The Vision of the CNY Pathways group (a subcommittee of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse) is to make Central New York a healthy place where all human modes of travel are safe, accessible, and easy; and to support healthy neighborhoods.
Riding a bike or taking a walk is a lot of fun – if done SAFELY. Safety is essential when encouraging people of all ages to travel on wheels and on foot!
Wheeler Safety (bicyclists, skateboarders, in-line skaters)
As a Bicyclist, Skateboarder, or In-Line Skater:
- Always wear a helmet (The law in Onondaga County requires youth between the ages of 1 and 18 to wear a helmet while bicycling, inline skating, on skateboards and on scooters).
- Follow the rules of the road: bicyclists, skateboarders and in-line skaters are required to follow the same laws and rules of the road as motorists. Two of the most important:
- Ride WITH traffic
- Bicyclists must signal when turning or stopping
- Ride predictably! Ride in a straight line and avoid swerving into traffic. Anticipate hazards and adjust your position accordingly.
- Use the Proper Equipment
According to NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law, a bicycle must be equipped with:
- A brake which is capable of making the bike tires skid on dry level pavement.
- A bell, horn or other device that can be heard at least a hundred feet away. Sirens and whistles are not permitted.
- Bicycles driven between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet, and a red or amber taillight visible for at least 300 feet.
- A bicycle, when purchased new and/or driven at night, must have reflective tires, or wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors. Reflectors must be colorless or amber for front wheels, and colorless or red for rear wheels.
- See NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law
As a Motorist:
- Share the Road with Cyclists.
- Drive cautiously – reduce your speed.
- Yield to cyclists. Bicycles are considered vehicles and should be given the appropriate right of way.
- Be Considerate – don’t blast your horn when driving next to a cyclist. Look for bicyclists before opening car doors .
- Pass with care, leaving enough room for the cyclist.
- Watch for children on bicycles – they are unpredictable.
Web Sites with Additional Information on Bicycling Safely
- The Onondaga Cycling Club, the local bike club, has a website full of great information
- View the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Bicycle Helmet Fitting video (Approximately 4 minutes long)
- View the Bike Safe, Bike Smart video developed by NHSTA (created by kids, for kids) (Approximately 9 minutes long)
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Bicycling Information (the national clearinghouse for bicycle materials and information on education, enforcement, engineering, advocacy, safety and access).
- Getting There, a bicycle education activity book for kids (originally funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC)).
- SafeNY, Bikes & Wheel Sport Safety
- NYS Share the Road brochure
- The League of American Bicyclists (LAB), a national organization whose mission is “To promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.” Check out their 5 Steps to Riding Better.