In NYC, some street bike lanes (specifically, one on 8th avenue in midtown) are typically full of walking pedestrians.

Is this legal? (e.g. are the pedestrians doing it actually jaywalking or violating some other law?)

If it is not legal, is there any evidence that NYC enforces this law in any way?

  • Related, but SanFran centric: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/6190/…
    – DVK
    Aug 3, 2013 at 19:00
  • I think you'd have to ask the authorities in NYC. Aug 3, 2013 at 19:33
  • @DanielRHicks - right. I can just imagine Mike Bloomberg cheerfully admitting in public "no, we don't really bother enforcing the law".
    – DVK
    Aug 3, 2013 at 20:16
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the legality of walking in a bike lane and not about cycling. Outside of cycling advocacy activities, playing the blame game doesn't relate to riding a bike. Aug 5, 2013 at 0:22
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    "How do I handle people walking in bike lanes?" might be a better question.
    – Tom77
    Aug 5, 2013 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


If the lane you described is marked clearly for bicycle use, then I'd say the pedestrians are clearly in the wrong. There has to be numerous security cameras in the area that should catch these "jaywalkers" if the police ever have a reason to view security footage for some reason. I wonder how the "real" pedestrians on the sidewalk would feel if 5 or 6 dozen cyclists decided to trade the bike lane for the sidewalk for a day!? Bet that would cause a stir AND get the police department attention!

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    But keep in mind that in many circumstances pedestrians are permitted to walk on a roadway. There should be no difference between a bikeway and a roadway, in this respect -- if the law allows the pedestrians to walk in the roadway it should permit them in an adjacent bikeway. Aug 4, 2013 at 18:19
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    @DanielRHicks - Pedestrians are allowed to cross roads, but they're not allowed to walk in them. I would expect the same would be true of bike lanes; they're considered roadways and bikes are considered vehicles. Aug 4, 2013 at 19:37
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    @CareyGregory Actually, in many places and circumstances, pedestrians are allowed to walk on the surface of the road, against traffic. For example, on suburban roads without a sidewalk, this is usually legal. Aug 4, 2013 at 20:23
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    @JohnDoucette Yes, there are such places (the street I live on, for example), but NYC isn't one of them. Aug 4, 2013 at 21:40
  • @CareyGregory - Which is my point. You need to find out what the rules are in NYC. Unless someone here happens to live there, we can't tell you the rules -- only the NYC authorities can. (Or perhaps NYC maintains a web site where you can look this up.) Aug 4, 2013 at 23:58

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