How To Navigate Streetcar Tracks With A Bike

Aug 21, 2015

Queen City Bike President Frank Henson says streetcar tracks are no different than storm sewer grates or curbs. "(They are) just another infrastructure element on the street that could cause an issue if you are not paying attention."

A Saturday morning class/ride will explain how to safely cross the tracks at the most challenging places in Cincinnati. Riders are encouraged to bring or rent a bike and meet at the Red Bike station at 14th and Elm at Washington Park at 10 a.m. This is the fourth class. Three others are planned.

Earlier this week, Henson took me on a tour of the entire streetcar route, urging me to think ahead, pay attention, keep my hands on the handlebars and cross the tracks at a 90 degree angle.

Ann Thompson rides on 12th Street approaching Race, the most challenging place in Cincinnati to navigate streetcar tracks.
Credit Frank Henson

Most of the time we rode in the lane that didn't have the streetcar tracks, carefully crossing at what he described as the most challenging places:

  • Race near Findlay Market
  • 12th Street and Race (2 tracks with 2 turns)

Wet conditions require riders to slow down. If you're  tempted to ride in between the tracks, Henson says don't. Instead, ride in the lane that doesn't have them, even if it's to the left.

Planning ahead is key.