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  1. #1
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    Alabama's sidepath rule

    Alabama has a law that states...

    "Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway."
    (Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-105.)

    Does this mean sidewalks too? If it does, since there is no law here stating that bikes must yield to peds, does that mean I can run over small children, little old ladies, and puppy dogs with impunity and abandon?


    OK, seriously, does the word "usable" provide an out?

    RK

  2. #2
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjkfsm View Post
    Alabama has a law that states...

    "Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway."
    (Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-105.)

    Does this mean sidewalks too? If it does, since there is no law here stating that bikes must yield to peds, does that mean I can run over small children, little old ladies, and puppy dogs with impunity and abandon?


    OK, seriously, does the word "usable" provide an out?

    RK
    This made me think about a bike path on road near me. The straight lanes are to the left of the bike lane. The right-turn lane is to the right of the bike path. There is no way I will ride in that bike lane, the way people drive in this region.

  3. #3
    Senior Member silmarillion's Avatar
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    Good question.

    I would suppose if there is a MUP paralleling a roadway, you have to use the MUP. I hope that doesn't spread. I don't like riding on MUP's because they are poorly maintained. At least they are here. And like you say, they are full of ped traffic.

    PLAY FREEBIRD MAN !!!

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    "Whenever you think you have something dummy-proof, someone builds a better idiot." - Wisdom overheard on the BF

  4. #4
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    I really hate riding on sidewalks. I guess I'm going to have be a rebel.

  5. #5
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think that this would include sidewalks, or indeed any place that's intended as a pedestrian way.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  6. #6
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    There was a similar law in PA, but it was repealed.

    But I'd interpret it as a bike path or lane, not a sidewalk or MUP.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    One of the unintended consequences of infrastructure advocacy, restriction of bicycles to that infrastructure, whether explicit as in this case or implicit in the minds of the motorists.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjkfsm View Post
    Alabama has a law that states...

    "Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway."
    (Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §12-105.)

    Does this mean sidewalks too? If it does, since there is no law here stating that bikes must yield to peds, does that mean I can run over small children, little old ladies, and puppy dogs with impunity and abandon?


    OK, seriously, does the word "usable" provide an out?

    RK
    This wording got put into the Uniform Vehicle Code in 1944, along with the FTR law. California motorists attempted to have this put in the California Vehicle Code in 1972, but cyclists stopped them by demonstrating the dangers. As a result, states who had adopted this statute started repealing it.

  9. #9
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    I think you could present some argument about what "usable" means. The way I see it, some so-called paths are not usable because of debris, the way they handle crossing streets, the presence of pedestrians, etc. If you take usable to the most liberal definition you could say that sidewalks, front lawns, and even railroad tracks are usable - but is that what the statute means.

    Perhaps you could do some legal research to determine if any citations were made using this.

    -G

  10. #10
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    One of the unintended consequences of infrastructure advocacy, restriction of bicycles to that infrastructure, whether explicit as in this case or implicit in the minds of the motorists.
    And realy a reasonable position from a motorists point of view. You have yuor own path, let me have mine!

    I know I tend to feel that way if I happen to ride the bike path in the Sepulveda Flood Control basin and joggers get in my way.

    Being on a bike that is not all the time. Bikes are slow enough and bike path traffic low enough that one cen look around and notice when hte running trail is muddy. So then I understand. BUT when it is dry and in good shape it is even more upsetting. Then they have a surface that is actually batter for running, yet some insiste on running the bike path.

    In what is perhaps a bit of irony that is also a place where a lot of cyclists take the road. In some part becaseu the bike path is non optimal, but even more becaseu it only lasts a couple of miles and is a real pain to get on ond off of. BUT any (non-cycling) driver who passes a cyclist in that strech is not very apt to think of this.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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