WICHITA, KS BICYCLE GUIDELINES
There are so many laws, and they are always changing. How do you ever keep up? Here is a list of the most recent Wichita bicycle guidelines in hopes that it will keep "You" safer on the roads. These guidelines were provided by the Wichita.gov website.
How to Ride in Traffic - Tips for People Who Bicycle on Wichita Streets
1. Be predictable. Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements.
Ride to the Right
Bicyclists must ride with traffic and within 5 ft. of the side of the street. Exceptions are made for persons 14 or older riding two abreast, passing another vehicle, turning left, when necessary to avoid unsafe road conditions, or riding on a one-way street in which case the bicyclist may also ride within 5 ft. of the left-hand side of the street.
Never Ride Against Traffic
Motorists aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. Riding against traffic greatly increases the chances of injury according to several national studies.
Use Hand Signals
Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self protection. Signal well in advance of stopping and turning.
Ride in a Straight Line
Whenever possible, ride in a straight line, to the right of traffic but about a car door's width away from parked cars.
Don't Weave Between Parked Cars
Don't ride out to the curb between parked cars, unless they are far apart. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into traffic.
Ride in Middle of Lane in Slow Traffic
Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic.
Follow Lane Markings
Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked right-turn-only. Plan ahead and avoid last second lane changes.
Choose Best Way to Turn Left
There are two ways to make a left turn. (1) Like an auto. Signal, move into the left lane, and turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian. Ride straight to the far-side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
Don't Pass on the Right
Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right. Do not ride up to the right of a line of cars stopping for a signal or traffic light. Stop well back and out far enough to be easily seen.
Go Slow on Sidewalks
Pedestrians have the right of way. By law you must give pedestrians audible warning when you pass. Don't cross driveways or intersections without looking very carefully for traffic (especially traffic turning right on a green light).
2. Be Alert. Ride defensively and expect the unexpected.
Watch Out for Cars Pulling Out
Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they don't see you until you are sure they do. Even then don't take eye contact alone as the only cue to indicate a motorist's intentions.
Scan the Road Behind
Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left. Some riders use rearview mirrors. Also listen constantly for traffic approaching behind you.
Avoid Road Hazards
Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, oily pavement, gravel, ice. Cross railroad tracks carefully at right angles. To get better control as you move across bumps and other hazards, stand up on your pedals. Avoid crowded and high speed roads.
Keep Both Hands Ready to Brake
You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
Watch for Chasing Dogs
Ignore them, or try a firm, loud "NO." If the dog doesn't stop, dismount with your bike between you and the dog. Dogs are attracted by the spinning of wheels and feet.
3. Be Equipped. You'll ride easier and safer if you and your bike have proper equipment.
Keep Bike in Good Repair
Adjust your bike to fit you, and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself.
Use Lights at Night
The law requires a strong headlight and rear reflector or tail light at night or when visibility is poor. Wear light-colored clothes with reflective tape for extra protection. Bright yellow is an especially effective color.
In rain, wear a poncho or a parka made of fabric that "breathes." Generally dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes.
Wear a sturdy helmet to protect the most vulnerable part of the body.
Use Pack or Rack to Carry Things
Saddlebags, racks, baskets, backpacks all are good ways to carry packages, freeing your hands for safe riding. Avoid dangling straps or anything that might get caught in the spokes.
Lock Bike When You're Gone
Lock up to a post or tree, or bike rack if there is one, threading the chain or cable through both wheels and the frame. Use bicycle racks and lockers when provided. Thank merchants who provide these facilities.
Here are some of the City of Wichita bicycle ordinances. Remember: All traffic laws apply to bicyclists.
When in use at nighttime every bicycle is to be equipped with a head lamp emitting white light and a red rear reflector.
A rear red light may be used in addition to the reflector. (We think that that is a great idea.)
All bicycles must be equipped with brakes which will enable the operator to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
Traffic-Control Devices and Regulations
Every person riding a bicycle upon a street shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle excepting special ordinances listed in the Wichita codes.
Riding on the Road
Ride as near to the right side of the street as practicable except when passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction, preparing for a left turn or as reasonably necessary to avoid adverse conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the street.
These conditions could include fixed or moving objects, other bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or narrow width lanes.
If you are riding on a one-way street or a street with two or more marked traffic lanes you may ride as near to the left side of the roadway as practical.
Persons riding bicycles upon roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. Each person is to ride on a regular seat permanently attached to the bicycle.
Children under five may be carried on a bicycle only on a seat designed to be attached to the rear of the bicycle that complies with current Consumer Product Safety Commission Standards or in a wheeled child carrier designed for attachment to a bicycle.
Hitching to Moving Vehicles
Unlawful for a bicycle rider to hitch or attach himself onto other moving vehicles while riding the bicycle.
Bicycles on the Sidewalk
A bicyclist on a sidewalk or a crosswalk must yield right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing any pedestrian.
If you ride on the sidewalk or crosswalks you have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is legal except in the central business district.
Parking of Bicycles
It is unlawful to park or leave a bicycle on public property where it blocks pedestrian travel or presents a traffic hazard.
(I think the following where once with in the Bicycle Ordances but can't find them now. No matter they are still great ideas)
No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
Anti-Harrassment of Cyclists
It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.
(All laws are not listed. Please visit Wichita.gov for a complete list and most up to date ordinances. Lee's Bike Shop does not claim any liability for any persons not following the Bicycle Ordinances.)
And as important as these rules are: Be cautious,treat others with respect and smile.