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Are Bicyclists Allowed to Ride in the Street?

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Bicyclist in Street

Photo: Pixabay

When you’re running late, it can be frustrating when you end up driving behind a bicyclist in the street. Part of you may even wonder if they’re allowed to do that. They’re not motorized vehicles, so is it even legal for them to ride in the street?

The short answer is yes, it is legal for them to ride on the street in all 50 states.

In fact, it’s actually¬†required by law¬†for bicyclists to ride in the street in several states. Several states forbid bicyclists from riding on the sidewalks, and many roads don’t have sidewalks available, leaving them no other choice but to ride in the street.


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Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks in the following states (this does not include local ordinances, as many states won’t allow bicyclists on the sidewalks in business districts):

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota

In addition to these states, bicyclists in New York City are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks.

Being behind a bicyclist can be frustrating, but by crowding them or driving by too fast, you are putting the bicyclists’ lives in danger. Bicyclists are supposed to remain as far to the right as possible, but it’s important to share the road with them, give them a safe clearance when passing, and remember that they belong on the road, too.


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Sources: The League of American Bicyclists