Although New Orleans is ranked as the 10th most populous bike and pedestrian city out of the top 50 biggest cities in the US, the city ranks 49th for the percentage of the 350,000 residents getting the recommended amount of physical activity. New Orleans also ranks seventh in the nation for per capita spending on bicycle and pedestrian programs, making the city an ideal place to get out and bike.
A few of the top New Orleans bike safety tips:
- Remember to yield the right of way when exiting alleys or driveways
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping
- Ride on the streets. Only those under the age of 15 are permitted to ride on sidewalks at anytime, so stick to the roads and dedicated bike paths.
- Be aware of motorist’s blind spots. For an added measure of safety, avoid traveling for extended periods in these spots.
- Ride across tracks at 90 degrees.
- Use the Copenhagen Left. Also known as the Box Turn, the Copenhagen Left is accomplished by riding through an intersection on the right, stopping and turning your bike to the left, and then proceeding through the next intersection.
- Reflectors and bike lights are required for night riding. Cyclists riding after dark must have white reflectors on the front of their bike, and red on the rear to indicate their direction of travel to others on the roadways. A front facing bike light is also required, although more lights and reflectors are always recommended.
- Plan ahead and pick your route. Check out maps of bike lanes and paths, like Bike Lane Map of New Orleans, to plan a safe route ahead of time. Keep in mind, use of bike racks on local buses is free, so don’t shy away from combining your bike ride with a bus ride.
- If you are planning on biking in the famous French Quarter, be sure to check out our guide on Bike Safety in the French Quarter.
Best of New Orleans Bicycling
Set to be completed in the near future, the Lafitte Greenway will span a 3.1-mile-long strip of land bounded by Basin Street, Lafitte Street, N. Jefferson Davis Parkway, and St. Louis Street, and is designed to help bicycle commuters. The greenway sits on the old site of a decommissioned railroad. The linear greenway will include ballfields, landscaping, and a 12-foot wide asphalt path.
The New Orleans Bike Bash: a 3-day collection of bicycle-related events and entertainment ranging from group rides, to bike polo, to bike-in-movies.
Raising awareness for bicycle safety, the annual World Naked Bike Tour in New Orleans takes place in the summer months and is not to be missed.
Remember to always practice general caution when traveling via bicycle. If you are injured which riding your bike, reach out to Smiley Law Firm to speak with an attorney about your case.