Tips for riding Bike Lanes & Parking Protected bike lanes
Generic protected bike lane layout and use
Ride in direction of traffic
Most bike lanes in Colorado Springs are ‘one-way’ bike lanes, meaning that you should only travel in the lanes in the same direction as car traffic. Do not ride against traffic and against the flow of bikes in the bike lane, even though you may be tempted to do so.
- 2 way cycle track where bicycle traffic has a dedicated lanes that are marked in both directions.
- Contra-Flow bike lane where bicycle traffic has a dedicated lane on a one way street where bicycle traffic is allow to travel opposite of car traffic
Am I allowed to ride outside of the bike lane?
You are legally allowed to leave the bike lane or protected bike lane, which you may need to do if it is blocked for some reason by a car or if there is a hazard in the way. You may also leave the protected bike lane to make a left or right turn. No, reason to worry when needing to make a turn out of a protected bike lane, there are many gaps in the ‘protection’ where you can leave the lane to make your turn or reach your destination.
Watch for pedestrians
Bike lanes are often adjacent to parked cars and sidewalks so it is common for pedestrians to be crossing the bike lanes. Also be aware of car doors which may open into the bike lane and for divers exiting their cars.
Parking protected bike lanes have cars park on your left as you bicycle between them and the curb. When drivers park out in the floating parking spaces, they walk across the protected bike lane to get to the curb to go to their destination or pay their parking meter. So, watch for people walking to and from cars and the sidewalk. Pedestrians may not be aware of traffic in protected bike lanes at first, so please be aware and courteous to pedestrians inadvertently in the lane.
Watch for right-turning cars at driveways and minor streets
The city has worked to optimize sight lines where parking protected street designs have been implemented. Visibility on parking protected bike lanes is greatly improved for bicyclists and drivers pulling out of driveways, verses bike lanes with parking to the right of the bike lane, but drivers turn right across the protected bike lane may not see you at first, bicyclists need to remain aware at driveways and minor cross streets.
How do I make a left turn?
To make a left turn, you have several options.
two-stage left turn (box turn, Copenhagen left)
For this, you stay in the bike lane or protected bike lane and proceed straight into the intersection of the street where you want to make a left turn, making yourself aware of perpendicular traffic turning right on red. Position yourself on the far side of the intersection just outside of the bike lane, either to the right or left as is safe. Then, re position yourself to the left and proceed across the cross street when safe to do so or when the light changes if there is a signal.
2 stage left
Vehicular left turn
Leave the bike lane or protected bike lane in advance of your left turn and ride like a vehicle to merge left and position yourself properly for a left turn. * NOTE * protected bike lanes make this type of turn more difficult as there aren’t always gaps to leave the protected lane.
Be ready for merge zones
On your approach to major intersections the bike lanes or protected bike lanes end and a merge zone starts. In the merge zone, the bike lane is striped to the left of a right turn pocket for cars. In some cases green paint has been used in conflict zones to direct you where to go. At the far side of the intersection, the bike lane or protected bike lane resumes.