Both cyclists and drivers are expected to follow the law when it comes to bike lanes. But not all of those lanes are created equal, and it can be difficult to figure out how to use each one.
We asked the city for some guidance on what different lane markings mean. Follow along with our handy guide — but keep in mind, cyclists can ride on streets without markings, and motorists are required to give them three feet of space when passing.
3-feet-to-pass signs. Drivers must give cyclists three feet of space when passing, which means car mirrors and anything else projecting from the vehicle must be three feet from the cyclist. These signs are
a reminder to locals and a notification to tourists.
Colored pavement bike lane. This is a standard bike lane that has color added to it to make it more visible. Colored lanes are added in "conflict areas," such as high-traffic intersections. The idea is to make drivers more aware of a bicycle lane.
Bicycle boulevard. These are put on streets with low speed and low traffic volumes. Bicycle travel is given priority on these streets, so don't be surprised if a cyclist is riding down the center of the lane — it's allowed!
Shared lane or "sharrow." A sharrow isn't a bike lane, but a painted reminder to drivers that cyclists will be using the road, and a guide for cyclists on where to position themselves on the road. Remember, drivers, allow three feet of space when passing.
Standard bike lane. Separated from the automotive lane with a painted line, and identified with markings and signs. Cyclists travel the same direction as vehicles and are required to follow the same laws. Drivers must stay out of the marked lane.
Contra-flow bike lane. Separated by yellow center-lane striping on an otherwise one-way street. Bikes are allowed to ride the same direction as cars on one side of the yellow line. On the other side, bicycles can travel in the opposite direction of traffic.
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