Bike Lane Markings Explained



Aquidneck Island has its first bike lanes, but what do those white markings mean? There are two new  symbols on Memorial Blvd now and many of us are unfamiliar with them. One means the lane is for bikes only and the other means it’s a shared lane used by bikes and cars. 

This symbol means only bikes should use this lane

BIKE LANE – A narrow separate lane for bicycles only. Cyclists are protected in the bike lane, but continue to have a right to the main road and will move into the road whenever a hazard exists in the bike lane. Cars should never be in the bike lane and should cross the bike lane with extreme caution.

The double lines over the bike means the lane is shared

SHARED LANE (or SHARROW) – A lane marked for shared used by cars and bicycles.  A cyclist should ride in the right side of the lane when possible, but ride the center of the lane in the vicinity of parked cars to avoid car doors, when preparing to turn left, or to prevent a car from passing too closely

And don’t forget, give cyclists plenty of room: Rhode Island state law mandates that a motorist may not pass a cyclist unless there is enough room for the cyclist to fall over sideways into the driving lane and not be hit by the vehicle. This law is written to protect cyclists from serious or fatal injury. Please be patient and courteous when sharing the road.

Bike Newport’s goal is for everyone to understand and practice safe road sharing.  Please help us spread the word. Click here to read and print Bike Newport’s flyer on road sharing for cyclists and motorists. Additionally, our certified Smart Cycling instructors are available for presentations on road sharing to groups of any size anywhere on Aquidneck Island free of charge. For more information, please email


Bike Lane Markings Explained