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Old 08-12-09, 10:43 AM   #1
rensselaer80
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Legal? Illegal? You make the call

Interesting signage on a recently completed road in Central Texas. The sign appears just as the bike lane ends, the road narrows marginally subsequently. The opposing direction has no such sign. I guess they really, really want you to use the MUP next to the road. For no discernible reason I can see.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:55 AM   #2
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Ha ha, just in time to help get you whacked at that intersection ahead if you ride on the sidewalk.

It can't be a legal requirement to use the sidewalk.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:07 AM   #3
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Looks more like a sidewalk than a MUP to me...
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Old 08-12-09, 11:16 AM   #4
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Are they worried about slow hill climbers on a narrow road?

Interesting. I've often wondered how to tell a MUP from a sidewalk. I assume the definition morphs with opinions and locations.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:18 AM   #5
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Flip the arrow to the left.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:20 AM   #6
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Interesting. I've often wondered how to tell a MUP from a sidewalk. I assume the definition morphs with opinions and locations.
How do you tell the difference? MUPs have furry puppets with googly eyes and sombody's hand up their a**; sidewalks are next to streets.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:25 AM   #7
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Depends on the jurisdiction. I don't know TX law, but in many states, bikes are legally vehicles, and city signage does not generally prevail over state law. Worth checking with a TX lawyer.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:32 AM   #8
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Yes, in TX, unless preempted by local jurisdiction, bikes have all the rights and resposibilities of a motorist on the roadways.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:02 PM   #9
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Well, in the Texas Vehicle Code there's this:

Sec. 542.202. POWERS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES. (a) This subtitle does not prevent a local authority, with respect to a highway under its jurisdiction and in the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(4) regulating the operation and requiring registration and licensing of a bicycle or electric bicycle , including payment of a registration fee, except as provided by Section 551.106;


Section 551.106 says this:

Sec. 551.106. REGULATION OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES. (a) The department or a local authority may not prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway that is used primarily by motor vehicles. The department or a local authority may prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway used primarily by pedestrians.

(b) The department shall establish rules for the administration of this section.


So, it would seem that a local authority can force you off the road on a bicycle, but NOT if it is an electric bicycle!

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Old 08-12-09, 12:07 PM   #10
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And are those concrete slabs used to build the "MUP"? Yeah, that'll attract a lot of cyclists...
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Old 08-12-09, 12:20 PM   #11
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Well, in the Texas Vehicle Code there's this:

Sec. 542.202. POWERS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES. (a) This subtitle does not prevent a local authority, with respect to a highway under its jurisdiction and in the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(4) regulating the operation and requiring registration and licensing of a bicycle or electric bicycle , including payment of a registration fee, except as provided by Section 551.106;


Section 551.106 says this:

Sec. 551.106. REGULATION OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES. (a) The department or a local authority may not prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway that is used primarily by motor vehicles. The department or a local authority may prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway used primarily by pedestrians.

(b) The department shall establish rules for the administration of this section.


So, it would seem that a local authority can force you off the road on a bicycle, but NOT if it is an electric bicycle!

Speedo
They are not prohibiting use of the bicycle on a highway; they are prohibiting its use on the roadway portion of a highway.

If state law allows localities to enact and enforce mandatory sidepath use requirements, then cyclists need to fight the regulation at a local level, or work to enact a state law that says that cyclists shall not be required to use sidepaths.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:35 PM   #12
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And are those concrete slabs used to build the "MUP"? Yeah, that'll attract a lot of cyclists...
Maybe MUP was not the right term. It's the standard construction used here for the local hike & bike trails. Yes, they are concrete, about 10 feet wide, so more than the standard sidewalk. Actually not so very bad to ride on other than the thump-thump-thump going over the expansion joints (and the associated issues with being on the 'sidewalk' in the 1st place). Even though the road abuts some subdivisions, I've not seen anyone on these 'sidewalks'.

The small, skinny, old, rutted country roads with no shoulders I normally ride on have no such signs, makes no sense the newest road would. And remember, the opposing direction does not have this signage (I think because there is no h&b trail on that side of the road?).
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Old 08-12-09, 12:40 PM   #13
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And are those concrete slabs used to build the "MUP"? Yeah, that'll attract a lot of cyclists...
I just looooove the huge 2-3" elevation change between slabs it is great! That "MUP" crossing is just begging to get mauled by someone right turning off the highway or right turn onto the highway. *sigh*
Ugh I don't know what to do with that intersection. Given that it narrows up ahead I'd almost want to get off it depending on the speed limit and traffic. That really is how pretty much all the local "MUP"s are around me so if I do use them I am kind of used to stopping at ever intersection and keeping a constant eye on traffic all around. Maybe they are trying to stop people from trying to enter the "mup" at that intersection?


I'm really glad they failed to pass their complete trail system bill in a local town which was supposed to get bikes off the road, er I mean give bikes a safe place to ride, since an ordinance was in the works to force bikes to use them.

I cna't see why an individual town couldn't put up a sign and even enforce it if they wrote it into the ordinance or whatever. You could fight it and possibly go up to higher courts if needed and get the ordinance overturned possibly but forget the mup and just make a wider outer lane and a sidewalk ugh.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:43 PM   #14
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I just looooove the huge 2-3" elevation change between slabs it is great! That "MUP" crossing is just begging to get mauled by someone right turning off the highway or right turn onto the highway. *sigh*
By the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign, there is an 'exit' where it ramps up to the sidewalk. And where the sidewalk meets the side road, again, it ramps up and down. To 'conform' to the sign, I did exit at the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign and re-entered the road where the side street comes in. I'm supposing that's what they want me to do
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Old 08-12-09, 01:50 PM   #15
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B To 'conform' to the sign, I did exit at the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign and re-entered the road where the side street comes in. I'm supposing that's what they want me to do
Why put yourself at extra risk? You want rear approaching drivers to see you on the road if you are going to be on the road, if you exit and then re-enter they may see you on the sidewalk as they approach from a distance and may assume you are staying there. I also tend to avoid abnormal/unpredictable maneuvers such as transitioning from sidewalk to road when crossing an intersection.
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Old 08-12-09, 02:02 PM   #16
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looks to me like a license for some crazy cowboy to drive over someone on a bike.
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Old 08-12-09, 02:05 PM   #17
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looks to me like a license for some crazy cowboy to drive over someone on a bike.
Down here in Texas they dont' need a license for that as long as they ain't drinking with their 3rd DUI and no insurance in a stolen car.

That intersection and all the others like it just serve us right up for them though.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:39 PM   #18
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Depending on the number of intersections and level of pedestrian traffic, riding on a sufficiently wide sidewalk may not be all bad. If the number of intersections is small, and the place is not overwhelmed with pedestrians, then one DOES eliminate a conflict point (from behind) that otherwise would exist. The reason why in general sidewalk riding is bad is because there are lots of intersections, and the increased vulnerability at each and every one clearly outweighs whatever reduction one gets from avoiding vehicles from the rear.

So the Texas question is this. Are there many or few intersections with the road in question?
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Old 08-12-09, 11:04 PM   #19
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Why put yourself at extra risk? You want rear approaching drivers to see you on the road if you are going to be on the road, if you exit and then re-enter they may see you on the sidewalk as they approach from a distance and may assume you are staying there. I also tend to avoid abnormal/unpredictable maneuvers such as transitioning from sidewalk to road when crossing an intersection.
Actually, there's so little traffic on the road presently (since it just opened and folks haven't determined if they want to make it their 'normal' way), I'm not sure any cars came along while I was there taking the pics and trying to determine why the road designers think this is necessary. I usually never ride on the sidewalks, maybe not quite to VC level, but normally always out in roadway. I certainly agree with your sentiment.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:21 PM   #20
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So the Texas question is this. Are there many or few intersections with the road in question?
On this particular segment of the road, the only entrance onto the road from the right is the one in the picture. It's probably ~2 miles from the prior 4 way intersection to the next 4 way intersection, both with sets of lights. I believe the sidewalk runs the entire length. Why they chose to not stripe it all the way with bike lanes (and we'll leave that debate for another thread), or think they need to shuffle bike traffic off the road is a mystery to me.

This is a video going west on the road, the signs in the picture are on the eastbound lanes, you can see them off to the left toward the end of the clip. The white car at 3:40 is coming out of the road shown in the picture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-siBksnW4aA
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Old 08-12-09, 11:57 PM   #21
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is texas a mandatory sidepath state?

if texas is a mandatory sidepath state, i'd just ignore the sign.

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Old 08-13-09, 05:56 AM   #22
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Actually, there's so little traffic on the road presently (since it just opened and folks haven't determined if they want to make it their 'normal' way), I'm not sure any cars came along while I was there taking the pics and trying to determine why the road designers think this is necessary. I usually never ride on the sidewalks, maybe not quite to VC level, but normally always out in roadway. I certainly agree with your sentiment.
You might want to look at your picture again... lol

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Old 08-13-09, 06:34 AM   #23
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I'd ignore the sign also. It looks like one of those signs that will create more confusion and/or accidents than it could ever be intended to prevent.

Just ride as you would on any other road.
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Old 08-13-09, 07:24 AM   #24
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I would try to get the sign removed. Ignoring it and staying on the road will probably result in ticketing by law enforcement or greater harassment by motorists. Start by finding out what department installed the sign (and their motivations) and work out toward your local cyclist advocacy and elected representatives from there.
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Old 08-13-09, 07:44 AM   #25
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You might want to look at your picture again... lol
That's what I get from squinting at that tiny thumbnail

I meant any significant amount of cars.....yea, that's the ticket....
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