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Biking on Sidewalks: Is It Legal in New York?

In response to the growing demand for riding bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation in New York City, officials have added separate bicycle lanes to many streets in the City. However, just because there are bike lanes available, it does not mean that riders are actually taking advantage of them. Many New York City bicyclists still opt to use the sidewalk.


The question now becomes whether riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal in New York. The short answer is that it depends.

New York Law on Bicycling on Sidewalks

Bicyclists are generally subject to the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. For example, it is not uncommon for some bicyclists to get pulled over for running a red light or a stop sign. While some laws are clear-cut for bicycles, the majority of bicycle laws vary depending on the locality. This is true for the law dealing with riding on sidewalks.

In the State of New York, the legality of riding a bicycle on sidewalks depends on the local laws governing that sidewalk. For instance, in New York City, bicyclists are only permitted to ride on a sidewalk if they are under 13 years of age AND the wheels on their bicycles are less than 26 inches in diameter.

Just Don’t Do It!

However, regardless of whether riding on sidewalks is legal or not, the best policy is to refrain from riding on sidewalks, especially when there is a bicycle lane available. Riding on sidewalks can be very dangerous because you can collide with other bicyclists, runners, and pedestrians, ultimately causing major accidents.

Injured on a Bike? We Are Here to Help!

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, even a hit and run, that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party, call the NYC bike accident lawyers at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. as you may be entitled to compensation.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, call us at 212-584-2494.

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