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Old 08-01-06, 12:41 PM   #1
maddyfish
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Do you have to use bike lanes?

Where there are bike lanes, is it generally required that bikes use them?
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Old 08-01-06, 12:48 PM   #2
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Generally, yes.

I don't know the specific laws in KY, but the cultural expectation, by police and motorists as well as cyclists, is that cyclists should use bike lanes when present, and should keep to the right when they are not. The cultural expectation is a style of riding that makes cycling in traffic much more dangerous than it needs to be.

In many states, including CA, there are many exceptions to when cyclists are legally required to use bike lanes. But these exceptions are generally unknown and are ignored.

A big part of learning to ride safely in traffic includes learning when and why cyclists should stay away from the danger zone near the edge of the road, whether or not there is a bike lane there.

To learn more, read a book like Effective Cycling by John Forester, or take a Road 1 course from the League of American Bicyclists. See bikeleague.org.
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Old 08-01-06, 12:55 PM   #3
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HH you are so full of it. Take your 'cultural expectations' and put them with the rest of your wacky theories.
The more accurate answer is simple - with some exceptions, in states where bicycles are considered vehicles (unlike HH's screwy California where they are not), a bicycle does not have to use the bike lane just because one is there. What is common is the language that a bicycle should keep 'as far to the right as practicable', which some cops will interpret as a shoulder or bike lane if one is present, but screw them, if you don't feel safe in the bike lane, don't use it. I have used the roadways in just about every state in the Union, bike lane or not, and have NEVER been stopped by a cop and ticketed or directed to use the bike lane.

You gotta excuse HH, he takes advantage of any opening to advance his extremist anti-bike lane agenda.
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Old 08-01-06, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddyfish
Where there are bike lanes, is it generally required that bikes use them?
Here in Colorado, there is no legal requirement that cyclists use the bicycle lane. There are, however, plenty of meddlesome loudmouths (usually tourists, for some reason) who take it upon themselves to instruct me to use the bike lane or bike path. I called the local police on an especially foul mouthed example of this breed a few weeks ago and got a gratifyingly supportive and positive response.

There's actually a stretch of road near here (the Dillon Dam, for all you Colorado forum members) that has signs at either end saying "Bicyclists Prohibited On Road Across Dam". I called the Sheriff's Department and learned that there is actually no law against bicycling on this road, someone in the county just decided bicycles shouldn't be on this road. The bike path next to this road is located so that I get blinded by oncoming headlights if I cycle on it, so I use the roadway at night. I also use the roadway during the day if the bike path is crowded. Sheriff's deputies pass me all the time, and I've never been stopped. I've contacted the county Roads & Bridges and asked them to remove the sign, but no luck.
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Old 08-01-06, 03:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by markf
Here in Colorado, there is no legal requirement that cyclists use the bicycle lane. There are, however, plenty of meddlesome loudmouths (usually tourists, for some reason) who take it upon themselves to instruct me to use the bike lane or bike path. I called the local police on an especially foul mouthed example of this breed a few weeks ago and got a gratifyingly supportive and positive response.

There's actually a stretch of road near here (the Dillon Dam, for all you Colorado forum members) that has signs at either end saying "Bicyclists Prohibited On Road Across Dam". I called the Sheriff's Department and learned that there is actually no law against bicycling on this road, someone in the county just decided bicycles shouldn't be on this road. The bike path next to this road is located so that I get blinded by oncoming headlights if I cycle on it, so I use the roadway at night. I also use the roadway during the day if the bike path is crowded. Sheriff's deputies pass me all the time, and I've never been stopped. I've contacted the county Roads & Bridges and asked them to remove the sign, but no luck.
Tourists freak out because they aren't used to Colorado I know that 24 from springs to woodland is windy and if your not paying attention you can come up on a cyclists quite close even in the bike lanes on 24
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Old 08-01-06, 03:43 PM   #6
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No. Use them where it makes sense and don't where it doesn't.

To qualify, some states have language in their traffic laws indicating you should; but most either don't enforce it or have other language putting some pretty large loopholes in it. Follow the above advice and you won't often go wrong with the law. Helmet Head is off the mark; some people might complain, but these people are wrong. Passersby don't get to make up the rules. You have the right to the road irrespective of what others think.

Here is a summary of the rules according to Kentucky state government. The only contentious one is the one requiring you to use a bike path if one is provided. In the "rules for motorists" there is wording indicating that cyclists are allowed out in the main traffic stream:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky rules of the Road
Before passing a cyclist, look to see if there is loose debris on the pavement that might cause them to move into the center of the lane....
and there are words indicating that there is a 3 foot minimum passing distance rule:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky rules of the Road
...and give ample room (3 feet) between your car and the cyclist.
In summary, there is nothing indicating that cyclists are required to use a bike lane, and there is indication that if there technically is, there are also allowances to leave the bike lane. These allowances can usually be interpreted fairly loosely as it is left up to the judgement of the cyclist.

Your first reference should be the Kentucky DMV. After that you can read Effective Cycling by John Forester and/or The Art of Urban Cycling by Robert Hurst. Both of these books have good general advice, though Forester's book is a bit outdated and makes several references to 1970's era cycling equipment. The only caveat is that the last chapter of Forester's book is extremely editorial and political with little to give in the way of practical advice. His chapter on cycling in traffic is excellent though and more thorough than Hurst's book.
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Old 08-01-06, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
the cultural expectation, by police and motorists as well as cyclists, is that cyclists should use bike lanes when present
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
HH you are so full of it. Take your 'cultural expectations' and put them with...
LOL. For examples of the cultural expections to which I refer look no further than the very next post after yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markf
There are, however, plenty of meddlesome loudmouths (usually tourists, for some reason) who take it upon themselves to instruct me to use the bike lane or bike path. I called the local police on an especially foul mouthed example of this breed a few weeks ago and got a gratifyingly supportive and positive response.
There's actually a stretch of road near here (the Dillon Dam, for all you Colorado forum members) that has signs at either end saying "Bicyclists Prohibited On Road Across Dam". I called the Sheriff's Department and learned that there is actually no law against bicycling on this road, someone in the county just decided bicycles shouldn't be on this road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Your first reference should be the Kentucky DMV. After that you can read Effective Cycling by John Forester and/or The Art of Urban Cycling by Robert Hurst. Both of these books have good general advice, though Forester's book is a bit outdated and makes several references to 1970's era cycling equipment. The only caveat is that the last chapter of Forester's book is extremely editorial and political with little to give in the way of practical advice. His chapter on cycling in traffic is excellent though and more thorough than Hurst's book.
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Old 08-01-06, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
What is common is the language that a bicycle should keep 'as far to the right as practicable'
Hey CC, does that apply if the cyclist is keeping up with traffic?
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Old 08-02-06, 02:38 AM   #9
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Bike lane use is required in Hawaii.
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Old 08-02-06, 06:20 AM   #10
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Hey CC, does that apply if the cyclist is keeping up with traffic?
At least in Ohio, the law makes no distinction based on your speed. Personally, if I am at the same speed as traffic, I am out in the lane. If someone is coming up my rear I yield right for them if I can, but the fact that they are coming up my rear also tells me that I am obviously NOT keeping up with the flow of traffic.
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Old 08-02-06, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by chipcom
I have used the roadways in just about every state in the Union, bike lane or not, and have NEVER been stopped by a cop and ticketed or directed to use the bike lane.
Although I have mostly only ridden in my home state of Georgia, this has been my experience also. However, many laws are still being "tested" which require cyclists to use bike facilities when present, even if they are ignored, and that's something that bothers me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The cultural expectation is a style of riding that makes cycling in traffic much more dangerous than it needs to be...A big part of learning to ride safely in traffic includes learning when and why cyclists should stay away from the danger zone near the edge of the road, whether or not there is a bike lane there.
I have to agree that the motorist-oriented culture we live in often sees cyclists as "in their way" and "belonging on the sidewalk," etc. They seem to think you should ride in the gutter, a very dangerous proposition. Bottom line, use the bike lane if it's present, but still be flexible enough to ignore the stripe and focus on the actual usable pavement, free of obstructions, drain grates, potholes, gravel, debris, glass, sand, etc.

Even when the law requires bike lanes to be used, there are usually exceptions made when there is a good reason to leave the bike lane, including those obstructions I mentioned previously.
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Old 08-02-06, 11:18 AM   #12
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I certainly hope not. There is one bike lane where I live that is maybe 1/4 of a mile and is chock full of debris. Frankly it is ridiculous.
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Old 08-02-06, 02:56 PM   #13
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maddyfish: I'm riding around in lex and currently only ride in a few of the available bike paths. far too many of them are full of glass, and while I'd rather have a flat tire than a broken neck, I feel the flat tire is a much more likely event (most cars around here seem to give me more room than I need)

Not exactly sure of the legality, but there's this concise little book they give newly licensed kentucky drivers that should answer it (I think you can also find this on the web through the state dmv site) I'm not riding in too many of them until I see some cleanup or a cop shows me the K.R.S # and tickets me.
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Old 08-02-06, 03:12 PM   #14
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The bike lane that I'm not riding in is here in norhtern Ky. on Houston rd. It is to the right of the 5 lane hwy. There are very many entrance and exit ramps that go through it, along with many turn lanes that cross it. Cars have to cross the bike lane in order to turn into Sam's, Wal-Mart, Meijer's, and several side roads. I have only been down it once, and was cut off several times. So now I don't use it. If I get a ticket, the so be it.
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Old 08-02-06, 05:29 PM   #15
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Do you have to use bike lanes?
In Portland, OR, apparently you do:

Among the tickets were cyclists cited for failure to use the bike lane (ORS 814.420), ...
http://bikeportland.org/2006/08/02/c...ing-commuters/

Bike lanes are the first step in getting us off the roads and out of the way of motorists. Sooner or later you'll believe me.
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Old 08-02-06, 05:49 PM   #16
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I liked your old avatar better, Chipcom.

This is one area where the anti-facilities group does have a point. Myself, and several Boston area cyclists have been yelled at from passing cars, when we have used Mass Ave instead of the minuteman bikeway. It's simply the way shopping mall nation thinks.

At present, there is no law in Massachusetts that says you are required to use a bike lane, or MUP if one is available. But, many citizens, and some police officers, seem to think otherwise.
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Old 08-02-06, 06:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
In Portland, OR, apparently you do:
You are so frickin' full of it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Bike lanes are the first step in getting us off the roads and out of the way of motorists. Sooner or later you'll believe me.
I believe you are a one issue ideologue (a.k.a. 'VC nutcase'). And I believe that you and other facilities hating extremists can't see the forest for the trees (or the falacies in Forester's ridiculous social and political theories).
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Old 08-02-06, 06:12 PM   #18
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This is one area where the anti-facilities group does have a point...
This issue of mandatory bike lane laws is one issue where the anti-facilities crowd is full of it. The problem is the laws that make riding in bike lanes mandatory, not the bike lanes themselves.

Virtually every bicyclist I know, even those who hate the VC extremist views, are opposed to mandatory bike lane laws. Anti-bike lane VC extremists divide the bicycling community on an issue on which virtually everyone agrees. Extremists anti-facilities VC-ists are the problem, not a solution.
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Old 08-02-06, 06:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRA
The problem is the laws that make riding in bike lanes mandatory, not the bike lanes themselves.
Mandatory bike lane laws is not the key issue.

[tt]"there is no law in Massachusetts that says you are required to use a bike lane, or MUP if one is available. But, many citizens, and some police officers, seem to think otherwise."
...
Myself, and several Boston area cyclists have been yelled at from passing cars, when we have used Mass Ave instead of the minuteman bikeway. It's simply the way shopping mall nation thinks.
[/tt] --trackhub

It's simply the way shopping mall nation thinks indeed.

Chipcom - in case you were looking for more examples of the cultural expectations to which I referred earlier, here ya go.
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Old 08-02-06, 07:00 PM   #20
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This issue of mandatory bike lane laws is one issue where the anti-facilities crowd is full of it. The problem is the laws that make riding in bike lanes mandatory, not the bike lanes themselves.
No bikes lanes = no chance for a stupid mandatory bike lane law. If bike lanes did anything magical that simply adding extra pavement to the road did not do as well or better, then maybe there'd be some merit in bike lanes. But they don't.

See genec's thread about "good" bike lane where he cites a motorcycle cop having to come and tell all the motorists to stop blocking the bike lane for proof that the one and only point most bike lane advocates have is false (that bike lane lines keep motorists out of the way of cyclists).
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Old 08-02-06, 07:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Mandatory bike lane laws is not the key issue.
Mandatory bike lane laws are the key issue in this thread, which you, in your normal style, have tried more than once to hijack (the snide comment about Portland was a pretty transparent bit of flame bait, even for you).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
"there is no law in Massachusetts that says you are required to use a bike lane, or MUP if one is available. But, many citizens, and some police officers, seem to think otherwise."
Many citizens, and some police officers, in every state believe that bicyclists do not belong on the road. And that is true whether there are bike lanes or not. And you know it. In trying to blame "the notion", as you call it, on bike lanes, you are being dishonest.

I've begun to associate a level of dishonesty with bike lane hating VC extremists in general, including, maybe particularly, with John Forester (in regard to the cherry-picking of data). I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy Forester's book (which you hawk as if you're getting a cut), even though the book may contain some useful information about riding style, because I oppose inflating Forester's already grossly over-inflated ego and I especially oppose supporting his counter-productive politics, his absurd sociological and psychological theories and, most of all, the abomination of VC-ism which his absurd theories have spawned.
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Old 08-04-06, 10:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
HH you are so full of it. Take your 'cultural expectations' and put them with the rest of your wacky theories.
The more accurate answer is simple - with some exceptions, in states where bicycles are considered vehicles (unlike HH's screwy California where they are not), a bicycle does not have to use the bike lane just because one is there. What is common is the language that a bicycle should keep 'as far to the right as practicable', which some cops will interpret as a shoulder or bike lane if one is present, but screw them, if you don't feel safe in the bike lane, don't use it. I have used the roadways in just about every state in the Union, bike lane or not, and have NEVER been stopped by a cop and ticketed or directed to use the bike lane.

You gotta excuse HH, he takes advantage of any opening to advance his extremist anti-bike lane agenda.
Chip, this is the way Michigan law reads, too.

Ken
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Old 08-04-06, 10:57 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Mandatory bike lane laws is not the key issue.

[tt]"there is no law in Massachusetts that says you are required to use a bike lane, or MUP if one is available. But, many citizens, and some police officers, seem to think otherwise."
...
Myself, and several Boston area cyclists have been yelled at from passing cars, when we have used Mass Ave instead of the minuteman bikeway. It's simply the way shopping mall nation thinks.
[/tt] --trackhub

It's simply the way shopping mall nation thinks indeed.

Chipcom - in case you were looking for more examples of the cultural expectations to which I referred earlier, here ya go.
From the National Bicycle Dealers Association
http://nbda.com/page.cfm?PageID=34

<quote>CYCLING PARTICIPATION

41.4 million Americans age seven and older were estimated to have ridden a bicycle six times or more in 2002, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. This was up slightly from 2001, when 39 million rode a bicycle. The peak participation year was 1992, with 54.6 million participants. Cycling is the seventh most popular recreational activity in the U.S., behind exercise walking, swimming, camping, fishing, exercising with equipment and bowling.

Bicycles and related products appeal primarily to a recreation market in the United States. Recent figures cited in an industry trade publication show that 94.5% of those who ride bicycles do so for recreation or fitness, 0.3% for racing, and approximately 5.2% for transportation, a growing market that is important for the industry because it establishes cycling as a legitimate part of the nation’s transportation mix. Bicycles are clearly much more than toys, and their combination of utility and recreation use continues to justify support for cycling-friendly roads, trails and related facilities. Cycling facilities construction is at an all-time high. This continues to be an important factor in the industry’s growth, as bicycles continue to provide Americans with a clean and healthy transportation alternative. Bicycle use continues to be a potential solution for improving peoples' health, as well as contributing to more livable communities.</quote>

If you think the ravings of a bunch of blowhards indicates cultural expectations, I bet the KKK and other fringe groups would love to meet you!
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Old 08-04-06, 10:58 AM   #24
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Chip, this is the way Michigan law reads, too.

Ken
Another reason to hate that state up north for us Buckeye fans.
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Old 08-04-06, 11:27 AM   #25
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Chip, this is the way Michigan law reads, too.

Ken
Actually, in Michigan local communities have the option of requiring cyclists to ride on a side path. Under Ohio's new law, this option no longer exists, IIRC.
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