Visual comparisons of laws affecting bicyclists in the United States

Created by Dan Gutierrez

We have a long way to go before bicyclists across the entire country restore the same movement rights as other drivers; rights that we once had but were mostly taken away from us from the 1940s through 1960s.  The maps listed below show the the various inequitable bicycle laws by state.

Feel free to download these maps to use in your advocacy work. Please let us know if any of the laws are incorrect, preferably with legal citations.

states with equitable laws

Only two US states, Arkansas and North Carolina have equitable bicycling movement laws. All the rest either allow local regulation, or have FTR and other bicyclist specific restrictive/discriminatory movement laws.

Definitions & Abbreviations

Equitable – The state has no discriminatory bicycle-specific laws and does not allow local regulation of bicyclist road use.

Uniform – The state does not allow local regulation of bicyclist road use.

FTR (Far to Right) Law – Statute or ordinance requiring bicyclists to ride as far right as practicable (usually with exceptions)

MBL (Mandatory Bike Lane) Law – Statute or ordinance requiring bicyclists to use bike lanes where present (similar exceptions to FTR law).

MSU (Mandatory Shoulder Use) Law – Statute or ordinance requiring bicyclists to use the road shoulder where present (similar exceptions to FTR law).

MSP (Mandatory Side Path) Law – Statute or ordinance requiring bicyclists to use a side path where present (similar exceptions to FTR law).

TAR (Two Abreast Riding) Law – Statute or ordinance governing the number of riders who can ride abreast in a lane.

Impeding Law – Statute prohibiting driving so slow as to impede traffic (most apply only to motor vehicles).