The following information is courtesy of the Michigan Department of Transportation and is an excerpt from their downloadable brochure What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bicycle Lanes.
A bicycle lane is a portion of a street for bicyclists. Bicycle lanes are typically on the right side of the road and are designated with bicycle pavement markings and arrows that direct cyclists in the direction to travel.
A buffered bicycle lane is a conventional bicycle lane accompanied by a buffer space, separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle lane.
A separated bicycle lane (also known as a cycle track or a protected bicycle lane) has many of the design elements of a buffered bicycle lane, but also includes a barrier (planters, parked cars, curb, or vertical posts) between the bicycle lane and the travel lane for cars.
How Should Motorists and Bicyclists Operate when on a Roadway with a Bicycle Lane?
It is illegal to drive or park in a bicycle lane. A driver may cross into a bicycle lane only when turning. This means that drivers are to make turns from the travel lane and not the bicycle lane. It is also illegal to park in a marked bicycle lane, except where permitted by official signs.
Bicyclists are reminded to follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic control devices, including signals and stop signs.
Bicycle lanes are being installed on some roads in Michigan to provide multiple benefits:
• Help establish order in the roadway by providing a designated place for bicyclists and motorists, enhancing safety for everyone.
• Improve travel behavior and predictability on roadways.
• Further the development of Complete Streets as promoted by state law and State Transportation Commission policy.
• Improve safety for bicyclists.
How do Motorists Make Right Turns when a Bicycle Lane is Present?
1) When turning right, a motorist should always yield to bicyclists going straight. Never pass a bicyclist and then “hook” them by making a turn immediately in front of them.
2) Once the bicyclist passes through the intersection, the motorist should then make their right turn.