Norfolk’s Bike Loop Is Slowly Gaining Favor

Anyone who has walked or driven in Ghent or Park Place in Norfolk will be familiar with the distinctive new bike lanes.

What less well known is the fact this new bike lane loop was initially subject to heavy criticism by many Norfolk.

A recent article in the Virginian-Pilot suggested the lanes are now winning more supporters. It stated many residents in the Ghent and Park Place neighborhoods complained that the bike lanes caused backups when they replaced a lane of traffic last year.

Norfolk bike loop becomes more opular

A bike lane in Ghent

The confusion around how the lanes work and how drivers and cyclists operate in them have decreased as residents became more familiar with the bike lanes.

When traveling on or near the bike lanes both drivers and cyclists must remember to obey the rules required by law or there could be serious personal and legal consequences.

Drivers must give cyclists 3 feet of space while passing.  Motorists can legally cross the double yellow line to safely pass a cyclist, if the oncoming lane is clear. Motorists must be careful when opening their doors on city streets. So-called “dooring” is a major cause of injuries to cyclists. You can be fined $50 if you open a door and hit cyclists.

By law, cyclists are required to have lights on the front and back of your bike at night.  Cyclists must obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings.  Cyclists must yield and give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian. Though not legally required for persons over the age of 14, always wear a helmet. And, don’t wear headphones in both ears, it’s illegal.

You can read more about common causes of cycling accidents here on our website. They include left turns by cars and trucks, or drivers failing to give cyclists sufficient space. Sometimes cyclists put themselves in danger by riding against the flow of traffic or not having lights at night.

We welcome Norfolk’s bike loop as a way of keeping traffic separated from riders. Please be careful when driving or cycling near or in the bike lanes.  Always follow the rules of the road. If you have any legal questions regarding the bike lanes, please give us a call at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Will Dudley

 

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