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What the Bicycle Lane Markings Mean

The lane markings on Memorial Blvd are the first bicycle lane marks on Aquidneck Island. Here are the explanations of the different marks that you’ll see.

The lane markings on Memorial Boulevard are the first bicycle lane marks on Aquidneck Island, so many of us are uncertain of what they mean. Below are the explanations of the different marks that you’ll see.  Attached are photos for reference.

Also, Bike Newport is available to help with information for both cyclists and motorists.  For printouts or to arrange a presentation to a group of any size, please email info@bikenewportri.org.  Our goal is for everyone to understand and practice safe road sharing. 

BIKE LANE – A narrow separate lane for bicycles only, indicated by a graphic of a cyclist. Cyclists are protected in the bike lane, but continue to have a right to the main road and will move into the road whenever a hazard exists in the bike lane. Cars should never be in the bike lane and should cross the bike lane with extreme caution. On Memorial Blvd, you’ll see a bike lane from the Middletown line west to Edgar Court, and from Annandale Avenue east to the Middletown line.

SHARED LANE (or 'sharrow') – graphic appears on the main road and shows a cyclist with double arrow marks above.  This lane is shared by cars and bicycles. Cyclists have the priority and the right to use the full lane. On Memorial Blvd, it is especially necessary for cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane in the vicinity of parked cars to avoid car doors, and when preparing to move left for a left hand turn.  Motorists should not use the shared lane when a cyclist is present and another lane is available. When no other lane is available, please be patient.

BUFFERS – in the vicinity of Easton’s Beach, you’ll see “buffer zones” marked with bold diagonal lines. These buffers, between the bike lane and the parked cars, give space for bicycles to avoid the activity of the parked cars – surfboards, strollers, dogs, etc . 

THE PASSING LAW - Rhode Island state law mandates that a motorist may not pass a cyclist unless there is enough room for the cyclist to fall over sideways into the driving lane and not be hit by the vehicle. This law is written to protect cyclists from serious or fatal injury. 

We’re fortunate to live in a beautiful place where we welcome all transportation – motorists, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians.  Please be patient and courteous when sharing the road. Be safe and enjoy!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim Lilley November 20, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Will this be printed in the Newport Daily News and other local papers?
Dale Clark November 20, 2012 at 04:15 AM
It really should be printed into a bike manual and safty guide showing people just how to obey the right of ways of other's.
Bari Freeman November 21, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Here is a link to a pdf to download and print. Bike Newport can also send a league-certified Smart Cycling instructor to any group on Aquidneck Island to speak with motorists and cyclists about road sharing (at no charge). http://bikenewportri.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Bike-Lanes-Explained.pdf
Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 02:06 AM
The islands should be narrowed to allow 2 car lanes. Good intentions with awful results.

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