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Are bicyclists allowed to ride on New York City sidewalks?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2016 | Bicycle Accidents

Roads are not the only transportation routes here in New York City that have various rules and regulations connected to them. So too do sidewalks. Among these rules are rules on what people are allowed to do on sidewalks.

Is bike riding allowed on New York City’s sidewalks? For most bicyclists, the answer is no. Under the city’s traffic rules, riding a bike is a prohibited activity on sidewalks unless the bicycle rider meets both of two requirements. One is that the bicyclist must by twelve years of age or under. The other is that the wheels of the bike they are riding must have a diameter under 26 inches.

There is one other main exception under which a bicycle rider is allowed to ride on the sidewalk here in New York City. That is if the sidewalk has a sign present that says bike riding is allowed.

Just as a motorist disobeying traffic laws can have big impacts on pedestrians, so too can a bicyclist violating the rules that apply to them. For example, when New York bicyclists disobey the ban on bicycle riding on city sidewalks, they could be creating a risk of bicycle-pedestrian collisions occurring on the sidewalks. Being hit by a bicyclist can leave a pedestrian with injuries that have significant ramifications on their life.

Many different aspects of a bicycle-pedestrian collision can have implications on the available legal options of the struck pedestrian. This includes how the accident happened, whether the bicyclist was violating rules (such as the city’s ban on sidewalk biking) at the time of the accident and whether the bicyclist was riding the bike as part of their job. Skilled attorneys can provide pedestrians who were hit by a bicyclist with explanations of what the specifics of their accident could mean for their legal situation regarding compensation.