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Old 10-13-04, 07:59 PM   #1
Chris516
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Who lives in Minnesota

I would like to know because, I am in the process of starting a grass-roots campaign against the state, over the double talk between, what it says in the 2003-'04 Minnesota State Drivers Manual and, the Minnesota State Statutes for 2004.

Christopher
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Old 10-14-04, 10:02 AM   #2
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What discrepancies are you referring to? I do live in the Twin Cities and would like to see even more lanes for bicycles all over.

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Old 10-14-04, 10:49 AM   #3
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Yeah what are you talking about? I still have family in the state so I'd like to know what you're refering to
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Old 10-15-04, 12:33 PM   #4
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I too live in Minnesota, I need more information.
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Old 10-18-04, 11:20 AM   #5
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I live in Minneapolis. I'd like to hear more about what you're referring to...
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Old 10-19-04, 02:19 AM   #6
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This guy's gone, we may never know what he's talking about because he hasn't been back since he posted this thread.
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Old 10-24-04, 07:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonH
What discrepancies are you referring to? I do live in the Twin Cities and would like to see even more lanes for bicycles all over.

Shannon
Shannon, Take a look at, pgs. 35 and 36 in the Minnesota State Drivers Manual(it had a green cover for this year), then, take a look at:

Minnesota State Statutes
Chap. 169(Traffic Regulations)
Sec. 222
Subd. 1
Subd. 4
Subs. 3
Part (a), (c), (d) and (f)

The Parts, is where the ambiguity starts because, they are exceptions to, riding 'as close to the curb as possible'

In Part (a), they use the phrase 'reasonbly necessary'. The use of this phrase, calls into question, the judgment capabilities of a cyclist, compared to a motorist. Why define a bicycle as a 'vehicle', in the state's drivers manual then, call into question their judgment capabilities at the same time?

In Part (c) it says that a cyclist shall ride within a single lane, without impeding traffic. This particular exception, in and of itself, is intimating that a cyclist impedes traffic so, therefore, a motorist should not have to care about a cyclist being on the road, in the first place. The definition of 'Impede' is, 'to interfere with or slow the progress of'. A cyclist is not impeding traffic if, there are a bunch of cars behind him, with an open lane on the left. Also, That a cyclist shall ride in a single lane.

In Part (d) it says we are not supposed to ride on the highway, unless, we can get one foot on the ground. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND, WOULD RIDE A BIKE ON I-35!!!!!!

In Part (f) it says that, we shall have all the rights and, responsibilities, applicable to a pedestrian. One minute, the bike is considered a vehicle, the next....a person!!

Under the states' drivers manual, it says that, we should ride, as close to the curb 'as possible'. You might say, that, I am 'splitting hairs' but, the phrase 'as possible', leaves a lot of discretion up to the individual cyclist.

Also, In the state statutes, a bicycle is 'defined' as, a vehicle.
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Old 10-24-04, 07:44 AM   #8
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This guy's gone, we may never know what he's talking about because he hasn't been back since he posted this thread.
Yes, I was gone, for five days because, I was sick.
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Old 10-24-04, 10:23 PM   #9
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Yes, I was gone, for five days because, I was sick.
Eleven days berween posts especially after the first post is usually a bad sign - hence my statement
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Old 11-03-04, 10:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
In Part (a), they use the phrase 'reasonbly necessary'. The use of this phrase, calls into question, the judgment capabilities of a cyclist, compared to a motorist. Why define a bicycle as a 'vehicle', in the state's drivers manual then, call into question their judgment capabilities at the same time?

In Part (f) it says that, we shall have all the rights and, responsibilities, applicable to a pedestrian. One minute, the bike is considered a vehicle, the next....a person!!

Also, In the state statutes, a bicycle is 'defined' as, a vehicle.
My guess is that the law builds in some ambiguity to allow different application of the "vehicle" or "pedestrian" standards depending on circumstances. If you're an adult, riding your bike safely and steadily at 15 or 20 MPH on the street you should be treated as a vehicle. If you get off the street to push the "pedestrian crossing" button at a traffic light, you temporarily become a pedestrian until you get off the crosswalk and up to speed. A child riding a bike aimlessly along the street or sidewalk at 7 MPH is always a pedestrian and needs to be treated as such.
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Old 11-03-04, 12:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
In Part (a), they use the phrase 'reasonbly necessary'. The use of this phrase, calls into question, the judgment capabilities of a cyclist, compared to a motorist. Why define a bicycle as a 'vehicle', in the state's drivers manual then, call into question their judgment capabilities at the same time?
Bicycles are defined as vehicles. Bicyclists are not. Bicyclists are expected to be able to make judgements about the conditions around them like any other competent human. The state, like every other state I know of, requires cyclists to keep their bicycle as far to the right as conditions warrant. Fortunately for us, the law allows judgement as oppsed to dictating that a cyclist must stay within some arbitrary distance of the curb and is a reasonable requirement to maximize safety and the orderly flow of all traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
In Part (c) it says that a cyclist shall ride within a single lane, without impeding traffic. This particular exception, in and of itself, is intimating that a cyclist impedes traffic so, therefore, a motorist should not have to care about a cyclist being on the road, in the first place. The definition of 'Impede' is, 'to interfere with or slow the progress of'. A cyclist is not impeding traffic if, there are a bunch of cars behind him, with an open lane on the left. Also, That a cyclist shall ride in a single lane.
Generally, no vehicle (car, truck bicycle, tractor, etc) should unneccessarily impede the flow of traffic on the roads. Sometimes this is unavoidable like when a farmer needs to move a tractor from one field to another or when road conditions prevent a cyclist from safely riding on the right side of the road. Any vehicle could impeded traffic by moving far slower than the prevailing speed even if there are two lanes. If traffic is light, then cycling down the middle of a lane would not be impeding traffic. At rush hour, when the roads are busy, it might be a different situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
In Part (d) it says we are not supposed to ride on the highway, unless, we can get one foot on the ground. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND, WOULD RIDE A BIKE ON I-35!!!!!!
I don't understand this foot on the ground provision. Perhaps you could explain this one. However, there are some places in where the interstate is the only reasonable route. Maybe some places in rural Minnesota even? Besides, interstates have very wide shoulders and are not as dangerous as you might think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
In Part (f) it says that, we shall have all the rights and, responsibilities, applicable to a pedestrian. One minute, the bike is considered a vehicle, the next....a person!!
The law does not define a bicycle as a pedestrian. It gives you, the human) the 'rights and responsibilities' of a pedestrian. I guess that means you can ride on sidewalks and in crosswalks if you like. Nothing to gripe about there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
Under the states' drivers manual, it says that, we should ride, as close to the curb 'as possible'. You might say, that, I am 'splitting hairs' but, the phrase 'as possible', leaves a lot of discretion up to the individual cyclist.
The drivers manual uses simpler language than the law. You are splitting hairs. However, the drivers manual is not the law. And you are correct that discretion is generally left to the cyclist, though you could end up having to defend your use of that discretion if a cop sees things differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
Also, In the state statutes, a bicycle is 'defined' as, a vehicle.
Which it is.

I see nothing to campaign against here. Your laws look to be very similar to every other state's laws. There is no ambiguity. It seems that you have some disagreement with the requirement to ride as far to the right as conditions warrant. If that's your beef, then by all means try to change it if you like. But there's really no inconsistancy in what you presented.
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Old 11-16-04, 07:31 AM   #12
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I guess I'm late to this thread. There is a lot to cover on these forums.

As far as advocacy and legislation go, a good place to start is http://www.bikeped.org Though this organization hasn't quite made it to lobby efforts yet, it has been discussed at the table.

As for the discrepancies, the best (and most reality based option) we can hope for is that enforcement officers see the spirit of they law, rather than get tied up in vague language. And the spirit of these laws is this: A bicyclist should avoid obstructing faster traffic by staying to the right side of the road, except in situations where doing so would endanger the cyclist. Note also that highways are not linguistically equal to Interstate highways. Bicycles are forbidden on most sections of interstate highways. Lastly, it would seem that the bike as vehicle or pedestrian issue has already been answered quite well.

Good call for brining this to folks attention Chris. In most cases these issues don't warrant much or any attention, but when law enforcement agencies such as the Minneapolis PD use vague language to their unscrupulous advantage, it is good to know that there is someone out there eager to clarify the language.

Now if I could take a moment to make my own demands for legislation and/or change, here is a guide for such that I have tried to pursue with both the state and local municipalities at various times in the last few years (feel free to comment y'all):

Concepts for the creation of new laws in St. Paul

Definitions:
Spoke = A roadway or a portion of a roadway that stems from an intersection.
“T Junction” = A 3-way intersection where one roadway does not fully bisect the other.

New St. Paul laws regarding traffic signal sensors:

Option # 1
Eliminate the use of all traffic sensors in the city of St. Paul.

Option # 2
Make all traffic sensors in the city capable of detecting all bicycles (made of any materials), even when the sensor is under a layer of dense snow.

Option # 3
Eliminate the use of all traffic sensors at intersections containing 5 or more spokes.

New St. Paul laws regarding bicyclists’ responsibility at stop signs:

At 4-way stop signs:
Bicyclists approaching the intersection can proceed through the intersection without stopping provided that:
a) There are no other vehicles stopped at the intersection.
b) Other vehicles approaching the intersection will not have come to a stop until after the bicyclist has proceeded through the intersection.

At 3-way “T Junction” intersections:
Bicyclists travelling along the top of the “T” can proceed through the intersection without stopping provided that:
a) The bicyclist is not turning left.
b) There are no vehicles turning left from the bottom of the “T”.
Bicyclists traveling along all other portions of the “T” must follow the rules below (see “At intersections controlled by 2-way or irregular stop signs”)

At intersections controlled by 2-way or irregular stop signs:
Bicyclists approaching the intersection along a spoke with a stop sign can proceed through the intersection without stopping provided that the bicyclist is, without question, in no way interfering with another vehicle’s right of way.

Last edited by trystero; 11-16-04 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 11-16-04, 10:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trystero

New St. Paul laws regarding traffic signal sensors:

Option # 1
Eliminate the use of all traffic sensors in the city of St. Paul.

Option # 2
Make all traffic sensors in the city capable of detecting all bicycles (made of any materials), even when the sensor is under a layer of dense snow.

Option # 3
Eliminate the use of all traffic sensors at intersections containing 5 or more spokes.
Are there bike friendly traffic sensors that would make Option 2 work? Options 1 and 3 are non-starters but Option 2 might be feasible if there is money available to install bike friendly sensors. Or, if installing these sensors means ripping up perfectly good roads an easier to install option might be addition of biker convenient "crosswalk" signal buttons to control the traffic lights at all intersections. On my commuter path there are 3 intersections with easily accessed crosswalk buttons that I use to get a green light when I need it, and there is one intersection where the only button is in a terrible spot for bikers. At this intersection I am much more likely to "cheat".
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Old 11-17-04, 12:32 AM   #14
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Are there bike friendly traffic sensors that would make Option 2 work? ...and there is one intersection where the only button is in a terrible spot for bikers. At this intersection I am much more likely to "cheat".
Traffic sensors that detect bicycles, I am told by the city planners, require special sensors that they believe must be installed in a bike lane exclusively (they're a bit narrow minded). This means that to make all sensored signals able to detect bicycles, all roads that have them would have to have bike lanes. This also means that the only roads that would have 4 lanes of automotive traffic would have to be as wide as University avenue (unless parking was banned on everything but residential roads). Needless to say, city planners didn't like option 2 (nor the other options for that matter). As for cheating. I spoke with two different SPPD sergeants (neither of which would give me their name), both of whom said that cheating should be the expected norm, even in situations where one feels it not too unreasonable to go to the sidewalk and press the 'walk' button. Though they did say that one ought to be quite certain that there is no cross traffic coming.
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Old 11-22-04, 07:14 PM   #15
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Sorry for going slightly off topic, but I would be absolutely thrilled if they would just clean the streets here in DT Minneapolis. I live near & ride through DT daily & it's reached the point of ridiculousness. I went so far as to Email the Mayor's office (with no response). Anyone who cycles DT , especially the day after a football game likely knows what I'm talking about. Broken glass & crap everywhere. Does anyone happen to know who's responsibilty it is to keep the streets around the parking lots that are used for tail-gating clean....?
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Old 11-22-04, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris516
I would like to know because, I am in the process of starting a grass-roots campaign against the state, over the double talk between, what it says in the 2003-'04 Minnesota State Drivers Manual and, the Minnesota State Statutes for 2004.

Christopher
Please show the double talk. If you want an email to send to let me know. I'm from Mpls. and we have our issues but we have it better and most area's I travel to.

Cheers,
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