comes to using bicycle lanes in Boca Raton, FL:

  • Exercise caution during car right turns: One of the common issues that arises with bike lanes is that cars need to enter the bike lane, which hugs the far right of the lane, to execute a right turn. Cars should never turn right without first entering the bike lane. If a car is turning right in front of you, you may enter the vehicle lane and pass them during the turn.
  • Carefully execute left turns: Another common issue that cyclists face when riding in the bike lane is making left turns. In fact, this is a fairly easy challenge to correct. You can execute left turns by signaling and leaving the bike lane, entering the vehicle lane to your left. From there, signal and enter into the left turn lane. Now, you can safely (and legally) execute a left turn.
  • Respect sidewalks: It may be tempting to leave the bike lane behind and ride on the sidewalk, where you’re totally safe from the potential of running into cars. This could spell serious safety concerns for pedestrians, however. You should always stay in the bike lane or on the road, and resist the temptation to ride on the sidewalk.

It’s important to remember that you have to share the road with motorists and with other cyclists. Be courteous when cycling, and always stay alert when riding your bike.

Since 1972, Bicycle Doctor Inc. – House Calls has been the premier cycling shop in Boca Raton, FL. If you’re hoping to rent a bike, purchase a new cycle or invest in bicycle repair or maintenance, reach out to us! Our friendly, knowledgeable cycling professionals can provide you with the information and expertise necessary to navigate bicycle lanes in Boca Raton, FL and answer any questions that you may have when it comes to riding safely along the streets of South Florida.

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