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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Do you agree with the definition of VC in the OP?
Yes, I agree with the definition of VC as stated in the OP. 6 50.00%
Yes, I agree with the definition as stated, but would prefer different wording. See post. 3 25.00%
I mostly agree with the definition, with a minor caveat. See post. 0 0%
I largely agree with the definition, with some significant modification. See post. 0 0%
No. My definition of VC is substantially different. See post. 1 8.33%
Other. See post. 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-06, 01:45 PM   #1
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Do you agree with the definition of VC in the OP?

Do you agree with the definition of VC below?

Introduction
There are rules of the road for drivers of vehicles encoded as laws in jurisdictions around the world. While there are some differences from place to place, for the most part they are largely consistent. This is because they are all based on the same underlying principles. To illustrate, the common set of underlying principles is what allows an American to get off a plane in Europe and drive legally without consulting a single law (except maybe verifying whether right on ride is allowed), and vice versa.

Edit: The reference to "some differences from place to place" above is meant to refer to rules about whether to drive on the right or left, or whether you can turn right (left in left-driving countries) on red. And the "largely consistent" remark also reflects that even rules between left-driving and right-driving countries transfer accordingly, because they are mostly mirror images of each other where the driving side is relevant (e.g., direction of traffic circles is counterclockwise in right-driving countries and clockwise in left-driving countries).

Definition
Vehicular cycing is cycling on roads in accordance to the rules of the road for drivers of vehicle based on the common universal underlying principles. For the most part, this means following the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, including laws that apply to drivers of slow moving vehicles, when applicable. Vehicular cycling does not necessarily include riding in accordance to the letter of the law, particulary of laws that limit the rights of cyclists exclusively in contradiction to the rules of the road for drivers of all other vehicles, and rules that treat cyclists differently from drivers of all other types of vehicles.

The reason this poll is not anonymous is so we can match any clarifications provided below with the votes cast.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-21-06 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 09-18-06, 01:51 PM   #2
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I don't know about the Introduction. I'd have to know the vehicle codes for the laws in every country in order to know whether there is a set of underlying principles. It's a nice thought that the underlying principles might exist.

How about "vehicular psyching" as in "You thought I was going to stop at that stop sign . . . PSYCH!" Or "vehicular psyching" could be the ability to read other drivers minds!
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Old 09-18-06, 02:03 PM   #3
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Bill,

Very few drivers know the vehicle code in their own jurisdiction, much less that in others.

Perhaps you've never driven in other countries, but have you driven in other states? Do you research their laws before driving there? Consider that many professionals who travel often find out they are going to a particular state or country, where they will have to drive, with very little advance notice. If you thnk they all stop and study the vehicle code of their destination before they drive there, you can't be serious. If you think their lack of study makes it impossible for them to drive legally there, you're also wrong. So how does it work so well? Because, despite every jurisdiction having their own version of the laws, they're all consistent on the most critical matters. All you have to know are the underlying principles, the right of way rules, etc., which are virtually idential everywhere, and you're good to go. How could that be true unless there was this consistency with regard to underlying principles?
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Old 09-19-06, 07:38 AM   #4
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As a cycling advocate my job is to promote safe and legal operation of a bicycle period. Which is NOT to say I disagree with VC or with your definition of VC but the stress of cycling advocacy should not stress illegal behavior but it can stress changing laws to clarify what is safe for a cyclist.

Here in MD we have mandatory bike lane and shoulder use laws but even with such draconic laws we still feel that if any perceived violation of the letter of law as you put it when following safe cycling practices also has a legal justification (such as riding outside a door zone bike lane.) Granted such justifications may stand a 50:50 chance in a court of law but that does not make them illegal or not following the letter of the law it only implies that the law needs to be clarified.

As an example I’ll use a less controversial mandatory equipment law that stated that bikes must be equipped with a bell or audible device cable of giving warning. Well the human voice is capable of giving an audible warning but the law was not clear in allowing just the voice to be used. When we had this law in effect our safety advice for trail use stated something to the effect of before passing other trail users sound a bell or announce “bike passing” to give warning. Were we encouraging not following the letter of the law by use of just voice only warning or were we simply stating what is practical and safe within the scope of current law (give audible warning?) Even so some cyclists were being ticketed for not having a bell and some of those cases were dismissed. That law simply was not clear so we were able to get it clarified without a whole lot of to do.

Laws by their very nature cannot require you to do something unsafe. I firmly believe that when you see safe cycling within the scope of current law that you can make progress in clarifying or removing laws that muddle safe cycling practices. When you make a case that cyclists must disobey laws you create an adversarial situation that is hard to win.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:32 AM   #5
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I think the general rules of traffic flow work best when mixing car and bike traffic. Traffic flow is smoother and safer the fewer conflicts there are (intersecting paths.) Making a cyclist follow different rules tends to put him/her at odds with the rest of traffic, and the cyclist is more often in harm's way.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:55 AM   #6
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Human Car - The city of Dana Point in California has recently banned cyclists for a particular stretch of highway. See this thread for details:

City of Dana Point bans bicycles on Coast Highway 101

During construction of a sidepath cyclists were directed to a circuitous detour.
Now with the sidepath complete, the council plans to require cyclists to use it (it's only 10 feet wide, and is two ways, riddled with peds, joggers, skaters, etc.), and ban us from the roadway even though the road itself is 4 lanes with nice six foot shoulders. The justification for the ban is the council's belief that it is "unsafe" to cycle on that road.

Anyway, this thread is not about whether cyclists should or should not disobey such a ban. The question is about whether it is "vehicular cycling" to obey or disobey the ban. As I see it, if you ride on any path, regardless of why, while you are on the path you are not vehicular cycling, because you one can only practice vehicular cycling on a roadway governed by the rules of the road for vehicle drivers, which a bike path is not. You can no more practice vehicular cycling on a bike path than you can practice the butterfly swim stroke in a standard bath tub.

A vehicular cyclist is a cyclist who, when riding on roadways, follows the rules of the road for vehicle drivers. If a cyclist is riding on the sidewalk, for example, that does not mean he's not a vehicular cyclist. What determines whether a given a cyclist is a vehicular cyclist is his behavior while on the roadway - whether it is in accordance with the rules of the road for vehicle drivers or not.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:27 PM   #7
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and you can ride vehicular in a bike lane; ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-20-06 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 09-20-06, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The question is about whether it is "vehicular cycling" to obey or disobey the ban.
It sounds to me like Dana Point is an abnormal situation that needs to be fixed. A somewhat similar situation I think happened in Portland where they tried to ban cyclists from a roadway they were already using and they got that decision reversed without civil disobedience.

In life stuff happens and we do our best to fix those things. While civil disobedience is an option, it would not be at the top of my list of things to try first to get things fixed.

VC is about HOW to ride in a safe and effecent manner (on the road,) multi-modal transportation planning is about WHAT routes are provided for each mode (for safe and efficient travel by that mode.) To me Dana Point sounds like a planning foul up and I’m not following how it relates to VC and I am even more puzzled by your insistence that implies that to be VC you must break laws (the ban.)

Quote:
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When you make a case that cyclists must disobey laws you create an adversarial situation that is hard to win.
Proper multi modal transportation planning includes VC principles but VC is not about proper multi modal transportation planning or effective advocacy for good multi modal transportation planning.
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Old 09-20-06, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
and you can ride vehicular in a bike lane; ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling.
Please provide a definition of vc from which it follows that "ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling."
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Old 09-20-06, 02:28 PM   #10
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that definition fits unified roadway striping rules as defined by the MTUCD. ignoring a perfectly safe and usable velotransit lane is a political statement on your part and NOT VC use of that roadway.. sorry.
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Old 09-20-06, 02:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
and you can ride vehicular in a bike lane; ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling.
A bike lane is just a lane in traffic. Period.

It is for the sole use of bikes, but it is just a lane.

In Ontario, they take it one step further and define it as a diamond lane for bikes. This means that rules governing diamond lanes apply. This means you do not have to use it on a bike, but it is for the sole use of bikes.

To use or not use a bike lane has nothing to do with VC here at least since vehicles of all stripes drive like vehicles in their own diamond lanes (like taxis, buses, and high occupancy vehciles).
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Old 09-20-06, 02:36 PM   #12
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I didn't read the entire thread I just hit 2. I would say VC is looking out for your self, and others on the road making your self visible( lights reflective stuff stand out) yielding to other vehicles when they come behind you. When your a VC you need to follow road laws, and use your head . or you can be passive, and ride the sidewalk
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Old 09-20-06, 03:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsmile
...

In Ontario, they take it one step further and define it as a diamond lane for bikes. This means that rules governing diamond lanes apply. This means you do not have to use it on a bike, but it is for the sole use of bikes.

...
Oregon too, or at least the Portland metro area where I live. It is signed as a diamond lane, but we have a funky bike lane law that I'll bet we'll try to get changed soon if the Portland Police don't stop using it as a weapon. Most likely, we will get enforcement clarified to our advantage and shoot our lobbying ammo elsewhere.
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Old 09-20-06, 04:45 PM   #14
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I'll agree with the definition, your introduction, needs work though. Driving laws can be very different in different places. For example in Ontario, Canada if there is no traffic, and it's not signed otherwise, it's legal to turn right on a red light, in Quebec, the next province to the right, it's not legal to turn right on a red light. Simple, yes, but unless you know about these laws, difficult to guess.
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Old 09-20-06, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I'll agree with the definition, your introduction, needs work though. Driving laws can be very different in different places. For example in Ontario, Canada if there is no traffic, and it's not signed otherwise, it's legal to turn right on a red light, in Quebec, the next province to the right, it's not legal to turn right on a red light. Simple, yes, but unless you know about these laws, difficult to guess.
True, but that is one of two jurisdictions in North America with that law (oh, not allowed in Germany either). One of the things that makes it possible for people to survive in other driving environments is the ability to blend in with the pack (the old do what the majority to when in doubt cause it seems to make the most sense idea!)
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Old 09-20-06, 05:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wogsterca
I'll agree with the definition, your introduction, needs work though. Driving laws can be very different in different places. For example in Ontario, Canada if there is no traffic, and it's not signed otherwise, it's legal to turn right on a red light, in Quebec, the next province to the right, it's not legal to turn right on a red light. Simple, yes, but unless you know about these laws, difficult to guess.
This sentence in the introduction was specifically intended to address differences like right on red laws, and whether you drive on the left or right:

"While there are some differences from place to place, for the most part they are largely consistent. "

I disagree that allowing or not allowing right on ride makes driving laws "very different".
I've driven in at least a dozen states and a handful of European countries (France, Germany, Austria, Belgium) and couldn't tell you where right on red is legal and where it is not. It's not that important. Anyway, you can figure it out pretty easily. If you're stopped at a red with your right blinker on, and the guy behind you honks, you can pretty safely assume right on red is legal there.
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Old 09-20-06, 05:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsmile
True, but that is one of two jurisdictions in North America with that law (oh, not allowed in Germany either). One of the things that makes it possible for people to survive in other driving environments is the ability to blend in with the pack (the old do what the majority to when in doubt cause it seems to make the most sense idea!)
And it's probably not allowed a lot of other places as well. Trick is, it's the kind of law where, unless you know about it, you will not realise it, until the local constabulary pulls you over, and gives you a ticket for it
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Old 09-20-06, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Please provide a definition of vc from which it follows that "ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling."
that definition fits unified roadway striping rules as defined by the MTUCD. ignoring a perfectly safe and usable velotransit lane is a political statement on your part and NOT VC use of that roadway.. sorry.
One of us is demonstrating an inability to read. I don't see a definition of VC in your answer, much less a definition of VC from which it follows that "ignoring a safe and acceptable velotransit lane without just cause is NOT vehicular cycling."

Am I missing something?
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Old 09-20-06, 05:43 PM   #19
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You really gotta get off this 'universal rules' kick. Why can't you be happy with the simplicity of 'following the laws and customs of the road based upon your locale'. Or do you insist on riding on the right hand side of the road in Japan, just so YOU can apply some mythical universal rule?
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Old 09-20-06, 07:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Do you agree with the definition of VC below?
common universal underlying principles.
Hon, Go ride your bike.
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Old 09-20-06, 09:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
You really gotta get off this 'universal rules' kick. Why can't you be happy with the simplicity of 'following the laws and customs of the road based upon your locale'. Or do you insist on riding on the right hand side of the road in Japan, just so YOU can apply some mythical universal rule?
Once again, this sentence in the introduction was specifically intended to address differences like right on red laws, and whether you drive on the left or right:

"While there are some differences from place to place, for the most part they are largely consistent. "

In noticed you voted your definition is substantially different. What is your definition of VC?
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Old 09-20-06, 10:30 PM   #22
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You forgot the "Who cares?" choice.
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Old 09-21-06, 01:17 AM   #23
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I know what I feel VC is.

I know what you feel VC is.

They're not compatible. If we want to find out which is "correct" we can put them both in a jar and shake it.

I didn't vote. I was too busy working on my bike (actually, not on my bike but some video footage of fire spinning...bike work just sounded better).
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Old 09-21-06, 01:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
I know what I feel VC is.

I know what you feel VC is.

They're not compatible.
There is no way you could know what I feel about anything, much less VC.
I'm trying to get passed what we feel and on to something concrete and concise specified in words about which we can actually communicate.

Your cooperation would be appreciated.
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Old 09-21-06, 06:14 AM   #25
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powerswerve?
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