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Old 09-21-04, 09:16 AM   #1
Gordon P
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Buss/taxi lane law?

I just moved to Ottawa, Canada and recieved my first trafic ticket for cycling in the buss/taxi lane. Ok, it is only $35. and the cop said it could go as high as $500, I plan to fight it as the option of cycling in the centre lane is out of the question, especialy with busses and taxis on one side of me and suv's on the other.

What is the law like in your comunity and is this law normal as I have never had to ride outside of a buss lane before I moved to this city.

Regards,
Gordon p
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Old 09-21-04, 09:26 AM   #2
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In the UK bikes are allowed in the Bus lanes.
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Old 09-21-04, 11:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon P
I just moved to Ottawa, Canada and recieved my first trafic ticket for cycling in the buss/taxi lane. Ok, it is only $35. and the cop said it could go as high as $500, I plan to fight it as the option of cycling in the centre lane is out of the question, especialy with busses and taxis on one side of me and suv's on the other.

What is the law like in your comunity and is this law normal as I have never had to ride outside of a buss lane before I moved to this city.

Regards,
Gordon p
In New York City, the bus lane is the bicycle lane. However. Riding in the bus lane protects you from the motorists somewhat because they can enter your lane when turning. Lets not forget all those problems with the associated BUS and playing leap frog with that vehicle. Breathing in all that exhaust from the bus is not a pretty thing. We haven't had any new "Bus" postings in a while but they are coming!

Buses are the worse because they feel justified cutting you off to pick up a passenger at the corner.
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Old 09-21-04, 09:31 PM   #4
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In virtually every state of Australia that I'm aware of, bikes are allowed in bus lanes. If I were you I'd be reading your local laws to see if this isn't the case overthere. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that the cop was ignorant of the law.
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Old 09-21-04, 09:42 PM   #5
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I just take it say **** you to any one who honks
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Old 09-21-04, 10:30 PM   #6
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I can usually out run the bus. What gets me is the cars that use the bus lane to pass.
If a cop tries to stop me, I'll try and see how far they can stay on my wheel with their cheap fuji mtb's, low gearing, and under inflated knobbies.
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Old 09-22-04, 07:58 AM   #7
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In Montreal the Bus lane on Rene Levesque blvd is no bikes. I dont go along there often, but I take the middle of the next lane to avoid being squeezed between the cars and busses. There is another lane to the left of me which the cars can use if they want to pass me.
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Old 09-22-04, 03:12 PM   #8
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Was this a one way street by chance? I know there are a couple streets in Ottawa that are one way with bus lanes, and bikes are supposed to travel on the far LEFT side of the road.

There is an Ottawa by-law that does protect bus lanes, and while I agree that it is risky to travel in the center, it would seem that the law is on their side.

Here's a quote from the Ottawa by-laws:

Quote:
PART X - BICYCLES

REGULATIONS
96. (1) A person driving a bicycle upon a roadway shall:
a. where practicable, drive in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway, except where the lane nearest the right-hand side of the roadway is a reserved bus lane; and
b. exercise due care when passing a parked, stopped or standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(2) A person driving a bicycle upon a highway designated for one-way traffic shall:
a. where practicable, drive in the right-hand or left-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand or left-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except where the lane nearest the right-hand side of the roadway is a reserved bus lane; and
b. exercise due care when passing a parked, stopped or standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(3) No person driving a bicycle upon a highway shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping both hands on the handlebars or interferes with the normal operation of the bicycle.

BICYCLES, MOTOR ASSISTED BICYCLES AND ANIMALS PROHIBITED - SCHEDULE 'XLVII"
97. When authorized signs have been erected, no person shall ride or cause to be ridden or use a bicycle, motor assisted bicycle or animal on any highway or part of the highway as set out in column 1 of Schedule "XLVII" between the limits set out in column 2 of the said Schedule "XLVII".
As you can see, they have specifically made a point to note bikes shouldn't be in the bus lanes.

Your only chance would be to argue that the by-law contradicts the highway traffic act, which states:

Quote:
147. (1) Any vehicle travelling upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place shall, where practicable, be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 147 (1).

Exception
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a driver of a,
(a) vehicle while overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(b) vehicle while preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or
(c) road service vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 147 (2).
However, I would think that they would have already run into this issue, so I would get a legal opinion on this before you go to court on it.

It's a tough call since a bike in the bus lane would defeat (to a limited extent) the purpose of a designated bus lane. What they need is to have a lane wide enough for both buses AND bikes so that there is no conflict and the buses won't have to change lanes into traffic to pass a cyclist.

Either way, it's gotta suck getting a ticket like this.

Regards,

Savant
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Old 09-22-04, 07:24 PM   #9
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If the road is a provincial numbered highway (many city streets are), then the provincial highway traffic act should over-ride local by-laws.
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