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Old 09-28-05, 05:43 PM   #1
Yoshi
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Busted for driving in the bike lane

There is a street near Prospect Park (I think the name is Park Plaza West...something like that) that has a bike lane (on the left side of the street for some reason) that is about the same width as the regular lane for traffic. I often take this street on my way home as it allows me to avoid this high traffic roundabout. At certain times of the day (around rush hour when the traffic is heavy) there is always at least one (usually 3-5) car[s] driving in the bike lane to cut ahead of backed up traffic.

With that explaination out of the way, today I was riding on that very street, and at the intersection where the bike lane ends there was a police van, with an officer stopping all the cars that were driving in the bike lane and giving them tickets. That particular section of street is curved so you can't see the intersection (where the cop was positioned) until you are only a few yards away. I imagine he busted quite a few drivers as I personally saw him ticket 4 cars.

I gave the officer a little nod as I was waiting for the light to change.
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Old 09-28-05, 05:57 PM   #2
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I always give an officer a thank you when he is writing up a motorist, loud enough for the motorist to hear.
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Old 09-28-05, 06:46 PM   #3
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Oh, yeah, giving them tickets for driving in "our" lanes and expressing glee when they're busted for doing so should help get motorists and cops to treat us as drivers of vehicles with the same rights to "their" road that they have... NOT.

Way to go.
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Old 09-28-05, 06:48 PM   #4
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Helmet Head -

Instead of wasting your time *****ing here, how about spending some of that energy to actually try to CHANGE the laws you so vehemently disagree with?

-chris
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Old 09-28-05, 06:53 PM   #5
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The segregationary laws are simply a manifestation of segregationary thinking in our culture about cyclists. Working to change the laws would not be addressing the root probem: the segregationary thinking. And the first place to change that is among cyclists, which is I spend so much ****ing time here.

The purpose of posts like the one I lobbed in this thread is to bring attention to segregationary thinking among cyclists, and actions that stem from it.

We should be dismayed about motorists getting this treatment, not happy about it.

We should think of motorists as our friends and equals, not our enemies.

We should be breaking down the walls between cyclists and motorists, not building them up.
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Old 09-28-05, 07:13 PM   #6
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This is no different from officers giving tickets to car pool lane violators...
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Old 09-28-05, 07:46 PM   #7
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It's no different only if you're missing the big picture.

Car pool lanes are not a manisfestation of segregationary thinking that anyone that I know of opposes.

Bike lanes are a manifestation of segregationary thinking that I, for one, do oppose.

Do you support or oppose segregation of car pools? I support it, hence I do not oppose car pool lanes.

Do you support or oppose segregation of cyclists? I oppose it, hence I do oppose bike lanes.
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Old 09-28-05, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Oh, yeah, giving them tickets for driving in "our" lanes and expressing glee when they're busted for doing so should help get motorists and cops to treat us as drivers of vehicles with the same rights to "their" road that they have... NOT.

Way to go.
I was hoping to keep this thread "apolitical" in regards to bike lanes but oh well, there goes that.

In any case, I see your point, and I agree with it to an extent. I don't usually use the bike lane (except when traffic is backed up so I can filter forward) but it still annoys me when motorists drive in the bike lane. Seeing as how one of the major problems with bike lanes (which is really just a symptom of the segregation created by bike lanes) is that too many motorists abuse them to make them effective for cycling.

In any case, I thought that some people might like to hear about it, especially because of the recent crack down on legal (and illegal, I'll admit) cycling in NYC.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:06 PM   #9
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I am not 100% clear on the vehicular cyclist camp's position... In my locality (Commonwealth of Virginia) the law states:

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

This clearly states "motor vehicle", so are bicylces exempted from this requirement? It would seem that if they are not, then bicycle lanes are a necessary thing since we can't keep up with cars in certain circumstances.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by false_cause
I am not 100% clear on the vehicular cyclist camp's position... In my locality (Commonwealth of Virginia) the law states:

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

This clearly states "motor vehicle", so are bicylces exempted from this requirement? It would seem that if they are not, then bicycle lanes are a necessary thing since we can't keep up with cars in certain circumstances.
Virginia does not consider bicycles to be motor vehicles. It does consider them to be vehicles, so the applicable code section is 46.2-804

Quote:
Any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions existing, shall be driven in the lane nearest the right edge or right curb of the highway when such lane is available for travel except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn or where right lanes are reserved for slow-moving traffic as permitted in this section.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
We should be dismayed about motorists getting this treatment, not happy about it.
Total nonsense, Serge, and a good example of why I usually ignore your posts. As cyclists we should be glad whenever ANY traffic laws are enforced; without traffic enforcement, a safe cycling environment is a pipe dream. The question as to whether drivers are our "friends" or our "enemies" is irrelevent to this discussion; it doesn't matter how either of us feel about them - in this instance, they are in violation of the law, and ticketing is appropriate.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
Virginia does not consider bicycles to be motor vehicles. It does consider them to be vehicles, so the applicable code section is 46.2-804
Thanks for your clarification.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I do oppose bike lanes.
How in the world could anyone oppose bike lanes?????
As a car driver I don't want to be slowed down by cyclists and as a cyclist I don't want to battle 4,000lb car's. Who lose's?
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Old 09-28-05, 09:37 PM   #14
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This is why I don't hang out in A&S very often.
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Old 09-28-05, 09:57 PM   #15
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This is why I don't hang out in A&S very often.
But where else can you go to get a reliable dose of sneering blame-the-victim superiority?
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Old 09-28-05, 10:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Oh, yeah, giving them tickets for driving in "our" lanes and expressing glee when they're busted for doing so should help get motorists and cops to treat us as drivers of vehicles with the same rights to "their" road that they have... NOT.

Way to go.
I do not believe there are rights to the road, only laws/codes and if you break a law you should be busted and are subject to the rotten fruit throwers while you are in the "stockades". You makes your choice, you pays your nickel and you live with the consequences.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitut...lofrights.html
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Old 09-28-05, 11:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Oh, yeah, giving them tickets for driving in "our" lanes and expressing glee when they're busted for doing so should help get motorists and cops to treat us as drivers of vehicles with the same rights to "their" road that they have... NOT.

Way to go.
The bike lane is mine, I own it. If I choose to ride in the bike lane, I do so. If I choose to ride in traffic, I'll do that too. Cars need to stay out of it, except for the near the corner, where they can enter it to make a turn. As I approach corners, I look over my shoulder to make sure that if there is a car turning, I am not going to get hit. I ride in traffic as well, depending on the conditions. It's called common sense.

How many children do you have? Would you advocate a child riding in the road as you do? Or would you help them to take a more sensible approach based on conditions? VC is one thing, but a little common sense never goes astray. Rigidly sticking to principles will get you killed, but that's ok, because you have a right to the roadway. Currently, cyclists are segregated in some areas by their very own bike lane. Many cyclists are happy to use it, and happier when motorists are penalized for using it.

Since you are unable to educate each and every motorist out there, you are just wasting bandwith here, and I think the only ones responding are those that enjoy the debate. Why must you turn every thread into one where you spout your never-ending agenda of VC?
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Old 09-28-05, 11:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysol1
How in the world could anyone oppose bike lanes?????
As a car driver I don't want to be slowed down by cyclists and as a cyclist I don't want to battle 4,000lb car's. Who lose's?
You've just opened yourself up to a lecture from Helmet Head, but I'll summarize the main points:

1) First and foremost bike lanes are a form of cyclo-segregation. They are meant specifically to separate bicycles from the rest of traffic, and in most cases do little to actually prevent accidents from occuring.

2) Bike lanes make you less visible to traffic. Since bike lanes are typically aren't filled with cyclists (at least like the lanes are filled with cars) motorists are used to them being empty. Couple that with them being off to the side and containing cyclists which motorists typically aren't looking for, and you become nearly invisible.

3) The only type of accident that they might prevent is being rear ended (and given that man was just rear ended and killed in Oregon makes that even that assertion suspect). Being rear ended is extremely rare - most accidents occur at intersections and involve being hooked (when a driver is making a turn and hits you). Since you are off to the side you are in the optimal position for being hooked, and since you are riding in an area that normally doesn't have car traffic (coupled with the invisibility, as mentioned previously) you are much more likely to be hooked if you are in a bike lane than if you are riding in the center of the car lane.
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Old 09-28-05, 11:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshi
[snip]most accidents occur at intersections and involve being hooked (when a driver is making a turn and hits you). Since you are off to the side you are in the optimal position for being hooked, and since you are riding in an area that normally doesn't have car traffic (coupled with the invisibility, as mentioned previously) you are much more likely to be hooked if you are in a bike lane than if you are riding in the center of the car lane.[snip]
That's why I'm an advocate of looking, and using common sense. Not to say that you don't, but it seems to me that watching out for cars is far more effective than trying to take control of a lane all the time, even if it is your legal right.
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Old 09-29-05, 06:21 AM   #20
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You guys can't let HH get to you.

I'm with the OP, "wo0t!" for the cops doing something helpful traffic-wise. The on time I pointed out to a traffic cop that a guy immediately in his view was double-parked in a bike lane the cop shrugged and ignored it. WTF?

I should add that a couple of times on Riverside Drive at the bottom of a "dip" (rolling terrain) I've seen cars getting tickets for what I imagine is speeding (should have posted that in the ticket thread, whoops). I give a little nod when I see that.
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Old 09-29-05, 07:26 AM   #21
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Okay, let me weigh in here though I know I will regret it.
For me personally, I wouldn't care if one inch of bike lane was ever striped again. I ride responsibly, defensively and with courtesy. I take the lane when I have to, move into appropriate turn lanes, etc and ride to the side to allow motorists to pass when I can safely do so. That being said, I am in favor of bike lanes. (Pause for effect)

Most of us here are experienced cyclists with the skill to address almost any traffic situation. However, the vast majority of people are not. We want more people to use their bikes, but if they are forced to take to major roadways to get anywhere....which they often are in our age of cul-de-sacs and land use separation through zoning codes...inexperienced cyclists will seldom take to their bikes without some sense of security through an identifiable bicycle accommodation. In spite of the issues expressed by those opposed to lanes - and most are valid - I am unaware of any objective studies that concluded bike lanes to actually be significantly more dangerous than not having lanes. Similarly, there is no study I am aware of that shows them to be significantly safer, either. Essentially, it is a wash (and hence the tiresomely enduring pro/con lane debates among experienced cyclists). That being the case, if a bike lane will encourage someone to ride that would not otherwise do so, gimme the brush and I'll paint the stripe. The same cannot be said of sidepaths and sidewalk riding as there are studies which have concluded increased risk with those practices.

Without a bike lane, the novice rider will likely forgo bicycle transportation beyond a recreational ride around the block or a visit to the neighborhood park where he/she can ride on the path. Without a lane stripe and instead a wide outside lane, the motorist will see a wide lane which promotes faster driving. We all know that speed limits are the most ignored law on the books. Motorists drive the speed a road is designed for, not an arbitrary limit. The bike lane stripe narrows the motorist's perception of asphalt width and encourages them to take a few mph off the pedal. Slower actual motorists' speeds are themselves an inducement and benefit to cycling.

So, if our goal is to slowly eradicate bicycles from the transportation arena, then let's widen all the roads and do away with bike lanes. On the other hand, if a little bit of paint will help to encourage more bicycle use, then let's get lanes on the major roadways and do a better job of connectivity so cyclists can avoid major roadways altogether if they choose.

Sorry, Yoshi. Even though I wasn't the instigator, I'm guilty of turning your thread into yet another pro/con bike lane debate. For what it's worth, I thought your initial post was a good one. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-29-05, 07:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by false_cause
Thanks for your clarification.
This might also be of some use to you:
Virginia Cycling Laws
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Old 09-29-05, 07:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Oh, yeah, giving them tickets for driving in "our" lanes and expressing glee when they're busted for doing so should help get motorists and cops to treat us as drivers of vehicles with the same rights to "their" road that they have... NOT.

Way to go.

Oh jeeze, STFU.
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Old 09-29-05, 09:00 AM   #24
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I find this a very useful page that lays out some interesting thought about BL vs. WOL

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Effecti...cy/blvswol.htm

I bring this up as there is always seems to be this asssumption from some new to the debate that lack of BL means a narrow street.

Al
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Old 09-29-05, 09:17 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
...snip...it seems to me that watching out for cars is far more effective than trying to take control of a lane all the time, even if it is your legal right.
Nobody is advocating taking control of the lane all the time. What I've seen HH advocate is staying until cars are aware of you, and then moving over if possible.
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