City provides reminders for bike lane use in Vernon
March 24, 2015 - 8:55 AM
VERNON - City of Vernon Manager of Protective Services Clint Kanester is reminding Vernon cyclists and drivers of the rules of the road to protect the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
“It’s important that we respect the areas set aside for bicycle use, as they are an important part of how people move across and through our community,” said Kanester. “Bike lanes help provide ‘green’ transportation opportunities, promote safe cycling and are an important component of the City’s Transportation Plan.”
Bicycle lanes are designated by signs or painted markings on the roadway. In all cases, they are marked with a diamond. The diamond designates them as special use lanes; these diamonds are used similarly in HOV lanes in other communities.
“You may see other white painted lines near the road edge, especially in the more rural areas of Vernon, or in areas where there is no designated sidewalk or curb,” said Kanester. “These lines are called fog lines and designate the vehicular travel portion of the roadway. This helps motorists stay in their lanes and allows the shoulder of the roadway to be used for parking, pedestrians or cycling, unless otherwise marked.”
In order to reduce conflict and ensure safety:
• Cyclists must use a bike lane in the same direction of travel as the vehicle lane next to it. This ensures that cyclists travel in the same direction as the motorized vehicles beside the bicycle lane. This prevents head-on collisions with other cyclists or vehicles and allows ease of moving into traffic to make right- hand turns.
• Pedestrians are not allowed to use bicycle lanes. The Motor Vehicle Act requires that if a sidewalk is available to pedestrians, even if on the other side of the roadway, it must be used by those pedestrians. This includes motorized
scooters or pedestrian-assist vehicles. Cyclists are not allowed to ride on sidewalks.
• No vehicles are allowed to park in a bicycle lane. Vehicles parked in a bike lane force cyclists to veer into traffic. Keep these lanes open to prevent bicycle and vehicle collisions.
• Be aware of non-curbside bike lanes. Sometimes, bicycle lanes may be between curbside parking and the lane of traffic. These lanes will be well-marked by paint. Drivers should watch for cyclists before opening a vehicle door or pulling into traffic when parking next to one of these bicycle lanes.
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