The Dallas City Council is ready to spell out the rules of the road for the city’s new bike lanes. One of the shared lanes is on Main Street downtown.
A drawing of a bicycle, painted in white, appears on Main Street lanes at frequent intervals. It means that lane is shared by bicycles and cars. And there are new rules going into effect.
The bicyclist can use the entire lane. Unless obstructed or prevented in some way, the car must use an adjacent lane to pass the bicyclist – or “vulnerable road user” as the city ordinance calls it. The driver cannot just squeeze by the cyclist in the marked lane.
Michael Thompson’s been riding his bike to and from work for four years. He likes the lanes a lot.
“I am blown away by the bike culture and how it’s exploded, and the way the city’s trying to catch up and make an effort to celebrate the bike community, and make it safer and make drivers more aware,” said Thompson.
Downtown resident, and car owner Drew Milwee says drivers are aware all right when they’re stuck behind a bicycle.
“It gets kinda frustrating being behind bikers,"said Milwee. "I guess I’ll have to get used to it. If you do get behind a biker you kinda get impatient and want to honk the horn.”
Failure to play nice could net a fine up to $500.
And that includes violating of the part of the ordinance that forbids throwing things at the vulnerable road users. Dedicated bike rider Charlene Bailey says you might be surprised how often that happens.
“As a cyclist people have thrown batteries, water bottles, everything just because they don’t want to share the road," said Bailey. "We obey the exact same laws that every car does. No respect and that’s just rude.” Driver Percy Tribble says there’s obviously a learning curve here for horsepower and pedal power, but the lanes are a good idea.
“Just gonna take a little getting used to. At some point I think it’ll be helpful,” said Tribble.
City council members are expected to approve the new bike lane rules at their Wednesday meeting.