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Recognizing National Bike Safety Month in Tallahassee

May is National Bike Safety Month
Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 17:46:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The weather is getting warmer and those beautiful Spring days mean more bicyclists on the streets.

May is National Bike Safety Month, a great time for cyclists and drivers to make sure they know the rules of the road and are looking out for each other to avoid any injuries.

Experts say one of the main things drivers need to be aware of is that cyclists are allowed to be on the road.

"If there are sherrows which are the markings of the cyclists on them on the road then the cyclists can take the entire lane," said Senior Planner Julie Christesen. "If there is a sign that says bikes can take full lanes that is the same situation. If there is no sherrow and no sign, cyclists are supposed to ride as far to the right as practicable."

Christesen says drivers should give at least three feet to safely pass the cyclists. She says one of the biggest ways bike riders get hurt on the rode is by cars making a right turn.

But they've done something to help avoid that in Tallahassee, by installing green bike boxes at intersections.

"In those bike boxes, the cyclist can actually get ahead of the queue of cars, the cars see them. If the cyclist is going straight, the car knows that if they are going right, the car sees them and doesn't go into the cyclist," said Christesen.

Other things cyclist need to remember, always ride with traffic, wear a helmet, and have light and reflectors on your cloths and bike.

In 2018, Tallahassee got a a silver level bicycle friendly community award and Christesen says part of that is because of the city's infrastructure improvements.

"We're really trying to let our cyclists know where they need to be and I think that puts us in a safer place than other cities," said Christesen.

If people aren't comfortable riding on the streets, Tallahassee has protected bike lanes and multi-use paths such as, a protected bike lane network flanking the Civic Center near Florida State University's campus and multi-use paths on Franklin Avenue and FAMU Way.