Parking Protected Bike Lanes

What are protected bike lanes?
Protected bike lanes come in many forms, but all create a safe and comfortable space for cyclists to ride by physically separating the bike lane from both vehicular traffic and pedestrians on the sidewalk. Protected bike lanes reduce the risk of a cyclist or micro-mobility user being struck by a moving vehicle or by a vehicle passenger opening a door.

What are parking protected bike lanes?
Parking protected bike lanes are on-street biking facilities that are separated by parking. Typically, a buffer is created between the bike facility and the parking spaces. The buffer may be as simple as pavement markings between the parking space and the bike lane, or it can include something more prominent such as physical bollards, planters, curbs, etc. Below is an example of what a parking protected bike lane may look like:

Aerial View of Car Parallel Parking on Street with Protected Bike Lane to its Right

How to Use Protected Bike Lanes

Worcester is the second largest city in New England and has a few on-street bike lane facilities to offer its residents. To make our streets safer for all users, we need to create better and safer facilities for our residents and visitors who travel by bike or micro-mobility devices for work, school, shopping and recreation. We are installing our first parking protected bike lane during the fall of 2023 on Mill Street! However, with anything new, we must also learn how to use them. Whether you're new to biking or have been biking for some time, walk, drive or stroll around the City, here's a guide on how to use protected bike lanes:

Riding a Bike or Other Form of Micro-Mobility (e.g. Electric Scooter):

  • Yield to all pedestrians and individuals in wheelchairs who are crossing the road and bike lane.
  • Be alert to turning vehicles when approaching intersections and driveways.
  • Be alert to pedestrians who may be crossing the bike lane to access their parked vehicles.
  • Stay to the right of the bike lane to allow faster users to safely pass.
  • When passing another cyclist or pedestrian, always pass on the left and let them know you are passing by ringing a bell or saying: "On your left!"


  • When crossing the bike lane, watch and listen for cyclists and micro-mobility users traveling in the bike lane.
  • Use crosswalks to cross the street.
  • Stay alert to nearby cyclists and micro-mobility users when crossing a protected lane to enter your parked vehicle.


  • Make sure to park in the marked lane between the travel lane and the buffered bike lane where parking is available.
  • Always check your mirrors and look behind you before opening car doors.
  • Use extra caution and remain alert to pedestrians who are crossing the bike lane onto the crosswalk to cross the street.
  • Use extra caution and remain alert to cyclists and micro-mobility users when turning across the bike lane at intersections and driveways.

Can I Park in a Bike Lane?

Parking in a bike lane or buffer is prohibited. Bike lanes are designed for cyclists and micro-mobility users, not motor vehicles. Parking protected bike lanes offer parking adjacent to the bike lane. You cannot park past the buffer because it obstructs the bike lane. See visual demonstration below:

Animated GIF Showing Angry Cyclist and Car Parking in Bike Lane

Contact Information

Transportation & Mobility
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300 ext. 49500
Fax: 508-453-2888
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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