Hey Joejack... can you give us a google map location?
It is in the OP.
I dislike roads like these, because they require me to choose between multiple undesirable options: violating the traffic law by traveling straight in right-turn-only lanes, riding the lane line and experiencing potential close passes on both sides due to narrow lane width, or taking the narrow lane where traffic speeds and volumes are high. (I'll omit the option of not cycling.)
This is one of those places where I'm tempted to look for an engineering solution that would provide a better option and less potential social friction. So what would such a solution be? Additional space to the left of the RTOLs in the form of a WOL or striped bike lane? And if the total right of way could not be widened, what then? Eliminate the right turn lanes, or as some people have shown in other threads, create a combined right-turn and bike lane with cyclists staying away from the curb to avoid right hooks?
One good thing about actually cycling on unpleasant roads is that it encourages the government to actually think about how road design affects lawfully operating cyclists, rather than assuming that lawfully operating cyclists will simply go away or ought to act contrary to the law. A traffic ticket like this can be used to compel planners and engineers to do a better job of providing adequate overtaking space on important roads as well as compel bicyclist-friendly members of the city council (I'm sure you can find them) to direct the police department to better educate its officers about cyclists' rights on our roadways.
...or ticketing lawful cyclists.
despite the politicalization of joe's lane choice, perhaps, if the rest of the cycling population that 'regularily' cycles this road in the shoulder/rto lanes are doing so, and likely doing so safely,
what makes joe's lane position 'correct' versus the rest of the bicyclists? a wide, accomodating shoulder can be ridden in in a vehicular manner by vehicular cyclists....
"Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."
location. Being familier with NC (I was 'sposed to move to Asheville), I think
Cary is a little more receptive and open minded to the things you mention and thier
population a little more tolerant of byclists over all. That area mentioned in the OP
as are the surrounding areas in PA, areas that to me, are not freindly or open minded
in that respect. Cycling in the Philly / Wilmington area one encounters a very
aggresive and intolerant mindset. Would I try to convert these people on my
daily commute ? Never, when I commuted in PA I counted my blessings just making
it home in one piece, not being yelled at or suffering the 15 second honk ....
it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. when's your day in court, joe?
"Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."
The only road where I ride on a shoulder like that is a parkway that has a 10 foot shoulder and intersections with a mile or more between them. But if I were to have to dart in and out of traffic in a 45 mph zone? Forget it.
I hope you win, same stupid nonsensical law aplies here in Montreal Canada. I say save your life and rid in the middle of the lane behind a car in plain sight of its rear view mirror. As long as you are following traffic. I say those same people that are behind you and in such a rush are the same people that have no respect for cyclist because they themselves do not cycle. Its clear out here when you know a motorist is also a cyclist when then let you into traffic instead of trying to run you off the road because they feel you are slowing their life down. Man, people should enjoy life more. I really hope you win. Good luck and sggoodri gave a lot of useful info to help!!!
I say better to stay alive and get a ticket you can fight then be dead on the right side of the road because of a motorist made law that does not keep a cyclist in mind.
Also... What's the point of honking at a cyclist? You are more bound to cause an accident by frightening them then having them move over. If you are the person honking at the cyclist, you need to get off the road faster then the cyclist because you are more likely to hurt some one with your road rage.
Be Happy, Live Life, Be Strong ~j.michaud / dzinehaus
Good luck Joe!
Here is a video of me riding by multiple RTOLs. Four in 1/2mi. Traffic here is generally moderate though (practically none in this video)
I provide this to perhaps provide a rider perspective visual of what multiple RTOLs look like.
I stay in the thru lane as otherwise would be illegal. Not only that, but in the morning when I ride this stretch I find about a 50/50 split between drivers making a RT vs going straight, so either position would 'delay' a motorist.
Classic. Great stuff from Stephen. Be sure and have it all with you, including the photos that others have recommended, ideally with a measuring tape showing the actual width of the lane (measured from center-of-stripe to center-of-stripe). That, coupled with the Goodridge diagrams should do it.
Having said that, when traffic volumes and speed differentials are high enough, and the right turn lane is relatively unoccupied, I do use it for through travel, and would if I were driving a relatively slow motor vehicle (like a tractor) too. But, the law does not compel you to do that, and arguably technically forbids you. Speaking of that, you should be ready with copies of the DE laws that prohibit through travel in turn lanes and the one that says all laws apply to cyclists too. In other words, you have to show that riding anywhere else was either not a legal or safe option, and where you were riding was the only legal AND safe option.
Finally, I'm so glad this happened! Frankly, I keep hoping some cop stops me for doing something like this, but they never do. I guess the police around here understand cyclist rights better than over there. Some months ago I conveyed the story of the cop who pulled over a motorist who honked at me, and lectured him about cyclists having the same rights as motorists. The cop that pulled you over would never have those words flow out of his mouth, but maybe he will after this experience. I hope he shows up for your appearance! Good luck!
First off, thanks to all of those who have wished me good luck in fighting this. Some great suggestions have been made as to what information will be helpful to have with me in court and I REALLY appreciate the effort in support of me.
Before I take on the task of responding to all of these posts (I've been away from a computer all day), I'll do what any proper cyclist would do after receiving a BS violation such as this and post the scanned ticket (personal information editted out):
Was the officer saying you should go straight ahead from a right turn only lane? Isn't that advocating you to violate the vehicle code? He'd then be telling you to violate the same vehicle code that he used to write you a ticket.
Silver Eagle Pilot
A couple wonderings...
I wonder if you had been riding in the right tire track (i.e. a few feet from lane line edge) but still in a 11' lane (which would have caused same passing delay as if you were centered) if the officer would have still pulled you over. After all you would have caused the officer delay, yet you would have been then as close as practable to the right edge of thru lane.
I wonder what other 'delayed' motorists thought when you were pulled over? Probably wrongly re-enforced to them that cyclists should not be on the road and the 'law was on their side.'
In terms of smooth traffic flow, again riding in the lane is second only to riding in the shoulder/right turn lane ASSUMING no one is turning right. Throw in a few right turners (at a good number of the intersections, you can count on at least 1 in 5 vehicles in the right hand lane turning) and all hell breaks loose as people try to speed up in the right lane to get around you and other assorted acts of ignorance (I've found starting an actual right turn from the right hand lane greatly reduces the chances of this happening). When riding centered in the lane I am often (once or twice daily) passed on the right by impatient motorists but the majority change lanes and pass me like any other slow moving vehicle (which, if you count large trucks pulling away from red lights, there are many that use this road). In any other lane position, I would often find myself causing either the same delay as I would when riding centered or delaying both the right lane and the turn lane as motorists were unsure whether to pass, change lanes, or wait behind me. This confusion makes me feel much less comfortable than the much more predictable behavior exhibited when I ride centered.
The road is generally busy as LEM has pointed out, but not nearly as bad as route 202 and route 1 in PA that I use to complete my commute. I have encountered PA state cops on those roads doing the same thing I'm doing on Naamans Road and none of them have even flinched. I'd say the longest it has ever taken someone to get around me (who hasn't sat there intentionally) has been about a minute. That only happens between 5-6pm when the road is the busiest it will be all day.
I've been using this road a lot more recently because of construction on my normal commute route. My other options to avoid this road both include 40-45mph 2 lane roads without shoulders that see a lot of traffic that's avoiding the traffic on the route I take. The route I take has a passing lane and a few sections of useable shoulder though which make it much more convenients for me and everyone else in my experience.
Throw a few printouts of post #46 into the folder you take to court, Joe.... It might be useful in case you get nervous and forget some of that. Maybe the judge will allow and friend can video tape the proceeding? What an awesome youtube post that would make. Or at least maybe you can leave a request with the court steno to mail you a copy of the transcript?
Whose words are those? Those of the officer? Or official "citation" words?DE 21 $ 4196 000A M - PERSON OPERATING BICYCLE IS TO RIDE TO RIGHT OF ROADWAY
I mean, "is to ride to right of roadway" implies not on roadway, doesn't it? I mean, what if it is said, "ride to right of tree". Anyway, that' seems to be a blatant misinterpretation of 4196.