January 2021

Bikes May Use Full Lane Signage in Sylvania

The City of Sylvania along with Sylvania Township are working together to help make Sylvania a great place to ride you bike. The Sylvania Area Bikeways Initiative committee was formed a few years ago to first take an inventory of the great resources we already enjoy, and work to identify future improvements that will enhance the connectivity for both recreation and transportation cyclists. The initiative includes representation from Olander Park System, City of Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Lucas County Engineering, TMACOG and We Are Traffic. Check out the map to see where signage has been placed and improvement areas that will be a work in progress.

Bikes May Use Full Lane (BMUFL) signs are placed along corridors where you can expect bicycle traffic, and serves to remind cyclists that they may use the full lane under the guidelines set in the Ohio Revised Code. Referencing ORC 4511.55, Section C:

(C) This section does not require a person operating a bicycle or electric bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so. Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle or electric bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

Many motorists are not aware that bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have the same rights *and* responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. ORC 4511.55 also requires motorists to provide at least 3 feet of clearance with passing cyclists. When conditions are safe to pass, motorists should completely change lanes to pass and when clear, move back into the travel lane.

The first Bikes May Use Full Lanes in NW Ohio were installed on Monclova Road in 2017 and we continue to look for opportunities to educate all users of the roadway. It should be noted that cyclists can exercise their right to use the full lane under the guidance of ORC 4511 without signage. BMUFL signage helps to educate but does not define the area where you can use the full lane, that is defined by the ORC. Using the full lane provides addition layers of safety for transportation cyclists but each individual must assess their skill and knowledge when becoming part of the traffic flow. Motorists are required to take classes and tests to obtain a basic level of driving skills before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, A similar mindset should be adopted by cyclists that are serious about driving their bike in the roadway.

Share the Road signs have also been placed in areas where the roadway may be wide enough to share or a centerline does not exist in the roadway to denote separate lanes.