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NH Bike/Ped > Traffic Safety
shared lane use marking

Bristol, Alexandria and Hebron - Towns and Newfound Pathways mark Shared Lane Use Markings on 7.4 miles of highway along the western shore of Newfound Lake. The markings indicate that the narrow pavement space must be shared, meaning simultaneous and separate operation of a motor vehicle and a bicycle is not possible within the lane. With generally a 10-foot paved travel lane and about a foot of paved shoulder space, motorists staying in the lane can not safely pass a bicycle operating along the highway. The pictures taken October 7, 2017 illustrate how Newfound Pathways volunteers and Town of Bristol police made the safety and access improvements possible.

double-threat pedestrian crossing

Concord, NH 9 - "Multiple

pedestrian threat"

Don't be the driver who says "But I never saw her."

This 30-second video articulates the problem with "multiple threat" pedestrian crossings and how drivers must behave around them.

FHWA provided the funds to facilitate NHDOT's airing of this pedestrian safety message on participating New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters radio stations throughout New Hampshire in the Summer of 2019. The NHDOT Complete Streets Advisory Committee provided the content for the message and New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters provided the audio.





vehicular cycling




Bicyclist/Motorist Safety and Rules Brochure




General Rules for Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Motorists

Bicyclists and motorists must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. (See RSA 259:17 for the definition of a crosswalk.)

Bicyclists and motorists must use due care around pedestrians at all times (RSA 265:37).

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Bicycles are vehicles (RSA 265:143).

The safer lane position in general for a prudent bicyclist might surprise you.

Avoid the "door" zone of parked cars, even when a bike lane is marked in this area. Take the full lane when your safety depends on it (RSA 265:144,XI(d)).

Straight arrow (sharrow) pavement marker

Sharrows along NH 120 in Hanover.

Cyclists must keep right? Not necessarily according to RSA 265:144. There are many common operational situations where cyclists must control the lane, including:      

  1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  2. When preparing for or making a left turn at an intersection or into a driveway.
  3. When proceeding straight in a place where right turns are permitted.
  4. When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, broken pavement, glass, sand, puddles, ice, or opening doors of parked vehicles.
Road Warrior Brochure Page 2

RSA 265:143a Requires Motorists to Exercise Due Care When Approaching a Bicycle. Leave a reasonable and prudent distance. That must be at least 3 feet when the passing vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour or less and one extra foot for every 10 MPH over 30 miles per hour. Municipalities may request approval to install 3-foot minimum - to-pass bicycle signing: Municipality must send a letter on municipal letterhead to William Lambert (NHDOT Bureau of Traffic, P.O. Box 483, 18 Smokey Bear Blvd., Concord, NH 03302-0483. Traffic Bureau will work with the municipalitly to verify the locations in the field and prepare a maintenance agreement. Once any location-specific details have been worked out, a letter will be sent back to the municipality from Traffic Bureau specifying the approved location(s) and other requirements. The Town may then proceed to have the sign manufactured and installed.

Other drivers may not understand why you must sometimes claim the lane for your own safety. Remain respectful to all while advocating for equitable access and negotiate in good faith for the space that you require. See "Bicycling in traffic is a dance you must lead."

Wear bright clothing. Reflective clothing is required at night (RSA 265:144,XII).

Wearing a helmet can prevent a head injury. A helmet is required for those under 16 years of age (RSA 265:144,X).

When passing another cyclist on the road, make your presence known by calling out "On your left" as you approach.

Respect metal grid bridge deck surfaces, timber surfaces with longitudinal cracks and skewed RR crossings.

Promote accountability and an evidence-based approach when referring to highway crashes.

USDOT promotes the use of accurate and constructive terminology when describing all incidents involving all highway-related property damage, injury and death. See

Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting: How news articles apportion blame in car/pedestrian and car/bicycle crashes.

Move over and slow down for state and local police officers, tow truck drivers, maintenance personnel and EMTs too. Safely navigating around all pedestrians is no accident. As this 30-second video from the NH Department of Safety explains, it's the law.


the road with horses.

Keep Equestrians and Their Animals Safe

The New Hampshire Horse Council partners with the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire to keep equestrians and their animals safe. See .

When driving in the vicnity of a horse, consider your speed and proximity to the animal. New Hampshire law requires all vehicle drivers, including bicyclists, to avoid frightening a horse.


Left: Ann Poole provided this image taken along Beard Road in Hillsborough.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire