The bicycle lane includes a 2 ft. buffer area and a 5 ft. striped lane along the outside edge of the traffic roadway in both directions where possible. The new three mile bicycle lane is the first link in the Mississippi River Trail in St. Bernard to be completed. The Mississippi River Trail will eventually span the entire Parish connecting to Orleans Parish at the St. Claude bicycle lane and to Plaquemines Parish along State Highway 39 at Braithwaite.
Parish President Guy McInnis applauded the new addition stating, “We are very excited to welcome new on-street bikeway facilities to St. Bernard. As we implement our new bikeway and pedestrian plan and our Complete Streets Policy, we are working to provide safer travel options for all roadway users and working to reduce the number of bicycle and pedestrian crashes in our Parish.”
Adjacent property owners along St. Bernard Highway should be mindful of the new bicycle lane and keep the state right-of-way clear and free from any obstructions or encroachments that might prohibit the flow of bicycle traffic. Some examples might include making certain the bicycle lane remains clear of parked vehicles, properly storing trash receptacles, and ensuring equipment and displays are securely located on private property. Residents and businesses are also reminded of laws prohibiting “dooring” and care should be taken to check for bicycle traffic if motor vehicles are parked parallel to the bicycle lane before exiting.
Bicyclists are reminded to follow the Rules of the Road to ensure safe travel. This includes riding in the same travel direction as the roadway traffic and keeping to the far right edge of the roadway, either in the designated bicycle lane or the outside travel lane where a bicycle lane is not present, for through travel. Other tips that can improve bicyclist safety include:
- Riding in a predictable manner
- Wearing a helmet
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing to improve visibility
- Installing lights and reflective devices on bicycles as required by State Law
- Obeying all traffic control devices including traffic signals and signs
- Using hand signals for turns as required by State law
Motor vehicles are reminded of Louisiana’s 3 ft. safe passing distance law that requires this minimum distance for properly and safely passing a bicyclist on the roadway.
For more information on St. Bernard’s Bikeway and Pedestrian Plan, please see the Parish website at www.sbpg.net under the Public Information tab, and the Bikeways and Trails section.