The bike lanes in Richmond and corresponding legislation have resulted in a muddy flood of approval and dismay from Richmond’s residents. However, the gaps in safety are one thing (almost) everyone can agree on.
Online news outlets covering the bike lanes have seen their share of discord over the issue. Some argue that the government caters to disgruntled lobbyists. Others say that cyclists should pay for lanes through the taxation of bikes and tires, and that motorists are the only ones pulling their weight. And there are plenty of complaints about the appearance of the new lanes and new traffic patterns.
The fact is, bicyclists must adhere to the same regulations as motorists. Law enforcement often doesn’t push for regulation as strongly for cyclists, because they cause significantly less damage in collisions. But since the lanes were implemented, cyclists have reported seeing more of a crack-down from police on policies, like tickets for wearing both earbuds or not following traffic signs.
As of July 1, motor vehicles (including cars, trucks, mopeds, animal-drawn vehicles, and electric personal assistive mobility devices), will be required to change lanes when passing cyclists if they’re unable to maintain at least a three-foot distance throughout the intersection. Further, the new laws will allow cyclists to ride side by side, or “two abreast” in a lane. This applies to motorized scooters, skateboards, bicycles, and personal assistive mobility devices.
Allowing cyclists to ride two abreast in a lane will shorten long lines of cyclists and allow motorists to get a better idea of how many cyclists are in a large group. This also helps to decrease the likelihood of motorists becoming frustrated and attempting to pass when there may not be enough space to do so.
As the bicycle lanes become more prevalent, the laws may continue to evolve. Allen & Allen will keep you informed as it happens. And if you have been injured in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen can help you to figure out the next steps. Call today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.