A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists, marked by a solid white line, typically breaking into a dotted line ending before it reaches the corner. Different from a simple white line showing the edge of the road, a bicycle lane follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane.

What does it mean " follows specific width requirements" ? Could you simplify it, please?

And what is the corner in this context?

  • I don't think this is really a language question but rather interpretation of rules of the road. In any case, I think "corner" probably refers to an intersection, as such lines generally do not extend into intersections. "follows specific width requirements" are designated by law or regulation so the lanes are not so narrow as to be dangerous.
    – user3169
    Jul 15, 2014 at 16:06
  • I think there is enough going on here (personification?) that is difficult to explain for this question to remain open. “The corner” is difficult to understand because it’s phrased as some kind of archetypal corner, when it’s really referring to any intersection. Jul 15, 2014 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Let’s start with a picture. I’ve labeled various aspects using the words in the description you provided.

enter image description here
Source: CATSIP: California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages

The first sentence is written in terms of progression in the direction of traffic. The line is thought to “break into a dotted line [. . .] before it reaches the corner” because someone observing the line while traveling beside it in the direction of traffic would first see a solid line, then a dotted line, then (according to your excerpt, but not shown in the picture) no paint, all before reaching a corner. The word “corner” is sometimes used to refer to an intersection, abstracted slightly from the actual corner formed by the junction of the two roads.

The second sentence is a little tricky because “a bicycle lane follows specific width requirements” makes it sound like the bicycle lane is taking an action. In reality, it follows (i.e. conforms to) a specified width by design. This “specified width” is usually decided by a governing body of some kind. Where I live, the standards for these measurements are set by the Illinois Department of Transportation and published in documents such as this:

enter image description here
Source: Illinois Beaureau of Design and Environment Manual, Chapter 17, Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations

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