By Ilija Sekulovski
Bicycling in New York City can be a wonderful experience, but safety should always be a cyclist’s priority. The Police Department wants to help ensure the well-being of cyclists and the security of their bicycles. The following information is designed to promote safety by informing cyclists of the rules of the road as they pertain to bicycles, as well as security issues related to owning and storing a bicycle in New York City.
As per the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, bicyclists are granted all of the RIGHTS and are subject to the DUTIES of a motor-vehicle operator. Furthermore, the New York City Traffic Rules are also applicable to bicycles. If a bicyclist violates the law and the bicyclist does not have photo identification, the bicyclist is subject to arrest. Before you set out to travel the City’s hundreds of bike lanes and trails, you should be familiar with these regulations.
A cyclist involved in a collision that results in injury or property damage must stop and supply information to the other party. If the collision involves injury, the cyclist must notify a Police Officer.
When utilizing a bicycle for business, the company must be identified on the bike by name and identification number.
The operator must wear upper-body apparel with the business’ name and operator’s number on the back. Operator shall wear a helmet provided by the business.
The operator must carry and produce on demand a numbered ID card with the operator’s photo, name, home address, and phone number.
Motor-assisted bicycles are not permitted.
A NOTE ABOUT BICYCLE SECURITY
When a bicycle is left unattended in the public, the bicycle should be securely chained to a bike rack. Do not chain a bicycle to a parking meter. Chaining a bicycle to a City tree is illegal.
Bicycles that are trip hazards, block pedestrian traffic, or become derelict may be removed by the City.
- Disobeying traffic signals or signs
- Riding in the wrong direction against traffic
- Riding on the sidewalk
- Missing white headlight and red tail light if riding 30 minutes after sunset
- Riding without at least one hand on the handlebars
- Clinging to a vehicle
- Carrying more passengers than bicycle is designed for
- Cyclists may not wear more than one earphone attached to an audio device while riding
Between DUSK and DAWN, bicycles must have a WHITE headlight and RED tail light. At all times, bicycles must have reflectors, working brakes, and a bell.
A NOTE ABOUT CHILDREN
- Children under age 14 must wear a helmet
- Children under 14 may ride on the sidewalk
- Wear reflective clothing
- Stay Alert
BICYCLES IN NYC PARKS
Except in places designated for bike riding, bicycles are not permitted in parks. Cyclists may push bikes in single file to and from such places, unless otherwise posted.
Generally, bicycles are excluded from NYC beaches and boardwalks, except during posted early-morning hours (usually between 5 am and 10 am)
- Vehicles may not obstruct marked bicycle lanes
- Crossing bike lames is permitted in limited circumstances
- Motorists should look for oncoming bicyclists before opening the car door
- Turning vehicles, especially turning trucks, should stay alert for bikes due to blind spots
A NOTE ON BIKE LANES
- Bicyclists must use bike lanes when provided, unless they are blocked or otherwise unsafe
- When riding on Greenways, stay in the designated path
- Do not ride on pedestrian paths
Stay safe, Astoria!