Campus News

Share the Road: How Drivers, Pedalers and Walkers Can Coexist

Photo of student riding a bicycle
Mark Cornelison l UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, KY. (Sept. 12, 2018) — The fall semester is in full swing and traffic has significantly increased around the University of Kentucky. With the boost in campus population, Transportation Services wants to remind roadway users to share the road and use caution when interacting with one another. 

Everyone, whether driving, pedaling or walking, has an equal responsibility to follow the rules of the road and keep each other safe. Below are some tips on how to share the road safely. 

For Drivers:

• Open doors with caution. When parking on the street, open the driver door with your right hand instead of your left. This technique causes your body to swivel and allows you to check for bicyclists before opening. 

• Don’t speedand stay off electronic devices. Be alert and aware of your surroundings.

• Every lane is a bike lane, but bike lanes are not for cars. It is illegal to use a bike lane as a turning lane, a loading/unloading zone or to park.

• Do not wave cyclists on at a stop sign. Treat them like a motor vehicle. They should go through intersections in the same order in which they arrived.

• Pass with care. Change lanes to pass a cyclist, just like they’re a vehicle. If there isn’t enough room to change lanes, give a minimum of three feet between your passenger-side mirror and their handlebars. You are legally allowed to cross a double-yellow line to give cyclists enough room if it is safe for you to do so. If there’s not enough room to give three feet, you don’t have enough room to pass. Wait until you can pass safely.

• Check your mirrors. If you are making a right-hand turn, there may be a cyclist going straight on your right side. Straight flowing traffic always has the right of way over turning movements, so yield to the cyclist.

• Always stop behind the crosswalk (or the bike box). Do not force pedestrians and cyclists out into traffic to get around your car.

For Cyclists: 

• Ride in the bike lane, if one is available. 

• If there isn’t a bike lane, ride in the right 1/3 of the right-most lane

• Never ride through safety hazards like potholes or other road debris, and stay out of the “door zone” of parked cars.

• Obey all traffic signs and signals. Stop at stop signs, red lights, etc. “Drive your bike.” 

• Never ride against traffic or ride the wrong way in the bike lane. Go with the flow!

• Make eye contact with motorists; be sure you are seen. 

• Use front and rear lights when riding at night or in low light conditions.

• Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops. (Point left to turn left, point right to turn right.)

• When riding on the sidewalk,go slow and yield to pedestrians.

• Always lock your bicycle, even if you’ll only be away from it for a few minutes.

• Use a high-security bike lock, such as a U-lock.

• Only lock your bike to a bike rack, otherwise, it may be impounded. 

For Pedestrians:

• Think of the sidewalk like a road — stay to the right and pass on the left. You have the right of way, so stay on your path and allow cyclists to maneuver around you.

• Heads up! Stay off electronic devices and stay alert (especially in crosswalks, driveways, etc.). Distracted walking causes collisions.

• Walk defensively. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact.

• Be visible — wear reflective clothing or a light when walking at night.

• Only cross the road at crosswalks, and wait for the signal. 

For Motor Scooters: 

• It is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle on a sidewalk.

• Motor scooters must have a UK vehicle permit and park in motorcycle parking areas.

• Motor scooters cannot park at bike racks

By keeping these safety tips in mind, any motorist, pedestrian or bicyclist will be helping to keep the streets and sidewalks safe. For more information about sharing the road, visit the Transportation Services website here.

For more information on parking options and transportation alternatives, visit UK Transportation Services is also on Twitter @UKParking or tune into 1700 AM (WQKH 253) to hear daily campus parking and transportation updates. The station broadcasts 24 hours, seven days a week.