4 FAQs for Austin cyclists

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Now that it’s spring, there’s nothing more freeing than a bike ride through the greenbelt.

While bicycle accidents in Austin have been declining over the last couple years, bicycle safety is still a prime concern for both bikers and drivers. In 2016, there were 400 bicycle accidents in Austin. But what can you do to avoid injuries and accidents while on your bike?

Before you pull on the padded shorts and grab your helmet, here are four FAQs for staying safe while biking in Austin.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

While a helmet is always a good idea for bike safety, the only people required to wear one are those under 18.

Can I ride on the sidewalk?

Generally, it is best practice for bicyclists to bike on the shoulder and to leave the sidewalk for pedestrians. In most of Austin, it is permissible for bicyclists to use the sidewalk, but there are a few exceptions. Most of the restricted areas are downtown in the Sixth Street area, but before you bike on the sidewalk, you should double check the other restricted areas.

Is it safe to bike with headphones?

No. There’s simply too much going on around you when you’re on your bike to be able to wear headphones safely. Not only that, it is illegal to use a portable electronic device while you are biking.

What do I need to know about biking on the UT campus?

The University of Texas campus is a large part of downtown Austin, and there are plenty of special rules for riding your bike there. The biggest one to keep in mind is to always lock your bike in a bike rack and not lock it to a tree or a sign post. If campus security finds your bike illegally parked, your bike could be impounded and you could face a fine as well.

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