“Rules of the Road” – Things to Know About Bicycle Safety in Coronado

    Though not a new concept, bicycle riding seems to have become more prevalent with the increased focus on ‘eco-friendly’ alternatives. Coronado, with its relatively small area and flat terrain, is a perfect place for bicycles to roam freely… but how many of us strictly follow bike safety laws – or even know what they are?

    Bike Path between the Village and the Strand

    Here are some laws to be aware of:

    • Bicycles…
      • Must be equipped with a brake
      • Must have a white light in front to illuminates the road and is visible from 300 feet (in darkness)
      • Must have a red rear reflector that can be seen by a vehicle’s headlamps from 500 feet (in darkness)
      • Must have a white or yellow reflector on each pedal that can be seen from 200 feet (in darkness)
      • Must have a white or yellow reflector on each side at the front of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side at the rear of the bicycle (unless bicycle has reflective tires)
      • Must not have handlebars raised so high that the rider must lift hands higher than shoulders to reach them
    • Bicyclists…
      • Must not carry anything that prevents them from having at least one hand on the handlebars
      • Must not ride as passenger or allow passenger on single-person bike (i.e. only bicycles with two separate “saddles” can carry two riders)
      • Must not leave a bicycle lying on its side on a sidewalk
      • Must not ride with both ears covered by headphones, earplugs, etc.
      • Must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when riding on a sidewalk
      • If under 18 years of age, must wear a properly fitting, properly fastened, approved helmet at all times
      • Must ride in bike lanes where designated
      • Must use appropriate hand signals, from left side of vehicle, to indicate direction:
        1. “Left turn–hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the vehicle.
        2. Right turn–hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the vehicle, except that a bicyclist may extend the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
        3. Stop or sudden decrease of speed signal–hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the vehicle” (Taken from SD Bike Coalition Summary of Bicycle Related Laws, p. 16-17)
      • Must not ride on sidewalks where indicated by signage, particularly in the Business District (i.e. Orange Avenue) of Coronado

    Left: “No Riding” signs on Orange Ave.
    Right: Signage at Coronado High School

    Most have probably seen the “No Bicycle Riding” signs lining the sidewalks of Orange Avenue, but what about other sidewalks in town? Though not a law, Coronado’s Bicycle Master Plan states that riding on sidewalks and in alleyways is “not recommended,” as these are meant for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Riding on sidewalks or in alleys decreases visibility (for bikers, drivers, and pedestrians), leaving everyone more vulnerable to collision.

    Bike lane along First Street

    Being aware of and obeying these laws will keep you and our citizens safe!

    Do you bike around town as your main means of transportation? Are you an accidental (or perhaps intentional…) bike-law rule-breaker?? Let us know in the comments below.

    This is a loosely compiled collection of some important laws pertaining to bicycles/bicyclists. For complete and detailed lists, visit these sources:

    San Diego Bike Coalition Summary of Bicycle Laws

    City of Coronado Bicycle Master Plan

    Coronado Municipal Code

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