Midtown News Center

Commuters: Five Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

As commuters return to the office, they'll come back to a Midtown with new and upcoming bike infrastructure - read these five tips on navigating alongside it

Published: 4/1/2021

Bicycling is booming! With the pandemic came a surge in bicycling activity across the country. And with Midtown’s bike network on the cusp of rapid growth, we can expect to see a lot more people on bikes and scooters – and more daytime workers returning – as Midtown continues its pandemic recovery. Heading back to the office and driving a car into Midtown? Be aware there are some new projects delivered since lockdown and some bike facilities nearing completion where motor vehicle travel lanes used to be. If you haven’t brushed up on the rules of the road and how to look out for people on bikes, check out the five tips listed below:

Tip One: Watch for cyclists when turning your vehicle. When turning right (even in the furthest right hand lane), bear in mind a bicyclist may be next to you in the bike lane or simply sharing the vehicle lane. Be sure to check the right side of your lane as you prepare to turn to avoid hitting cyclists who are proceeding straight through the intersection. When turning left, watch for not only oncoming vehicle traffic, but also oncoming bicycle traffic. And be sure to look both ways for cyclists when you exit a parking deck onto the street.

Tip Two: Take care when opening your car door after parking on the street. If a cyclist is riding in the bike lane or hugging the right side of the road, a sudden car door opening in on-street parking can spell trouble. A quick check in your side mirror can prevent a major accident.

Tip Three: Avoid parking your motor vehicle in bike lanes. It can be dangerous for a bicyclist to transition into a motor vehicle lane in order to avoid cars parked in bike lanes, so be sure to park only in designated parking areas outside of bike lanes.

Tip Four: Always keep at least 3 feet of distance when passing bicyclists. If you’re travelling faster than the bicyclist in front of you, be sure to wait for traffic in the next lane to clear before passing, and always keep your vehicle at least 3 feet of distance in case the bicyclist has to swerve to avoid a pothole or other obstruction. This is not only good practice, but legally required in Georgia.

Tip Five: Keep in mind that bicyclists have the right to “take the lane.” Bicyclists generally stay on the right side of the rightmost lane, but if they need to turn left, avoid debris or parked vehicles, or if the lane is not wide enough to share with other vehicles, then they may ride in the center of the lane.

Have questions about these tips? Contact us at mt@midtownatl.com. If you’re thinking about commuting into and traversing Midtown by bike, register for this free upcoming class by Atlanta Bike Coalition to get started! 

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