Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Laws

  • Bicycles may use all roadways, except limited access highways. Even when bike lanes are present, a bicyclist may use any part of the roadway as needed  (For example, to pass another bicycle on the left, to stay four feet away from parked cars, to avoid a pothole or other road hazard, or to make a left turn.)
  • Bicyclists must obey all of the same traffic laws as motorists, including stopping for red lights and stop signs, riding on the right side of the road, and yielding to pedestrians in cross- walks.
  • Bicyclist, unlike motorists, may pass on the right side of the roadway, and use hand signals to indicate their intentions to turn or stop.
  • Bicycles may ride two abreast, when they can do so without obstructing faster traffic.
  • No child under the age of 1 may be carried on a bicycle. Passengers between 1 and 4 years of age, or weighing forty pounds or less, must be carried in a baby seat. Riders and passengers 16 years old or younger must wear a helmet.
  • When riding at night, all bicyclists must use a white light on the front, a red light or reflector on the rear, and either ankle or pedal reflectors.
  • Crashes involving bicycles must be reported to the police if there is a personal injury and/or damage that exceeds $100.  

Pedestrian Laws

  • Pedestrians should never enter a roadway used by motorists or bicyclists without first checking for traffic. Look for traffic: some bicycles and motor vehicles operate silently.
  • Pedestrians must obey all traffic control signals and the instructions of police officers directing traffic.
  • Traffic control signals:
    • "Walk"– pedestrians may proceed across the roadway.
    • Flashing “Don’t Walk” – no pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway, but any pedestrian who has partially competed crossing may continue.
    • Steady “Don’t Walk” – no pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway.
  • Pedestrians must use crosswalks to cross a roadway if they are within 300 feet.
  • Pedestrians must yield the right of way to funeral processions and authorized emergency vehicles, regardless of traffic control signs.

Motorist Laws

  • Motorists must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk on the same half of the road or approaching from the opposite half of the road when within 10 feet of the motorist’s lane.
  • Motorists may not block a crosswalk and must never pass a vehicle that is slowing or stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. 
  • Motorists may not open a car door into the path of a bicyclist or a pedestrian. 
  • Motorists, when turning left or right, must yield to bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Motorists may not cut off a bicycle after passing, and must pass a safe distance. The recommended safe distance is at least 3 feet. 
  • Motorists may not unreasonably honk their horns at bicyclists or pedestrians.  

Rail Trail Etiquette

  • Users should stay to the right side of trails.
  • Users must stop at stop signs.
  • Trails are shared use paths, cyclists should slow down for pedestrians and be willing to ride behind them without following excessively closely, and only pass when there is excess space to do so.
  • Cyclists should not follow other bicycles closely, leave at least 6 feet of space tire to tire.
  • Users should not yell at slower users.
  • Users need to be constantly aware of surface conditions, including the potential for obstacles and loose material to be on the path.