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  1. #1
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    no passing zones and passing traffic on empty two lane highways

    Some observations from my ride today got me wondering about how other riders are treated by traffic when people are riding in a no passing zone and it's clear for the motorists to pass.


    What's everyone's experience with traffic and solid double yellow lines? Anyone have much success preventing high speed traffic from passing in a no passing zone when the road is clear?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Depends on the state..

    Some states allow crossing a double yellow line when passing slower moving traffic.
    (believe it or not)

    HOWEVER, if it's posted as a "No passing zone" (or equivalent) you can't.

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    In my state (CO) it is legal to pass cyclists in "no passing" zones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    ...Anyone have much success preventing high speed traffic from passing in a no passing zone when the road is clear?
    I'm not sure why I would want to prevent someone from passing me when the road is clear.

    Anyway, I believe it is legal to drive to the left of a double-yellow in OR to pass a bike, or at least that bike-lawyer Thomas in PDX has published opinions to that effect. Now if only a few more of the cagers would just wait until it is clear to attempt to pass, life would be so much better.

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    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd recommend an attempt to stop them from passing. Even if it is illegal, that's not really your problem. Though I can imagine the cager trying to blame you.

    All in all, though, it's best for them to make their pass and get on by us as quickly as possible.

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    The sooner a car safely passes you the safer you will be. If you can do anything to make it easier for them the pass, without endangering yourself, so much the better.

  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoatwoods View Post
    I don't think I'd recommend an attempt to stop them from passing. Even if it is illegal, that's not really your problem. ...
    I'm not trying to stop traffic! Today I was out for a few hours and noticed no motorists even hesitating to cross a double yellow line if it was clear for them to do so, despite it being technically illegal. Which is pretty common anytime I ride, just noticed it today particularly (maybe because of light Sat morning traffic & light oncoming traffic made it especially noticeable.)
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  8. #8
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    My guess is this is an attempted jab in the ribs of those cyclist who would prefer to see FRAP go away in favor of SMV laws (carry over from other thread in which almost no one agrees with Bek). In Florida and likely other states, under SMV law, when clear and safe it is legal to cross the double yellow line to pass a slow moving vehicle regardless of the lane position of the SMV. Certainly if done safely, the cops are not going to bother the passing motorist. I am sure it happens frequently in states with lots of horse drawn buggies.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I'm not sure why I would want to prevent someone from passing me when the road is clear.

    Anyway, I believe it is legal to drive to the left of a double-yellow in OR to pass a bike, or at least that bike-lawyer Thomas in PDX has published opinions to that effect. Now if only a few more of the cagers would just wait until it is clear to attempt to pass, life would be so much better.
    Uh, because presumably there is (or was) some reason why the city, county or state has designated a particular area of a particular street as a no passing zone.

    On one of the stretches of the roads that I ride on a regular basis, there are not only the double yellow lines, BUT those black and white "no passing zone" signs AND sharrows painted on the road about mid-lane. And I have been passed in that zone.

    It's a slight downhill grade and it isn't very hard for me to get within 5 or so MPH of the posted speed limit of 35MPH. And no I haven't been passed at that speed, but if I'm within 10MPH of the posted limit I have been passed.

    I'd also wager that this stretch of road is no wider than 20' from edge-to-edge.
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    around here, they have been driving around putting double yellow lines everywhere. Fortunately, the new cyclist passing law makes it legal to pass if it's safe even if there are double yellow lines

  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoatwoods View Post
    I don't think I'd recommend an attempt to stop them from passing. Even if it is illegal, that's not really your problem. Though I can imagine the cager trying to blame you.

    All in all, though, it's best for them to make their pass and get on by us as quickly as possible.
    In Maryland, the Annotated Code says in:

    Title 21
    Subtitle 3
    Section 307

    21-307. No-passing zones


    (a) Establishment of zones; signs and markings. -- The State Highway Administration may determine those parts of any highway in its jurisdiction where overtaking and passing or driving on the left of the roadway would be especially dangerous and, by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway, may indicate the beginning and end of these zones. Where the signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant individual, every driver of a vehicle shall obey their directions.

    (b) Driving on left prohibited -- In general. -- Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, where signs or markings defining a no-passing zone are placed as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a driver may not drive on the left side of the roadway within the no-passing zone.

    (c) Driving on left prohibited -- Left side of pavement striping designed to mark no-passing zones. -- Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, where signs or markings defining a no-passing zone are placed as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a driver may not drive on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark the no-passing zone throughout its length.

    (d) Left turns. -- The driver of a vehicle may drive across the left side of the roadway in a no-passing zone while making a left turn, but only if it is safe to do so.

    The gibberish is saying that anyone can pass whenever and whereever they darn well want to. Because I have yet to see a 'No Passing Zone' sign anywhere in the county.

    I was on a two-lane blacktop earlier today. I was 'taking the lane', basically making the traffic behind me, cross over the double-yellow line to pass. While that may sound insane, by the motorist behind me having to cope with passing in front of oncoming traffic, means they will pass faster. Not only avoiding a collision with the oncoming traffic. But also, getting off my tail faster.
    Last edited by Chris516; 05-26-12 at 11:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    I dont care what the cagers do while Im riding so long they dont hit me, force me off the road, throw stuff at me, or hinder my enjoyment in any other way.
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  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    .... In Florida and likely other states, under SMV law, when clear and safe it is legal to cross the double yellow line to pass a slow moving vehicle regardless of the lane position of the SMV. Certainly if done safely, the cops are not going to bother the passing motorist. I am sure it happens frequently in states with lots of horse drawn buggies.

    ?????

    Florida law doesn't allow passing in no passing zones. However, cyclists are frequently, even consistently passed across double yellows in Florida.

    This is the common, default motorist behavior everywhere despite the law - if the road is clear, motorists pass bicyclists in no passing zones.


    Every state prohibits passing in no passing zones. A few states allow it to pass bicyclists.
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  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    In Maryland, the Annotated Code says in:

    Title 21
    Subtitle 3
    Section 307

    21-307. No-passing zones


    (a) Establishment of zones; signs and markings. -- The State Highway Administration may determine those parts of any highway in its jurisdiction where overtaking and passing or driving on the left of the roadway would be especially dangerous and, by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway, may indicate the beginning and end of these zones. Where the signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant individual, every driver of a vehicle shall obey their directions.

    (b) Driving on left prohibited -- In general. -- Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, where signs or markings defining a no-passing zone are placed as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a driver may not drive on the left side of the roadway within the no-passing zone.

    (c) Driving on left prohibited -- Left side of pavement striping designed to mark no-passing zones. -- Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, where signs or markings defining a no-passing zone are placed as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a driver may not drive on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark the no-passing zone throughout its length.

    (d) Left turns. -- The driver of a vehicle may drive across the left side of the roadway in a no-passing zone while making a left turn, but only if it is safe to do so.

    The gibberish is saying that anyone can pass whenever and whereever they darn well want to. Because I have yet to see a 'No Passing Zone' sign anywhere in the county.

    I was on a two-lane blacktop earlier today. I was 'taking the lane', basically making the traffic behind me, cross over the double-yellow line to pass. While that may sound insane, by the motorist behind me having to cope with passing in front of oncoming traffic, means they will pass faster. Not only avoiding a collision with the oncoming traffic. But also, getting off my tail faster.
    I'm not sure how forcing motorists to break the law and cope with oncoming traffic translates into getting off your tail faster.

    its more commonly recognized sharing the road by riding safely right equates with smoother, faster passing.
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    Randomhead
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    what does "safely right" mean in a substandard lane? Most rural roads have substandard lanes and there is no such thing as "safely right." They have been painting double yellows on rural roads because motorists are too willing to risk their lives and the lives of others when they can't see if a pass is safe. For some reason, we managed to dive on these same roads without double yellows for decades. In the same situation, it's safe to pass a cyclist much more often than it is another car. This whole double yellow conundrum is of recent vintage and predicated on the only road users being motorists. It really shouldn't concern us much if motorists pass us on a double yellow, I encourage it.

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    what does "safely right" mean in a substandard lane? Most rural roads have substandard lanes and there is no such thing as "safely right." They have been painting double yellows on rural roads because motorists are too willing to risk their lives and the lives of others when they can't see if a pass is safe. For some reason, we managed to dive on these same roads without double yellows for decades. In the same situation, it's safe to pass a cyclist much more often than it is another car. This whole double yellow conundrum is of recent vintage and predicated on the only road users being motorists. It really shouldn't concern us much if motorists pass us on a double yellow, I encourage it.

    bicyclists excepted from sharing 'substandard width lane' doesn't mean there's no position safely right, or that roads with narrow lanes can't and shouldn't be shared, unterhausen...... substandard width provisions are legal allowances for bicyclists to take and control narrow lanes if necessary for their safety. Bicyclist specific substandard width provisions codify a bicyclist is legally allowed to control a narrow lane if reasonably necessary for safety.

    "BIKES need not FRAP in a narrow lane" doesn't equate to a riding style where bicyclists unremittingly ride the center stripe on every rural highway, and I'm sure you recognize that, unterhausen.

    There's no encouragement needed about passing bicyclists on solid double yellows, it's the default behavior of motorists everywhere regardless of state laws allowing or prohibiting it.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-27-12 at 09:38 AM.
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    I've never understood why VCers think "taking a lane" will earn them a a wider pass?
    Less room to the left means less room to give a wide pass?
    More likely the driver will *** it up and make a really close pass.
    Or wait-pissed-and make an intentionally close pass.
    People-many people-are bad drivers-and they are pissed off before you slow them down.

    VCers always assume the best of drivers??
    We really need to survey them to find out where they live-college towns-NYNY-SF- LA- places where bike riders have some pull?
    And now drivers text-barely watching the road-just holding their car in the middle of the lane??
    How is that going to work out for VCers?? They-texters-won't even see you-and you'll be where they are "steering"-BAM!
    Sure texters can hit FRAPERS- but it is slightly less likely since we aren't where they are vaguely aiming in between key strokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I've never understood why VCers think "taking a lane" will earn them a a wider pass?
    Less room to the left means less room to give a wide pass?
    More likely the driver will *** it up and make a really close pass.
    Or wait-pissed-and make an intentionally close pass.
    People-many people-are bad drivers-and they are pissed off before you slow them down.

    VCers always assume the best of drivers??
    We really need to survey them to find out where they live-college towns-NYNY-SF- LA- places where bike riders have some pull?
    And now drivers text-barely watching the road-just holding their car in the middle of the lane??
    How is that going to work out for VCers?? They-texters-won't even see you-and you'll be where they are "steering"-BAM!
    Sure texters can hit FRAPERS- but it is slightly less likely since we aren't where they are vaguely aiming in between key strokes.
    When a cyclist stays far right in the typical outside lane, too many motorists feel that they can dangerously and unlawfully squeeze through the too narrow gap between the cyclist and whatever traffic may be in the adjacent lane. If the cyclist occupies a position elsewhere in the outside lane, the motorist has to see that he has to use the adjacent lane, which he may do only when that lane is clear of traffic. With that condition present, there is no need to squeeze by the cyclist, for there is a full lane available.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I've never understood why VCers think "taking a lane" will earn them a a wider pass?
    Because we tried it and it does. Empirical results trump all theories.

    We really need to survey them to find out where they live-college towns-NYNY-SF- LA- places where bike riders have some pull?
    I live in a suburb of Albany, NY with 0 bike lanes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    bicyclists excepted from sharing ‘substandard width lane’ doesn’t mean there’s no position safely right, or that roads with narrow lanes can’t and shouldn’t be shared, unterhausen...... substandard width provisions are legal allowances for bicyclists to take and control narrow lanes if necessary for their safety. Bicyclist specific substandard width provisions codify a bicyclist is legally allowed to control a narrow lane if reasonably necessary for safety.
    Bek, how do you figure that? IF there is a position that is “safely right” then doesn’t it stand to reason that the road in question isn’t of substandard width? How do you figure that a road with substandard width lanes is safe for a car and bicycle to safely share?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    ”BIKES need not FRAP in a narrow lane” doesn’t equate to a riding style where bicyclists unremittingly ride the center stripe on every rural highway, and I’m sure you recognize that, unterhausen.
    Where do you get that “take the lane” equates with riding on the center stripe? That is NOT taking the lane. That is “hogging the road.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    There’s no encouragement needed about passing bicyclists on solid double yellows, it’s the default behavior of motorists everywhere regardless of state laws allowing or prohibiting it.
    Just because it’s the “default” behavior of “motorists everywhere” does NOT mean that it is right or safe.
    Last edited by Digital_Cowboy; 05-27-12 at 12:03 PM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I’ve never understood why VCers think “taking a lane” will earn them a wider pass?
    Uh, because experience has taught us that the more room that we leave between ourselves and the right side of the road the more space that motorists are likely to leave when they pass us on the left. I’ve personally conducted this “little experiment” myself, and the closer I ride to the ride side of the road the closer motorists will pass me. The further out into the lane I ride the more space they give me when passing. How do you explain not only mine but the findings of others in this regard? I suggest that you give it a try some time. You just might be surprised.
    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Less room to the left means less room to give a wide pass?
    Really, how do you figure that? If one is riding down a multi-laned road and the lane to the left is void of cars and the cyclist is taking the lane in the right hand lane how is there “less room” to pass? Or even on a standard two-lane road if the lane for the opposite direction is empty how is there “less room” to pass?
    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    More likely the driver will *** it up and make a really close pass. Or wait-pissed-and make an intentionally close pass. People-many people-are bad drivers-and they are pissed off before you slow them down. VCers always assume the best of drivers??
    That hasn’t been my overall experience. Yes, sadly there are some who will do as you describe, but they’d do that no matter where we ride. Then as (if I’m not mistaken) even the AAA and other car related agency’s have said they shouldn’t be driving at that moment. Now who is thinking the worst of drivers?
    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    We really need to survey them to find out where they live-college towns-NYNY-SF- LA- places where bike riders have some pull? And now drivers text-barely watching the road-just holding their car in the middle of the lane?? How is that going to work out for VCers?? They-texters-won’t even see you-and you’ll be where they are “steering”-BAM! Sure texters can hit FRAPERS- but it is slightly less likely since we aren’t where they are vaguely aiming in between key strokes.
    As is seen by glancing to the left I live in the Tampa/St. Pete area. We have a number of colleges as well as a military (Air Force) base. I have a number of roads that I ride on that are two-lane (one each direction of travel) that the entire road is probably barely 20’ wide from side-to-side. Given that distracted drivers are likely to be swerving all over the road does it not make sense to be riding even more not less defensively? And taking the lane IS riding defensively. Do you have any stats to prove your conclusion that texters are “steering” their cars or that they’re more not less likely to hit a VCer who is taking the lane as opposed to riding FRAP?
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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    ?????

    Florida law doesn't allow passing in no passing zones. However, cyclists are frequently, even consistently passed across double yellows in Florida.
    316.0875 No-passing zones.—(1) The Department of Transportation and local authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any highway under their respective jurisdiction where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may, by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway, indicate the beginning and end of such zones, and when such signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions thereof.
    (2) Where signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone as set forth in subsection (1), no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway with such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length.
    (3) This section does not apply when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway, nor to the driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road or driveway.
    (4) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
    History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 111, ch. 99-248.
    Note.—Former s. 316.086.
    Florida courts have decided that SMVs are obstructions which may be passed in a no passing zone, provided it is done safely. Of note, in Florida the term has been changed to low-speed vehicles (LSV) when they started allowing the old folk to drive their golf carts on the roads.
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  23. #23
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    I'm not convinced I see a reason for this thread. Maybe I should add a poll to see how many people like to bottle traffic up behind them on "empty two lane highways"

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Uh, because presumably there is (or was) some reason why the city, county or state has designated a particular area of a particular street as a no passing zone.
    they do this for motorists passing motorists. If the design goal was safe passing for a motorist passing a cyclist going 15 mph, the lines would be totally different.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 05-27-12 at 02:07 PM.

  24. #24
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    Digital said -"Do you have any stats to prove your conclusion that texters are “steering” their cars or that they’re more not less likely to hit a VCer who is taking the lane as opposed to riding FRAP?"
    Good point- -I have as much hard data as you do-ZERO !

    John Forester- I get the point-take the lane and they won't make the usual close shave 3 abreast pass.

    You VCers are petrified of the 3 wide pass!
    The whole point of "Taking a Lane" is to prevent the 3 wide shave.

    So,just how deadly is the 3 wide pass ?
    Heck just 700 riders a year die-(300,000,000 people) -I wonder how many die because of the 3 wide pass??
    How many injured?

    Anyone have any numbers? Guesses? Plausible lies?

  25. #25
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    I'm not sure how forcing motorists to break the law and cope with oncoming traffic translates into getting off your tail faster.

    its more commonly recognized sharing the road by riding safely right equates with smoother, faster passing.
    My experience(at least in the D.C.-Metro region) is that it doesn't matter what a cyclist's road position is. There is still hostility towards cyclists' who 'hug the curb'. The only time I have noticed a driver really paying attention to how they pass a cyclist, is when the driver is 'forced' to cross over the double-yellow line to pass a cyclist. They will have to pass faster, for their own safety.

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