Nine tips for sharing the roadway

October 23, 2013

Nine tips for sharing the roadway

There has been increasing interest in recent years toward Complete Streets designs and bicycle and pedestrian friendly amenities in designing new roadways. As these roadway designs are being implemented and are less geared toward motorized traffic, there is also a push toward safety when it comes to sharing the road.

AMT designs Complete Streets projects with bike lanes and also sharrows. Sharrows are street markings that indicate lanes to be shared between motorists and bicycles. Sharrows do not designate a particular part of the street for the exclusive use of bicyclists, rather they are there to remind drivers of the presence of bikes and remind everyone to share the road safely.

For drivers:

  • Be alert for bicycles on the roadway.
  • Give bikes enough room when passing. Laws may vary, but most require that you pass at least three feet away from bikes in traffic. If you cannot give a bike that much room, then wait to pass until you can. Make sure that you are clear of the bike before moving back to your right. Bikes can travel faster than you think.
  • Treat bike lanes like travel lanes. When turning, always look before entering the bike lane and yield to bikes in that lane.
  • Watch for bikes and pedestrians when parking and check the mirror before opening the car door or pulling out from the space.

For bicyclists:

  • Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators and must follow the same rules of the road as cars. Stop for stop signs and red lights and ride single file.
  • Don’t ride too close to parked cars. This helps to avoid hitting car doors that open unexpectedly.
  • Make sure you have appropriate lights, reflectors and brightly colored clothing.
  • Wear your helmet. Really.
  • Also, the NTSB reports that about one fourth of bicyclists killed in 2011 had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
  • Watch for pedestrians.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit

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