The hustle and bustle that defines New York City bursts into unbridled energy on and along city streets. Moving within the hordes of vehicles are cyclists, some of which make a living transferring documents and other valuable items among city businesses and government agencies. New York City has an extensive network of bike paths that travel through greenways. However, most riders have to navigate busy New York Streets, and they must do so in designated bicycle lanes.

Follow the law

New York State law (Article 34, Section 1234) mandates the rules that cyclists must follow not only on New York City streets, but also on streets throughout the Empire State. The law states: “Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skate shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder.” In laymen’s language, cyclists must stay on bike paths unless the only option is to hug the edge of a curb or right-hand shoulder. Although the state and city of New York do not prohibit cyclists from riding on sidewalks, government officials encourage cyclists to use sidewalks as a last resort.

Safety comes first for NYC cyclists

The intent of the bike lane law is to enhance the safety of cyclists. Before NYC created bike lanes strictly for use by bicycle, cyclists were vulnerable to both rear and front-end collisions caused by high volume traffic. NYC officials designate the bike lanes as safe haven for cyclists, meaning vehicles cannot enter bike lanes to make turns or pass other vehicles. By remaining in bike lanes, cyclists enjoy unrestrained movement, with a much lower risk of injuries caused by bicycle accidents.

Proper hand and arm signals increase rider safety

Cyclists enhance safety in bike lanes by using the correct hand and arm signals (Article 34, Section 1237).

Left Turn-Left hand and arm extend horizontally

Right Turn-Left hand and arm extends straight up or right hand and arm extends horizontally

Stopping or slowing down-Left hand and arm extends downward

If you were the victim of an accident, then make sure you seek appropriate medical attention. If you have been injured, then you may be entitled to cash compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering–past and future. Jayson Lutzky is a lawyer handling accident cases in the greater New York City area. He offers free in person consultations at his Bronx office and offers home and hospital visits to the severely injured. Call 718-514-6619 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with attorney Lutzky. Visit to learn more about Mr. Lutzky’s firm.