Check Out Vancouver, WA’s New Bike Garden!

Vancouver, WA Bike GardenA new bike garden is coming to the Vancouver, WA area. The project is nearly complete and set to officially open on June 8, 2024. This initiative provides young and beginner bicyclists with a safe place to learn how to repair, build, maintain, and ride their bicycles.

According to the City of Vancouver website, the new bike garden will be called the Heights Bike Garden. It will be part of the Heights District, a long term project aimed at creating a walkable and vibrant neighborhood with access to restaurants, parks, and shops. The Heights Bike Garden, designed with the help of Discover Traffic Gardens, aims to offer children a practical, fun way to learn biking skills, road safety, and understand how traffic works. Even though the Heights District is still under development, the bike garden will be ready for families and children to use this summer.

Alarming data involving bicyclists in Washington

In 2022, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) released concerning data about bicyclist in the state:

  • Over 150 bicyclists and pedestrians were killed across the state of Washington in 2021, a 26 percent increase from the year before.
  • More than 53 percent of fatal and severe bicycle injury crashes happened on city streets, over 33 percent occurred on highways, and 12 percent on rural roads.
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians made up 26 percent of all fatal accidents in Washington in 2021, most occurring in population centers like towns and cities.

After looking at this data, it is obvious that Vancouver, WA needs the new Heights Bike Garden. It is a step forward to helping younger and beginner bicycle riders learn how to ride and keep their bikes up to date. In addition, the individuals who volunteer and work at the bike garden can educate and inform riders of certain rules and safety information to remember when navigating roadways, which may help reduce bicycle accident fatalities and serious injuries.

What laws does Washington have in place for bicyclists?

There are several different laws in place that all Washington bicyclists should know and be aware of, including:

  • RCW 46.61.755: Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as vehicle drivers when riding on the road.
  • RCW 46.61.750: Bicyclists can receive tickets for not obeying traffic laws.
  • RCW 46.61.770: If the road is wide enough, two bicycles can ride side by side.
  • RCW 46.61.770: Depending on their safety needs, bicyclists can ride on a bike lane, shoulder, traffic lane, or on a bike path.
  • RCW 46.61.780: If you plan to ride a bicycle at night or in the dark, you need a white front light that is visible for at least 500 feet. You also need a red light on the back of your bike that is visible for at least 600 feet. A rear reflector is also required.
  • RCW 46.61.700: Parents or guardians should not knowingly allow their children to violate traffic laws while on their bicycles.

Bicycle safety tips for kids

Bicycling is fun and beneficial, but kids should follow these safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet: Your helmet should fit your head properly and always remain buckled. Replace damaged helmets.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing: Vancouver, WA can see lots of cloudy, rainy, and foggy days. Therefore, it is crucial to wear bright and reflective clothing to ensure that drivers can see you.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes: Never wear flip flops or sandals while riding a bike. You need to ensure that your feet are protected from the pavement as well as the chain on your bike. Therefore, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toe shoes are best.
  • Ride in bike lanes and paths: If possible, it is a good idea to always stay in the bike lanes. If there are no bike lanes where you are riding, you should try to remain as close to the side or edge of the road as possible.
  • Look both ways before crossing: Before you cross at an intersection, you should look both ways and double check before you proceed across. Never pull out in front of a vehicle or assume that they see you.
  • Follow all traffic signs and lights: Even if you are on a bicycle, you are expected to follow all traffic signs and lights just like vehicle drivers. Therefore, you must stop at a red light and a stop sign.
  • Learn to use hand signals when stopping or turning: Since bicycles do not have turning signals, you should learn to use hand signals to alert drivers when you plan to stop or turn. This helps them become aware of your next move and avoid crashing into you.
  • Try to ride with friends and other bikers: It is a great idea to ride with friends and other bikers. By having a friend or other bicycle riders with you, you can look out for each other.

If you or your child was recently involved in a bicycle accident, the bicycle accident lawyers at Philbrook Law Office are ready and available to legally assist you. We know and understand Washington’s bicycle laws, and we have years of experience helping bicycle accident victims seek compensation for their injuries. Therefore, if you hire our team, you can have peace of mind, knowing that we will work endlessly to help you get the justice you deserve. Please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA today. Our team also serves clients in Oregon for your convenience.