Metropolitan Planning Organization for the La Crosse, Wisconsin and La Crescent, Minnesota Area 

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Bicycle Commuting Resource Page

 

Have you ever thought about riding your bike to work? There are many benefits to choosing this transportation option whether you plan on bicycle commuting every day, a couple times a week, or only occasionally. You’ll be doing your part to cut down on congestion and make the La Crosse area a better place to live and work. And there are plenty of benefits to you as well!

  1. Bicycling's Benefits

  2. Getting Started

  3. Rules of the Road

  4. Maps

Bicycling Benefits:

Improve Health and Fitness. Like any form of regular, aerobic exercise, bicycling improves personal fitness, enhances energy levels, reduces stress, and stimulates the immune system. Bicycle commuting is a great way to build regular exercise into a busy, but often sedentary, work routine. Bicycling is a moderate, low impact exercise which can be continued throughout life.

Save Money. Bicycle commuting saves you parking fees, fuel costs, and maintenance costs.  Insurance premiums usually are lower when you do not use your car for commuting to work. A new bicycle could pay for itself in a few months.

Avoid Congestion. On a bicycle, you can travel on secondary roads and paths, often arriving in less time than if you’d driven through rush-hour traffic! And you can usually park your bicycle quickly and close to your destination.

Getting Started:

Check out your bike and yourself, especially if you haven’t bicycled in a while. Take it slow at first if you’re not used to moderate exercise. Look over your bike for loose or broken parts, and make sure there’s enough air in the tires.

Take a few trial rides to get used to your bike and riding in traffic. Do this at a time when your are not in a hurry so you can stop if you need to, or check out different routes.

Choose your route carefully. The best way to get someplace by bicycle may not be the way you normally drive. Get a La Crosse Area Bike Route Map from the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau or the City Planning Department to help you find recommended routes. Try a few different routes to see how they compare.

Figure out where you’ll park. Find out from your employer ahead of time if there are bicycle parking facilities on the premises, or look around to find your best parking options.

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Rules of the Road:

Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals just as you would if you were driving a car. Obeying the law is your first defense against crashes, and is the best way to gain respect from other road users.

Be predictable. Signal your turns; stop as required by law; communicate with other road users so they’ll know what you’re doing and where you’re going.

Be Visible. Bicyclists are invisible to most motorists.  Wear bright colors in the daytime; use reflective materials and lights at night. Don’t hide from traffic.

Ride in the direction of traffic only. Motorists in intersections and driveways do not expect you to be coming the wrong way on the road. In addition, you have less time to maneuver in traffic, and your chances of having a head-on crash are much greater. Wrong way riding is also illegal.

Follow the Three Foot Rule: By law, drivers must give you three feet clearance, and you must give them the same distance. Don’t ride between lines of cars. Ride at least three feet from parked cars to avoid being hit by a suddenly opened car door.

Scan the Road Ahead. At intersections, watch for turning cars and pedestrians. Mid-block, watch for cars pulling out of driveways, alleys and parking spaces. Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited, except where allowed by the community. It is generally safer to ride on the street keeping as far to the right as possible. If you have to ride on a sidewalk, pedestrians always have the right of way. Give an audible warning before passing pedestrians, and pass with care. Ride slowly on sidewalks or walk your bike if there are many pedestrians.

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Maps:

La Crosse Area Bike Route maps are included as part of the LAPC Regional Bicycle Plan.

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La Crosse Area Planning Committee
400 North Fourth Street
La Crosse, Wisconsin  54601
Tom Faella, Executive Director
(608) 785-5977
 


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