The Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to safety for all road users throughout the Delaware Valley. And as representatives of the cycling community, we believe we have a unique responsibility to promote safe bicycling in Philadelphia.
Members and staff of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia promote and encourage all cyclists to follow the rules of the road, for the sake of everyone – especially Philadelphia’s most vulnerable road users: Pedestrians. When you follow the law of the road, you respect the streets and the people who use them. That’s why we bike nice on Philly’s streets and the region’s trails.
Scroll down to learn about Philadelphia’s laws.
Stop at red lights and not in the crosswalk
Parar en las luces rojas y no en el cruce de peatones
According to Pennsylvania State Law, “Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.”
That means all the rules people in cars are supposed to follow, cyclists are supposed to follow, beginning with the most basic law: Stopping at red lights.
Use hand signals
Use señales de mano
Using hand signals helps other people on the road — drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists — know what you’re doing when you do it. Just like cars use signals, cyclists’ turns and stops should be predictable.
Ride on the street, not on the sidewalk
Andar en la calle, no en la acera
12 year old or younger? Feel free to ride on the sidewalk. For everyone else, it’s illegal. According to state law, “A person shall not ride a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk in a business district unless permitted by office traffic-control devices, nor when a usable pedalcycle-only lane has been provided adjacent to the sidewalk.”
Ride with traffic, not against it
Andar con tráfico no en contra
Since bicycles are vehicles according to the law, always make sure you’re riding with motor vehicle traffic on all streets, unless there is a designated contra-flow lane.
Mount bike lights for visibility
Montar luces para visibilidad
Bicycles are required to have a front white light and a back red reflector. And a back red light is highly, highly encouraged. Keep an eye out for our Bike Lights giveaway in the fall.
Take the lane
Toma el carril
On narrow streets where motor vehicle users do not have 4 feet to pass you, it is recommended you take the full lane to be safe. It is also your right to do so.
Use a bell
Toca la campana
It is required by law that you have a bell on your bike. Bells help others on the road know where you are.
Check Before Opening Your Car Door Into Traffic
Asómate antes de abrir la puerta de tu auto hacia el tráfico
Motor vehicle operators or passengers must make sure it is safe to exit into moving traffic. In other words, they need to check before opening their car doors. They bear the legal responsibility in dooring incidents.
Leave your headphones at home
No use auriculares
Like motorists, bicyclists may not wear headphones while riding their bikes.