Bike Lanes and Bike Routes
Milwaukee has recently painted many miles of new bike lanes on streets across the City. One of the most significant transportation improvements to the City in years, Cyclists now have a network of 65 miles of bike lanes and 75 miles of bike routes on which to ride. The color image below has tips for riding on streets striped with bike lanes as well as those signed as bike routes.
Milwaukee Department of Public Works has a plan to add new bike lanes as streets are repaved and as grant money allows. The on-street bikeway plan identifies 145 miles of high priority streets for bike lanes and over 250 miles of streets on which bike lanes fit in the City.
Bike Lanes will not fit on every street. The roadway cross section must have 10-12 feet for each regular travel lane, 5-6 feet for the bike lane and 7-8 feet for parking lanes (where parking is allowed). Bike lanes do not eliminate travel lanes for motor vehicles, nor do they eliminate parking. Roads that are important routes for cyclists but not wide enough to accomodate bike lanes are signed as bike routes.
Motor vehicles are not permitted to use bike lanes as travel lanes and only allowed to enter bike lanes in the circumstances described in state statute 346.94(12)DRIVING ON BICYCLE LANE OR BICYCLE WAY. No operator of a motor vehicle may drive upon a bicycle lane or bicycle way except to enter a driveway, to merge into a bicycle lane before turning at an intersection, or to enter or leave a parking space located adjacent to the bicycle lane or bicycle way. Persons operating a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane or bicycle way shall yield the right−of−way to all bicycles and electric personal assistive mobility devices within the bicycle lane or bicycle way.
The upper section of the image below illustrates how to ride on streets striped with bike lanes. The lower section shows how to ride on streets signed as bike routes and shared lanes. For more on riding safely, go to the Safe Biking page on this website.