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  1. #1
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    Was I right or wrong?

    I had to make left turn on a pretty busy highway so I could stay on the right hand bike lane area or else I could not make the left turn. So I had to get over to the far left hand lane. I didn't go right over in front of cars but still stayed in the right hand bike lane until I was able to get over. Where I was at if I went any further on the right hand bike lane I would of been going toward the interstate and thats illegal in most states and I wouldn't even want to try it if it was legal.

    So I had to basically slow down a lot and just about stop or else I would be going on the interstate because there was still about 5 cars coming really fast on left hand side of me so I couldn't change lanes quite yet or else I would risk going in front of them.

    After that I was able to get over fine. I didn't go all the way over yet because I wanted to stay in the right hand bike lane as much as possible. As I came up to my left hand turn, that I had to make I tried to get over but couldn't. I did extend my hand out a little, not enough to have it get chopped off by a car passing by on my left really quickly. So I kept on going until I was able to get over. The light to go straight instead on left, was still red and was just about to turn green. I didn't want to go straight though. Of course as I was going somewhat slower and now taking up the whole lane because I had to get over to the left land to make my left turn I had one car beeping the horn at me.

    When I got over a few second later like 3 to 7 seconds the light just turned green and traffic just started moving. So its not like I was blocking the car from going straight while the light was green slowing everyone else who was behind that car as well.

    I am now finally in the turning lane and someone rolls down their window and says its illegal to ride your bike in the street. I just say ok because plenty of people like to say this. Though I know not everyone.

    What else am I suppose to do when making a left turn on my bike when their is only a right hand bike lane in every state with some states having a lot smaller right hand bike lanes than others.

    By the way when I was taking the whole street lane the turning light to turn left was red and it had been red sense I got in it. Now when it turned green I couldn't get back over to my right so I could go back in the right hand bike lane because no cars would let me over after I extended my hand right after the light turned green. So I was forced to stay to my left as much as possible. I was trying as best as possible to not block cars by using the whole lane after the light went green.

    If I would of been able to get over I would of gone back to my right hand bike lane. Of course the funny thing is this time a driver on the other side of the highway hand to curse and say get your bike out of the street. I thought it was funny because they wasted their energy to say that when I was not blocking traffic because I was as far left as I could be because after the light went green and I made my left turn safely I moved over as far left as possible so I wasn't taking the whole lane anymore. Its not like I take the whole lane constantly. The only reason I do it on turns is for safety reasons and so cars know what I am doing. If I am on side of a car when making a turn that could be dangerous for both of us.

    To all the cyclist out there sorry for this topic being so long but do you think I was right or wrong with what I did ? Is there any other better way to make a left hand turn ? I am opening to suggestions.

    Also is it really illegal to ride a bike in the street when making turns even if you go right back to your bike lane, to make sure you don't hold up traffic?

    I live in the state of Louisiana because I know the state can make a difference. The person who rolled down their window before said I was suppose to ride on the sidewalk.

    Why do so many people think bikes suppose to ride on the sidewalk when you could easily get hit on the sidewalk as well ? I had it happen a lot more when I rode on the sidewalk because drivers could not see me. I almost got hit once when ridding on the sidewalk.

  2. #2
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    If anyone would like me to make a picture too or instead to explain it any better I don't mind.

  3. #3
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    So long as your local law allows you to do (which I know mine does) then there is nothing you did wrong.
    As far as your last question. Chock it up to stupidity. People have a tendency to forget things that don't directly relate to them, as well as make up their own laws when the *new* laws suit them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
    So long as your local law allows you to do (which I know mine does) then there is nothing you did wrong.
    As far as your last question. Chock it up to stupidity. People have a tendency to forget things that don't directly relate to them, as well as make up their own laws when the *new* laws suit them.
    Thanks. I want to make sure though. I found my state laws but not sure if I am allowed to do this or not. Could you please let me know if it does or not? What should it say ?

    I want to beable to print something out so I can show people who say this or get them a copy. Even give them a phone number of a local government official if I send them a letter about the problem.


    CrosseyedCrickt I forgot to let you know but the guy who rolled down his window and said ridding my bike in the street was illegal had homeland security on the truck so I am guessing he works for the government in that section. He contacted a police officer that told me to ride on the sidewalk. The police officer said it was safer and he doesn't want me to get hit. I just said ok.

    Can you get arrested for ridding like I did in my state, fined, or anything else please?

    This is the link I found but it doesn't go in much detail http://brgov.com/Dept/planning/bike/lalaw.htm

    Would this be the only one or is their more detailed laws out there somewhere? Thanks!

  5. #5
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    It's hard to picture what you are saying, but it sounds like you had to merge across several lanes of fast-moving busy traffic, some of which is actually merging onto the interstate, to get to a left turn lane that also allows for people to go straight when the light doesn't have an arrow? If I'm close, this sounds like a losing situation for a slow-moving bicycle.

    How would a pedestrian handle this? Perhaps at this intersection when traffic is heavy, using the crosswalk might be easier to manage. There's no shame in this. It's better to live to ride another day. Perhaps you can make your left turn elsewhere as well. Either further ahead or earlier. I know that's not always possible, though.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  6. #6
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    Sounds to me like you made a textbook perfect left turn. Don't sweat the pinheads, tell them if they don't like your road position, to call a cop.

    Now after the turn, I would have stayed in the middle of the left lane to preclude passing on my right while I was moving to the right. Yeah, use the entire lane in this situation until you can shift right to where you want to be. If they have to slow down, then they have to slow. Nothing says they get to drive as fast as they want without having to slow for other traffic.

    Another way to make a left turn is to make a two-step left. Yet another way if street you're on has very heavy traffic and the cross street has light traffic, is to hang a right, then do a U-turn.

    But like I said earlier, the way you did it sounds textbook. Good job, that's probably just the way I would have handled it. Just ignore the cagers. Usually when they yell the translation is, "I have a bad case of rectal/cranial inversion."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery
    Thanks. I want to make sure though. I found my state laws but not sure if I am allowed to do this or not. Could you please let me know if it does or not? What should it say ?

    I want to beable to print something out so I can show people who say this or get them a copy. Even give them a phone number of a local government official if I send them a letter about the problem.


    CrosseyedCrickt I forgot to let you know but the guy who rolled down his window and said ridding my bike in the street was illegal had homeland security on the truck so I am guessing he works for the government in that section. He contacted a police officer that told me to ride on the sidewalk. The police officer said it was safer and he doesn't want me to get hit. I just said ok.

    Can you get arrested for ridding like I did in my state, fined, or anything else please?

    This is the link I found but it doesn't go in much detail http://brgov.com/Dept/planning/bike/lalaw.htm

    Would this be the only one or is their more detailed laws out there somewhere? Thanks!
    Look in the traffic code. Usually bicycle law is jumbled in with the motorcycle stuff.
    As far as the homeland security thing, dismiss that! Just because he has a "sticker" on his truck means nothing. I used to have a NASCAR sticker on my truck, but I didn't work for them. I personally doubt he even knows what he is talking about.
    The officer told you riding on the sidewalk was safer, but not mandatory! If a police officer contacted me I would have asked him to clarify, but that is me, but still, when a street cop tells/asks/suggests that you do something it is a good idea to do it at that moment then find out later if he was in the right or wrong.
    Even the police are not 100% aware of the laws they get paid to enforce.

  8. #8
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    Does this picture help any?


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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    Sounds to me like you made a textbook perfect left turn. Don't sweat the pinheads, tell them if they don't like your road position, to call a cop.

    Now after the turn, I would have stayed in the middle of the left lane to preclude passing on my right while I was moving to the right. Yeah, use the entire lane in this situation until you can shift right to where you want to be. If they have to slow down, then they have to slow. Nothing says they get to drive as fast as they want without having to slow for other traffic.

    Another way to make a left turn is to make a two-step left. Yet another way if street you're on has very heavy traffic and the cross street has light traffic, is to hang a right, then do a U-turn.

    But like I said earlier, the way you did it sounds textbook. Good job, that's probably just the way I would have handled it. Just ignore the cagers. Usually when they yell the translation is, "I have a bad case of rectal/cranial inversion."

    Thats what they did. I updated one of my posts with this:

    CrosseyedCrickt I forgot to let you know but the guy who rolled down his window and said ridding my bike in the street was illegal had homeland security on the truck so I am guessing he works for the government in that section. He contacted a police officer that told me to ride on the sidewalk. The police officer said it was safer and he doesn't want me to get hit. I just said ok.

    Can you get arrested for ridding like I did in my state, fined, or anything else please?

    This is the link I found but it doesn't go in much detail http://brgov.com/Dept/planning/bike/lalaw.htm

    Would this be the only one or is their more detailed laws out there somewhere? Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
    Look in the traffic code. Usually bicycle law is jumbled in with the motorcycle stuff.
    As far as the homeland security thing, dismiss that! Just because he has a "sticker" on his truck means nothing. I used to have a NASCAR sticker on my truck, but I didn't work for them. I personally doubt he even knows what he is talking about.
    The officer told you riding on the sidewalk was safer, but not mandatory! If a police officer contacted me I would have asked him to clarify, but that is me, but still, when a street cop tells/asks/suggests that you do something it is a good idea to do it at that moment then find out later if he was in the right or wrong.
    Even the police are not 100% aware of the laws they get paid to enforce.

    Thanks who should I write to about this problem please? Any certain government or anything? I want to get something done about it because so far this is the 2nd time as police officer told me its safer to ride on the sidewalk and that I shouldn't be ridding my bike in the street.

    I want to do something big like put this on the news, make it a big issue for my government by giving it notice with a new law or bill, make a movie about cyclists!

    Is there anything I can carry with me so the next time this happens I can give it to the person complaining or the police officer telling me you should not be ridding in the street? I want evident where anyone can understand the bicycle laws on this piece of paper I give them!

    Should I contact a lawyer so the next time it happens I am ready to take this as high as it needs to go to get something changed?

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    As far as your "arrested" and "fined" comment, yes, it is possible, but not very plausible. If you are drunk and playing chicken with a cop car then yeah, you'll get arrested. If you run a redlight, that is a civil infraction (in many man states) and you can get fined. Though in some places the police overlook little things like running redlight and stop signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
    As far as your "arrested" and "fined" comment, yes, it is possible, but not very plausible. If you are drunk and playing chicken with a cop car then yeah, you'll get arrested. If you run a redlight, that is a civil infraction (in many man states) and you can get fined. Though in some places the police overlook little things like running redlight and stop signs.
    Well that I can see but I am talking about more as in not ridding in the sidewalk because the cop said I should because its safer and because the homeland security guy has to call the cop because after he said it was illegal to ride in the street I just said ok, I am guessing. I had no where else to go. I was in the middle of a lot of cars at a red like taking a full lane yes but only because I was at a red light stop and because I was making a left hand turn. I didn't tell him that because I did not feel like saying much and knew it wouldn't matter what I said without evident of a piece of paper or something like a phone number of a government official saying it is legal!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery
    Thanks who should I write to about this problem please? Any certain government or anything? I want to get something done about it because so far this is the 2nd time as police officer told me its safer to ride on the sidewalk and that I shouldn't be ridding my bike in the street.

    I want to do something big like put this on the news, make it a big issue for my government by giving it notice with a new law or bill, make a movie about cyclists!

    Is there anything I can carry with me so the next time this happens I can give it to the person complaining or the police officer telling me you should not be ridding in the street? I want evident where anyone can understand the bicycle laws on this piece of paper I give them!

    Should I contact a lawyer so the next time it happens I am ready to take this as high as it needs to go to get something changed?
    woah fella, sounds like you are getting off on a tangent here. If you want clarity on the police officers request, just call the department and have a civil discussion with someone there.
    That's odd advice coming from a guy like me, but I don't expect people to be a total ******* like I am.
    Think of how this can backfire on you pal? If you get all ippity uppity when talking to the police, trust me, they will remember it. You'd be amazed at what you can get in trouble for if you are on their ****list.

    Take some time to cool down and relax. Give this osme real thought. Ask yourself if you are just wanting to be vindicated or really wanting to advocate.
    Wit the vengence I can help you, though not advised. With the advocacy, there are other on here who can point you in the right direction.
    Do your homework. you'll be the better man for it.

    wow, did I really just say all of that??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery
    Well that I can see but I am talking about more as in not ridding in the sidewalk because the cop said I should because its safer and because the homeland security guy has to call the cop because after he said it was illegal to ride in the street I just said ok, I am guessing. I had no where else to go. I was in the middle of a lot of cars at a red like taking a full lane yes but only because I was at a red light stop and because I was making a left hand turn. I didn't tell him that because I did not feel like saying much and knew it wouldn't matter what I said without evident of a piece of paper or something like a phone number of a government official saying it is legal!
    I understand where you are coming from, I really do. But I don't know and will not pretend to know your local laws. Hell, I have a hard enough time keeping up with mine. Check my previous post for more info. and if you are wanting a little tip from me:
    Ignore anyone who doesn't have the immediate right to detain/arrest you for what you are doing, they are likely just blowing smoke or stroking their own ignorant ego. When a cop tells you to do something, wether he be right or wrong, DO IT! Ride your bike safely and according to the law and you'll be alright. And cool down before taking any steps after an altercation. You'll thank me for that last bit, trust me.

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    CrosseyedCrickt thanks! You are right but is their anyway I can educate people about how bicycles are allowed to share the road and why cyclists have to switch lanes from the right hand bike lane when turning left and have no other way to do it but a business highway near a interstate? Whats the best way ? Should I put something on my bike ? Have flyers on my bike about bicycle education for motorists ? Laws that cyclists have as well ?

    CrosseyedCrickt when I said all that stuff about a lawyer and writing my government I wasn't trying to get anyone fired or anything. I just want to have as best proof and evident as possible the next time this happen so I have a leg to stand on if they still think I am wrong or don't believe me for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery
    Does this picture help any?

    Did the picture help anyone please or is it not good enough ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery
    CrosseyedCrickt thanks! You are right but is their anyway I can educate people about how bicycles are allowed to share the road and why cyclists have to switch lanes from the right hand bike lane when turning left and have no other way to do it but a business highway near a interstate? Whats the best way ? Should I put something on my bike ? Have flyers on my bike about bicycle education for motorists ? Laws that cyclists have as well ?

    CrosseyedCrickt when I said all that stuff about a lawyer and writing my government I wasn't trying to get anyone fired or anything. I just want to have as best proof and evident as possible the next time this happen so I have a leg to stand on if they still think I am wrong or don't believe me for some reason.
    In my experiences. You can not change someones mind if they are convinced that THEY ARE RIGHT. Plus, trying to educate drivers one by one would take several lifetimes. See if there is any advocacy groups in your area that you can get involved in. One voice is small, but if you remember Monty Python, many can and will be heard (SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM).
    I say to just ignore people. I know it's easier said than done, and I risk being a hypocrite saying it because I am the biggest antagonizer in this state, but it is better to just let them have their say and go on.
    If you are really interested in advocacy though, there are several people on here from your area, and do look for a group to get involved in. I don't like the flyer idea because then you are starting to invade someones personal space, which raises other problems.

    these are just my ideas though and really you can do whatever you want.

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    BTW, I am unable to see the picture posted, I don't use an image enabled browser.
    You seem very eager to get involved and be heard. Hopefully you direct these feeling in the right direction, whatever that may be, and one day you might have your word on TV or in the papers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
    BTW, I am unable to see the picture posted, I don't use an image enabled browser.
    You seem very eager to get involved and be heard. Hopefully you direct these feeling in the right direction, whatever that may be, and one day you might have your word on TV or in the papers.
    Thanks! I can mostly feed off negative energy and turn it in a lot of positive energy! ts the best way to go with everything!

  20. #20
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    How do you do it, CC? How do you use the text-only browser? I fired up Lynx and find this forum to be kind of difficult to follow.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    How do you do it, CC? How do you use the text-only browser? I fired up Lynx and find this forum to be kind of difficult to follow.
    Agreed but did the picture help you sbhikes ? If so what is your opinion please?

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    Jeffery, here are some of the applicable laws for your state (as of 2003):
    http://bike.tulane.edu/Laws_la.pdf

    This section is relevant:
    197. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths

    A. Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway
    as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same
    direction.

    B. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or
    parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

    C. Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall
    use such path and shall not use the roadway. Acts 1962, No. 310, 1.
    From what this says, you have a right to use the road, unless a 'usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway' - in most states a sidewalk would not fit this definition, but I don't know enough about Louisiana or the road you were on to say for sure in your case.

    My best advice, print out the pdf I linked to, visit your local police department, explain your riding situation and ask them (nicely) to explain how they interpret these laws.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    How do you do it, CC? How do you use the text-only browser? I fired up Lynx and find this forum to be kind of difficult to follow.
    I use a program called "elinks". I submitted some code to it years ago for some HTML enhancements and have been using it ever since.
    Lynx was all we had for a while, but "elinks" just plain rocks! Table support, mouse support, color mapping. Try it.

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    From your laws, it looks like you have every right to ride in the road. If you visit the police and confirm this, then I'd find out where the local office of Homeland Security is, and go down there and raise a ruckus. It's hard to "protect" this country when people can't even learn the laws of that country. I'd have been all over the Homeland Security driver.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  25. #25
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Your picture was somewhat helpful. It looks like a difficult place to navigate by bicycle. I can't see how a pedestrian can manage either. Doesn't look like you have much option for alternatives. Not sure what you should do and I don't know the laws in your state very well.

    Here in California you are a legitimate road user so you would do your best to merge over to the left turn lanes. You could command the full lane in order to do this. Then you would make your turn. This doesn't mean it's actually possible for the mere mortals among us. Unless traffic was light, I don't think I would find it possible.

    But your question was "was I right or wrong?" The better question is "who the heck approved this design that doesn't allow for anything other than high-speed motor vehicle traffic to use it?"
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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