While you’re riding around Boston, there are a lot of things to pay attention to. The crisp air, the beautiful sights, the rich history, the varied architecture…it’s enough that your mind might drift from the fact that you’re not alone on the road. There are road markings, traffic signals, curbs, and other cars and cyclists that you have to watch out for! And since cyclists have the same rights to the road as motor vehicles, we also must abide by the same laws, rules, and courtesies.
So, a good guideline for riding in the city is: if you wouldn’t do it in a car, don’t do it on a bike. Following the same guidelines as cars and other vehicles makes you predictable and secures your place on the road. Acknowledging and respecting other vehicles also shows that you, too, belong on the road.
If you’re unfamiliar with our local traffic laws, MassDOT has the full driver’s manual available online. Why don’t cyclists have a separate manual? Simple. It’s called Same Road, Same Rules. Our local bike advocacy organization, MassBike, has done a lot of work in conjunction with the Massachusetts government to make cyclists and drivers legally equal on the road. And with rights comes responsibility!
Need more? Here are some resources for safe cycling in the city:
- MassBike’s bike skills guide
- The League of American Bicyclists’ five step program
- For the legally inclined, Massachusetts’ General Laws are available online
You may also want to attend one of MassBike’s cycling classes. We’ve hosted these informational seminars in the past and highly recommend them for all levels of cyclists, beginner to expert.