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New York City Traffic Rules and Safety Regulations: Safe Bicycling in New York City


A bicycle is defined as every two- or three- wheeled device upon which a person or persons may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such wheels in a tandem or tricycle, except that it shall not include a device having solid tires and intended for use only on a sidewalk by pre-teenage children. Bicyclists have all the rights and are subject to all the duties applicable to drivers of motor vehicles.

New York City is one of the best cities for bicycling. Due, in part, to the consideration and priority placed on bicycling throughout the city. This report, produced by the New York City Department of Transportation, provides a summarized list of the traffic laws, rules, and regulations of New York City intended to enhance the safety of bicyclists on the road. Additionally, New York state vehicle and traffic laws applicable to bicyclists are examined.

Key Points

This report covers a broad range of issues related to traffic rules and regulations that directly or indirectly affect the safety of bicyclists in New York City. Restrictions on crossing sidewalks, proper use of roadways, and restricted areas of city parks are addressed in this brief report, as well as a number of NYC administrative codes that affect bicycles used for commercial purposes. For example, the business name and identification number must be identified on the bicycle and the business must provide the bicycle operator with a helmet according to A.N.S.I. or Snell standards.

How to Use

Community planners, local officials, and bicycle advocates can use this summary report to gain an understanding of the laws and regulations New York City has in place to ensure the safety of bicyclists in the city. When reviewing traffic rules and regulations, communities can use this report to model their own traffic laws after those of New York City.

View Full Report: New York City Traffic Rules and Safety Regulations: Safe Bicycling in New York City (PDF – 44 KB)

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