Construction is underway for the new bike lanes coming to various roads in Louisville. One of these roads is Grinstead Drive. Grinstead Drive has four lanes, but it’s being reduced down to two lanes with a center turn lane. This also makes room for a new bike lane. This new bike lane will help keep bikers safe by giving them their own space. However, there are still some rules for both vehicles and bikers to follow. These rules include:
- Stop at red lights and stop signs. Your bike may not have a motor, but it is still considered a vehicle and must obey traffic laws.
- Don’t speed.
- Use front and rear lights when riding at night or in traffic. These lights will help you stand out more and makes it easier for motorists to see you.
- Use hand signals to let drivers and other bikers know what you are doing.
- If you’re parking on the street, look for bikers before you open your door.
- If passing a biker, only do so when it’s safe and make sure you give the biker plenty of room while passing and merging back in front of them.
- Use turn signals to inform other vehicles and bikers of what you are doing.
Case of a bicycle accident
These rules will help protect both you and cyclists, but we still need to be aware of each other. Not paying attention for even a second could cause an accident. In fact, I recently signed up a case where my client was biking, hit by a car and injured. She was getting ready to make a proper left turn from her lane. Unfortunately, a car went into the bike lane, which is illegal, and t-boned her as she was making the turn. So, even if you know the proper rules for riding a bike in a bike lane, it’s important to also be on the lookout for those who don’t.
Protected bike lanes
Protected lanes are different from bike lanes because protected lanes have a barrier, such as a curb, parked cars or plastic posts. This is done with the intention of making bicyclists feel safer. In 2012, cities built 40 so-called green lanes, according to the Bikes Belong Foundation’s Green Lane Project. While 40 doesn’t seem like a lot, only 62 protected lanes were built nationwide from 1874 to 2011.
According to studies, protected bicycle lanes also spur economic activity. A study in 2012 by the New York City Department of Transportation found that small businesses near protected lanes saw sales grow more sharply than normal. Another study by Portland State University found that cyclists spent more money overall in local businesses than those who drove.
Another study by researchers at the University of British Columbia provided compelling new evidence that protected bike lanes reduce bike accident injuries by 90%! That’s a pretty staggering number. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest information on bicycle accidents, there were 618 bicycle fatalities in 2010. In Kentucky, there were seven fatal accidents involving bicycles, accounting for 0.9% of all fatal accidents in Kentucky.
We would like to remind everyone to review the rules for both riding a bike in a bike lane and driving on roads with bike lanes. These bike lanes are new in many areas and will take a moment to get used to them. However, they will not only give the bikers their own space, but also keep them safe.