On-Street Bicycle Ordinance Updates

Summary of “Share the Road” with Bicycles Ordinance Updates

Goal:  Improve the safety of bicycling in the street

Strategy:  Update Share the Road Bicycling Ordinances to act as a catalyst to educate bicyclists and motorists alike to the proper methods to bicycle and “share the road.”

Share the Road sign 

The Sioux Falls Bicycle Committee, over the past two years, has discussed options to educate motorists and bicyclists about the correct manner to bicycle in the street and safely “share the road”.  Last year the committee worked to educate police and judges about bicycle laws.  However, it was discovered that the laws did not allow for a clear interpretation of the bicycle laws.  The Bicycle Committee then met in the Winter of 2011/2012 to update Bicycle Laws.  A summary of these changes are below.


 Bike in Traffic

1.)  Where do I ride in the Street? 
The ordinance updates the guidance on bicycle placement in the street from “a person driving a bicycle at the normal speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the righthand curb” to new ordinance language that describes two distinct situations.  One situation describes when a bicycle and motor vehicle are to “share the lane” and one situation that describes when a bicycle may “take the lane” to signal to a motor vehicle that it is not safe to pass in the same lane.
 Bike in Traffic
2.)  How much room should I give a bicycle to safely pass?
The ordinance adds a rule for three-foot passing language for any motor vehicle’s safe pass of a bicycle.
 3-feet Please
3.)  Where do I ride on a one-way road with two or more lanes?  
The updated ordinance adds language to allow a bicycle to ride on the left side (in addition to the right side) of a one-way roadway with more than one lane (i.e. Dakota Avenue downtown).

 Bike in Traffic

4.)  In the future will you have shared bicycle lanes and right-turn lanes?
The new ordinance adds the ability to design and construct a shared bicycle and right-turn lane near intersections if needed in the future.


 Bike in Traffic

5.)  Can I ride two bicycles within the same lane in Sioux Falls?
Currently, city ordinance requires a bicyclist to ride single file in all city streets.  The new ordinance allows two bicycles to ride side by side within a single-lane except when a motor vehicle approaches from behind as allowed in 47 states.


 6.) I always forget how to signal a right hand turn on a bicycle. 
The new ordinance allows for an alternative right-hand turn signal on a bicycle (right hand extended horizontally).
 Hand Signals