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Air Rail Highway Bike/Ped Public Transit
NH Bike/Ped >Pedestrian and Bicycle Traffic
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.

Durham Sharrow

Durham: Sharrow on Main St.

Shared Lane Use Marking - Main St. Durham

The Shared Lane Use marking indicates to all vehicle operators that the lane is only wide enough to accommodate one vehicle at a time and cyclists may need to "claim the lane." Whether or not there is a marked bicycle lane, cyclists should not operate so close to parked cars that opening doors may hit them. While parked drivers who fail to obey RSA 265:96 by opening a vehicle door into a cyclist's path may receive a small fine, cyclists should consider that passengers, too, could open car

doors without warning. The results of a "dooring" crash will be catastrophic. Watch the WMUR backstory of a dooring crash in Durham.

"I AM TRAFFIC" hosts an interactive graphic that helps motorists and cyclists judge when a traffic lane can not simultaneously accommodate a motor vehicle and a bicycle.


Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Safety and Rules Pamphlet

Road Warrior Brochure Page 1

What Every Cyclist Must Know

Road Warrior Brochure Page 2

What Every Motorist Must Know



2-sided pdf

pdf for b&w printing





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 claim the lane for their own safety, 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.

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.

Other drivers - and even officers of the law - may not understand why you must claim the lane for your own safety. Remain respectful to all while advocating for your own safety and negotiating for the space that you require. A cyclist posted a video on Youtube showing this common misunderstanding with a bicyclists safety and operational requirements.

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.

Rules of the Road Summary

Bike striping during repaving projects

Obey signs and rules of the road including the correct use of legal hand signals.

Pedestrians' Rights and Duties (RSA 265:41)

Drive your bicycle on the side of the road with other traffic. (RSA 265:16)

If driving bicycles two or more abreast unnecessarily impedes the flow of traffic, drive your bicycle Single File (RSA 265:144,V).

Use a light for night bicycle driving (RSA 266:86)

Maintain your brakes in good condition (RSA 266:88)

NH motor vehicle/bike/pedestrian interaction laws summary

mother and child crossing street

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Everyone is a Pedestrian website.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation Driving Toward Zero program has set a goal of zero highway fatalities.

The League of American Bicyclists recommends a specific goal of zero cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.




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

Crash: neutral constructive terminology

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


This is an international movement. See also

Picture credit: League Cycling Instructor Michael Hurst of Windham. Used by permission. (Ocean Boulevard in Hampton following a crash that killed two bicyclists on September 21, 2013.)




vehicular cycling

In addition to installing various MUTCD signing and pavement marking modifications desired by municipalities, Traffic Bureau may install and maintain certain limited types of bicycle signing. Anyone wishing to bring specific traffic concerns relative to bicycling to the attention of the NHDOT can make an inquiry to NHDOT to approve and install these limited bicycle signing themes as described in the NHDOT Guideline for Bicycle Warning Signs.

A short video shows cyclists safely operating under traffic conditions that are as challenging as any that you will face anywhere.

The Federal Highway Administration has developed safety training materials for children: Bicycle Safer Journey and Pedestrian Safer Journey.

How to ride a bicycle safely from wikiHow.

This article from Law Enforcement magazine (July 2013) may help bust some myths about bicycle traffic and explains why cyclists operate as they do…

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