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    Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking

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    Sharing the Road | Bike Smart | Bike Map | Bike Parking | Bike to Transit | Bike Planning | Bike Resources

    Tips for Safe Riding

    Bike Lanes

    Where conditions permit, and as opportunities arise, the City has, and will continue to stripe dedicated bike lanes on major roads in New Haven. Although bike lanes can provide a more comfortable experience for bicyclists, riding in bike lanes is not without its risks. To minimize these risks, keep the following recommendations in mind:

    Watch for Right Hooks at intersections. Do not give larger vehicles the opportunity to turn into your path. Use the full travel lane if necessary. This is especially important when dealing with buses or big rigs.

    Stay out of the Door Zone.
    If necessary, ride to the very left-hand side of the bike lane. In Connecticut bicyclists are also permitted to use the regular traffic lane when necessary.

    You have two options on left turns. Bicyclists are permitted turn left from the left-hand travel lane, just like automobiles. Bicyclists can also cross the intersection with the green light, reorient their bikes, and then cross with the green light to go in the desired direction. Signal all turns.

    Diagram of Intersection
    DIAGRAM DEVELOPED BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

    Shared Lanes

    Many of New Haven’s streets are not wide enough for dedicated bike lanes. While sharing the road is easy on low-traffic neighborhood streets, shared lanes on higher-traffic streets can lead to stressful and potentially dangerous situations for bicyclists, and confusion among motorists. Please consider these recommendations while riding in shared lanes, in addition to the above recommendations:

    Ride predictably. Bicycles are vehicles. Riding farther from the roadway edge can increase your visibility and help you to avoid debris, car doors and other hazards; use as much of the travel lane as necessary.

    Please do not ride on the sidewalk.
    Bicycles are vehicles. Bicycling on the sidewalk makes pedestrians uncomfortable, gives bicyclists a bad name, and reduces the visibility of the bicyclist, putting them at greater risk of being hit by vehicles pulling out of driveways or making right turns.

    Please do not ride against traffic.
    Bicycling against traffic is extremely dangerous. It increases the relative speed of vehicles, thereby reducing reaction time and exponentially increasing the severity of collisions. Bicycling against traffic puts you at very high risk of being hit by vehicles turning into driveways, pulling out of driveways, or making turns at intersections.

    Diagram of Riding Predictably

    Diagram of not Riding on Sidewalk

    DIAGRAMS DEVELOPED BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

    Multi-Use Trails and Off-Street Paths

    Multi-use paths, such as the Farmington Canal Trail, can provide an enjoyable and relaxing alternative to chaotic city streets. To ensure this experience is enjoyable for all users, please consider the following guidelines:

    Keep right, except while passing.

    Give an audible warning while passing. People will appreciate if you say “passing on your left (or right)” before passing. Use a friendly tone of voice, if possible. A bell or horn also works.

    Obey all signs. The signs posted on multi-use trails are there to help keep you safe. Drivers on roads crossing the trail may not yield. Please stop before crossing roadways to avoid collision with motor vehicles.

    Diagram of Giving Audible Warning While Passing
    DIAGRAM DEVELOPED BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO.
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