person riding on bike path in the city
10 May

What is Proper Bike Lane Etiquette?


More and more commuters are choosing bicycles as an ideal mode for transportation and commutes in the U.S. In fact, the estimated size of the U.S. bicycle market is around $6.2 billion according to a report by Statista. As biking gains increased popularity, government policymakers are firm in prioritizing bike lanes to adapt to the rush of commuters on two wheels. This is a thrilling development for those who are choosing to bike on a daily basis.

However, when riding a bicycle in a bike lane, there are a few tips to ensure all commuters are on the same page. Navigate through the following list of proper bike lane etiquette to keep yourself and other cyclists safe.

Obey traffic rules

If you drive a vehicle or are just a pedestrian, you must be aware of the basic road rules. Apply the same rules to cycling as well. Bicyclists are required to drive on the right side of the road, just like cars. While riding a bike, make sure to focus on all traffic signals, pedestrian walk signs, and stop signs. Cyclists must signal when taking a turn ideally when the bike lane shows a dashed line.

Observe your surroundings

With the incorporation of bike lanes, riders do not have to face much traffic. However, pedestrians and other bikers can create some disturbance. For instance, while biking, you may come across a kid or a dog trying to cross the lane. A lack of attention from your end could cause severe mishaps. Observe consciously and be aware of your surroundings. Keep a hand on the brake, and make sure to press the brakes if someone tries to cross the lane or disrupts your way accidentally.

Make sure your bicycle is in good shape

It is advisable to check the condition of your bike before using public lanes. Since bike lanes can receive considerable traffic, you need to examine how your cycling behavior will affect the other riders.

In simple words, you need to ensure whether the tires are pumped optimally, if the brakes work, and if your gears function optimally.

Remember that there are other commuters in the lane, and any technical issue from your side can disrupt your and other riders’ schedule.

Avoid blocking the traffic

Do not block the traffic flow by stopping your bicycle in the middle of the lane. Instead, when you need to stop, pull off to the corner, get off, and approach the sidewalk. This will prevent traffic disruptions and keep fellow bikers safe.

Overtake a rider correctly

Although simple, this is one of the most crucial safety biking rules that cyclists need to follow. If you ride slowly, stay on the right. But when you wish to overtake someone, move left. Once you pass the cyclist, return to the right lane.

Bicycle riders must also remember that some bike trails have only two lanes. They feature just one lane for each direction, parted with a straight white line. While riding on such lanes, be cautious while passing a slower cyclist. If you observe another cyclist coming in your direction, simply wait for them to pass and then proceed.

Maintain a moderate speed

Even if you find a bike lane that is not too busy, refrain from speeding. Remember that bike lanes are made for everyday commuters, with bikes of all makes and models. While it may be somewhat frustrating to ride at a slow pace, it can be the safer choice until there’s a good opening to pass.

Offer the golden rule of bike lane etiquette

As you commute, you may wish to send a simple wave to other bikers. In cases where someone is facing mechanical issues, stop to check to see if you can help. Biking is an eco-friendly transport medium that can be more enjoyable to your life and more sustainable for the world.

At StrongGo, we believe in an accessible and greener world, and we’ve developed the Trapezoidal Delineator to improve the safety and efficiency of bike lanes in cities and university campuses. Speak with an expert today by emailing csd@stronggo.com

Sources
https://www.active.com/cycling/articles/8-bike-lane-etiquette-tips-for-cyclists
https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/2020/11/06/bike-lane-etiquette-101/
https://www.statista.com/topics/1686/cycling/#dossierKeyfigures