Each year Marquette General Hospital hosts a bicycle rodeo where children and young adults can practice riding in a controlled environment. Safety tips are offered, and helmets can be checked for proper fit. This is also an opportunity to register your bicycle if it has not already been done (free of charge).
Though bicycle helmets are not yet required by law, we strongly encourage all riders to wear them – both children and adults. Studies have proven that bicycle helmet use can significantly reduce head injuries. 698 bicyclists reportedly died on U.S. roads in 2007. Two thirds of deaths are from traumatic brain injury. About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries suffered a brain injury. Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders. Direct cost of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year, rising with health care costs. Indirect cost of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $2.3 billion each year. Helmets are cheap. The typical discount store price has risen from under $10 to about $20, but there are still models available for about $10 at major national retail stores. Proper Fit: Buy a helmet that fits a child now, not a helmet to grow into. It should fit snug and sit low on the forehead, about 1-2 finger widths above the eyebrow. The helmet should not rock side to side or slip forward or backward. The chin strap should fit snug, but not too tight, about 1-2 finger widths from the bottom of the chin.
The City of Marquette offers over 16 miles of multi-use paths providing access to parks throughout the city. Keep in mind these paths are actually multiple-use paths and are also used by walkers, runners, roller bladers, and skateboarders. When riding on the multi-use path, it is recommended that you ride slowly, keeping other users in mind. Faster riders are encouraged to use the roadway. When approaching other people from behind, you must warn them (Per section 257.660 of the Motor Vehicle Code). An example of this would be “One to the left” – “One” indicating the number of riders, “to the left” advising them which side you will be passing on.
Bicyclists are allowed to ride on the roads. Bicyclists riding on the roadway have all the rights and are subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. You must ride the same direction as traffic, and you must obey all traffic control devices. Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on limited access highways. An example of this is the US 41/M 28 Bypass through the City of Marquette from Front Street to West Washington Street. There are signs posted advising bicyclists of the restriction. Although riding single-file is safest, cyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast on roads. If riding on a street where there is a right turn lane and the rider intends to go straight, the rider must move into the lane to go straight, staying in the right portion of that lane. When riding after dark, your bike must be equipped with white front light and a red reflector, or red light, in the back. For more on these laws and others, go to the State of Michigan web site and click on Michigan Vehicle Code or Uniform Traffic Code.
The City of Marquette will be installing bike lanes on Wright Street from Presque Isle Avenue to Ontario Street. The bike lanes will be striped parallel to the curb. Since the law requires riders to ride in the right-most portion of the roadway (257.660 MVC), and the bicycle lanes are located in the right-most portion of the roadway, bicyclists will be required to use the bike lanes when riding on Wright Street. They may ride outside of the bike lane to pass or make a left turn. Pedestrians are not allowed to walk in bike lanes unless there are no sidewalks available. Coaster devices (roller blades, skateboards, roller skis, etc.) are not allowed to ride on any roadway in the State of Michigan (Rule 28.1204 of the Uniform Traffic Code). Since bike lanes are part of the roadway, these devices are prohibited in bike lanes as well.
The City of Marquette has an ordinance prohibiting bicycles and coaster devices from using sidewalks in the business districts during certain hours. The ordinance reads as follows: No person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard, roller skates, coaster or similar device on a sidewalk in the City of Marquette in the following business districts, except between the hours of 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on Sundays: Washington Street between Lakeshore Boulevard and Seventh Street; Third Street between Fair Avenue and Baraga Avenue; Front Street from West Ridge Street to West Baraga Avenue.
Just as drivers are required to use signals to advise other motorists of their intentions, so must bicyclists. The following are hand signals that riders must use when riding on the road: Left Turn: Extend your left arm and hand straight out. Right Turn: Extend your left arm straight out, bend your elbow 90 degrees with your hand straight up. Stop: Extend your left arm straight out, bend your elbow 90 degrees with your hand down.
The City of Marquette offers free bicycle licenses for city residents. To obtain a bicycle license, you must fill out the application form online, print (keeping a copy for yourself), and mail it or bring it to the Marquette City Police Department. License Form