Glossary: Bicycle Lane

William Mattar Glossary
Posted: September 8, 2022

Bicycle Lane:

Some people may think that the rules of the road, as contained in the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, only apply to motor vehicles, but that is certainly not always the case.  Bicyclists should familiarize themselves with Vehicle and Traffic Law provisions that could apply to them. 

For example, the Vehicle and Traffic Law defines “bicycle” as: “Every two- or three–wheeled device upon which a person or persons may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such wheels in a tandem or tricycle, except that it shall not include such a device having solid tires and intended for use only on a sidewalk by pre-teenage children.” 

Meanwhile, a “bicycle lane” is: “A portion of the roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicycles.” 

The “bicycle lane” is distinct from a “bicycle path,” which according to the Vehicle and Traffic Law is defined as: “A path physically separated from motorized vehicle traffic by an open space or barrier and either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way and which is intended for the use of bicycles.” 

An entire Article of the Vehicle and Traffic Law addresses “Operation of Bicycles and Play Devices.” Section 1231 is important because it says, among things, that: “Every person riding a bicycle . . . upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.”  

Another important one is Section 1234, which concerns “[r]iding on roadways, shoulders, bicycle or in-line skate lanes and bicycle or in-line skate paths.”  

Sometimes no matter how careful a bicyclist is when riding on New York roadways, serious personal injuries can result. Some drivers do not drive carefully, endangering the cyclists around them. If you were injured in a bicycling accident because a driver did not exercise reasonable care, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at William Mattar, P.C.  Call (844) 444-4444 today.

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