During the summer months, downtown Fort Wayne’s roads will become more crowded with residents taking advantage of comfortable temperatures. This will lead to more cyclists sharing the road with motorists, requiring greater safety measures from each.
Amy Hartzog is Fort Wayne’s program manager with greenways and trails, and also assists with active transportation. She says cyclists have to remain vigilant and defensive sharing the road.
“Use hand signals, let people know your intentions,” Hartzog said. “Check over your shoulder; as a cyclist you need to check over your shoulder before you change lanes or you’re making turns to make sure nobody is overtaking you.”
She reminds motorists that their best option when encountering a cyclist is to simply yield.
“Slow down, be patient,” she said. “Wait for an opportunity to pass a cyclist, don’t just squeeze through.”
She cited a city ordinance that requires three feet between a motorist and a cyclist, but she recommends providing even more space if possible.
The rules of the road might become confusing in regards bike lanes. What happens when a motorist needs to make a right turn, but there’s a bike lane through the intersection?
“When they’re queuing up to make their turn, they can be in the bike lane to make that turn, because it’s the first come, first serve value of motorists that you’re in that position, so a cyclist will stop behind you and wait,” she said.
Hartzog says as long as all parties stay “reasonable,” the roads can stay safe.