Mayor Cantrell Reminds Residents of Safe Traffic Rules for Driving and Biking

Posted by Heather Haylett on April 5, 2019 in Bicycle Safety

Official communications from the office of Mayor Cantrell.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2019

Contact: LaTonya Norton
For Media Inquiries Only
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(504) 658-4962

MAYOR CANTRELL REMINDS RESIDENTS OF SAFE TRAFFIC RULES AS TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS RAMP UP

NEW ORLEANS – As the City of New Orleans ramps up its mobility efforts with the upcoming launch of Moving New Orleans Bikes, Mayor LaToya Cantrell reminds residents of one important fact: “We are all traffic.”

“Safety on every level is a top priority for my administration,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Whether you’re a motorist, bicyclist, pedestrian or transit rider—- the City is going to be pushing hard to enforce policies that save lives and protect our people.”

Next week, the City is launching Moving New Orleans Bikes, an effort to rapidly plan our City-wide bike network, and construct many miles of bike infrastructure. Residents are invited to participate in bike-network planning open houses across all five City Council districts starting next Monday; check the schedule to attend a meeting here.

Other mobility developments include the release of Mayor Cantrell’s transportation action strategy, the rapid implementation of many miles of bike infrastructure, and improved enforcement measures on the city streets to ensure more safety for all residents.

These initiatives underscore the need to be more vigilant on the road and for all roadway users to adhere to traffic laws.

Review traffic laws and guidelines for cyclists and drivers:

In addition, learn more about the City’s new bike-lane infrastructure by taking a look at the FAQs compiled below.

GUIDELINES

For Motorists

  • Pass safely. When passing a bicyclist, use care and provide at least three (3) feet. (R.S. 32:76.1)
  • Be respectful. Don’t harass bicyclists by yelling or honking. (R.S. 32:201)
  • Keep bike lanes clear. Motorists have their own lanes. Entering a bike lane is only permissible when:
    Preparing to turn at an intersection
    Entering or leaving a roadway to a private roadway or alley
    Entering or leaving a street parking space
    If you need to enter a bike lane, yield to cyclists (R.S. 32:203)
  • Be aware. Check for approaching bicyclists before opening your car door. (R.S. 32.283)
  • Share the lanes. Expect to see bicyclists in vehicular lanes.

For Bicyclists

  • Bicycles on the roadway are held to the same requirements as motor vehicles. (R.S. 32:194)
  • Follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists must obey traffic signals. (R.S. 32:123)
  • Ride in the direction of traffic. Ride as near right as practicable (or safe). (R.S. 32:197)
  • Respect vehicle and pedestrian right-of-way. For example, when exiting from a driveway or alley, bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic. (R.S. 32:124)
  • Use the “Copenhagen” left or “box” turn. At large intersections, instead of merging across traffic to make a left turn, ride through the intersection on the right, stop and turn your bike, and proceed with caution obeying traffic lights.
  • Protect your head. Helmets are required for people under the age of 12, and a smart idea for everyone else. (R.S. 32:199)
  • Be bright! Bicyclists must use bike lights and reflectors at night — white for the front, red for the back. (R.S. 329.1)
  • Be predictable. Use hand signals when you are turning and stopping. (R.S. 32:106)
  • Signal a stop. Extend your left arm down.
  • Signal a left turn. Extend your left arm straight out.
  • Signal a right turn. Extend your right arm straight out.
  • Pick your route. By planning ahead you can make your ride safer and smoother.
  • Use the bus to extend your route. There is no additional cost or pass needed to use bicycle racks on buses.
  • Ride on the road. Unless you are under the age of 15, let pedestrians rule the sidewalks (Sec 154-1416)
  • Be aware of blind spots. Stay far enough ahead or far enough back from motorists to be visible, especially at intersections where they could turn right across your path.
  • Use caution when crossing tracks. When riding over rails, ride at a 90-degree angle.
  • Travel in a straight line. Travel in a straight line and take the lane if need be. Be visible on the road, and do not weave in in and out of parked cars or ride between lanes of moving traffic.
  • Emergency information
    In case you crash, call 911.
    If your bicycle is stolen, call NOPD at 504-821-2222.
    Report your incident to Bike Easy: http://www.bikeeasy.org/map

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is a shared lane? A lane of a traveled roadway that is open to both bicycle and motor vehicle travel. Shared-lane markings typically include pavement marking symbols that indicate an appropriate positioning in a shared lane.
Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Ed., 2012.
Buffered Lane

Q: What is a buffered bike lane? Conventional bicycle lanes paired with a designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle lane and/or parking lane.
Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Ed., 2012.
Green Lane

Q: Why is the bike lane colored green? Colored pavement within a bicycle lane increases the visibility of the facility, identifies potential areas of conflict, and reinforces priority to bicyclists in conflict areas and in areas with pressure for illegal parking. Colored pavement can be utilized either as a corridor treatment along the length of a bike lane or cycle track, or as a spot treatment, such as a bike box, conflict area, or intersection crossing marking. Color can be applied along the entire length of bike lane or cycle track to increase the overall visibility of the facility. Consistent application of color across a bikeway corridor is important to promote clear understanding for all users.
Source:https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/bikeway-signing-marking/colored-bike-facilities/

Q: Can motorists drive a car, motorcycle, truck, or bus in a bike lane? No, except under very limited circumstances. These include preparing for a turn, entering or leaving the roadway to an alley, driveway, or private road, or entering or leaving a parking space when parking is permitted next to the bike lane.
Source: Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:203.

Q: Do people on bicycles have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles? In Louisiana, bicycles are vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles. A person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle as provided in Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.
Source: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§32:1(92); 32 §194.

Q: Are bicyclists protected from harassment, taunting, or malicious throwing of objects? Yes. Louisiana law protects bicyclists by providing that it is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.
Source: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:201.

Q: What is the “3 feet passing law” in Louisiana? Louisiana requires that the operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.
Source: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:76.1.

Q: Why don’t bicyclists just ride on the sidewalk?
Riding on sidewalks by people 15 years and older is specifically prohibited in on sidewalks in Orleans Parish.
Source: New Orleans Municipal Code 1956, § 38-205.

Q: Are bicyclists required to wear helmets?
Louisiana law only requires a bicycle operator or passenger under the age of 12 years to wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle.
Source: RS 32:199.

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