GLC: Facility Use

Laws That Are Not For Our Benefit

Nearly half of US bicyclists live in states that explicitly require them to ride in designated bike lanes, on paved shoulders, or on side paths. It’s important to understand what these terms mean, and where, when and how to use these facilities.

Mandatory facility use has serious implications for group rides, as you’ll see in the safety lesson on bike lanes and shoulders. Presence of these facilities may influence route selection. As a ride leader of casual groups, I found it easier to avoid roads with bike lanes for both safety and social reasons. It’s more pleasant for riders to be two-abreast and able to converse with each other on a road where the group can control the travel lane.

Resources:

Bicycle Laws by state: See tabs for MBL (mandatory bike lane), MSU (mandatory shoulder use), and MSP mandatory side path laws.