Road relationships are a two-way street.

A healthy passion for safety is key to a healthy road relationship. Below are a few rules to help you Drive Change in Grand Rapids and know more about all of our responsibilities on the road to keep each other safe. You can also see what motorists are doing to help.

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Bikes belong on the road
Bicyclists belong on the road.

Bicyclists are encouraged to ride on the road with the flow of traffic in either the bike lane or traffic lane except where prohibited by law (like expressways, for example). Riding on the road increases the visibility of bicyclists, leading to fewer crashes. In certain areas, including downtown Grand Rapids, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is prohibited.

Click here to download a map of the sidewalk restriction zone for bicyclists.

Obey Sign
Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and signs.

Just like any other driver on the road, bicyclists must stop at stop signs and red lights. This makes them more predictable to drivers and safer on the road.

Be Visible Sign
Bicyclists must be visible.
If drivers can see you, they aren’t likely to hit you.

Bicyclists should wear bright, reflective clothing. When riding at night, they are required to have white front lights and red rear lights or reflectors that are visible for at least 500 feet, or about the length of a city block.

Learn more with this video.

Signal Turn Sign
Bicyclists must signal their turns.
Signal your intentions clearly and in plenty of time, including:

• Right turns by extending your right arm or upturned left arm.

• Left turns by extending your left arm straight out to the left.

• Stop or signal that you’re slowing by extending your left arm straight down with your palm facing rearward.

Learn more about proper signaling with this video.

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How should bicyclists navigate through an intersection with a bike lane?
When approaching an intersection, all road users should pay attention.

• If the intersection has a right-hand-turn lane, bicyclists going straight through the intersection should follow the bike lane as it shifts from the right side of the road to the left side of the right-turn lane. Although motorists who are turning right are required to yield to a bicyclist before crossing the bike lane, be certain the motorist's are aware of your presence.

• At some intersections, the bike lane is eliminated to provide room for added vehicle lanes. At these locations, be aware that a bicyclist could be looking to merge into the appropriate vehicle lane.

• If the intersection has a bike lane and no added right-turn lanes, the bicyclist may proceed to the intersection but should be cautious when passing stopped or slow-moving cars; the motorist may decide to turn right unexpectedly at a driveway or at the intersection.

Learn more about bike lanes with this video and intersections with this video.

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What is a sharrow?

Sharrows are just one of the markings you may encounter on our city’s streets. A sharrow is a shared lane marker that indicates proper lane positioning for bicyclists, so they can be seen and avoid riding in the “door zone.” When you encounter these markings on the street, you should be aware that bicycles may be sharing the traffic lane.

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Bicyclists must be predictable.

Ride in a straight line and do not swerve between cars. Use hand signals and check behind you before you turn or change lanes.

Bike Icon
Bicyclists should ride with traffic.

Ride with the direction of traffic (on the right side of the road). Never ride against traffic (on the left side of the road).

Riding Three Abreast Not Allowed Sign
Riding side-by-side is allowed.

Riding two people side-by-side is allowed in Michigan. However, bicyclists can receive citations for riding more than two abreast. Be courteous and “single up” when other road users are present and it is safe to do so. Remember, sharing the road is a two-way street.