C-Sig Training Series

C-SIG 2004 :  Riding in traffic
(adapted from: John S. Allen. Street Smarts: Bicycling’s Traffic Survival Guide. Rodale Press: Emmaus, PA. Copyright 1988)

You are traffic and have the same right to use the road as a motorist.

 You’re also an ambassador for cycling. Be courteous, yield to pedestrians, wave to thank drivers who give you right of way.

Where in the road to ride?

Right turns

Stay in the right lane, signal, look for traffic, yield to traffic from the left and pedestrians in intersections, and turn.

Left turns

Change lanes until you reach the left turn lane (where no cars on your left will go straight ahead): ride to the right side of a left turn only lane and to the left side of a lane with both left-turning and through traffic. On a 2-lane street, turn from just right of the center line.

To reach the proper position, look back and signal before you change lanes and before changing to the left side of a lane to make sure either there are no cars or that drivers will yield to you.

Once in the correct position, signal, look for traffic, yield to traffic from right and left as well as oncoming traffic and pedestrians in crosswalk, and turn.

If you feel it’s unsafe to turn left or you can’t get to the left turn position in time it’s also ok to cross as a pedestrian: cross on the right side then stop at the far side of the intersection. Turn your bike to the left, then cross when it’s safe.

Going straight through an intersection

Don’t ride to the right of cars turning right—stay to the left of a right turn only lane (remember to look back before changing lane position).



[1] This handout is for teaching in the 2004 C-SIG only and should not be copied or forwarded to others for any other purpose.