It sure does. But we still have to follow the rules... thus a new program from Transportation Alternatives (TA) called, no surprise, Biking Rules. The guiding principle is deceptively simple:
Hither-to-now this position has been sorely overlooked by bicyclers. We, as bicyclists, should reject excuses for breaking the law. If we do break the law, we should accept the consequences. This is tantamount to non-violent resistance. The abuse of power will expose its own injustices, as it has in the past.
In the meanwhile, we can comfort ourselves with the serenity that comes from living a modestly unified ethos: treat others as you treat yourself; treat yourself as you treat others; both with respect, particularly in the face of adversity or animosity.
Ride with ruthless pragmatism and radical acceptance. Here's how it breaks down, as far as TA is concerned:
PEDESTRIANS RULE Pedestrians always have the right of way. PERIOD.
CROSSWALKS Leave crosswalks free and clear for safe walking. A bike in the crosswalk can take up as much space as a car. (Law: VTL §1231)
CLAIM A LANE Claim space on the street, not the sidewalk. We know we hate it when cars drive in bike lanes. (Law: AC § 1976)
RIDE RIGHT Ride in the direction of traffic. When we're on bicycles, we ARE traffic! And it is safer for everyone else on the street. (Law: VTL §1231)
UNTANGLE INTERSECTIONS No one can see how good-looking our bikes are if we speed through intersections. And new cyclists will be following our example. Take a break and relax at red lights. (Law: VTL §1231)
LIGHTEN UP Don't be invisible. Front and rear lights are our eyes to the world at night and make us bigger and brighter on the street. (Law: VTL §1236)
SOUND OUT Having a bell lets people know we are approaching and it's fun to make some noise! Give your bike bling some ring. (Law: VTL §1236)
HELMET HEAD RULES Bike brains are beautiful, and NYC needs them if we are ever going to convince more people to ride a bike! Learn to love that helmet hair.