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How to cross streetcar tracks safely by bike
As the exciting Atlanta Streetcar project takes shape, ABC cautions bike riders to be extra careful around the tracks. Because the track groove is just slightly wider than the typical bike tire, your wheel can easily get stuck in the track groove, tossing you over the handlebars.
The key to staying safe is to always cross at a 90 degree angle. And please, never ride between the rails. This is a receipe for a bike crash.
The hazardous gap between the tracks and pavement comes into play if you need to cross the tracks to make a turn, or where the tracks curve to create the looped route. Bike boxes and other safety designs will help reduce the risk to cyclists on Edgewood and Auburn. Always cross tracks with your wheel perpendicular to the rails. And when it's wet out, better to hop off your bike and walk it across. Even the most experienced cyclist can go down on the tracks when they are slick.
What will the Atlanta Streetcar project do for bikes?
- A westbound bike lane on Edgewood Avenue from Boulevard to Park Place (one block south of Peachtree)
- An eastbound bikeway mixing bike lane and sharrows on Auburn Avenue from Park Place to Jackson, where cyclists can turn back onto Edgewood to continue east.
- The two streets will function as a two-way bike route. You'll ride on the opposite side of the street from the streetcar tracks at all times. Heading west towards Downtown from the east side you'll bike on Edgewood, and returning east from Downtown you'll ride Auburn.
Images of the Atlanta Streetcar:
For more tips, check out the When I Ride video from Portland Streetcar - it includes a segment on crossing streetcar tracks.