As the dog days of summer continue, bicyclists around North Dakota are taking to the streets and sidewalks for both leisure and commuting. The increased pedal traffic can lead to confusion and danger for everyone that shares a road. Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists should all take a moment to be aware of bicycling laws in the state.
According to North Dakota Century Code 39-10.1-12:
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this title and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.
State law also mandates that an individual operating a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near the right side of a roadway as practicable and cannot ride more than two abreast unless on a designated bicycle path.
Most municipalities in North Dakota have bicycle specific ordinances, so check with your local police department for additional laws. Generally, the two best rules to follow are:
1) A bicycle is considered an automobile in the street and
2) People on bicycles must yield to pedestrians while riding on the sidewalk. Keeping these in mind will help everyone have a safer travel.
If you are looking for a more leisurely ride, there are miles of bicycle and multi-use paths throughout the state. The list below is not all inclusive, so contact your local parks and recreation department or city for more information.
Grand Forks: http://www.theforksmpo.org/PDFs/2011BikeMapFinal.pdf
State Parks: http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/activities/biking.html
Theodore Roosevelt National Park: http://www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm