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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Cycling in the margins - food for thought

    What is a road margin?

    Every road (edit: I'm referring here only to paved roads built to accomodate any vehicle that is not "oversized" - vehicles up to 8.5' wide, but which are typically around 6' wide) has space towards the outside edge that is generally unused by through motor traffic (edit: comprised of typical width vehicles) - let's call this space the road margin (for lack of a better term).

    The width of a margin varies widely from road to road. On some roads space that is generally unused can be several feet wide; on roads with narrow outside lanes, the margin can be measured in inches. I can't imagine a road with a margin of zero width - that would mean that cars are regularly driven rubbing up against the curb or driven with the tires at the edge of the pavement and unpaved shoulder.

    Edit:
    Some very narrow roads without center dividing stripes are so narrow that cars traveling in opposite directions cannot both be fully on the road when they pass each other. However, such roads are typically lightly travelled, and, so, most of the time there is no oncoming traffic and the space normally used by through traffic is "centerish". The unused space to the right of vehicles driving in this "centerish" position is what I refer to as the "margin" on these types of very narrow roads.

    In practice, the margin of a given road can be identified by certain distinctive physical characteristics, even when no traffic is present. The characteristics identifying the road margin include:
    • Stripe. A shoulder stripe, standard bike lane stripe, parking lane stripe, or "fog line" demarcates the outside edge of the outside vehicular travel lane, thus effectively defining the margin (space generally unused by through motor traffic) to be the space to the right of that.
    • Debris. The space on the road that sees frequent vehicular usage is being constantly blown clean by the movement of the vehicles. Thus, the debris is being constantly swept into the road margins, and the margins can often be identified by the presence of dust, dirt, sand, glass, staples, nails, rocks, rubble, etc., on the pavement.
    • Moisture. After a rain, the part of the road used by vehicular traffic is often blown dry faster by traffic than the unused spaces, leaving the margins relatively wet for a longer period than the space used by motor traffic.
    • Right of right tire track. On many roads the discolored and/or worn left and right tire tracks of where vehicles are normally driven can be seen on the roadway. The margin is the space to the right of the discolored/worn right tire track.
    • Rumble stripes. On some roads rumble strips are used to warn motorists who may be inadvertently drifting out of their lane. These strips effectively designate where the lane ends and the margin begins.
    General road margin usage.
    While road margins are generally not used by normal through motor traffic, by definition, rarely is it completely unused space. Depending on the circumstances, how the road margin is used varies widely. Margin usage can include:
    1. Emergency parking.
    2. Regular parking.
    3. Space for evading collisions.
    4. Space for "drifting" while driver is attending to a distraction.
    5. In preparation to park or turn right.
    6. Turning traffic.
    7. Crossing traffic.
    8. Slow moving vehicles, including bicycles, to allow faster traffic to pass.
    9. Pedestrians and joggers, same direction and opposite direction.
    Food for thought
    1. Under what circumstances do you ride in the margins? Why?
    2. Under what circumstances do you avoid riding in the margins? Why?
    3. Is your choice to use or avoid riding in the margin affected by whether the margin is demarcated by a stripe? If so, does it matter whether the stripe is a shoulder stripe or a bike lane stripe?
    4. Is cyclist conspicuity affected depending on whether the cyclist is riding in the margin or not? Why or why not?
    5. Do you think margin usage and avoidance while cycling is associated with crash likelihood? If so, how?
    6. Do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?
    7. When riding in the margin, do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when that margin space is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    8. When riding in the margin, are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when the margin is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    9. Are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?

    EDIT: It has been alleged that creating this OP/thread without divulging my own bias is somehow deceitful. See #50 and #54. I don't understand the relevance of my bias here, or why someone would think that this type of thread is an example of me pushing my ideas in a deceitful way. However, for what it's worth, I have no issue with divulging my personal views for the umpteenth time. Most people, including most cyclists, seem to believe that cyclists should ride in the margins most of the time, for various reasons. I believe that it is better to avoid the margins whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so, with the notable exception of when doing so would impede others, and there is no good reason to avoid riding in the margin. Again, I'm not sure what difference that makes, and I think and hope it would not affect how anyone responds to these questions, but there it is.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-01-07 at 11:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    1. Under what circumstances do you ride in the margins? Why?
    2. Under what circumstances do you avoid riding in the margins? Why?
    3. bunch of other stuff clipped to save space
    I ride in the bike lane or margin areas most of the time. On single lane roads, there's no reason for me to hold up a long line of traffic when I can give them ample room to pass by using the bike lane or keeping to the edge of the lane.

    I avoid riding in the BL or margin when it's full of blow-downs, traction sand, piled up snow, etc. because I'm more likely to cause an accident by hitting a manky patch of road and falling. I also move out of the BL/margins at intersections so I don't get hooked.

    I clipped the rest of the questions. I've been riding for a couple decades, I've logged tens of thousands of miles in that time, and I've been involved in 5 accidents with cars. Not a one of them had anything to do with a bike lane, road margin, or relative lane positioning for definitive conspicuity.
    I had someone intentionally run me off the road while his passenger swung a baseball bat at me.
    I had someone cut me off after passing me (and honking at me), and I went over their hood.
    I've twice been hooked by someone making a right on red while I had a green left turn arrow.
    I've been hit by a right-on-red turner who swung into the middle of the left turn lane I was stopped in, waiting for the green arrow.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    let's call this space the road margin (for lack of a better term).
    I've never heard "margin." I'd call that space the shoulder, or paved shoulder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I can't imagine a road with a margin of zero width - that would mean that cars are regularly driven rubbing up against the curb or driven with the tires at the edge of the pavement and unpaved shoulder.
    I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Lanes have enough width for a car to travel comfortably. In the middle lane of a three-lane road, cars aren't "rubbing up against" the dashed lines on either side.

    Do you have any sources for your definitions, or are they something you came up with? They're not consistent. The white stripe is generally a foot or two to the right of the right side of the right tire track. And do you have any evidence that it's officially used as drifting room for distracted drivers? I can't imagine that being true.

    I'm not going to answer your questions because they are false dilemmas driven by an agenda, as neutral as you try to phrase them. Casual observations by experienced individuals, such as members of this forum, are biased. Personal experience is biased. What's the point of this thread again?

    I ride where I feel it is safe. Usually this is in the shoulder, or bike lane, or the right side of the road. When it's not, I safely move into the right tire track. At intersections, I generally move to the middle or left of the right lane. So far I have had zero problems.

  4. #4
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I can't imagine a road with a margin of zero width - that would mean that cars are regularly driven rubbing up against the curb or driven with the tires at the edge of the pavement and unpaved shoulder.
    These roads exist. Especially way out in the country. I grew up driving on roads that were not big enough for two cars to pass going opposite directions. One would have to pull off onto the grass or what-have-you and wait for the other car to go by.
    Of course, out in the country people are friendly and this happens without a second thought.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    These roads exist. Especially way out in the country. I grew up driving on roads that were not big enough for two cars to pass going opposite directions. One would have to pull off onto the grass or what-have-you and wait for the other car to go by.
    Of course, out in the country people are friendly and this happens without a second thought.
    You describe yet another usage for margins: on very narrow roads, space to move aside to allow oncoming traffic to pass. But, normally, when oncoming traffic is not present, cars don't use the very edge of the pavement, right? They're closer to the center of the road, yes?

  6. #6
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    1. Under what circumstances do you ride in the margins? Why?
    2. Under what circumstances do you avoid riding in the margins? Why?
    3. Is your choice to use or avoid riding in the margin affected by whether the margin is demarcated by a stripe? If so, does it matter whether the stripe is a shoulder stripe or a bike lane stripe?
    4. Is cyclist conspicuity affected depending on whether the cyclist is riding in the margin or not? Why or why not?
    5. Do you think margin usage and avoidance while cycling is associated with crash likelihood? If so, how?
    6. Do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?
    7. When riding in the margin, do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when that margin space is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    8. When riding in the margin, are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when the margin is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    9. Are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?
    [/COLOR]
    * I ride in the margin, or as I perfer to call it, "the shoulder", whenever one is present and I am capable of riding in it. Why? Because according to Michigan case law, I must.

    * I'll avoid the margins if there is packed snow, too much standing water, too much broken glass, or any other obsticle that might make it unsafe for me to travel on the shoulder. Or when I am preparing to make a left turn. Why? Because, well... the answer is obvious don't you think?

    * I don't necessarily have a choice, I'm just following the law.

    * No. I think that a motorist sees a cyclist in front of them no matter where they are. I know that when I drive I have no problem seeing things on the shoulder. If people didn't see things on the shoulder, then how can one explain all the rubber-necking accidents?

  7. #7
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    You describe yet another usage for margins: on very narrow roads, space to move aside to allow oncoming traffic to pass. But, normally, when oncoming traffic is not present, cars don't use the very edge of the pavement, right? They're closer to the center of the road, yes?
    Huh?
    The roads I was talkoing about are only 5 or 6 feet wide. I'm talking about a car pulling completely off the road and into the grass so that another car can get by. There is no "closer to the center" of the road. If they are off to either side then they are driving with one wheel in the grass.

  8. #8
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool
    I've never heard "margin." I'd call that space the shoulder, or paved shoulder.
    I'm referring to the unused outside edge space of all roads, including roads without shoulders (e.g., urban/suburban roads with curbs).

    Also, if that space is demarcated as a "bike lane", many people would object it referring to it as the "shoulder".

    So shoulder won't work as the term to use to refer to the concept I'm trying to convey.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-28-07 at 04:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    * I ride in the margin, or as I perfer to call it, "the shoulder", whenever one is present and I am capable of riding in it. Why? Because according to Michigan case law, I must.
    Not sure what you mean by "Michigan case law" but here is the applicable law for cyclists in Michigan (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(h22...mcl-257-660a):

    257.660a Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding close to right-hand curb or edge of roadway; exceptions.
    Sec. 660a.

    A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows:

    (a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

    (b) When preparing to turn left.

    (c) When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles, including, but not limited to, surface hazards, an uneven roadway surface, drain openings, debris, parked or moving vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles, or if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.

    (d) When operating a bicycle in a lane in which the traffic is turning right but the individual intends to go straight through the intersection.

    (e) When operating a bicycle upon a 1-way highway or street that has 2 or more marked traffic lanes, in which case the individual may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

    Notice the use of the word "roadway" and not "highway" in the law. Roadway is defined as:

    “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. In the event a highway includes 2 or more separate roadways, the term “roadway”, as used herein, shall refer to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively.

    Shoulder is defined as:

    “Shoulder” means that portion of the highway contiguous to the roadway generally extending the contour of the roadway, not designed for vehicular travel but maintained for the temporary accommodation of disabled or stopped vehicles otherwise permitted on the roadway.

    My conclusion is that as a cyclist, you have no responsibility to ride in a shoulder simply because it exists. Michigan has a very vague law about impeding the normal flow of traffic which is about the only place their vehicle code possibly states that you would need to move into the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass if you were impeding the flow. If there are two lanes in your direction, you are not impeding the flow of traffic.

    Do you have a link to a Michigan case where a cyclist was found guilty of not using the shoulder?

  10. #10
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I can't imagine a road with a margin of zero width - that would mean that cars are regularly driven rubbing up against the curb or driven with the tires at the edge of the pavement and unpaved shoulder.
    I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Lanes have enough width for a car to travel comfortably. In the middle lane of a three-lane road, cars aren't "rubbing up against" the dashed lines on either side.
    I'm not sure what you don't understand. I agree that "Lanes have enough width for a car to travel comfortably." I also agree that "In the middle lane of a three-lane road, cars aren't "rubbing up against" the dashed lines on either side." I don't understand why that makes my statement hard to understand.

    Do you have any sources for your definitions, or are they something you came up with?
    The first line of the OP defines what I mean by "margin", and even states for lack of a better term. The rest of the first section clarifies what I mean by the term. That's the source. If you don't like it, substitute "blippity blop". I don't care what you call it. Do you understand the concept?

    They're not consistent.
    What is not consistent? With what?

    The white stripe is generally a foot or two to the right of the right side of the right tire track.
    Yes, I agree that the stripe demarcating the right side of the outside lane, if there is one is generally a foot or two to the right of the right side of the right tire track. But it can be only a few inches, and can be several more feet than 2. And to the right of that stripe is the generally unused space I'm calling the "margin". In any case, that's what I was talking about when I wrote in the OP:

    "On many roads the discolored and/or worn left and right tire tracks of where vehicles are normally driven can be seen on the roadway. The margin is the space to the right of the discolored/worn right tire track."


    And do you have any evidence that it's officially used as drifting room for distracted drivers? I can't imagine that being true.
    Offically? No. It's generally illegal (if the margin is demarcated by a stripe). But, practically speaking, it happens quite often. I see it done quite often. Similar treatment is intentionally driving in the margin on right hand curves. This is why the white stripe is often more worn on right curves than on straights and left curves.

    I'm not going to answer your questions because they are false dilemmas driven by an agenda, as neutral as you try to phrase them.
    You just joined this month. What do you think is my agenda?

    Casual observations by experienced individuals, such as members of this forum, are biased. Personal experience is biased. What's the point of this thread again?
    The purpose of this thread is stated in the title: food for thought.

    I ride where I feel it is safe. Usually this is in the shoulder, or bike lane, or the right side of the road. When it's not, I safely move into the right tire track. At intersections, I generally move to the middle or left of the right lane. So far I have had zero problems.
    Have you ever had a close call?
    Have you ever been overlooked?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Offically? No. It's generally illegal (if the margin is demarcated by a stripe). But, practically speaking, it happens quite often. I see it done quite often. Similar treatment is intentionally driving in the margin on right hand curves. This is why the white stripe is often more worn on right curves than on straights and left curves.
    Drifting into the right hand margin is so common that highway designers often add rumble strips (as HH pointed out in his OP) to specifically prevent drifting drivers from going any further out of their lane. The fact that it's so often designed for, especially on roadways with long stretches between intersections) should prove that it's officially acknowledged that drivers drift into the right hand margin of the roadway. (note: I'm using the word margin as defined by HH in this thread)

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    Drifting into the right hand margin is so common that highway designers often add rumble strips (as HH pointed out in his OP) to specifically prevent drifting drivers from going any further out of their lane. The fact that it's so often designed for, especially on roadways with long stretches between intersections) should prove that it's officially acknowledged that drivers drift into the right hand margin of the roadway. (note: I'm using the word margin as defined by HH in this thread)
    Quite often around here I think I must be doing something wrong because nobody can seem to understand what I'm saying, but lucky for my sanity Joejack comes up with these nuggets that shows not only does he understand what I mean, but probably understands it better than I do. He can often explain it more succinctly anyway.


  13. #13
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    On my way to meet up with the club Saturday ride and on the way out of town once hooked up with the ride, Md Rte 25 (Falls Road) is utilized. Falls Road was recently repaved and painted. The lanes are close to 12' and there is a shoulder right of the fog line that is about 3' wide for the most part but varies between 1' and 8' here and there. When riding this road I stay in the right tire track until cars approach me from the rear. If I have a good sight-line down a straight away and the 'margin' is free of debris I will then move right and let the cars pass before resuming my previous lane position.

    Had the state had the forethought to mark the fog line 2-3' further away from the yellow centerline, thus making a wider lane, I could ride just about where the fog line is now and cars could pass more easily and they would keep the margin cleaner.

  14. #14
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Other drifting evidence includes the sweeping of the first 6-12" of margin beyond a fog line or other road edge stripe.

    Other drifting evidence is frequent mark scuffing of the curb adjacent to narrow outside lanes with no on street parking. (i.e. the scuffing is not from parking)

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    What is a road margin?
    1. Under what circumstances do you ride in the margins? Why?
    2. Under what circumstances do you avoid riding in the margins? Why?
    3. Is your choice to use or avoid riding in the margin affected by whether the margin is demarcated by a stripe? If so, does it matter whether the stripe is a shoulder stripe or a bike lane stripe?
    4. Is cyclist conspicuity affected depending on whether the cyclist is riding in the margin or not? Why or why not?
    5. Do you think margin usage and avoidance while cycling is associated with crash likelihood? If so, how?
    6. Do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?
    7. When riding in the margin, do you feel safer or more vulnerable, or about the same, when that margin space is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    8. When riding in the margin, are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when the margin is demarcated by a stripe versus when it is not?
    9. Are you any more or less susceptible to mindlessness and/or inattention when you're riding in the margin versus riding in the normal travel space (between the left and right tire marks) of the adjacent vehicular travel lane?
    [/COLOR]
    I ride in the margins as much as possible (in DC, it's primarily a parking area, but if there aren't cars parked there, I'll ride there). I don't hold up traffic, and the conditions there aren't usually any different than in the road. I avoid riding there when cars are parked there (obviously), when it snows and the margins aren't plowed, or if there is other crap there that makes riding difficult.

    Stripes don't really matter to me, I ride pretty much as far right as I can, within reason and safely.

    If you were weaving in and out of parked cars, a cyclist would be less visible, but that's just not smart (I'll move over if there's a long stretch, so that cars can more easily pass, but if there's only a bit, I'll stay where I am in the lane).

    I don't think it makes much difference on crashes, at least here, although riding in the margin probably results in less driver antagonism.

    I feel the danger is about the same, but it's a different set of stuff to look out for. More looking out for parked cars, potholes and such, and turning cars, while in the lane is more traffic.

    Stripes don't have much effect, there are plenty of obstacles in either way, so you can't not pay attention. Margin in general doesn't have much effect on my attention.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    One unlisted benefit for a "margin" to the right of the fog line is to keep the road edge intact under heavy traffic use. Rural roads around here typically have no shoulder, as they were built to handle lighter, rural traffic, and the edges of the road tend to suffer because of it now that there is more commuter and industrial traffic. As these roads are repaved, the roads gain shoulders.

    To respond to galen's post; you say that the shoulder varies from 1' to 8' in places. Good engineering suggests that lanes don't change width except at intersections, so that is one reason why the engineers cannot simply move the fog line over 3'. Another reason is that a shoulder reinforces the road edge under heavy load. If the minimum shoulder width is 1' with a 12' lane, then the engineer is constrained to 12' lanes the entire length of the road if he or she wants to both keep the lane width consistent and keep a shoulder for edge reinforcement.

    An engineer would favor 12' lanes + shoulder on curbless highways. WOLs only work well when there is a curb to reinforce the road edge. Cyclist accomodation is very low on their list; it is only coincidence that extra road space and good roadway design happen to coincide with cyclist's interests.
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  17. #17
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    My conclusion is that as a cyclist, you have no responsibility to ride in a shoulder simply because it exists. Michigan has a very vague law about impeding the normal flow of traffic which is about the only place their vehicle code possibly states that you would need to move into the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass if you were impeding the flow. If there are two lanes in your direction, you are not impeding the flow of traffic.

    Do you have a link to a Michigan case where a cyclist was found guilty of not using the shoulder?
    Winter v Perz, 335 Mich. 575 (1953)

    While the motor vehicle code does not specifically state that a cyclist should travel on a suitable shoulder, the Michigan Supreme Court, in interpreting the code as it applies to cyclists, has stated that a cyclist that fails to ride on a suitable shoulder may be found partially at fault (or contributorily negligent) if injured in a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, in Winter v Perz, 335 Mich. 575 (1953), the Michigan Supreme Court examined MCL 257.660 which states, in part, that a person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. In that case, a young cyclist was struck while riding along the right-hand portion of a road rather than the shoulder. The court ruled that whether or not there was a suitable shoulder was a relevant factual issue and allowed the following jury instruction:

    If you find from the evidence that the condition of the shoulder of the road at the time of the accident was such as to afford a suitable path for his bicycle, then it was the duty of the boy to use it and not the roadway and his failure so to do would amount to contributory negligence which would bar plaintiff’s recovery. (emphasis added)

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Thanks pj7. That is why I am strongly opposed to "keep to the right" laws. It puts the legal onus on the cyclist to prove that he had good reason to not be "as far right as practicable".

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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    Winter v Perz, 335 Mich. 575 (1953)

    While the motor vehicle code does not specifically state that a cyclist should travel on a suitable shoulder, the Michigan Supreme Court, in interpreting the code as it applies to cyclists, has stated that a cyclist that fails to ride on a suitable shoulder may be found partially at fault (or contributorily negligent) if injured in a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, in Winter v Perz, 335 Mich. 575 (1953), the Michigan Supreme Court examined MCL 257.660 which states, in part, that a person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. In that case, a young cyclist was struck while riding along the right-hand portion of a road rather than the shoulder. The court ruled that whether or not there was a suitable shoulder was a relevant factual issue and allowed the following jury instruction:
    I found the site where you got that quote from (http://www.lmb.org/pages/Resources/L...heShoulder.htm) and frankly, the court's decision is BS (in my opinion of course). The contributory negligence part could be applied to simply riding a bike at all; if you weren't out there on the road on a bike you wouldn't have been hit. I find it hard to believe that a court actually ruled in such a way, unless there are details about the case that are not being revealed. A detail that comes to mind is the possibility that the cyclist was riding at night without lights (very possible in the case of a young boy). Any chance you have a link to the full court case? I can't find anything but the site posted above.

    Sorry for straying so off topic here but this subject is something that often comes up in this forum and I just can't help but get involved in a discussion about it. I can start a new thread if anyone is offended about my slight tangent.

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    You just joined this month. What do you think is my agenda?
    If you notice, HH, there are usually roughly 50-75 people or so looking into this sub-forum, while only about a dozen members contribute. When a lurker (in the descriptive sense of the term, not the diminuitive) has reason to comment in the thread, usually the first step is to join the forums officially, so said comment can be written. Stop trying to strong arm people around these forums.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    [
    Every road has space towards the outside edge that is generally unused by through motor traffic - let's call this space the road margin (for lack of a better term).

    The width of a margin varies widely from road to road. On some roads space that is generally unused can be several feet wide; on roads with narrow outside lanes, the margin can be measured in inches. I can't imagine a road with a margin of zero width - that would mean that cars are regularly driven rubbing up against the curb or driven with the tires at the edge of the pavement and unpaved shoulder.
    You need to do a bit more travelling HH. I've been on roads where there isn't really room for bi-directional traffic without one vehicle pulling off or they just barely fit. Indeed, there are many unpaved roads that don't fit your criteria, so perhaps you might modify your definition to cover 'most paved roads', for accuracy sake.

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    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    I found the site where you got that quote from (http://www.lmb.org/pages/Resources/L...heShoulder.htm) and frankly, the court's decision is BS (in my opinion of course). The contributory negligence part could be applied to simply riding a bike at all; if you weren't out there on the road on a bike you wouldn't have been hit. I find it hard to believe that a court actually ruled in such a way, unless there are details about the case that are not being revealed. A detail that comes to mind is the possibility that the cyclist was riding at night without lights (very possible in the case of a young boy). Any chance you have a link to the full court case? I can't find anything but the site posted above.

    Sorry for straying so off topic here but this subject is something that often comes up in this forum and I just can't help but get involved in a discussion about it. I can start a new thread if anyone is offended about my slight tangent.
    Wether the decision is BS or not, there is case law out there that is against me, and I'm not about to fight the law on that one. Especially considering I have a family that depends on me to bring home some sort of income, and I'm not going to give some lawyer an easy way out on that one. Actually, I'd rather ride on the shoulder if at all possible, who in their right mind wouldn't, unless they were trying to make some sort of political statement... a statement that quite possible, no one understands anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Quite often around here I think I must be doing something wrong because nobody can seem to understand what I'm saying...
    With your made up definitions and pages upon pages of seemingly unnecessary verbosity I seldom have any idea what you are talking about. I am not trying to be rude or mean, but simply agreeing with your statement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    If you notice, HH, there are usually roughly 50-75 people or so looking into this sub-forum, while only about a dozen members contribute. When a lurker (in the descriptive sense of the term, not the diminuitive) has reason to comment in the thread, usually the first step is to join the forums officially, so said comment can be written. Stop trying to strong arm people around these forums.
    The person says I have an agenda. So I ask him what he thinks the agenda is. How is that (or anything else I did) "strong arming"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    Wether the decision is BS or not, there is case law out there that is against me, and I'm not about to fight the law on that one. Especially considering I have a family that depends on me to bring home some sort of income, and I'm not going to give some lawyer an easy way out on that one. Actually, I'd rather ride on the shoulder if at all possible, who in their right mind wouldn't, unless they were trying to make some sort of political statement... a statement that quite possible, no one understands anyhow.
    First, simply not riding in the margins of the road does not automatically mean you will be hit by a negligent motorist (I assume this is why you bring up the point about bringing home income for your family). Second, if you read about the majority of cyclists' collisions with motorists, you'll find that they occur with the cyclist riding in the margins of the road. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that. Third, I have a huge list of reasons for why I will avoid riding in the shoulder even if it means that I end up using the same lanes as 60mph traffic and none of them have anything to do with making a poltical statement (side note: why is it that so many cyclists who prefer shoulders/bike lanes like to defend their position by claiming that those who use the traffic lanes are only doing so to make a "political statement?").

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