Bike Safe, Bike Smart Greenpointby on
We received a friendly reminder from NYPD to bike smart and safe as part of their Operation: Safe Cycle. For those of you who are hitting the streets this summer on two wheels–good for you! Cycling is a great way to get around, get exercise and explore new parts of the city. For those of you who are hesitant to give it a try, we highly recommend it. If you’re prepared and cautious, it’s actually quite safe, and a lot of fun!
For starters, know your route.
Greenpoint has pretty decent bike access with bike shoals/lanes on Leonard St., Driggs Ave. and Franklin St., a protected bike lane along Kent Ave., and access to Queens and Manhattan via bike lanes across the Pulaski and Williamsburg Bridges respectively.
Know the rules.
From Operation: Safe Cycle, “As per the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, bicyclists are granted all of the RIGHTS and are subject to the DUTIES of a motor-vehicle operator. Furthermore, the New York City Traffic Rules are also applicable to bicycles. If a bicyclist violates the law and the bicyclist does not have photo identification, the bicyclist is subject to arrest.”
Meaning: Stop at red lights. Stop at stop signs. Ride with traffic. Don’t ride on the sidewalk. Ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Pedestrians have the right of way–always! Leave the crosswalk clear. And while, cyclists are technically allowed to have one earbud-in while riding, don’t compromise your hearing while you ride, you’re putting yourself and others at risk. Also, if you ride after sunset, you need a white headlight in front and a red light in back.
Remember, regardless of whether it’s fair or not, fines for violations are hefty.
Know your rights.
Cyclists have the same right to the road and safe travel as motorists. You have the right to bike in the center of the lane when necessary for your safety. Vehicles may not obstruct marked bicycle lanes. Keep a 3-ft space between you and parked cars. Motorists are responsible for looking for oncoming bicyclists before opening the car door.
From Transportation Alternatives’ Biking Rules website, “Filing police reports at the scene of a crash creates a record and ensures that the information is included in the City’s annual injury counts. Accurate counts mean better policies.”
Think you’re ready?
Take this short quiz “Share the Road” from Bike New York and see if you’re ready to hit the streets.
The more you know
There’s a lot of information on biking in NYC, here are some more resources.
- Operation: Safe Cycle (NYPD) – PDF brochure
- Bike Smart: Official Guide to Cycling in NYC (NYC DOT) – Comprehensive PDF brochure
- Bike Smart brochure in other languages (NYC DOT)
- Biking Rules – Helpful website from Transportation Alternatives
- Bike NYC – Another useful website from Transportation Alternatives