Bike lanes and right turns

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Topic: Bike lanes and right turns

Announcements April 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

Bike lanes and right turns

While driving , how am I suppose to make a right turn from a street with a bike lane? I’m very cautious sharing the road with bike riders but had a near miss recently.

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First, use your turn signal. The bike lane should at some point become a dashed line. When it does, merge all the way through the bike lane so you’re entirely on the right hand side of it. Then turn right.


Turn signals are definitely the most helpful thing for avoiding accidents with cyclists. Cyclists, for the most part, try to be as predictable as possible to avoid getting hit, but cars need to do the same so that cyclists can adjust their actions to avoid a possible collision. Nearly all of my close calls have been when I think a car is doing one thing, so I bike predicting that action, then the driver suddenly does something else.

Also a simple check of the mirrors and out the side window just to make sure nobody is there before you turn is always a smart move.

The law is clear:
DCMR 18,2203.3 Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge or the roadway.

That the right-hand portion of the road is a bike lane, or bus stop, or whatever, doesn’t matter. Bicyclists may not like it, but what’s safest for all is for the car to be close enough to the curb that the bicyclist cannot pass on your right.

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