Cyclists, motorists adjust to life together on Madison Avenue

(WMC-TV) - Since bike lanes went up on Madison Avenue, drivers have been forced to learn how to watch out for cyclists. But do cyclists know the rules they are supposed to follow?

Whether on four wheels or two, according to Kyle Wagenschutz, cyclists and motorists are held to the same standard when sharing the road.

"Bicycles are considered vehicles, and so they are subject to the same rules and responsibilities as cars," Wagenschutz said Friday.

Wagenschutz, the city's bikeway and pedestrian coordinator, says there are other specific laws for bike riders:

- Bikes must be equipped with brakes and have a permanent seat.

- Riders must yield to pedestrians

- If you are about to pass a pedestrian, you must let the person know with a bell or verbal alert.

- It's illegal to carry a passenger without the appropriate seat.

- Riders must make sure drivers can see you.

"Obviously when you're riding at night you want to be visible to everybody," Wagenschutz said.

Many bikes feature built-in reflective elements, like pedal reflectors, but cyclists are still required by law to mount a white light to the front of a bike and a red reflector on the back."

Wearing reflective clothing is recommended but not mandatory. Helmets, though recommended, are not mandatory for adults, but are for children.

"Children under the age of 16 are required by law to be wearing helmets," Wagenschutz said.

If you break a cycling-specific rule, you could be subject to a traffic stop just like any other vehicle.

For more information about bike rules and sharing lanes with cyclists, click here.

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