Safety first, bikers

A helpful guide of safety + courtesy tips for biking around Chattanooga.

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Use this guide when biking around the city on your personal bike or when using the Bike Share program. | Photo via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Table of Contents

As the warmer months approach, the sidewalks in Chattanooga will get busier with people walking + biking. Here are some of our tips on how pedestrians and cyclists can safely coexist, state regulations to note, and where to find bike lanes around town.

Common courtesy

While cyclists should use bike lanes or the road whenever possible, that isn’t always applicable or the safest option. Here are tips on safely sharing sidewalks:

  • Signal with a horn when riding behind walkers so they know you’re there and can properly move — or shout “on your left.” Note: Pedestrians should be mindful of keeping to the right side of sidewalks to avoid collision
  • Ride at a safe speed that follows the foot traffic
  • If you’re a walker, remember cyclists also have the right to the sidewalk as Chattanooga city codes don’t currently have any regulations in place

TN laws

Bicycles have the legal status of a vehicle, meaning full rights + responsibilities on the roadway. Here are the state laws for cyclists:

  • Ride on the right-hand side of the road following the same direction of traffic
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Use hand signals to communicate intended movements
  • Equip your bicycle with the proper lighting or reflectors for personal safety + other drivers at night

Bike lanes

Bike lanes are used to protect bikers on the street from vehicular cars. Drivers cannot drive in bike lanes + must yield to cyclists when crossing into a lane to turn. Here are the most common types of bike lanes in Chattanooga:

  • One-way protected bike lanes | Provide physical barrier between cyclist + car traffic
  • Two-way protected bike lanes | Provide travel going both directions, typically on a one-way street
  • Shared lanes | Areas for both cyclists + motorists — the safety area suggestion for cyclists are marked by sharrows.

Pro tip: Check out this map of bike lanes from the City of Chattanooga.

If you want to learn more about how to safely bike around the city, check out Outdoor Chattanooga’s “Bike Commuting 101" classes.

Have any additional tips for cyclists + walkers or any other biking questions we should look into? Let us know.

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