Bike Smart: The Official Guide to Cycling in New York City

With more than 800 miles of bike lanes throughout NYC, biking is a safe and easy way to get around. The New York City Department of Transportation offers a helpful handbook with information on making your cycling safer around the city. The handbook includes tips on using newer bike facilities such as protected lanes and bike boxes. Check out the guide in English or Spanish.

As a cyclist, you are subject to all the same rights and regulations as a driver of a motor vehicle. Before heading out on your bike, make sure you follow these bike rules enforced by NYC DOT:

  • Ride in the street, not on the sidewalks. The only cyclists that should be riding on the sidewalks are children under the age of 12 and those whose bike wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Stop at red lights and stop sings. You are subject to the same laws that a driver of a motor vehicle is. Obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings. Yield for pedestrians as you would if you were driving a car.
  • Use marked bike lanes or paths when available, except when making turns or when it is unsafe to do so. Most streets in NYC are equipped with designated bike lanes. If there is no dedicated lane, you have the right to ride on all main and local streets throughout the city.
  • Use a white headlights and a red taillight. Also be sure to use a bell or horn and reflectors.

The NYC DOT provides safety tips for cyclists! Follow these tips when biking around NYC:

  • Ride in a straight line. Do not weave in and out of traffic.
  • Watch out for car doors. Be prepared for the possibility that a car door may open in your path.
  • Use your bell. Your bell alerts drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to your presence. It is required by law.
  • Do not wear earphones. It is illegal to wear both ear pieces when biking. Only one earbud is allowed, but keeping your ears completely clear and open to traffic noises is much safer.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, contact us immediately.

Check out the NYC DOT website to learn more bike safety tips and also tips for commercial cyclists!

Image provided by the NYC DOT.