Pedestrian safety and bicycle safety is all about being aware and proactive. In Texas, bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as people who drive cars. When on your bike, remember to obey all the traffic signs and signals when riding. Also remember that you have a right to the road.
The City of Denton has a safe-passing ordinance. Motorists in Denton are required to either change lanes or provide a safe passing distance (three feet for cars, six feet for trucks) when passing vulnerable roadway users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. If you have had a close-call with either a vehicle, a person on a bike, or a pedestrian, please report it though Engage Denton. Information will be used to analyze locations for possible infrastructure changes.
- Brakes are required.
- If riding at night, a front white light and a red reflector or light is required.
- Don’t ride against traffic, especially on one-way streets.
- Ride predictably; don’t swerve through traffic or parked cars.
- Think ahead; watch for debris and potholes, and make eye contact with drivers when necessary.
- Ride ready; wear a helmet, and check your tires, brakes, and chain before heading out.
It's important to remember that people walking are more vulnerable than other road users, so remember these tips when walking:
- Use the nearest crosswalk. People in cars must yield to people using crosswalks. Crosswalks are at every intersection, even if unmarked.
- Use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is present, walk against traffic.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Always look both ways when crossing the street. Don’t text and walk!
- Be visible. Before crossing the street, make eye contact with the person in an awaiting car. If walking at night, bring a light and wear bright or reflective clothing.
- Be smart. The roads are for everyone, but you need to take initiative for your own safety. Do not rely on people in cars or on bikes to yield or to see you.
Every intersection is a crosswalk, but not all crosswalks are marked. A marked crosswalk is one that is indicated by markings on the roadway, generally white lines. Whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked affects who has to yield to who. Important rules to remember:
- A pedestrian facing a green signal may proceed across a roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk unless the sole green signal is a turn arrow.
- A person in a car must yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, IF no traffic control devices are present and if the person in the car is at a distance to be able to stop safely.
- A pedestrian must yield the right of way to people in cars when crossing mid-block or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
- If a sidewalk is present and it is accessible, the pedestrian must use it; if no sidewalk is present the pedestrian should walk on the left side of the roadway or on the shoulder going against traffic.
Frequently Asked Questions
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What is considered a crosswalk?
A crosswalk, marked or unmarked, is any part of the roadway at an intersection within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks.
Can I only walk on the sidewalk?
If a sidewalk is present and accessible, you must use it. If no sidewalk is present, you should walk on the left side of the roadway or on the shoulder going against traffic.
Are people on bicycles allowed to ride on the sidewalk?
In Denton, people on bicycles are allowed to ride on the sidewalk except in certain areas downtown. Riding on the sidewalk, while allowed in most of Denton, is not encouraged as it creates many conflict points with pedestrians.