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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.

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Old 04-18-10, 10:04 AM   #1
genec
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A little something special from Florida. Police Bulletin

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/04/a-depar...-and-lane-use/

Sure would be nice to see something like this distributed to all drivers... and in the hands of all Police Officers.


A Department Bulletin to Help Officers Understand Cyclist Safety and Lane Use
2010 April 15
by Keri

The following text was created for the Orlando Police Department Bulletin. This was an initiative by Officer Bill Edgar, a member of our officer advisory panel. If you would like to duplicate it for distribution in your department, please contact us and we will send you the text and illustrations.

(Page 1)



It may not look right because you don’t see it very often, but this is legal and it’s the safest position for a bicycle driver
But don’t cyclists have to ride as far right as practicable?

316.2065(5)(a)(3) states that a cyclist does NOT have to stay right: “When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.”

FDOT has determined that 14ft is the minimum width which allows most motor vehicles to pass cyclists within the travel lane. (See second page for diagram.)

The lane pictured above is 13ft wide. Most of the lanes in Orlando are 10-12ft wide. Bicycle drivers are not required to keep right, and are encouraged, for their safety, to occupy enough lane that motorists recognize they must change lanes to pass. By riding this way, cyclists can avoid road hazards, operate more predictably, encourage overtaking motorists to pass safely and discourage common motorist mistakes that result in crashes.
What about traffic flow?

It is rare for a bicycle driver to cause a significant disruption in traffic flow. It’s important to recognize the many causes of delay and congestion on the road. Traffic lights cause tightly-packed platoons of cars. If a cyclist is unfortunate enough to be stopped near the front of the platoon at a red light, it may take a few seconds for traffic to shuffle around him after the light changes. Most likely, all of those cars will be stopping again at the next red light. Bicycles are as normal and necessary a part of the traffic mix as Lynx buses, school buses, garbage trucks, freight trains and traffic lights. Even I-4, which has none of those things, has long delays just from cars and trucks.

Each of these crashes can be prevented by riding farther left
This is an important safety issue!

A significant contributor in crashes between cars and bikes is poor lane positioning by the cyclist. Riding too far right makes the cyclist hard to see and encourages motorists to squeeze past—dangerously close—in narrow lanes. In an effort to increase cycling safety and decrease crashes between bikes and cars, cycling educators are teaching cyclists to ride assertively on our roads.
They need our help.

If you see a cyclist riding in the middle of the lane, it is likely that cyclist is educated about the law and how to ride safely. If a motorist complains about a cyclist riding assertively, take the opportunity to educate that motorist. Making our roads safer and more hospitable to bicycle drivers will make our community healthier and more livable.

(Page 2)


Bicycles are Vehicles

* Bicycle drivers have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers.
* Bicycle drivers must operate with the flow of traffic and obey traffic control devices.
* 316.2065 (5)(a)(3) applies to MOST roads in Orlando — A cyclist is entitled to the full lane when the lane is “substandard” (not wide enough to share).
* 316.151 (1)(b) gives a left-turning bicyclist the right to the full use of the lane from which the turn may legally be made (regardless of lane width).
* 316.183 Unlawful speed (5) only applies to MOTOR vehicles. 316.2065 (6) Two abreast only creates an unnecessary impediment if the lane is wide enough to share with a car when single file. If the lane is substandard, a single rider is entitled to the full lane so a second rider creates no additional impact.
* Cyclists are NOT required to ride in any place that would jeopardize their safety, this includes, but is not limited to, the door zone of parked cars, hazardous pavement, shoulders, safety zones, areas with poor sight-lines for crossing traffic, a part of the lane that would invite motorists to squeeze past them.
* Cyclists are NOT required to ride in empty parking spaces (a parking space is a traffic control device — a designated area for parked cars, NOT moving traffic).



For more information about Florida Bicycle Statutes, visit www.flbikelaw.org
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Old 04-18-10, 10:26 AM   #2
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Excellent. I hope local riders find some way of recognizing and rewarding Officer Bill Edgar.
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Old 04-18-10, 11:07 AM   #3
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That is excellent. I'm going to print some out.
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Old 04-18-10, 11:15 AM   #4
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Outstanding. A standing ovation for Officer Edgar.

-Kurt
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Old 04-18-10, 11:22 AM   #5
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Outstanding. A standing ovation for Officer Edgar.

-Kurt
And also to his superiors who allowed the publication.
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Old 04-18-10, 12:39 PM   #6
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FYI, there's been a big discussion (for MIAfixed members, see: http://www.miafixed.com/forum/commen...ID=1707&page=1 ) about this incident regarding a City of Miami officer who ticketed a cyclist for VC'ing:

http://miamibikescene.blogspot.com/2...full-lane.html

-Kurt
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Old 04-18-10, 05:15 PM   #7
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The a couple of LCIs with the League of Illinois Bicyclists developed a bike ed program for Law Enforcement Officers. Powerpoint, .pdf and video is available at: http://www.bikelib.org/safety-educat...ent-resources/ The initial effort was funded by IDOT.

Last edited by Recycle; 04-18-10 at 05:33 PM. Reason: fixed spelling
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Old 04-18-10, 07:21 PM   #8
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I'm a big fan of Keri, Mighk, Eric, and Bill in CommuteOrlando.com.

www.commuteorlando.com/wordpress
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Old 04-18-10, 07:46 PM   #9
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good work. a model education phamplet for law enforcement.

educating police is no substutition for infrastructure and planning that better accommodates bicyclists on public roads and transportation corridors, but a model effort like this, distributed nationally to law enforcement agencies might go a long ways towards reducing anti-cyclist bias by police and law enforcement.
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Old 04-18-10, 07:49 PM   #10
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Nice, thank you for the info! It is good to hear that the word is getting through to OPD... After attending quite a few CM's, I hear a lot of misinformation on this topic come from them (Not that they are in the best of moods at that time ). I always advocate taking the lane around here when I ride with friends, because as stated the lanes are narrow, and most CFL drivers think they are race car drivers (myself included many times... but I do race on an amateur level with the SCCA ) thus making it very dangerous riding the edge, especially at night. Doing this gets my friends comfortable on the road, not restricted by the horrid sidewalks here, and aware of their "right" to use the road. I am a brand spanking noob when it comes to riding, so what do I know!

I will pass this along to friends, thanks!
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Old 04-19-10, 03:13 PM   #11
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When I joined I received a copy of the booklet that is/will be distributed to the law enforcement community. The back half is for pedestrians. I have to say that it is a very good read.
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Old 04-20-10, 09:30 AM   #12
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However much it may feel like we are making no progress in our fight for respect on the road, seeing things like this make me feel more confident in my belief that, litlte by little, things are getting better for us.
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Old 04-20-10, 03:21 PM   #13
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However much it may feel like we are making no progress in our fight for respect on the road, seeing things like this make me feel more confident in my belief that, little by little, things are getting better for us.
I have to agree with you. I love the video showing the cop riding in front of a motorist and the motorist blowing their horn and getting irate with the cop.
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Old 04-20-10, 06:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
http://flbikelaw.org/2010/04/a-depar...-and-lane-use/

Sure would be nice to see something like this distributed to all drivers... and in the hands of all Police Officers.
This is excellent. Obviously several people are doing something right in that police department. Very impressive.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:57 PM   #15
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I have to agree with (that little by little, things are getting better for us). I love the video showing the cop riding in front of a motorist and the motorist blowing their horn and getting irate with the cop.
Absolutely. The video showing the bike cop getting harassed by the motorist is an clear indication of this improvement. Motorists willing to berate bike cops about their lane position. Right. Clear improvements.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:16 AM   #16
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This is a good start but barely scratches the surface.

Once every license applicant can accurately recite and competently apply all the information in that publication, and be required to re-test to that standard at least every 5 years, and the consequences of violating driving laws are truly enforced, then I'll get excited.
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Old 04-21-10, 10:33 AM   #17
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That first picture is awsome. Would love to see WABA get with MPD and do that for around here.
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Old 04-21-10, 02:51 PM   #18
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Absolutely. The video showing the bike cop getting harassed by the motorist is an clear indication of this improvement. Motorists willing to berate bike cops about their lane position. Right. Clear improvements.
Bekologist,

The good is that the LEOs are working with the bicycle organizations to produce educational material for the law enforcement community. The motorists obvious ignorance shows the need to educate the motoring public as to the rights of cyclists. And sadly until we get as many bicycle safety PSAs as there are anti-smoking, anti-drinking and driving, etc. PSAs that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

But this is a start as it is educating the law enforcement community, and hopefully it will trickle down from the law enforcement community to the motorists that they interact with.

I guess a good example of motorists interacting safely and politely with a cyclist is when I am going to the Farm Store for a soda before going to the library. At about a block or so north of where I need to make a left turn I stick my hand out and merge over to the left lane. Holding it out until I make the turn. So far not one car has blown their horn at me. And most if not all of them move over into the right hand lane to pass me.

If I need to (because of northbound traffic) I will alternate between the left turn signal and the slow/stop signal. And again if I have to stop and wait for a break in the northbound traffic I haven't had anyone blow their horn at me.

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