City Government

Another View On Bike Safety

bikeGUARDIAN reader Clancy offers up some logical and common sense ideas about bike safety as school gets underway in Boise and all the surveys, committees, and news of bike accidents have been discussed.


Boise and the Treasure Valley are in the midst of an epic bike and motor vehicle conflict. New cycling infrastructure will not cure this as fast as all concerned parties can. Cycling safety should be a
community approach. By recognizing each of our rights and responsibilities through some compassion and compromise, we can make the roads safer for all.

Bike Owners
Become accustomed to general bike safety and proper riding ettiquette on roadways.

  • Seek out the information at your local bike shop, city hall, police station.
  • Find a local cycling group to become involved in.
  • Respect rules of the road.

Local Bike Shops (LBS)
Ensure new and existing customers are aware of bike safety and proper riding etiquette on roadways.

  • Pamphlets to explaining general bike safety and riding etiquette.
  • Organize classes with other LBS and/or Bike Advocacy Organizations.

Bike Advocacy Organization/ Clubs
Many members of these organizations are competent cyclists but could be better ambassadors for cycling. A few compromises will go along way to ensuring public opinion remains positive.

  • Educate members to their rights, responsibilities and proper road etiquette of riding on roadways.
  • Create a mentor program for members and community cyclists.
  • Create guidelines for group and recreational riders.
    • No group rides on Hill Road from 5pm to 6pm weekdays or other busy hours.
    • No riding two abreast on Hill Road or other roads with many blind corners.
    • No riding two abreast on Cartwright Road or other roads with many blind hills.

Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement can enforce current State Statutes regarding bikes while providing an education to
cyclists.Educate all officers about current bike laws.

  • Collaborate with Bike Advocacy Organizations to show officers some real life situations.
  • Prioritize areas where officers can interact with cyclist who are in need of a correction of cycling habits.
  • Downtown/Americana- Homeless cyclist often ride the wrong way and without lights.
  • Continue to make face to face interactions throughout the city.
  • Ticket cyclist, if the situation is deemed necessary.

Local Governments
Help to further Boise’s image as a Bike Friendly City. Boise needs an avenue for getting more people into the streets. Ciclovia started in Bogota and is a weekly event to get citizens out in the streets. Ciclovias promote health, safety awareness and environmental benefits.

Local Media Outlets

Help promote bike safety through ad campaigns.

  • Create or license a media blitz about bike safety for drivers and cyclist.( is excellent)
  • Find community partners to sponsor this campaign.


  • Learn about cyclist rights and rules of the road. Idaho Drivers Manual now includes this.
  • Be patient.
  • Report problem areas to law enforcement

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Very good ideas, but I dont think bikes can ride abreast at any time anywhere, right?

  2. Clancy nails it!

    “Compassion and compromise” on the part of all roadway users will make more difference, frankly, than more bike lanes and more laws on the books (that will go largely unenforced, just like the current laws).

    My experience is that 95% of motorists can interact gracefully with, maybe, 75% of the cyclists.

    (There are more cyclists who are either clueless about how to do it, or choose to ignore both statutory laws and common-sense laws.)

    “Can’t we all just get along?”
    – Rodney King, 20th-century statesman/philosopher

  3. JB: “Very good ideas, but I dont think bikes can ride abreast at any time anywhere, right?”

    JB, they CAN ride two abreast, legally. But doing so while holding up traffic is a prime example of the lack of “compassion and compromise” cited by Clancy!

    Idaho Statute 49-718: Riding two abreast. Persons riding bicycles upon a highway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of highways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

  4. JB- 2 abreast is allowed under certain circumstances.

    I should of included a link to Idaho Cycling Statutes.

  5. Clancy and Bikeboy thanks, for the clarification and the link. I think if everybody were more aware of the existing rules and followed them, everybody would be safer.

  6. This is a good example of why law enforcement officer education is needed.

  7. Awesome job, Clancy. Everyone has responsibilities concerning this issue.

  8. Cycling has been an adventurous sport since decades but there has to be certain amount of safety to be ensured. This is to prevent unavoidable circumstances.

  9. This is to prevent unavoidable circumstances. Cycling has been an adventurous sport since decades but there has to be certain amount of safety to be ensured.

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