Riding Bicycles on Sidewalks

There is a high level of awareness among the community, Parks and Police Depts. about bicycle riding on the Rockaway boardwalk and on streets. However, there appears little attention of safety rules allowing bicycle riding on the sidewalks.

Sidewalk bike riding is allowed for children under 13 years of age and bike wheel diameter of less than 26 inches.
While NYC bicycle regulations allow children under 13 years of age to ride their bicycles on the sidewalk, they are sometimes endangering pedestrians and themselves by behaviors such as:

  • Passing pedestrians from behind without alerting them of their intention to pass
  • Using earphones in both ears
  • Not looking in the direction in which they are riding
  • Looking down at their cellphone while riding
  • Riding bicycles at the B129th street shopping area while pedestrians are entering
    and leaving stores
  • Not properly parking bicycles on the B129th street shopping area

The Department of Transportation (DOT) addressing the effort of Vision Zero, to lower
traffic fatalities and injuries, has issued the document “BIKE SMART” and is the official
guide to Cycling in NYC. The DOT web site is www.nyc.gov/bikesmart.
The DOT’s Safe Bicycling in N.Y.C. summary of Bicycle Laws, Rules & Regulations, is
found at: https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclerules_english.pdf

We like to suggest the following:

  • Encourage parents, schools, religious institutions, Police Dept. and DOT to
    inform and educate children under 13 years of age and parents about safe and
    responsible sidewalk riding behavior.
  • Use a bicycle bell or equivalent when about five feet from a pedestrian for
    intention to pass on sidewalks
  • If there is no bell or equivalent (required) on the bicycle loudly say “Excuse me”
    when about five feet from a pedestrian to pass on sidewalks
  • If using earphones, use only in one ear.
  • Do not use a cell phone while riding a bicycle.
  • Always look ahead in the direction in which riding and be aware of surroundings
    (driveways, street crossings, etc.).
  • Try to not ride the bicycle in the shopping area on B129th Street. Instead, walk
    the bicycle.
  • Park the bicycle responsibly (standing up) in the B129th Street shopping area