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Metro Newsroom


Drivers, Cyclists: Share the Road

Monday July 21, 2008

After the death of a bicyclist on Outer Loop last week, Mayor Jerry Abramson today warned drivers and cyclists to be more observant.

“Gas prices keep climbing. More people are riding bikes to cope with rising costs, and that means both drivers and cyclists have to adjust to traffic patterns that include many more bicycles,” Abramson said.

Three cyclists have died after crashes involving vehicles in Louisville in the past year.

Chief Robert White pointed out that drivers have a car to protect them from crash impacts, while cyclists are exposed.

“This is a critical time for bicyclists and drivers,” White said. “We have many new bike riders adjusting to the road, and drivers are trying to get used to sharing the lanes. I expect over time that both groups will become more comfortable, but right now we need everyone to be extra careful.”

Abramson encouraged new cyclists to reach out to established biking groups to get tips on safe commuting. “We have lots of information available on our Bike Louisville webpage as well, including maps of bike lanes and links to group bike rides,” Abramson said.

Cyclists must ride on the street, not on sidewalks, and they must obey the same rules of the road that vehicles follow. Likewise, drivers should treat bicycles as another vehicle and allow adequate space for turns and passing.

Tips for Cyclists:

  • Ride on the street, not on the sidewalk.
  • Ride on the right lane, with the flow of traffic.
  • Don’t ride in poor weather or inadequate light. If you must ride in low light conditions, use a good headlight and taillight.
  • Ride at least three feet away from parked cars – to avoid getting hit by opening car doors.
  • Wear a helmet and reflective clothing.
  • Follow the same traffic rules as a vehicle – obey all traffic lights and signs, don’t weave in and out of traffic, and use hand signals when changing lanes or turning.

Tips for Drivers:

  • Do not pass a bicycle or scooter in the same lane – use a passing lane to maneuver around a cyclist.
  • Make sure there’s always at least three feet between your car and a bike or scooter.
  • Watch for bikes when merging or turning.
  • Obey all traffic signs, especially signs prohibiting right turns on red. Those signs are often used in areas with high pedestrian and bike traffic.