Santa Cruz area CHP: “Share the Road”

The Aptos / Santa Cruz office of the California Highway Patrol issued this press release this week.


CHP supports Bike Week 2010 with Share the Road enforcement

May 10th through 16th is Santa Cruz Bike Week, and the California Highway Patrol is showing support with concentrated enforcement and education. Motorists and bicyclists alike are urged to share the road in specific ways.

For those on four wheels:

  • Be mindful of entering the designated bicycle lane for right turns. Bicyclists in this lane have right-of-way, and this is a common cause of collisions (often injurious) between motorists and bicyclists.
  • Take care when passing or following bicyclists on two lane roads. Many of the scenic bicycle routes in our county are two-lane, fairly narrow, and have limited visibility around corners. The bicyclist has established their right-of-way on the roadway and may ride in the lane if no bicycle lane exists. Be patient and wait for clear visibility prior to passing. Do not follow the bicyclist too closely, as the rider may fall on the roadway and you will not have enough distance to stop in time.

For those on two wheels:

  • Bicyclists are beholden to the same rules of the road as motorists. This includes stop signs, traveling in the same direction as traffic, not riding on sidewalks, and DUI laws. Bicyclists who fail to follow these laws endanger themselves, pedestrians, and motorists alike.
  • Use caution when merging out of the bicycle lane and into the roadway. You must look behind to ensure that it is clear, and use proper hand signals. Those traveling on four wheels will not expect you to suddenly be in their lane, and may not be able to take proper evasive action.

CHP Officers will be concentrating patrols during Bike Week to enforce the above rules of the road. Officers will also be educating four-wheel as well as two-wheel travelers of the necessity of sharing the road.


  1. Under “For those on two wheels” it states “Bicyclists are beholden to the same rules of the road as motorists” and specifically mentions “not riding on the sidewalk.” I bike in L.A. and my understanding is that, in most places, it is legal to bike on the sidewalk (although not the best or safest place and when you do: pedestrians always have the right-of-way). I've heard though that there are several cities that have ordinances prohibiting biking on the sidewalk… so I'm guessing Santa Cruz is one?

  2. Hurray CHP!!! What a great thing!! Everyone could use a little education!

    Kevin, I believe that cycling on sidewalks is illegal in SC. The best thing to do is to take non-arterials as much as possible to avoid the problem. As a cyclist who is forced to drive occasionally, there is nothing more frustrating than having to negotiate around some clueless cyclist on a busy and narrow street, especially if there is a designated bikeway within blocks. I have found that I can get almost anywhere without ever riding my bike more than a block on a major street. But then, this is NorCal and things are slightly easier for bikes.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    Santa Cruz City Code 10.68.030: OPERATION UPON SIDEWALKS.
    No person shall ride a bicycle or electric bicycle upon sidewalks fronting and adjacent to commercial establishments, stores, or buildings used for business or commercial purposes. Every person operating a bicycle or electric bicycle upon a sidewalk where permitted shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrians on such sidewalk. In accordance with California Vehicle Code Section 21235(g), the operator of a motorized scooter shall not operate the motorized scooter upon any sidewalk except as may be necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.

  4. …glad to see this attempt to raise awareness by the aptos/santa cruz chp office…this kind of thing needs to be a common 365 day a year practice…
    …it is, however, a two way street & we as cyclist's need to better understand our responsibilities before we get to huffy about “share the road”…

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