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Do Cyclists or Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in a Crosswalk in Louisville?

In a crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right-of-way over a bicycle in most circumstances. In Louisville, the regulations of crosswalks—like the regulation of bikes—are set by both state law and city ordinances.

In Kentucky, bikes are defined as a “vehicle” for purposes of vehicle codes and rights-of-way and are required to be operated the same as a motor vehicle. A cyclist is allowed to ride in the street if he or she can keep up with the speed of traffic.  If not, then the cyclist has to use the bike lane or ride on the far right-hand side of the right lane.

Bikes are also allowed on sidewalks if the rider is 11 or under, except in downtown retail zones where no bikes are allowed on sidewalks.

Crosswalks and Bikes

When a bicycle is riding on the sidewalk, the law says the cyclist has the rights and duties of a pedestrian; however, the same law also says that when a bicycle enters a crosswalk with a pedestrian, the cyclist is required to give the right-of-way to the pedestrian. So, even though a cyclist is treated as a pedestrian if riding on the sidewalk, once the cyclist enters the crosswalk with a pedestrian, the cyclist must give the pedestrian the right-of-way.

Bikes Riding in Traffic Lanes

When a cyclist is riding in the traffic lanes with motor vehicles, then the law treats the bicycle the same as a vehicle, and thus a pedestrian is going to have the right-of-way if in the crosswalk legally (with a walk signal).

If a cyclist is riding in the street with the cars, then when he or she approaches a crosswalk, the crosswalk rules apply as if the bike was a car. This means that if there is a red light for traffic, then the cyclist has to stop to allow pedestrians to cross in the crosswalk. If the pedestrian is in the crosswalk and the light is green for traffic, then the vehicles—including bicycles—have to give due caution and allow the person in the crosswalk to move through the lane.

Bikes Riding in Bike Lanes

When a cyclist is riding in a bike lane and comes to a crosswalk, the same rules apply and the cyclist has to give anyone in the crosswalk the right-of-way. However, at this point, if the cyclist wishes to cross the street using the crosswalk, it can and can enter the crosswalk at the intersection. At this point, the cyclist becomes a “pedestrian” concerning crosswalk right-of-way, but still has to yield to any actual pedestrian in the crosswalk.

These rules are for the safety of the cyclist as they travel throughout the city. A cyclist is allowed to ride in the street or in a bike lane that is also in the street, and when doing so, must obey all traffic laws to keep safe.

Even then accidents happen, and cyclists are often injured due to the fault of a motorist. When this happens, the cyclist should speak to an attorney about their rights under the law. In Kentucky, an injured cyclist is allowed to collect compensation from the at-fault driver of a car.

Contact a Louisville Bicycle Attorney

When a cyclist is injured by a motor vehicle, the victim should talk to a Louisville Bicycle Attorney. Experienced insurance agents will try to pay you as little as possible, or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to fight for your rights. Talk to someone you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law.

The attorneys at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.

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