Bike Nice, Drive Nice
We believe we have a unique responsibility to promote safe bicycling and driving in Philadelphia.
Promoting a safer road one ride at a time.
The Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to safety for all road and trail users throughout the region. While people in motor vehicles bear the most responsibility for keeping streets safe, all people — including cyclists — should follow the rules of the road and make sure pedestrians, our most vulnerable road users, are safe to travel on sidewalks and cross the street. Bike Nice/Drive Nice is our education campaign, noting the importance of following the rules of the road, and understanding we all have a responsibility to keep pedestrians safe.
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.
Stop at red lights and not in the crosswalk
According to Pennsylvania State Law, 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. Stopping behind the crosswalk is courteous to pedestrians crossing.
Use hand signals
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
If you are 12 years old or younger, feel free to ride on the sidewalk. For everyone else, it’s illegal.
Ride with traffic, not against it
The safest way to ride in the street is with motor vehicle traffic. Make sure you’re always riding in the direction of traffic when on a bicycle. This is especially important on Philadelphia’s narrow streets and those without bicycle infrastructure.
Mount bike lights for visibility
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 light giveaway in the fall, or buy lights from your local bike shop.
Take the lane
On narrow streets where motor vehicle users do not have 4 feet to pass you, it is recommended that you take the full lane to be safe. It is also your right to do so.
Use a bell and your voice to communicate
It is required by law that you have a bell on your bike. Bells help others on the road and shared trails know where you are. Pair your bell with your voice. Shouting a heads-up “passing on your left” is especially appreciated on the trail!
Leave your headphones at home
Like motorists, bicyclists may not wear headphones while riding their bikes.
Bike Nice. Drive Nice.
Give bicyclists 4 feet of space when passing by
Pennsylvania law states you MUST give cyclists four feet of space when passing. If you can’t give four feet, don’t pass.
Check before opening your car door into traffic
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.
Be mindful of blind spots
Look over your shoulder when turning or parking to make sure there are no cyclists or pedestrians nearby.
Yield to pedestrians and people on bicycles
Bicyclists are required to yield to pedestrians, and motorists are required to yield to bicyclists. It’s important for everyone to follow this etiquette so as not to disrupt someone’s right of way.
Heads up, phones down
Phones can distract you from the road—whether you’re driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle.
Don't try to jump the light
When you jump the light, you’re potentially putting pedestrians trying to cross the street at risk. It’s best to just wait for the green light.
When you honk at a cyclist or pedestrian, you’re creating a startling noise that, let’s be honest, doesn’t actually help anyone. If you’re riding behind a person on a bicycle, be patient and wait until the right time to pass. You’ll get where you need to go. Just take it easy, buddy.