Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Patrols

Generic Bike PatrolRecently, the La Crosse Police Department has been awarded two Department of Transportation grants to place additional patrols in the community to focus on Bicycle and Pedestrian laws and safety.  The goals for these grants are to reduce traffic related injuries and death; to gain voluntary compliance with existing laws and ordinances; and improve the safety and coexistence of all modes of transportation.
The department will be using high visibility pedestrian and vehicle enforcement in areas of the City that were determined to be areas of concern in the City of La Crosse’s 2012 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan:
  • West Ave: at State, Cass, King, Pine Street
  • Losey Boulevard: at Ward, Mormon Coulee road, corridor in general
  • Jackson Street: at 9th, 10th, Market Street
  • 4th and La Crosse Street
  • 7th and Cass Street
  • Campbell Road and State Street
  • Gillette Street and George Street
  • 33rd Street; No sidewalk area

We will be using several officers at peak times and locations to enforce pedestrian, bicycle and traffic laws. Some of that enforcement will include bicycle patrol, foot patrol, pedestrian, and traffic enforcement with both uniformed officers and plain clothes officers. The goal of the project is to educate the community on the existing laws and ordinances to pedestrian, bicycle and traffic laws.

Prior to deploying these additional officers we would like to remind the community of some of the rules and regulations that are specific to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians:

  • Pedestrians suddenly moving into roadway (failing to yield to vehicle).
  • Pedestrian interfering with vehicles at controlled intersection (when crossing on red signal).
  • Vehicle failure to yield right-of-way.
  • Vehicle turning right on red light in front of pedestrian.
  • Vehicle failing to yield to pedestrian when entering roadway from alley or driveway.
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians shall obey traffic control devices – traffic lights, signs, and symbols.
  • Motorists shall yield to a pedestrians and bicyclist crossing within a crosswalk area.
  • A bicyclist’s speed shall be no greater than reasonable and prudent when operating on a sidewalk or bicycle path.
  • Bicyclists must yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk/bicycle path and shall give an audible signal when passing such pedestrian.
  • When riding in a street, bicycles shall ride with traffic in the same direction, as far right as practicable. The three exceptions are for: overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction, making a left turn, and when necessary to avoid unsafe conditions in the roadway.
  • Use of hand signals is required when turning and stopping.
  • Bicycling at night requires the use of a white front headlight and a red rear reflector.  Front light must be visible to others from 500 feet away and the rear red reflector must be visible between 50 and 500 feet away.
  • Bicycle registration is required.
  • It is illegal to carry extra passengers on a bicycle (except a tandem).
  • Bicycling on sidewalks is allowed throughout the city; however, it is prohibited in the downtown business district.

Additional information on these regulations and others can be found by reviewing Chapter 9 of the Municipal codes (click here) or Chapter 346 of Wisconsin State Statutes. Although it is not a law or ordinance, wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle can prevent death or greatly reduce any injuries incurred if involved in an accident.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: