Bicycle and Bike Lane Safety

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Riding bicycles is a great way to get around in the City of Westland.  It provides exercise and an easy way to get from place to place.  The City of Westland wants to help people understand the "rules of the road" while driving and bicycling on the City of Westland's shared and non-shared bicycle lanes.

It starts by understanding that everyone is responsible for safety while on the road.  Everyone's goal is to get home safe and sound every day.  Following our tips and knowing the rules will help make that happen.

Walk and Roll Westland has more information about the City of Westland's bike lanes; what type of lanes there are and where they are being installed at.

Bicycle Lanes

There are two main types of lanes being used by the City of Westland; dedicated bike lanes and sharrow lanes

  • Dedicated bike lanes, which can be unbuffered, buffered, and protected are lanes that appear on one or both sides of the road specifically for bicycle use.  Bike Lanes Identifiers and Information (PDF) provides information and examples of signage and pavement markings for dedicated bike lanes.
  • Sharrow lanes, or "shared" lanes are when the road is marked to be "shared" between bicycle, moving vehicle traffic, and parked vehicles.  Sharrow Lanes Identifiers and Information (PDF) provides information and examples of signage and pavement markings for sharrow lanes.

Rules of the Road

Here are some of the important "rules of the road" for both drivers and bicyclists.

For Drivers:

  • The vehicle driver must provide a minimum of 3 feet space between the vehicle and the bicyclist when passing.
  • The vehicle driver, when preparing to turn right, must yield to a bicyclist traveling straight in the bicycle lane.  The vehicle must turn form the travel lane and not from the bicycle lane.
  • The vehicle driver cannot enter a bicycle lane on the right in order to pass a left turning vehicle.
  • Vehicles cannot be parked in a bicycle lane.

For Bicyclists:

  • When traveling in a bicycle lane, bicyclists are required to have illumination.  During the time between a 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise, bicyclists must have a white headlamp on the front and red reflectors on the rear of the bicycle.
  • Bicyclists must use hand signals when turning.
  • Any vehicle that has a gas powered engine on it are prohibited from using the bicycle lane, such as motorcycles, mopeds, and gas scooters.
  • While in the bicycle lane, bicyclists must travel in the same direction as regular vehicle traffic.
  • Bicyclists must adhere to traffic signs and signals.
  • When a bicyclist is using a shared bike/car lane, the bicyclist should stay on the right side of the lane to help provide more space for the cars to pass as needed.

Best Advice

With most things in this world the best tip or advice that can be given is to be aware of what is going on around you and be careful while traveling on a bicycle or in a car.  

If you are riding a bicycle, think safety first.  Wear your helmet, be careful crossing intersections, hand signal your turns, give yourself space between you and other vehicles, and most importantly, treat riding a bike like driving a car; follow the rules of the road.

If driving a car, remember that people on bicycles have the same rights to the road as you do.  Be aware of the other people traveling around you, be considerate, and drive safely.