Thursday, November 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Here’s a guide to Fifth Street etiquette

By
From page A1 | August 21, 2014 |

bike boxW

Green bike boxes like this one will be painted on Fifth Street and A and B streets. They help protect bicyclists' safety. Courtesy image

Here’s how to drive to keep ‘em alive.

While drivers often feel entitled to the entire road, there is one undisputed fact about bicyclists and drivers: In a crash between the two, the bicyclist will take the brunt of the collision; the driver, not so much.

And if there’s one stretch in the city that promises to be ripe for confusion, it’s the new Fifth Street striping.

So before the fall brings a new crop of inexperienced bicyclists to Davis — and new headaches for motorists and more experienced bicyclists alike who have grown accustomed to summer’s quiet — here are a few tips from the city of Davis about how to navigate new and coming striping on Fifth Street and how not to send someone riding a bike to the hospital or worse.

Dave “DK” Kemp, the city’s active transportation coordinator, said the new Fifth Street striping is mostly about bike safety.

“The Fifth Street project employs innovative facilities that are being employed in other bicycle-friendly communities in order to make cycling a safe and comfortable activity,” he said.

Members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Commission said Monday they are overjoyed at the new striping, which allows them to use Fifth Street without as much fear for their safety as the old, four-lane configuration.

One of the most confusing aspects of the reconfiguration is that the green markings in the bike lane — a kind of thermal plastic with slip-resistant grit embedded in it so bicyclists won’t slip — have made motorists aware of something they should have known with regular bike lanes. Motorists must yield to bicyclists in the bike lane when making a right turn on a green light, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

In fact, drivers have to look for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bike lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic, the DMV says.

“Respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you,” says the DMV’s “Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists” guide.

That may be hard to swallow for some drivers, but it’s the law. Bicyclists also are subject to the same “rights and responsibilities” as motorists.

And there are special rules for bike riders, such as steering clear of biking while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. If a bicyclist gets busted for such a crime and that person is under 21, but over 13 years of age, one’s driving privilege can be suspended or delayed for one year once the rider is eligible to drive. Otherwise, convictions are punishable by a $250 fine.

Tips the DMV gives to bicyclists are fairly common sense-oriented, like: Wear a helmet, maintain control of your bike, be visible, be alert and communicate your intentions. Bike riders also should ride with traffic, not against it.

At night, state law now requires a white light visible 300 feet away, a rear red reflector visible from 500 feet and reflectors on the pedals or shoes and ankles that are visible at least 200 feet away. Plus, bikes need brakes. Brakes are our friends.

What many motorists don’t know is that bicyclists are only expected to be on the right to the degree that it’s safe, not just out of the path of drivers. Bikes need to avoid parked vehicles and road hazards, such as yard waste piles, and not ride too far to the right when a traffic lane is too narrow for a bicycle and car to ride side by side.

In a month, new rectangular markings at the intersections of A and B streets, called bike boxes, will be laid down. They allow bicyclists to stop ahead of motorists at intersections, to protect them from a so-called “right hook” collision. Drivers are not allowed to turn right on a red light at intersections where there is a bike box.

Also, drivers must wait for bicyclists to clear the bike box before moving forward.

Pedestrians also will get some benefits when the Fifth Street corridor improvements are scientifically evaluated by city staff and permanent striping gets laid down. The time frame for these amenities is not yet known.

At the intersections of C and L streets, the city will install flashing beacons that can be activated by pedestrians and bicyclists alike, just like the ones at Russell Boulevard and California Avenue. The lights let drivers know when someone is passing through the crosswalk. They’re also are hard to miss, especially at night.

Comments? Questions? Criticisms? Email fifth@cityofdavis.org or visit traffic.cityofdavis.org.

— Reach Dave Ryan at dryan@davisenterprise.net or call 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Jumpstart Davis hopes to spark Davis’ startup scene

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    UC committee approves tuition hike

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    What’s in Village Harvest’s new name? Local control

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    ‘Dolphin Way’ author to speak at Davis Parent University

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Analyst: No ‘fiscal cliff’ when tax hikes end

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    First of three storms douses California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Cost of Thanksgiving is going up, but not by much

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Bera prevails in close congressional race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Pre-Thanksgiving Farmers Market open on Nov. 26

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Realtors seek canned food donations Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    #EggFreezing trends for women in tech

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

    NAMI support group meets Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Taize services offered at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Per Capita Davis: News from the funny papers

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

     
    Staying clean could harm your health

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A3

    Racial justice resources available at open house Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    San Diego advances plan to recycle wastewater

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Breakfast with Santa tickets available now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Join DHS Madrigals for annual evening of food and music

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    End a hike with qigong practice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    STEAC jeans drive on Dec. 10

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Fraternity launches ‘Green the Greeks’ program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Museum displays family heirlooms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Performers sought to liven up holiday markets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    For the vets

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Senior kitty needs a home

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    David Brooks: Obama in winter

    By David Brooks | From Page: A6

    Caregivers overlook a valuable ally

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    We urge a ‘no’ vote on BDS

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Offensive line, Turay provide impressive UCD convoy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil pool teams make one more splash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Young DHS harriers have a big day at section championships

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds shine at Level 4 state meet

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7

    DHS teacher puts his facial hair on the line in annual fundraiser

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Backyard apples? It can be done

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Name Droppers: Governor taps UC Davis grad for bench

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Robotics team takes second in Madera competition

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    ‘Cat Ballou’ closes Western film series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Here’s a little more about water conservation

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    DMTC plans tile-painting fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Nancy Shepard

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    As usual, three’s a crowd

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, November 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6