An Expert Chimes in on The Green Bike Lanes?

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It’s unclear whether bikers on Fort Myers Beach will see more of this bright green paint in the bike lanes on Estero Boulevard in the future. The town will discuss the issue at an upcoming Management and Planning session. In the meantime, we reached out to a local expert to get his take on the green lanes.

Sanibel Bike Committee President Jim Cryder says any type of lane marker and or signage helps both drivers and cyclists clearly know the existence of bike lanes.  “The painted green lane markers are particularly beneficial to drivers so they are more aware when they may be moving into or across bike lanes.”

Cryder says the brightly painted lanes also help cyclists know that they are properly sharing the road along these routes. “These green lane markers are fairly common particularly in congested areas. I’ve done a lot of riding in both urban and rural areas and have seen this type of lane marking in both, especially when cyclists and drivers share a busy road.”

As far as the frequency of the paint, Cryder believes  they should be on the same maintenance schedule as other road markings such as crosswalks.

On another topic, there are a few spots on Estero where there is no bike lane at all, and, Cryder says that’s a real concern. “This is the case on the north end of Estero Blvd. as you come onto Fort Myers Beach. There is no room for a dedicated bike lane and thus cyclists have to share one lane with drivers. Most people, particularly our northern friends, are not aware of Florida driving laws. In Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles and thus have the right to ride on all roads. They may take the whole lane and even ride two abreast. They also have to follow traffic laws the same as motorized vehicles.  Drivers are required by law to allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist on the road and to do so safely.  Cyclists can do their part by trying to stay right as much as they can and to ride single file to allow easier passing by drivers. They also should obey stop lights and signs like any other vehicle. Sharing the road does not have to be an us versus them situation if all practice a little patience and courtesy to each other.”

There is also a stretch on Estero where riders run out of room and have to merge onto the sidewalk. The town is working on signs to make both bikers and pedestrians more aware of what’s going on.

 

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