The city of Warsaw has obtained grants to create bicycle lanes along Smith Street and are continuing to expand the bike routes along McKinley Street, where a trailhead park will also be created.
The KCV Cycling Club of Warsaw is wasting no time in promoting the safety and wants the public to know what is fact and what is fiction where bicyclists sharing the roads are concerned.
Fact or Fiction, in Indiana a cyclist MUST ride in a bike lane when available? FICTION!
Fact or Fiction, in Indiana pedestrians are ALWAYS allowed to walk in bike lanes? FICTION!
Fact or Fiction, in Indiana a motorist CANNOT travel or park in a bike lane? FACT!
Fact or Fiction, in a bike lane there is two-way cyclist traffic? FICTION!
A bike lane is an area of the road that is set aside for the exclusive use of cyclists. This means that unless there are signs allowing joint usage, even pedestrians are not supposed to travel in a bike lane.
There are some other exceptions to this rule as well. A driver on official duty (such as mail delivery) may be in a bike lane, and if you are operating a moped as a bicycle, i.e. under human power, you may use the bike lane. Even though the bike lane is for the exclusive use of cyclists, a cyclist is not required to remain in the bike lane.
A bike lane is created by marking two solid white parallel lines. The space between the lines is for the exclusive use of cyclists, and will contain a bicycle logo with an arrow that indicates the direction of travel; this direction is almost always in the same direction as motor vehicle travel.
At intersections the bike lane markings will break with other traffic lane markings; motorists and cyclists should then interact according to the normal rules of the road.
As a motorist do not drive in, park in, or otherwise position your vehicle in such a way that it impedes bicycle traffic. You are required to yield the right of way to cyclists in the bike lane; the most common reason for crossing a bike lane is to turn into a private drive or alley. When you need to do this do not merge into the bike lane. The motorist should signal their intention to turn and wait until the bike lane is safely clear of cyclists before executing their turn through the lane.
At intersections where the bike lane breaks, motorists who are turning should operate as required by the state of Indiana. This means if you are making a right turn you must wait for approaching cyclists on the right to clear the intersection before executing your turn.
As a cyclist you should use the bike lane for straight through travel whenever it is safe to do so. If you are in a bike lane and need to make a left turn, do not ride up to the turn and suddenly swerve into traffic or stop in the middle of the bike lane. You should anticipate your upcoming turn and safely merge out of the bike lane into the left side of the travel lane, or left turn lane if present, then execute your turn as if no bike lane exists.
When turning right, you should move to the right side of the lane (this may or may not require you to leave the bike lane), signal your turn, and execute your turn when it is safe to do so. Do not forget to watch for and yield to crossing pedestrians who may have the right of way! A bike lane does not make you invincible; you are responsible for your own safety.
Stay alert, ride defensively, and watch out for the other guy!