May is National Bike Safety Month, and while Cranberry Township always takes the safety of cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians seriously, you may see extra messaging for cycling safety this month.
Here are just a few of those initiatives.
- Neon Yard Signs - These signs will be strategically located throughout the Township to remind motorists to share the road and remain alert.
- Bike Safety Tips Video – Check back soon for a video featuring Cranberry Police Lt. William Ahlgren.
- Community Sign - In an effort to educate visitors to or motorists traveling through our community, specific messaging will be placed on the electronic sign at the corner of Route 228 and Route 19.
- Social Media - All of our social media pages will contain fun informational messaging to help spread the word on bike safety.
- The campaign will also lead into June, when the Township will ramp up its Slow Down Campaign in neighborhoods. There are also several bike safety programs and initiatives planned throughout the summer.
Remember to pay attention, share the road and be a ‘roll’ model!
Wear a Helmet - Helmets are required for persons under 12, not everyone 12 and under.
Ride with Traffic - Cyclists are entitled to the lane of travel and are not required to yield to traffic. The statement that we must make reasonable efforts to not impede traffic has been litigated and found not enforceable by the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Sidewalks - A pedalcycle is never 'required' to use a bike lane when available. It is at the discretion of the cyclist. They 'may' use the improved bike lane. This is another instance where litigation refined this language.
Obey All Traffic Laws - Cyclists are not subject to the same fines as motor vehicles. Some sections of Title 75 stipulate a $10 fine for pedalcycles. Motorized vehicles are subject to a different fee structure for similar instances.
Bike Repair Stations - Stations are located in Graham Park and North Boundary Park. Each sheltered station includes all the necessary tools to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. While making repairs, the bike hangs from arms which allow the pedals and wheels to spin freely. The repair stations were purchased through the Alcoa grant and Butler County Tourism.
Bike Racks - Fifteen bike racks are located on Township properties, thanks to a grant from Alcoa Foundation via Kawneer-Alcoa and a contribution from Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau.
Some bikeways are not appropriate for all riders as traffic and other conditions may require advanced riding skills. Discretion is advised. Parents are encouraged to accompany young children when riding.
Special thanks to Township resident and avid cyclist, Jack Linton, for sharing this information.
- Bicycles are permitted to ride in the travel lane, and are not required to use the shoulder or sidewalk.
- Bicycles are required to obey all traffic control devices.
- Vehicles must provide a minimum of four feet of clearance at a reduced speed when passing a cyclist.
- Vehicles may cross the double yellow line to pass a cyclist, given certain conditions.
- When crossing the double yellow line to pass, there must be 200 feet of clearance between the passing vehicle and oncoming traffic at any time during the pass.
- Vehicles should not pass a cyclist within 100 feet of an intersection.
- Bicycles are considered a vehicle in Pennsylvania, have many of the same responsibilities of a motor vehicle operator, and must follow all the same laws as a motor vehicle.
- The Motor Vehicle Code provides additional protections for bicyclists as compared to motor vehicles.
- Bicycles may use any part of the lane of travel when there is not more than one travel lane in each direction - In other words, on a two-lane road a cyclist can ride down the middle of the lane of travel - On a two-lane road, turn lanes are not considered travel lanes.
- On a roadway with two or more travel lanes in the same direction, the bicycle must be in the rightmost lane of travel - Route 19 for example.
- Cyclist may appear to not travel in a straight path - That is normally a result of the cyclist avoiding an unsafe surface condition - A road bike tire has approximately 1/2 inch of road contact - A mountain bike tire has approximately 1 inch of road contact - Cracks and imperfections in the roadway can severely impact the path of travel.
- A bicycle may travel in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway when preparing to turn left.
- Bicycles are not required to use a defined bike lane when available on a roadway.
- It is recommended that cyclists be visible by wearing bright colored clothing during daylight hours and retroreflective clothing during nighttime hours.
- Being classified as a vehicle, a cyclist's automobile insurance automatically extends to the bicycle as coverage.
- Bicycles are the ultimate tool for 'green' transportation.
- Many cyclists operate video cameras recording the actions of motorists to establish behaviors and fault in the event of an incident - Video footage can be used to issue citations after the fact and within the controls of the Motor Vehicle Code and Criminal Code - The video footage is admissible evidence in a court of law - Consent from other parties to be recorded in the public right of way is not required.
- Must ride in the direction of traffic - May not ride against traffic.
- Children under the age of 12 must wear a helmet.
- May not wear earbuds or earphones in either ear while riding - Headsets for hands-free cellular phone use may be used in one ear.
- Must obey all rules of the road - For example, speed limits, stop signs, road markings, signaling, traffic control devices, etc.
- May not lane split or ride up the right side of traffic stopped at an intersection or traffic control device.
- Must use hand signals with the left arm when making turns and stops - The right hand may be used as an alternate for right hand turns.
- May not ride more than two abreast on a roadway, except a roadway specifically designed for bicycles (a defined bike lane, or bike trail)
- Must use a white front light, and have a red rear reflector or red light, both visible at a distance of 500 feet between sunset and sunrise - Amber side reflectors (pedal reflectors) are required between sunset and sunrise - Flashing lights may be used.
- Lights may be used during daylight hours to be more visible to motor vehicles.
- May not ride on sidewalks in a business district unless directed by a traffic control device.
- May ride on a sidewalk outside a business district but must yield to pedestrians.
- Bicycles do not have the right-of-way to cross a roadway at a marked crosswalk when being ridden - Crosswalks are for pedestrians - Bicycles being ridden are classified as vehicles.
- Should ride no closer than three feet to any parked car to avoid being 'doored' by a motor vehicle operator opening a car door into the lane of travel.
- People under the age of 16 may not operate an electric bike (e-bike) on a roadway.
MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
- Vehicles may cross the double yellow line to pass a bicycle provided there is a minimum of 200 feet between the vehicle passing the cyclist and any oncoming vehicle at any time during the pass.
- When passing a cyclist, the vehicle should pass on the left of the cyclist at not less than four feet of clearance at the closest point.
- The passing motorist should toot their horn during daylight hours or flash their headlights during nighttime hours before initiating a pass - When returning to the lane of travel, the motorist should use turn signals indicating their intent to return to the lane - Returning to the lane should be done only when there is sufficient clearance to do so.
- When passing a cyclist, it must be done at a careful and prudent reduced speed - Fast accelerations and quick weaving in and out of traffic should not be done.
- May not cross the double yellow line within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad crossing.
- No turn by a motor vehicle should interfere with a bicycle traveling straight.
- Motor vehicle operators should look behind them before opening a door into the lane of traffic.
Pennsylvania Law requires motorists to give bicyclists a four foot buffer when passing
To make a left turn; first safely merge to the middle of the lane. Turn when it is safe and legal to do so.
Where to Ride
To avoid hitting opening doors, it is recommended to ride at least four feet away from cars parked on the street.
What is a Shared Lane? (SLM) "sharrow" and what does it mean?
Though bicyclists are permitted on all roads, except for limited-access highways, a Shared Lane Marking (SLM) or “sharrow” is a marking on the road used to further specifically communicate that the road is to be shared by both motorists and bicyclists. Motorists should expect to see bicyclists in these zones and treat them like another vehicle. Markings may or may not be accompanied by “Share the Road” signs. Pennsylvania law states that whenever a motorist passes a bicyclist, the motorist must maintain at least four feet of space between the car and the bicyclist. The law also states that bicyclists must make reasonable efforts to not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.