City offers cycling safety tips

Now that spring is here, we are seeing more bicycles on our roadways

Now that spring is here, we are seeing more bicycles on our roadways.

“Bicycles are a valuable part of how people move across and through our community, so it’s important that we respect the areas set aside for their use,” said Bylaw Enforcement Manager, Clint Kanester.

Bicycle lanes are designated by signs or painted markings on the roadway. In all cases, they are marked with a diamond. This designates them as “special use lanes.”

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. 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.

Bike lanes help provide “green” transportation opportunities. Bike lanes promote safe cycling and are an important component of the city’s transportation plan.

In order to reduce conflict and ensure safety:

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/vehicle collisions.

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. Cyclists are not allowed to ride on sidewalks. Pedestrians are not allowed to walk in bicycle lanes.

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 in the lane beside it. This prevents head on collisions with other cyclists or vehicles.

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….when parking next to one of these bicycle lanes, watch for cyclists before opening your vehicle door or pulling into traffic.

Wear a helmet

• Helmets are required by law in BC. Head injury statistics show that wearing a helmet helps reduce serious injuries.