There are many reasons bicycles are a popular form of transportation. Some people enjoy biking for recreation or exercise, while others use them to commute to and from work. Biking is not only an efficient way to get around New Orleans; it’s also healthier for the planet.
Staying safe while biking
While highly enjoyable, you must take certain precautions when biking. These tips can help you ride safely and prevent accidents with others:
- Wear a helmet: Louisiana mandates the use of helmets for children under 12 years old. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear one if you’re older though! If an accident occurs, you’re more likely to avoid severe injuries if wearing proper protection.
- Follow vehicle laws: The state treats bicycles as vehicles, which means anyone riding one has the same rights and responsibilities as a car driver. Therefore you need to respect the rules of the road and remember your obligations to others while biking. That includes coming to a stop at stop signs and following traffic signals.
- Use a bike lane: New Orleans has plenty of space dedicated to bicyclists. You’re the safest when riding in the designated areas that cars and trucks expect bikes to be.
Types of bike lanes
New Orleans has many kinds of bike lanes, and it can be helpful to learn a little about the most common ones. The government website lists details about each, but here is a brief rundown:
- Bike lane: A standard bike lane has space for a bicycle to travel in the same direction as traffic.
- Shared lane: Bicycles and cars ride together on the road.
- Protected bike lane: These bicycle lanes have physical barriers to prevent cars from hitting a bicyclist.
- Shared use path: Pedestrians and bikers need to share these paths and watch out for one another.
Equipped with this knowledge, you should be prepared to enjoy biking in beautiful New Orleans!