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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: Have you ever ridden a bicycle on the [55mph+] interstate/highway?
Yes, and I do so regularly 26 22.22%
Yes, but I do so rarely 47 40.17%
No, I never have 44 37.61%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-24-08, 01:51 PM   #1
uke
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Have you ever ridden a bicycle on the interstate/highway?

A simple poll to gauge the riding habits of A&S regulars.
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Old 08-24-08, 01:52 PM   #2
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Yes
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Old 08-24-08, 02:02 PM   #3
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Yes, but rare.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:11 PM   #4
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As a commuter I have to cross a busy bridge everyday. The so-called "bicycle lane is roughly a 1/3rd the size of the regular highway shoulder. I actually feel safer on the highway. The only thing that annoys me is the massive amount of garbage I have to maneuver around everyday.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:31 PM   #5
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Every day on the 55mph highway that I commute to work on for the last six years. From 1978-1980 everyday on the shoulder of I-80N (now called I-84) near Pendelton OR.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:36 PM   #6
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Yes, but the HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) could go 55MPH!
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Old 08-24-08, 02:55 PM   #7
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Just like a recurring herpes sore,the hot bike is back again.
Dude,you had all summer to come up with a new design and we,re still looking at plastic +duct tape?
The only way to really impress us now it to "take a lane" on the interstate on the HPV.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by spry View Post
Just like a recurring herpes sore,the hot bike is back again.
Dude,you had all summer to come up with a new design and we,re still looking at plastic +duct tape?
The only way to really impress us now it to "take a lane" on the interstate on the HPV.
Only if he takes the passing lane with that hot bike.
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Old 08-24-08, 03:02 PM   #9
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There's a very popular cycling loop here that puts you on the interstate for a few miles... It's just another ride.
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Old 08-24-08, 03:55 PM   #10
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There's a very popular cycling loop here that puts you on the interstate for a few miles... It's just another ride.
Similar experience, no big deal. I rode on I-280 (?) a couple of times somewhere on the East Bay near Oakland many many years ago (so long ago that as you can see, I don't really remember where it was) and it was pretty mundane. The only thing I remember is a really long fast descent and lots of debris in the breakdown lane.
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Old 08-24-08, 03:56 PM   #11
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I've cycled on 55mph rural highways in both PA and NC.
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Old 08-24-08, 04:29 PM   #12
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Interstate 5 is part of my commute.
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Old 08-24-08, 04:44 PM   #13
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80 km/h /50 mph very often in various places. Np
100 km/h 62 , mph yes.

I especially remember one road in n Poland, I think the speed limit was 90 or 100? . Multi-lane road. Very wide and low traffic . Traffic going on the road was easily visible means not coming up on some weird ramp. Very wide shoulder. Excellent for riding. Very pleasant experience. If someone managed to hit me from behind it would be close to murder under those conditions. Unfortunately these exist too... I take this 20x over some smaller roads

What was bad I remember some curvy hilly road which was very narrow and heavy traffic. The map showed it should be a common rural road nothing special. Additionally it had a crash barrier on both sides. Those are the invention of the devil for cyclists. Someone was designing things with holes in them so cyclists can go hiding in there if needed. On a curvy narrow section two huge trucks with trailer came up , one from behind one from the front. I went hiding behind the crash barrier with the bike leaning against the barrier. That was real bad. Avoid like the plague hehe . Many decades old road design which way too much traffic even for cars is bad. Roads of this type aren’t usually the most scary ones usually. I think it has more to do with design than the speed limit. I think the bad stuff is a typical rural two lane road which gets used like it was some kind of motorway.
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Old 08-24-08, 04:56 PM   #14
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i regularly, but usually avoid, riding on sr 55 in s nj. speed limit there is 65mph, wide sholder with lots of re-tread debree and trash. bicycles are allowed on this road.

when i was riding x-usa (1982,e-w) i got lost and rode on an interstate hiway in oregon or idaho i believe.
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Old 08-24-08, 05:28 PM   #15
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It is difficult to go anywhere in San Diego County without spending some time on a 55mph / 90kph prime arterial or even a 65mph / 105kph stretch of Interstate.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:58 PM   #16
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Every chance I get. It is great freaking the motorists. Be bloody sure you have a right to be there though.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:32 PM   #17
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I used to ride several miles regularly on a 55+ state highway since I lived right on it, but that was a long time ago. I rode about 10 miles down I-20 east out of Bossier City, LA once. That's it. I would not go on an interstate again unless there was absolutely no other way to get where I needed to go.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:21 PM   #18
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For those who do, I'd be interested in hearing whether it's legal where you are or not. Not because I'm a legality-nanny, but because it's related to the question and I'm curious.

It's not legal here (Portland, Maine), but there is a section of town where there is only one bridge off the peninsula to the north, and it's I-295. (map) There is a street which continues from the penisula north (Washington Ave.), and that street actually takes you onto the interstate for one exit to get there. There is a MUP on the west side of the bridge, about 5' wide for bidirectional traffic, including joggers, etc., and it is weird to get on and off of. It is separated from the highway traffic about 15' away by a concrete barrier that is below your center of gravity, and going north you are against that highway traffic. To continue north, you can get off the MUP and do a U-turn, or take another fork to Washington which deposits you on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the street. The alternate route around the bay adds about 5 miles to the journey.

So some people I know will ride the one exit of I-295 north to stay on Washington, to not have to deal with the MUP and turning every which way to get back to where you want to be. It's direct, it's a decent shoulder (width and condition), and doesn't even involve any merging. I don't have to deal with it because it's not anywhere near my normal commute, but I tried it once when I was in the area anyway just to see what it was like, and I didn't mind it much. Several of us have brought up this "solution" in meetings where the city engineer has been present, and his reaction has been kind of "I'm pretending I'm not hearing that."

Last edited by JohnBrooking; 08-25-08 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:42 PM   #19
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If you are riding from Golden CO to Echo Lake (and Mt Evans) via Bergen Park, you reach the end of Hwy 40 at I-70 exit 254. Now you have a problem: You need to get to Hwy 74 at exit 252, but there are *no* roads between exits 252 & 254 other than I-70. So you jump on I-70, ride 2 miles, then take the 252 exit. As I understand, it is legal. I've done it twice. The paved berms are huge, so it is no big deal.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:44 PM   #20
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Twice in the last three years. It's a strange feeling, but actually safer than some of the rural, 55MPH roads in this area.
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Old 08-24-08, 10:28 PM   #21
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I used to ride on I84 in utah almost every day.
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...a-Weber-Canyon
It's a section of that ride through the canyon.
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Old 08-24-08, 10:52 PM   #22
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highways, or interstates? two different roads.

two lane highways with a crumbling shoulder and bad sight lines are more hazardous than interstates. interstates have good sight lines and wide shoulders.
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Old 08-24-08, 11:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
It is difficult to go anywhere in San Diego County without spending some time on a 55mph / 90kph prime arterial or even a 65mph / 105kph stretch of Interstate.
That's kinda tragic, really. I can go anywhere in Brisbane without ever needing to use even one. Not that other kinds of roads are necessarily better for cycling, but that those kinds of roads are unavoidable says to me that something went very wrong somewhere along the way.

That said, I've never understood why people think that speed of traffic alone makes cycling safe or otherwise, when really it comes a far second to road width.

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Old 08-24-08, 11:15 PM   #24
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Used to ride an interstate type roadway (225) for those in the Houston area twice a day. Once the right way, once against the traffic. It was the shortest distance to get to my girlfriend's house...later my first wife... Otherwise, it would have been another 3 miles riding in Pasadena, Tx on major city streets. Anyone familiar with that city would probably agree riding an interstate is less of a danger. The distance was about a mile and never had a problem Had to ride the wrong way back because of access problems and that ride was often at night. Would I do it now? NO WAY.
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Old 08-25-08, 12:26 AM   #25
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To the OP: Do you consider any road with a speed limit of 55mph or greater to be a highway, or do you mean something more specific like "freeway" "state route" etc. that is designated with a number? Here are a couple of definitions to consider:
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.leginfo.ca.gov
360. "Highway" is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly
maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of
vehicular travel. Highway includes street.

555. "Sidewalk" is that portion of a highway, other than the
roadway, set apart by curbs, barriers, markings or other delineation
for pedestrian travel.
Interesting how a highway is designed for vehicular travel, but a sidewalk is part of the highway, lol. Anyway my point is highway is pretty much an all-inclusive word, and all roads (including alleys, residential streets, etc.) are highways.

If by highway you mean any roadway with a speed limit of 55mph or higher, I ride on those on a regular basis. There is a normal looking road near me (2 wide lanes and 1 bike lane each way with a landscaped curbed median strip) with a posted limit of 55. A part of my usual commute is a 2 lane 55mph no-shoulder road (but it's not a state road so not numbered).

The 2 numbered state highways near me (135 and 166) are actually the main roads for the city I live in, so the speed limits on those are only 30, 35, 40, and 45 at various locations within the city limits. I ride them on a regular basis within the city limits. They go to 55/65mph outside city limits and I have ridden them when I had reason to do so.

Highway 1 (PCH) close to here is a 55/65mph road designed much like an interstate or freeway and is very popular with touring cyclists. It's actually designated by the state as a state bicycle route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
For those who do, I'd be interested in hearing whether it's legal where you are or not. Not because I'm a legality-nanny, but because it's related to the question and I'm curious.
In California it's legal to ride on any highway (see definition of highway above). The only exception is freeways with "bicycles prohibited" signs, but even on freeways bicycles are allowed by default. Here's what the California Department of Transportation says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.dot.ca.gov/hq/paffairs/faq/faq67.htm
Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says "Bicycles Must Exit." The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says "Bicycles Prohibited."
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