Share the Road

Share the Road

UK Transportation Services is reminding all roadway users — including motorists, bicyclists and motor scooter users — to use caution when interacting with each other, in order to safely share the road. As part of these efforts, Transportation Services has developed safety tips for each of these groups.

Transportation Services, in conjunction with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Fayette County Public Schools, UK and Lexington Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, wants to promote safety on our roads. Cyclists and motorists (including motor scooter users) have the same rights, rules and responsibilities on most Kentucky roads.

Below is a list of tips that will help keep the road a safe way to travel:

Motorists:

  • Open With Caution: Instead of using your near hand to open your car door, use your far hand. This causes you to swivel your body, which allows you to see any oncoming bicycles and avoid opening your car door in their path.
  • Don’t Speed or Text: Follow posted speed limits and follow distracted driving laws; don’t text message while your vehicle is in motion.
  • Every Lane is a Bike Lane: Bicyclists have a right to the road. Be alert and patient. Expect cyclists on the road at any time, especially on signed bike routes and on roads displaying the sharrow symbol on the roadway surface. Do not use a bike lane as a turn lane, for loading/unloading or to park.
  • Be Alert: Check your mirrors. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists, yielding to them at crosswalks and intersections; pay special attention while driving on or around campus. Scan for cyclists before turning across a bike lane, driveway or onto another road.
  • Pass with Care: Bicycles are considered vehicles and should be given the appropriate right of way. A minimum of three feet is recommended for passing cyclists. Stay behind cyclists when you are turning right. Do not honk your horn when approaching cyclists; doing so could startle the cyclist and result in a crash.

Cyclists:

  • Respect the Rules: Bicycles are vehicles. Obey traffic rules for safety and to gain respect from motorists. Never ride against traffic; it is illegal and unsafe.
  • Plan Your Route: Use the bike lane if there is one available, unless that lane is blocked or has safety hazards such as debris, grates, or open car doors. Take the lane on roads with sharrow markings. These roads are too narrow to accommodate bikes and cars in the same lane, so take the full width of the lane in those areas to avoid getting too close to a moving vehicle. If you are riding on campus sidewalks, use the guidelines below. Do not cut through the grass.
  • Be Safe, Be Seen: Use front and rear lights and wear bright or reflective clothing. Be predictable and make eye contact with motorists, and use hand signals to indicate your intentions.
  • Pass with Care: A minimum of three feet is recommended for passing vehicles. Be sure to pass buses on the left.
  • Wear a Helmet: Helmet use dramatically reduces the risks of brain injury and death for cyclists involved in accidents.
  • Always Park at Bike Racks: Locking your bike to anything other than a bike rack can cause access issues, fire hazards and other problems and is prohibited by University of Kentucky regulations. Just park at a bike rack. Rack locations can be found on the Bicycle Facilities map (PDF). Remember to always lock your bike, even if you anticipate being at your destination for just a short time.

Hand Signals

Additionally, cyclists are reminded to engage in safe sidewalk riding behaviors. Some campus sidewalks have been designated as shared sidewalks and, under certain conditions, serve as important connections for cyclists. These shared sidewalks are wide, do not run parallel to vehicular traffic and connect important campus destinations. Nonetheless, these walks were designed for pedestrian traffic and bicyclists should always yield.

If you choose to ride your bike on any campus sidewalk, please follow these basic rules:

  • Always Yield to Pedestrians: Give audible warning, or dismount to pass when sidewalks are crowded or narrow.
  • Go Slow: Sidewalks are not designed for speeds faster than a slow jog. Dismount and walk your bike if the sidewalk is congested, such as during class change.
  • Check Every Cross Street and Driveway: Vehicles often pull across the sidewalk before entering traffic or turn into driveways without scanning very far down the street.
  • Only Cross the Street at Crosswalks: Darting into the street mid-block is extremely dangerous.

Motor scooter users:

  • Use Appropriate Travel Avenues: Scooters, motor scooters and motorcycles are not permitted to drive or travel on sidewalks, bike paths, bike lanes or lawns.
  • Utilize Appropriate Parking Areas: Scooters, mopeds and motorcycles must use moped/motorcycle parking areas on campus. These areas are conveniently located throughout campus and are marked by the presence of signage, green lines or both. Scooters, motorcycles and motor scooters are not authorized to park at bicycle racks, or in any area that is not listed above.

For more information about sharing the road, visit www.lexingtonky.gov/bikewalklex.