Would it be illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk?
Riding your bicycle on the public sidewalk can sometimes be illegal without your knowledge. Well, it would certainly depend on your state laws. Generally, it is illegal to ride your bike on a sidewalk unless it is a marked bike path. Additionally, roads are generally smoother, making the ride easier, quicker, and more comfortable. The police can seize your bike if you are riding on the sidewalk.
What kind of gear do I need on my bike? The city and state require a person riding in city streets like in New York to have: 1. a bell that can be heard at 100 ft., but not a siren or a whistle; 2. a brake "that will skid on dry pavement;" 3. a reflector; 4. two lights, red in back and clear in front, which must be used from one half hour after sunset until one half hour before sunrise.
Do I have to ride in the bike lane if there is one? Generally, yes (as per § 4-12(p) of the aforementioned NYC Traffic Rules), except when you need to turn off the road and for reasons of safety, and only if the bike lane is usable. Many bike lanes in New York City are not usable; they're unsafe, obstructed, and not even built to highway code specifications. You could get a bogus ticket for not using them, though. Where on the roadway should you ride your bike? Lots of people first guess "on the left, facing traffic" for a variety of reasons. But that first choice is wrong, for a variety of reasons: There are lots of danger from left turning car * According to the League of American Bicyclists' Bike Ed training program, riding on the left side is the leading single cause of car/bike collisions. danger from right turning car * Riding with traffic puts you where other travellers are looking for conflicting traffic, instead of putting you where they aren't looking, especially at intersections, driveways and crosswalks.
# State Law requires bicyclists to ride on the right, not on the left. When a collision results from wrong way riding, you may be found at fault. OK, it turns out there are lots of good reasons not to ride your bike on the left side of the road. But, you think, sharing a lane with overtaking motor traffic is pretty scary. So, how about riding on the sidewalk? This is another bad idea. Research reported in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal in 1994 showed that, for a wide variety of urban situations, sidewalk riding is about twice as dangerous as riding in the adjacent street. Why is that? # Bicycling on sidewalks is hazardous to pedestrians. Pedestrians are apt to change direction or stop without warning, increasing the likelihood of a collision. A bike/pedestrian collision could hurt both of you.