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Navigating Indy Bike Lanes
Over the last 4 years, Indianapolis has seen a rapid increase of on-street bicycle facilities. This has been a part of a larger effort to offer residents transportation options outside of the car. Many are taking advantage of biking as active transportation, finding that it is a healthier, cleaner and more enjoyable way to get around. Riding a bike also lets people get out of their cars and really connect with the city around them.
With bike lanes being relatively new additions to Indianapolis streets, there might be some questions about how to operate in and around them, whether on a bike or in a car. Here are a few basics to consider…
In a car?
- The way you operate on roadways with bike lanes is virtually unchanged. One of the great things about bike lanes is that they give dedicated room for bikes on the road so that cars and bike can operate in their own space. This does not mean that bikes have to be in bike lanes, but it gives them the option.
Those green sections of bike lanes are only areas where bike lanes and car lanes cross and both cars and bikes should proceed with extra precaution.
The pavement makings that are bikes with two chevron arrows are often called sharrows. These are placed on roads that would not accommodate more traditional bike lanes, however are identified as bike routes. These do not change the way a car operates in a travel lane, only to proceed with extra caution. In theory, every roadway (excluding highways and interstates) could include a sharrow because a bike has the same rights to the roads as a car does.
There will be sections where the bike lane is dashed. These are areas where cars are permitted to cross over the bike lanes to make turns, enter parking lots and where buses make stops.
On a bike?
- Ride as if you are a car. Follow all the same rules regarding stop lights, signage and the direction of traffic. While many people can be seen running or walking against traffic, it is extremely dangerous to ride against traffic.
Be predictable. Never expect that a person in a car is paying attention when you are making turns, changing lanes or near a car making a turn.
Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. While a bike is many times a quicker and more efficient way to get somewhere in an urban area, still allow plenty of time so you do not find yourself rushing.
Always remember to be seen and be safe. Wear bright-colored clothes, use front and rear lights during dark hours, signal your turns….and protect your head with a helmet!
Enjoy the ride and have fun!
Find more information at www.Indy.gov/bikeways