Riding Around Town
Using Bike Lanes and Shared Lanes
Although cyclists are permitted on all roads within Lincoln, different roads offer varying levels of comfort for the riders. This level of comfort is determined, primarily, on vehicle volume and speed. In order to guide cyclists to facilities which will not only allow them to get to their destination but will also permit them the maximum level of comfort and safety, the City has installed bike lanes as well as shared-use-lanes throughout the City. These facilities complement the widely used trail system and allow cyclists to reach destinations not accessible by the trail system. Below are some explanations of what bike lanes and shared-use-lanes are and how to use them.
A Bike lane is generally defined as a portion of the roadway which has been designated for the specific use of bicycles. Bike lanes provide advantages to both cyclists and motorists by making cyclist movements more predictable. In addition, a designated area of the roadway for cyclists increases the comfort level for the cycling public and encourages users of the system who may not use it otherwise. It is important that cyclists follow these simple rules in order to make bike lanes most effective:
- Always travel in the direction indicated by the arrows, which, in Lincoln, is always in the direction of traffic.
- Stay alert for vehicles crossing the bike lane. This includes vehicles crossing the bike lane to change lanes as well as vehicles entering and exiting alleys, parking garages and driveways.
- When making a turn which requires leaving the bike lane, remember to look, signal, then look again. Just like changing lanes in a car, the occupant of the lane you are merging into has the right-of-way.
Lincoln has many miles of Shared-Use-Lanes. These lanes are typically marked with a "Bike Route" sign which indicates that the route has been identified as a preferred route for bicycles although it is shared with vehicular traffic. In Lincoln, these facilities are primarily designated on roads which are of important connections as well as feeders to the trail system.
G Street has been specially marked with Sharrows (a bicyclist and a chevron) marked on the road surface. These facilities are in addition to the "Bike Route" signage and are intended to heighten the awareness of drivers that this is a primary cycling route as well as guide cyclists where to ride on the road. See this video about the G Street Sharrows. It is important to follow these simple rules when using a Shared-Use-Lane.
- Always travel in the direction of traffic.
- Ride predictably. Do not weave in and out of parked vehicles and maintain as straight of a line of travel as possible.
- Stay alert for vehicles. Watch for vehicles turning in and out of driveways, alleys and roadways.
- When making a turn or merging into a turn lane, remember to look, signal, then look again.