Tuesday, July 20, 2010

City Asks All To Be Safe On Roads This Summer

The City of Spokane today sent out a press release asking for help from citizens to ensure a safe and fun-filled summer for everyone. The release says that City officials are seeing more bicyclists on City streets than in the past, and asking drivers and cyclists alike to use caution and obey the rules of the road.

The rules of the road for cyclists include:

• Ride in the same direction as traffic in the middle of the lane, or center of the bike lane or sharrow.

• Obey traffic signs and signals.

• Use a front white light and red rear reflector.

• Don’t ride on the sidewalk. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in the central business district.

A few safety tips for cyclists:

• Wear bright colors.

• Ditch the headphones.

• Drive straight. The peek-a-boo bike weaving in and out of the lane when parked cars are spread out is dangerous because motorists have a difficult time seeing you.

• Watch out for parked cars.

The rules of the road for motorists include:

• Remain behind the bicyclist until safe to pass. When safe, pass to the left.

• Do not drive or park in a bicycle lane.

• Remember bicyclists may legally occupy the travel lane when passing, making a left turn, avoiding a hazard, or when the lane is narrow.

Cyclists can receive infractions from $52 for not wearing a helmet up to $124 for running a red light. The most common cycling infractions are riding on downtown sidewalks $103 or riding a bike without a headlamp, back red reflector or brakes $103.

Drivers found not following the rules of the road should expect to receive a traffic infraction, starting at $30 for parking in a bike lane.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.