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 '13 at 19:00
  • I think you'd have to ask the authorities in NYC. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 3 '13 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 '13 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. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Aug 5 '13 at 0:22
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    "How do I handle people walking in bike lanes?" might be a better question. – Tom77 Aug 5 '13 at 15:24

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. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 4 '13 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. – Carey Gregory Aug 4 '13 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. – John Doucette Aug 4 '13 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. – Carey Gregory Aug 4 '13 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.) – Daniel R Hicks Aug 4 '13 at 23:58

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