Bike Safe in Boise

June 15, 2022

A Reminder on The Rules of The Road and Greenbelt Etiquette

Boise strives to be a bike-friendly city and the key to making that happen is safety. The Boise Police Department asks both cyclists and motorists to be considerate and know how to best navigate and share the road.

“The best experience you can have while riding a bike will be a safe experience,” said Boise Police Bike Sgt. Darren Mitchell.  “We want everyone riding in the foothills, on the Greenbelt, or commuting to work to get there safely.”

There were 58 reports of vehicle vs bike accidents to the Boise Police Department last year and while none of them were fatal, many of them did leave the bike rider with a range of injuries.

Bike Accident Statistics

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Fatality

1

0

0

0

0

Incapacitating Injury

6

14

15

6

10

Non-Incapacitating Injury

51

49

46

22

27

Possible injury

9

34

30

14

16

Property damage

2

5

1

4

3

Total bike accidents

69

102

92

46

56

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The Boise Police Department recently worked with the Boise Bicycle Project, ITD's Office of Highway Safety, and COMPASS to release a new Public Service Announcement with important bike safety reminders.

Boise Police encourage both adults and children to wear a properly fitted helmet each and every time they ride a bicycle. It’s also important to use lights and wear reflective clothing when riding at night.

Rules to Remember

For drivers:

  • Yield to cyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed.
  • Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
  • Give cyclists room. Drivers need to leave a safe distance of at least three feet (3') when passing a bicycle or pedestrian. Pass cyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

For cyclists:

  • Use hand signals and bike lights
  • Ride as far right as practicable. Cyclists should ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
  • Ride in a place where you can see and be seen (not in a driver’s blind spot).
  • Ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars.
  • When on the road, cyclist should act as a car. When on the sidewalk, cyclist should act as a pedestrian.
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Greenbelt Etiquette

  • Stay only on designated paths/trails.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at all times. Cyclists and in-line skaters must be aware of pedestrians.
  • All Greenbelt users should stay to the right and use caution under bridges and at blind corners where vision could be impaired.
  • Pedestrians should not walk more than two abreast.
  • Motorized vehicles and hoofed animals are prohibited. (Except for maintenance, patrol, and mobility devices for people with disabilities.)
  • Non-paved sections are restricted to foot traffic only.
  • Dogs are allowed only on a leash of eight (8) feet or less. Dog owners are responsible for picking up after their pets.
  • Cyclists and in-line skaters should maintain speeds safe for conditions. When in doubt, slow down.
  • A person passing other users must notify the users that they are passing.
    • Example: “Passing on your left.”  The person has the responsibility to pass freely and clearly. It is also the responsibility of the passer not to hinder the approaching user.
  • Don’t harass or encroach on wildlife. Disturbing or collecting any vegetation or natural habitat along the Greenbelt is prohibited.

Creating inclusive and accessible paths and roads

  • When saying "On your left,” say it with enough warning that someone with a guide dog has time to move over.
  • Give anyone using a mobility device space as they may need more time to react to a sudden stop or they may need to swerve over to avoid a large tree root.
  • Check out the City of Boise's Instagram reels for more tips.

Bike Lock and Registration Information

  • It is important to remember to lock your bike. We suggest using a U-Lock instead of a cable lock.
  • Registering your bike can help police and the public find lost and stolen bikes.

For more information on Bike Safety and Education visit our webpage.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

(208) 570-6180 | BPDMedialine@cityofboise.org

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