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  1. #1
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    Is lane splitting known by any other name?

    I know the definition of lane splitting and am, trying to see if anything about it is mentioned in my city's code. I am not finding anything that says lane splitting or even lane sharing. Is it known by any other name? I would like to know if it is allowed or not in my community.

    Here is a link to the traffic section of my city code, perhaps another set of eyes can find it;
    http://www.sioux-city.org/custom/cod..._10/index.html

    Any suggestions as to what else I can try to look for in the traffic code?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    I sometimes refer to it as filtering, but I don't recall ever seeing that term in a traffic code.

  3. #3
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
    Any suggestions as to what else I can try to look for in the traffic code?
    Your traffic code probably has several paragraphs dedicated to motorist position in the lane which by default applies to all road users. States with legal lane splitting will have a separate paragraph detailing how, when, and where MOTORCYCLES can split lanes, as cars are the wrong shape. Generally, lane splitting is only legal on Interstates and other limited access freeway style roads that to not have intersections - only merge lanes. Since bicycles are not allowed on those kinds of roads, there is no need for a bike filtering law. Cali might allow lane splitting on other roads too.

    Check the California code. Los Angeles County code may have something too. Then you will know what to look for in your state.

    Here is a link to get you started: California Highway Patrol. Look down a few paragraphs and see:

    Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?
    Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sharing the lane with other vehicles is what I call it.

    cars share lanes with bikes, bikes share lanes with cars.

    don't worry about it, be safe.


    you're traffic, slower moving traffic should be as far right as practicable to allow faster vehicles to pass and the overtaking vehicles need to pass safely, your 'filtering' is simply exercising your right to move past slower traffic.

    I suspect some of the new 'three foot laws' are being rigged to prevent filtering by motorist legislators peeved at bikes passing traffic congestion. In states like Wisconsin they are being proactive about preventing this associated restriction from becomming codified in their vehicle code.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-05-09 at 10:06 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sharing the lane with other vehicles is what I call it.

    cars share lanes with bikes, bikes share lanes with cars.

    don't worry about it, be safe.


    you're traffic, slower moving traffic should be as far right as practicable to allow faster vehicles to pass and the overtaking vehicles need to pass safely, your 'filtering' is simply exercising your right to move past slower traffic.

    I suspect some of the new 'three foot laws' are being rigged to prevent filtering by motorist legislators peeved at bikes passing traffic congestion. In states like Wisconsin they are being proactive about preventing this associated restriction from becomming codified in their vehicle code.
    Here is my take on as far to the right as practicable;
    http://bicycleadvocacyandsafety.blog...-right-as.html

  6. #6
    thompsonpost
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    More along the meaning of 'surviving in multi lane slalom.'

  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
    Here is my take on as far to the right as practicable

    (link to an erroneous, ignorant POV about far right as practicable.....)
    so, you don't filter?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Here's Iowa traffic law. (your link only references these and does not show actual state law on the city site)

    2. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and, allowing sufficient clearance, pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction either upon the left or upon the right on a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for four or more lines of moving traffic when such movement can be made in safety. No person shall drive off the pavement or upon the shoulder of the roadway in overtaking or passing on the right.

    This law is written to allow motor vehicles on 4 lane roads to be able to pass each other in either lane. When it comes to bikes as vehicles, technically other vehicles can overtake each other on the left or right when four or more lines of moving traffic can fit on the pavement. If one (or even two) of the vehicles are bicycles there is likely very few roads that you can't "share the lane" with. Without this law, all vehicle operators would be in violation if they did not overtake you on your bike by moving fully into the adjacent lane and only moving back when completely clear. You likley don't experience that too often, I sure don't. The flipside of this law is you can filter/share/split (pick your language) up on the right or left as long is there is sufficient pavement witdth for you and another vechicle to occupy the same lane.

    Good luck explaining that to the officer on the scene. The judge might not take to it either (since it's intent is all about 4 lanes roads) but it gives you something to hang your hat on if you ever get nailed for passing on the right.

  9. #9
    Team Fat Boy SeattleShaun's Avatar
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    So, what is it about our culture in the US that makes this such an issue?

    Most other places I've been, in Europe and Asia, actively expect lane splitting...

  10. #10
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleShaun View Post
    So, what is it about our culture in the US that makes this such an issue?

    Most other places I've been, in Europe and Asia, actively expect lane splitting...
    Because a lot of people think the ability to kill someone equals right-of-way?

    Just a stab. I was recently in a car with a non-cycling friend in a grocery store parking lot and he started griping about how people "just walk right out in front of him." I told him it that they had every right to do so, since it was a parking lot, and he was just like "yeah but if I decide not to stop, they're dead."

    I'm glad not everybody thinks about driving like that.

  11. #11
    JRA
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    Lane-splitting is known by many names, exceeded in the multiple and confusing names category perhaps only by the the puma, a.k.a. cougar, catamount, American Lion, painted cat, panther -- "cat of many names" - the large cat that isn't a "big cat".

    Lane-splitting in marked lanes is pretty much illegal for all vehicles except bicycles in all states except (maybe) California. In California the CHP has officially stated that, no matter what the law is (which doesn't seem to be of interest to the CHP), it will not ticket a motorcyclist for lane-splitting-- unless, of course, a CHP officer feels like giving a ticket (which, presumably, would be for careless driving and not for lane-splitting, per se). So, in essence, the CHP has made lane-splitting legal for motorcyclists in California, no matter what the intent of the legislature might have been.

    In other words, lane-splitting is about as gray an area of the law as there can be.

    Generally, lane-sharing is technically illegal everywhere.

    But, generally, laws against lane-sharing are not enforced anywhere.

    Except for the case of bicycles, in which case everything is reversed. What is up is down and what is down is up. Lane-sharing for bicycles is, in general, not only not illegal, it is, in many cases, required by law-- at least for the bicyclist.

    And, interestingly, there's a whole ideology in the bicycling community built on the concept of lane-sharing, while at the same time using the slogan "same roads, same rules"-- despite the fact that no road user besides a bicyclist is ever required to share a lane. To be fair, most VC-ists would either deny that their ideology is based on the concept of lane-sharing or simply not admit that lane-sharing is generally illegal -- OR point out that most VC-ists are opposed to mandatory lane sharing for bicyclists-- a position which no doubt obscures contadictions inherent in their ideology, at least in their minds (end of gratuitous rant against Forester-inspired VC-ist lunacy).

    The fact remains that lane-sharing is a gray area of the law, whether or not there is any widespread agreement on what lane-sharing is.

    A cop can always stop someone for careless driving (or whatever it's called in a particular state) while, on the other hand, choose not to stop a road user for a technical violation if the road user does not register on the importance scale.

    Lane-sharing has many names. It is a gray area of the law. Whatever laws there are regarding lane-sharing are selectively enforced.

    Lane-sharing may be illegal by you can probably get away with it as long a cop doesn't like the way you look. Be careful what you wear.
    Last edited by JRA; 05-05-09 at 08:51 PM.
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  12. #12
    uke
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    Just a stab. I was recently in a car with a non-cycling friend in a grocery store parking lot and he started griping about how people "just walk right out in front of him." I told him it that they had every right to do so, since it was a parking lot, and he was just like "yeah but if I decide not to stop, they're dead."
    Next time, ask him one of the following two questions. Unless he's a psychopath, at least one will make him rethink his position:

    1.) how he'd feel if someone in a car hit him while he was walking in the parking lot because, in the driver's opinion, he didn't get out of the way quickly enough.

    2.) if there's so little going on in his life that it would be worth going to prison for running over someone in a grocery store parking lot.
    Last edited by uke; 05-05-09 at 08:47 PM.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    Next time, ask him one of the following two questions. Unless he's a psychopath, at least one will make him rethink his position:

    1.) how he'd feel if someone in a car hit him while he was walking in the parking lot because, in the driver's opinion, he didn't get out of the way quickly enough.

    2.) if there's so little going on in his life that it would be worth going to prison for running over someone in a grocery store parking lot.
    Well, he is kind of a psychopath. I've already converted him from the belief that bikes should be restricted to the sidewalk, though... so maybe there's hope?

  14. #14
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    My position is if cars are not required to use a separate lane when passing a cyclist, cyclists are not required to use a separate lane when passing motorists.
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  15. #15
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    I've never been put in a position where I have had to. In Sioux City we, thankfully, do not the type of traffic jams that you find in Chicago, NYC, Manhatten, LA, etc. If you include Sioux City and all of the surrounding communities we only have about 100,000 people, total. When I have to stop while in traffic at a light controlled intesersection I position myself in the middle of the lane so a motorist can not pull up either on my left or right, which is illegal. I force them to stop behind me. This has saved my bacon more then once from drivers who would otherwise do a right or left hook as I am trying to go straight through an intersection.
    Last edited by Square & Compas; 05-06-09 at 10:45 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member David13's Avatar
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    Filtering is another name. So is overtaking or passing, in the same lane.
    I think the truth in California is that it is not allowed, or specifically mentioned as allowable, but not prohibited anywhere, and therefore allowed, but a cop can at any time, motorcycle or bicycle, or car for that matter, consider it unsafe and ticket for unsafe.
    dc

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
    ve neber been put in a positions where I have had to. In Sioux City we, thankfully, do not the type of traffic jams that you find in Chicago, NYC, Manhatten, LA, etc. If you include Sioux City and all of the surrounding communities we only have about 100,000 people, total. When I have to stop while in traffic at a light controlled intesersection I position myself in the middle of the lane so a motorist can not pull up either on my left or right, which is illegal. I force them to stop behind me. This has saved my bacon more then once from drivers who would otherwise do a right or left hook as I am trying to go straight through an intersection.
    This is what I do, if traffic isn't blocked up longer than a few hundred feet. (Which is the case 90% of the time) No need to filter a few cars, IMO, But if we're talking about more than one light cycle's worth of traffic... you bet your butt I'm coming up through there.

    I have no idea if it's legal here or not, but I've run reds in front of the police here, and they don't even blink.

  18. #18
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I've also noticed that too many people on motorcycles tend to try to "share" the shoulder or even the bicycle lane when it suits them. If I'm not mistaken, it is ILLEGAL for motor vehicles to drive in the bicycle lane unless preparing for a turn. Even then there are restrictions. Too many idiots on motorcycles in some areas it seems.

  19. #19
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