Cities in Pennsylvania like Philadelphia are becoming more friendly to cyclists creating bike lanes and paths to encourage more bicycle use in the city. Pennsylvania law
In Pennsylvania, like most states, a bicycle is treated the same as a vehicle when riding on the streets and highways in the state. (75 VC Ch 35). This means that a bike is allowed to ride on the same roads and streets with motor vehicles. They can ride in the middle of a lane and have to obey all traffic rules and are subject to getting tickets for any code violation.
At first blush, it looks like a cyclist can ride on any road in the state, however, the law specifically prohibits bicycles on the freeways. The same law does give the state Department of Transportation the right to allow bikes on certain stretches of a freeway.
Why Not Allow Riding on any Freeway?
PennDot considers a freeway any divided highway, usually with multiple lanes, that have specified entry and exit points. On these roads, bikes, scooters, pedestrians and horses are prohibited by law. However, PennDot can grant exceptions for events such as a bike rally or a bike race, but it rarely does.
The primary consideration for not allowing bikes on freeways is for the safety of the cyclist and motorists. The speed limits on PA freeways can be 55 up to 70 mph, and if a bike is riding on the freeway, a car might not be able to stop in time. If the cyclist sticks to the shoulder, a car can swerve off the road or might attempt to pull over and not see the cyclist.
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