bicycling law question

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Anonymous's picture

Last night riding down 59th street, a cop gave me a big lecture, saying it was illegal for me to ride by vehicles that were stopped at/crawling up to the intersection with Lexington (I gather a city bus driver complained to him that I was in the way). I've looked through the resources on Transportation Alternatives' website but do not see where this law is described. Is it a general law for all vehicles and therefore included under the 'bicycles must obey all traffic laws' rule? I didn't get a ticket but the cop took my name. I'd prefer to understand this law and have an appropriate response (instead of incredulousness) next time. thanks.

Anonymous's picture
hmm. (not verified)

It sounds like uninformed harassment of a cyclist by a policeman to me. I've got a friend who was told by an NYPD officer that she couldn't ride on the streets, and should be on the sidewalk. She had to explain that that would be illegal.

Anonymous's picture
Bruce (not verified)

In the most technical sense, what you did was illegal. As you know, the vehicle law, for all sakes and purposes, treats a bicycle like a motor vehicle. Thus, just like a car, you can't pass a car in the manner that you did (in other words, the law says you have to wait behind the vehicle in front of you. Another way to look at it is when motorcycles weave thru traffic. They're not supposed to do it because it's against the law.

But, like the poster above me states, who really enforces this stuff anyway? In that way, the poster's allegation of harassment may have some merit . . .

Anonymous's picture
Michael Steiner (not verified)
funny consequences ...

Hmm, but if this is true wouldn't then also every car have to wait behind every bicycles and would not be allowed to pass them ... ?! Hard to believe (though nice to have :-)

Anonymous's picture
George Arcarola (not verified)
what consequences?

You're kidding Michael, aren't you? It's certainly NOT the case that cars have to wait for cyclists when it's much, MUCH easier to go through them or even over them. Isn't this what Hummer's were made for?


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