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New D.C. Bicycling Safety Law Cheered By Advocates

New cycling safety laws should ease the passage for area riders.
Katie Harbath: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katieharbath/3733299538/
New cycling safety laws should ease the passage for area riders.

Bike advocates are applauding a new bicycling safety law for D.C. that is currently pending congressional approval.

The new law will allow a bicyclist to cross at an intersection when the pedestrian walk signal flashes. It also allows bike riders to cross an intersection where a leading pedestrian interval is used — to allow them to start crossing before cars begin their turns.

Those are just two ways in which cyclists will be treated like pedestrians, says Shane Farthing, the executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

"We have some places where bikes are supposed to use walk signals, some places where they are supposed to use traffic lights," Farthing says. "This clarified that you should use the walk signal because it lets you get out in front and it is a little bit safer."

Also among the new safety measures: construction projects are required to provide a detour if they block a bike lane.

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