Bicycle Safety

About New Bike Laws

Boise High School class of 2012’s Kyle Swanstrom’s Boise Bicycle Pamphlet is available by clicking here.

From Mayor Dave Bieter prior to the passing of the new bike safety laws….

The City Council last week approved a set of new and revised ordinances designed to improve safety for bicycle riders on the city’s streets. These measures are a direct response to the deaths of three Boise cyclists in accidents involving motor vehicles last summer.

A multi-agency task force, with the help of a 34-member citizen sounding board, developed two dozen recommendations for improving bike safety, including several significant changes both to traffic and to bicycle laws. Because motorists and cyclists must share the roadways, they also share responsibility for making those roadways safe.

Among the new laws:

1) A misdemeanor for a motorist or anyone else to intentionally intimidate or harass a cyclist by threatening physical injury or throwing an object at him or her.

2) A misdemeanor to recklessly operate a bicycle in a manner “as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”

Specific rules for riding bicycles on sidewalks, including a ban on suddenly leaving the curb and moving into the immediate path of a vehicle and a requirement that a cyclist dismount “when the number of pedestrians using the sidewalk renders bicycle riding on the sidewalk unsafe.”

3) A requirement that a motorist provide a minimum safe distance of three feet when passing a cyclist.

That last measure was beefed up by the City Council, which amended the task force’s recommendation so the three-feet-to-pass rule applies in all circumstances. The council also revised another recommendation so that cyclists are entitled to use any lane of a roadway appropriate to their destination, whether or not a bike lane is present, so long as they do not delay vehicles.

These changes, building on the task force’s outstanding work, make Boise one of the most progressive cities in the country in terms of cycling laws. But this is just the start: The task force also suggested intersection improvements, education programs and other steps we’ll be addressing in the coming months.

Contact Links and Info

City of Boise – Mayor’s Office

Mayor’s Hotline: 384-4404

Mayor’s Email:

Website – click here

Boise Bicycle Project


BBP Grassroots Safety initiative click here.

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