Are bicyclists allowed to ride on interstates?

It varies by state. All states prohibit cyclists on at least some limited access divided express highways. Several states — Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — permit bikes on virtually all interstates. Other states, like Missouri, simply don't address the issue, creating vague situations. New Jersey and Pennsylvania can issue permits for bicycle use for particular uses and locations. Interstates can be opened for bicyclists where no alternative route exists in many states, including:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington

In all other states (and the District of Columbia), bicyclists are not allowed to ride on interstates. However, even in these states, there are exceptions to this rule where bicyclists are permitted to use a particular bridge that is part of the interstate system (e.g. I-66 in Virginia, I-70 in Kansas). It is important to note that beyond statutory law, state Departments of Transportation may have additional rules and regulations regarding bicycling on the interstate or other limited access highways.

For more information, the League of American Bicyclists provides links to many state bicycling laws.