What signs can be used to alert drivers to bicycles using the highway?
In addition to the warning signs discussed in the Quick Answer “When should I use warning signs for bikes, pedestrians, buggies, or other non-typical highway use?,” NYSDOT has a new "In Lane" sign
(NYW5-32P) plaque that can be placed under the bicycle or other alternative vehicle warning signs. The new sign should NOT be used by itself!
Note that the "Share the Road" plaque
(W16-1P) is no longer recommended and is being removed from use in New York State. It caused too much confusion and due to improper use it is no longer effective. The new "In Lane" sign (NYW5-32P) should be used so supplement the other warning signs, especially when the alternative vehicle is using the lane.
Sharrows (Shared Lane Markings –
Section 9C.07) can be used to supplement the warning signs.
Also, the "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" sign (R4-11) is not allowed in NYS as “its message is not an accurate reflection of Section 1234 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, and could mislead inexperienced bicyclists into occupying inappropriate, and unsafe, positions within a roadway.”
- These signs should not be used on every highway. have found that excessive use of signs causes drivers to develop an insensitivity to the to the sign’s intended goal.
- If traffic is seasonal (such as snowmobiles and bicycles) the signs should be removed or covered during the off-season
- These signs should not be used with crossings or intersections controlled by stop, yield, or traffic signals or when an intersection sign is used to alert drivers of a crossing highway
Chapter 7 - Traffic Sign Handbook for Local Roads, 2011 New York State Edition, September 2011 (pdf)