IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE WORD: RESPECT. BUT YOU BETTER KNOW THE DEETS, TOO.
It seems like no matter what you do, if you’re on a bike in Boston, you’re in danger of being swiped by a car or pissing off motorists and pedestrians. But you do have rights and rules. The Phoenix is here to help: we’ve laid out an abridged version of the sometimes-confusing laws. Now it’s up to you to commit them to memory. Do that and you’ll be riding on moral high ground — no matter how angry those you share the roads with may get.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
> Use all public roads, paths, and bike lanes (of course), and even the sidewalks in business districts if you feel unsafe, unless posted signs say otherwise.
> Ride two abreast on any roads with multiple lanes in the same direction. (If there is only one lane in each direction, you must ride single file, but may pass on the right.)
>Follow all traffic laws — that means stopping at lights and crosswalks and riding on the right side of the road.
>Keep to the right when passing a car.
>Signal your intention to stop or turn using either hand.
>Give pedestrians the right of way when riding on a sidewalk, and give a shout before passing any pedestrian on the right.
>Report to the police any accident involving injury and/or more than $100 in damage.
>Display a white front light visible from 500 feet, a red rear light or reflector visible from 600 feet, and reflectors on each pedal or reflective material on each ankle visible from 600 feet when riding on roads from dusk to dawn.
>Carry all items in a basket, rack, or trailer.
>Keep one hand upon the handlebars at all times.
>Wear a bike helmet if you’re less than 16 years old.
For a complete list of bikers’ rules and responsibilities, go to massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law.
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