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With the Memorial Day weekend and the kick-off of the summer season, bicycling season is here so let’s share the road and watch out for each other. More people are riding bicycles and utilizing Bismarck’s new bicycle route. “There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about the new bike route pavement markings, so we’d like to get the word out and clear up the confusion,” said Lt. Steve Kilde, Bismarck Police Department. Sharing the road means that streets marked with Share the Road signs and pavement markings are shared by both vehicles and bicycles in the driving lane. Shared lanes are designated by a symbol of a bicycle with arrows above it designating the direction of travel.
Bicycle lanes, are designated by a solid white line and are part of the road designated for the exclusive use of bicyclists.
“All users of our city streets must be alert and more aware of each other. Motorists and bicyclists need to allow more travel time especially now as more vehicles and bicyclists are sharing the road,” said Lt. Kilde. “Bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road, just as motorists do, obeying stop signs and stop lights. They need to increase their awareness of one another.”
There’s a new city ordinance that makes clear the responsibilities of bicyclists and motorists and citizens are encouraged to familiarize themselves with it. The Bicycle Ordinance 5873, Chapter 12-12-02, bicyclist and motorist safety tips, the new bike route, and local bike trail information can be found at www.bismarck.org/sharetheroad.
“Sharing the road is not a new concept. Bicycles, by law, have always been allowed to use the road,”said Commissioner Mike Seminary. “This is a pilot project that reinforces that bicycles are allowed on the road. The visible, painted pavement markings are a visual reminder.” Citizens are asked to be patient, alert, and aware. Bicycle use of the city’s roadways is expected to be on the increase as citizens enjoy a clean, economical, and diversified transportation alternative. “This is going to require increased awareness and compliance for all users of our roadways,” said Seminary.
Motorists can safely share the road with bicycles by obeying traffic laws, being predictable when driving and by showing courtesy and respect on the road. Don’t use your horn to alert bicyclists as it may startle them and cause them to swerve into traffic. Use eye contact to acknowledge the presence of a bicyclist who has stopped at an intersection and is waiting to cross the street. Yield to them when appropriate.
Bicyclists can share the road safely with motorists and should wear a helmet, obey traffic signs and signals and always ride with traffic. It’s important to ride single file, except while passing another cyclist, and always ride on the right side of the road. Bicyclists should not pass motorists on the right side. Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
“Share the road signs are up, and bicycle lanes and shared lane markings are now painted on the new bike route on Bismarck streets,” said Lt. Kilde. “Share the roads safely. Look out, watch out, and enjoy the ride!”
Shared Lane: Bicyclists and motorists “share the road”. Shared lanes are shared by both vehicles and bicycles. They are designated by a symbol of a bicycle with arrows above it designating the direction of travel. You can view the signs and pavement markings by visiting www.bismarck.org/sharetheroad and clicking on Bicycle Safety.
Rosser Ave. - Main Street to Bismarck ExpresswayN 16th Street - Rosser Ave. to Divide Ave. Sixth St. – Bismarck Expressway to Divide Ave. Railroad Ave. to Expressway is a bike lane; Railway to Divide is shared.Divide Ave. - 13th St. – 26th St.
Bicycle Lanes: Part of the road designated for the exclusive use of bicyclists designated by a solid white line. Rosser Ave. from 12th St. to 35th St. Divide Ave. 13th St. to 26th Street South 26 from Railroad Ave. to Bismarck Expressway
Due to construction, pavement markings for the following streets will be completed in the fall of 2012. Wachter Ave. - Washington St. to University DriveDivide Ave. - College Dr. to 11th St.
For more information visit www.bismarck.org./sharetheroad