Smart Cycling

Whether on the trail or on streets, bicycling requires attention and understanding of rules in the same way that driving a motor vehicle does.  Any person operating a bicycle should understand the basic rules of the road and the trail.  This section includes local ordinances and state statutes regarding bicycling, opportunities for bicycle skills education and training, and a description of types of bicycle facilities.

Ride Safely

  • Protect yourself. Be noticed. Wear bright clothing. Have lights and reflectors on your bicycle. Wear a protective helmet. Keep ears open to hear traffic, trains, or warnings from others.
  • Obey all traffic rules and signs. Stop at all stop signs and signals, and yield to traffic, including pedestrians, when appropriate.
  • Ride on the right side of the street (in the same direction as automobiles). Normal positioning is 2 to 4 feet from the curb or edge of roadway or a car door's width from parked cars.
  • Position in intersection approach for intended movement. Use rule of thirds. If turning right, use right side of lane. If crossing intersection, use center of right through lane. If turning left, use center of left turn lane or left side of shared lane. When changing lanes or positioning in lanes, always check behind for vehicles. Bike lanes, where provided, end near the beginning of left turn lanes. Bicyclists should position themselves in the through lane or the appropriate turn lane as they approach the intersection.
  • Position in lane for speed. If slower than other traffic, stay to the right. If same speed as other traffic, use center of lane. If faster than other traffic, overtake on left.

Rules of the Road

  • The rights and duties of people operating bicycles on a roadway are the same as the rights and duties of the driver of any vehicle on the roadway.
  • Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic control signs, signals, and markings. When dismounted, the bicycle operator shall obey all rules for pedestrians.
  • A bicycle should only carry the number of people for which the bicycle is equipped with seats.
  • Bicycles must be operated near the right-hand side of the roadway no more than two abreast.
  • The bicyclist entering a roadway from an alley, driveway, or building shall yield to all traffic in the roadway and pedestrians in the roadway or on a sidewalk.
  • No person shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk within a business district. Whenever a person is riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, such person shall give an audible signal (such as stating “on your left”) before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
  • Each bicycle operated during darkness must be equipped with a light and reflectors.