Bike Lanes and Green Bars: Raleigh’s “Right” Move
Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. An essential element of that dynamic rise is its pedestrian friendliness. Bring on the bikes! Recently all of downtown was very generously colored in bike lanes.
The green bars are designed to alert both cyclists and motorists to share that space. The Raleigh City Code permits all vehicles to make a right turn from any travel lane where right turns are permitted. The green bars signify the section of the bike lane that may be used by cyclists AND motor vehicles to make a legal right turn.
Following a few simple rules will make travelling through those intersections convenient, safe and legal:
- Although the bicyclist has the right of way in the bike lane, both the motorist and the cyclist should look for and yield to each other, especially when approaching the green bars.
- Once ensuring that the way is clear, a motorist is encouraged, but not required, to merge onto the green bars of the bike lane to make a right turn. Failing to do so may back up traffic (multiple light cycle delays have been observed), especially during peak hours and where there is only a single travel lane for cars. Not merging is not illegal, it’s just bad manners.
- Cyclists are encouraged to refrain from being in the blind spot of a potentially merging onto the green bars car. A bicyclist that is proceeding through the intersection may pass the car that is in the green bars waiting to make a right turn by merging safely to the left and into the motor vehicle travel lane.
Bikes and cars co-existing in harmony is essential to our dynamic, growing city remaining on everyone’s “Best Of” list. Convenience and safety for all vehicles (and not getting a traffic ticket) is the goal. So, safely use the green bars to make a right turn. It is the right move.