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  1. #26
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    The tickets against him (last I heard) were dismissed.

    He did loose on some of his assertions, the main one being that he didn't ever have to ride FRAP because of the safety exception on the grounds that riding FRAP is always more dangerous then taking the lane. (At least that is the attitude I got from his web-site and the articles I've read.)

    But it is also true that he was at least in a good enough position to be possible of winning some of the other points for the municipal authorities to be offering him a settlement on them. With a settlement we will never know for sure if he could have won any of the others.

    I would certainly agree that without a lane width exception in that states FRAP law unless you try to argue a case that the entire law should because of a lack of a lane width exception that it really isn't a matter for the case but it is a matter that has been brought up in this thread including specific width numbers being discussed.

    As to the ability to safely ride the shoulder edge in question on the road in question, at least in the summary judgement on multiple points before the main trial 60+ pager I read whether that shoulder edge was an acceptable alternative or not was not specifically addressed. Rather the judges decision was only that IF it was then the way the law of that state was worded the cyclist did have to use it to allow overtaking motorists to pass. Last I know on this that if part was still open for the main trial and not settled in the initial ruling on clearly stated that if it was then the cyclist would be in violation for not using it when there was faster traffic trying to pass him from behind.

    From what I saw in his videos he posted in some places I would myself personally consider sections of that shoulder edge ride-able and I would have been using it accordingly. Other sections I would agree with the cyclist and I personally would not consider safely ride-able except as an emergency escape situation and would ride accordingly not on the those sections of the shoulder edge but rather taking the lane like he did. But it is also true that the laws where I ride in my home state and a couple neighboring ones are far better then the laws in his state and that is a factor to consider when deciding how to ride.

  2. #27
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Why whatever do you mean, by the buzz words cycling "effectively and efficiently", or following the law? Are those code words too like "engineering facts" that have special (but no legal) meaning to those who think they are in the know.

    Please explain without a Wall of Words, if possible.
    Okay, I'll do my best all though it probably won't meet your standards:

    ----- cycling "effectively and efficiently" = Is not riding in the ditch through weeds and dirt and holes and over rocks and debris next to a perfectly good paved roadway. Is not riding on shoulder edges that are way worse condition then the main roadway. Is not riding on a side-path that has lots of driveways and intersections that is set-up so bikes must always yield to cars and don't even have the same level of ROW that pedestrians have at crossings. Shoulder edge surface conditions do not have to be perfect and side-paths do not have to have the exact same level of ROW as the main road, I'm willing to accept a reasonable amount of a little extra work and time and hassle on my part to be respectful of other road users when possible, but I'm not going to be a walk on door mat either.

    ----- "following the law" = doing what the law says legitimately interpreted as much as it can be in favor of the cyclist but still not ignoring what it plainly says that can't be interpreted away. There are states where shoulder edge riding, bike lane use, and side path use, are mandatory and not all of them have proper exceptions of safety or even needful movements like left turns. Also states with very stringent FRAP laws that do not have necessary safety exceptions in them much less exceptions for "effective and efficient travel".


    ---------------------------------------------------------------


    ----- the "effective and efficiently travel" line is my own (to my knowledge). As the best phrase I've come up with to explain that I don't consider riding in the ditch through weeds and dirt and holes and over rocks and debris next to a paved roadway acceptable. It is not official legal terminology to my knowledge but the basic idea has been legally established for bicycles in legal specifics. If this did not matter then there would be no reason to even build roads and you could just draw lines on maps showing right of way areas where people could legally travel on public land and just let them deal with surface conditions as they be and figure it out themselves. Bicycles were a big part of the push to get roads paved in the beginning.

    ----- the "safely travel" line is not my own and does have legal significance.

  3. #28
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    The town settled a nuisance suit for a minimum amount of money. Happens every day.

  4. #29
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Okay, I'll do my best all though it probably won't meet your standards:

    ----- cycling "effectively and efficiently" = Is not riding in the ditch through weeds and dirt and holes and over rocks and debris next to a perfectly good paved roadway. Is not riding on shoulder edges that are way worse condition then the main roadway. Is not riding on a side-path that has lots of driveways and intersections that is set-up so bikes must always yield to cars and don't even have the same level of ROW that pedestrians have at crossings. Shoulder edge surface conditions do not have to be perfect and side-paths do not have to have the exact same level of ROW as the main road, I'm willing to accept a reasonable amount of a little extra work and time and hassle on my part to be respectful of other road users when possible, but I'm not going to be a walk on door mat either.

    ----- "following the law" = doing what the law says legitimately interpreted as much as it can be in favor of the cyclist but still not ignoring what it plainly says that can't be interpreted away. There are states where shoulder edge riding, bike lane use, and side path use, are mandatory and not all of them have proper exceptions of safety or even needful movements like left turns. Also states with very stringent FRAP laws that do not have necessary safety exceptions in them much less exceptions for "effective and efficient travel".


    ---------------------------------------------------------------


    ----- the "effective and efficiently travel" line is my own (to my knowledge). As the best phrase I've come up with to explain that I don't consider riding in the ditch through weeds and dirt and holes and over rocks and debris next to a paved roadway acceptable. It is not official legal terminology to my knowledge but the basic idea has been legally established for bicycles in legal specifics. If this did not matter then there would be no reason to even build roads and you could just draw lines on maps showing right of way areas where people could legally travel on public land and just let them deal with surface conditions as they be and figure it out themselves. Bicycles were a big part of the push to get roads paved in the beginning.

    ----- the "safely travel" line is not my own and does have legal significance.
    You have relatively succinctly stated what kind of cycling your "effective and efficiently travel" line does not include.

    By coincidence, efficient and effective cycling is a phrase often used by some Vehicular Cycling ideologues who believe they alone are the keepers of the flame for safe as well as legal cycling.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjdm View Post
    It's also ambiguous about what moving to the right requires. Do you have to move over to the shoulder or merely move right within the lane?
    There is another law that requires all vehicles (not specificly bicyclists) to move to the right when another vehicle is passing. Vehicles are not required to move off the roadway (which does not include the shoulder). Bicyclists are not required to use the shoulder (except in rare cases).

    No, the "move to the right" requirement (which is common) does not require cyclists to leave the roadway (and move into the shoulder).

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Interesting decision and agreement, a federal magistrate has upheld that a cyclist in MA must move to the right to allow cars to pass when its objectively safe to do so. So its a bit of a blow against vehicular cycling, and creates a huge gray area of the meaning of objectively safe. I am sure there is lots to discuss here.
    In most (if not all) states, all vehicles are required to move to the right when being passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    John are you saying that if a lane is less than 12 feet a cyclist need never pull off to the right?
    ??? "Pull off" seems to imply "leave the roadway". "Leaving the roadway" is (basically) not required.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 12-05-13 at 04:11 PM.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    "pull off to the right" means pull off of the roadway. The roadway is the pavement between the fog lines. This is not the same as FRAP. I have always taken "objectively safe" as meaning that there is a pullout, which for a bicycle might be a wide shoulder. Riding on the fog line is not "pulling out to the right." Riding into the ditch and crashing is not "objectively safe." In Pennsylvania, any vehicle or pedalcycle going less than the predominant speed that has 5 vehicles behind it is required to pull out to the right if it is objectively safe. I don't see this as a VC issue at all
    Often, these "turn out" laws (many states have one) are talking about using lanes/areas designated for this purpose. This law might also be indicated only as a requirement for motor vehicles.

    Anyway, it seems that these laws are intended to apply on steep upgrades (mountain passes). These laws are generally moot for cyclists because they are narrow enough not to have any number of vehicles behind them for very long (that is, the situations where they would actually apply to cyclists are very rare).

  8. #33
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    You have relatively succinctly stated what kind of cycling your "effective and efficiently travel" line does not include.

    By coincidence, efficient and effective cycling is a phrase often used by some Vehicular Cycling ideologues who believe they alone are the keepers of the flame for safe as well as legal cycling.
    Sometimes its easier to define something by what it is not rather then what it is. That kind of negative definition is about the best I can give you on that one. I do agree with you that militant hard-line VCers are not the only "keepers of the flame". I have no issue with those who themselves do not choose to ride VC if they still respect the rights of others to do so if they so desire as a free will choice. It's those who wish to violate the road rights of other cyclists that I have an issue with, and to a lesser extent I have an issue with VC hard liners that also wish to violate the rights of others to ride on seperate infrastructure if they so please as their right of free will choice. Every cyclist should have both options available to them and not have to be subjected to harassment even by other cyclists for their choice.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    "pull off to the right" means pull off of the roadway. The roadway is the pavement between the fog lines.
    So let's say you're on a high traffic volume road. Traffic behind you wants to pass. So you pull off the roadway onto the shoulder. Since traveling on the shoulder is against the law, you wait for a gap in the 40 mph car traffic to re-enter the roadway...and wait....and wait....and wait....

    That's why I'm concerned about the ruling and want to read the details.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    There is another law that requires all vehicles (not specificly bicyclists) to move to the right when another vehicle is passing. Vehicles are not required to move off the roadway (which does not include the shoulder). Bicyclists are not required to use the shoulder (except in rare cases).

    No, the "move to the right" requirement (which is common) does not require cyclists to leave the roadway (and move into the shoulder).
    Then I am happy with the outcome. AFAIK, bicyclists in Massachusetts are not only not required to use the shoulder, they are prohibited from traveling on the shoulder by the same law that prohibits cars from traveling on it. (With limited exceptions.)

  11. #36
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    Just checking. Is anyone here aware that Massachusetts is *NOT* a FRAP state?

    -mr. bill

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjdm View Post
    Then I am happy with the outcome. AFAIK, bicyclists in Massachusetts are not only not required to use the shoulder, they are prohibited from traveling on the shoulder by the same law that prohibits cars from traveling on it. (With limited exceptions.)
    Well, bicyclists might technically be prohibited from using shoulder, but, in practice, they are not. I doubt that any cyclist hascever been ticked for riding on the shoulder.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Just checking. Is anyone here aware that Massachusetts is *NOT* a FRAP state?

    -mr. bill
    Is that relevant?

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Well, bicyclists might technically be prohibited from using shoulder, but, in practice, they are not. I doubt that any cyclist hascever been ticked for riding on the shoulder.
    Bicyclists in Massachusetts are not, in fact, prohibited from using the shoulder. There are numerous reasons why a cyclist might choose not to ride a shoulder. But law is not one of them.

    ( http://www.eot.state.ma.us/accelerat...ion_033010.pdf . )

    -mr. bill

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    These damn VCers confuse vehicles with MOTORvehicles all the time. More like peds on wheels.
    Same laws/ same rules = nonsense.
    Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 12-05-13 at 08:58 PM.

  16. #41
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    As a Massachusetts rider, who rides through the Hadley, Northhampton area with some frequency my guess is that this ruling will have absolutely no impact on how and where I ride nor impact 99.99% of cyclists in the area.

    It seemed to have more to do with an individual's capacity to tie up the legal system, the courts, police officers and anyone else that could be embroiled in a whipped up frenzy over the interpretation of a narrow point of law that normally does not require such scrutiny since most people use common sense as opposed to fundamentalist dogma when they choose where and how to ride.
    Last edited by buzzman; 12-05-13 at 09:55 PM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Bicyclists in Massachusetts are not, in fact, prohibited from using the shoulder. There are numerous reasons why a cyclist might choose not to ride a shoulder. But law is not one of them.

    ( http://www.eot.state.ma.us/accelerat...ion_033010.pdf . )

    -mr. bill
    Err. That reference isn't talking about what the law says.

    It also indicates that the shoulder is part of the roadway. Usually, "roadway" refers to the part of the "road" normally used for travelling. The "shoulder" is not normally used for travelling (the state laws typically prohibit using the shoulders for travelling). The "roadway" and "shoulder" are different parts of the "road".

    No state prohibits bicyclists specifically from using the sholder.

    Most (likely all) states prohibit vehicles from travelling on the shoulder (I don't believe it's just motor vehicles). A few states require cyclists to use the shoulder in certain situations (NY being one). Few states indicate that bicyclists (unlike drivers of other vehicles) are allowed to ride on the shoulder.

    Whatever the law says or implies, no one, in practice, cares that cyclists use the shoulder (many people would prefer that they do).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 12-05-13 at 10:59 PM.

  18. #43
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    As a Massachusetts rider, who rides through the Hadley, Northhampton area with some frequency my guess is that this ruling will have absolutely no impact on how and where I ride nor impact 99.99% of cyclists in the area.

    It seemed to have more to do with an individual's capacity to tie up the legal system, the courts, police officers and anyone else that could be embroiled in a whipped up frenzy over the interpretation of a narrow point of law that normally does not require such scrutiny since most people use common sense as opposed to fundamentalist dogma when they choose where and how to ride.
    Damn those fundamentalist dogma cops. At least now they will be prohibited from practicing their dogma on cyclists.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-06-13 at 12:00 AM.
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  19. #44
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The VC haters are many in this thread.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Bicyclists in Massachusetts are not, in fact, prohibited from using the shoulder. There are numerous reasons why a cyclist might choose not to ride a shoulder. But law is not one of them.

    ( http://www.eot.state.ma.us/accelerat...ion_033010.pdf . )

    -mr. bill
    That pdf makes no references to laws.

    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...r85/Section11b
    Section 11B. Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the bicycle operator may keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, (2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn; provided, however, that signals need not be made continuously and shall not be made when the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle, and (3) bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety, unless otherwise directed by local ordinance. A person operating a bicycle on the sidewalk shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
    Drivers who are driving in the shoulder (or 'breakdown lane') are ticketed for violating 89 4b (Example 1 and Example 2):
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...er89/Section4B
    Section 4B. Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn. When the right lane has been constructed or designated for purposes other than ordinary travel, a driver shall drive his vehicle in the lane adjacent to the right lane except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left or right turn; provided, however, that a driver may drive his vehicle in such right lane if signs have been erected by the department of highways permitting the use of such lane.
    If you are given a ticket for violating Chapter 89 Section 4B while riding your bicycle on a shoulder and being passed by faster motor vehicle traffic in the travel lane, what law are you going to cite that gives you the ability to violate Chapter 89 Section 4B? There aren't any in Massachusetts. You could argue that 89 11B gives you the ability to ride on a shoulder to pass slower traffic in the travel lane, but nowhere does it give you the ability to just travel on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    A few states require cyclists to use the shoulder in certain situations (NY being one).
    NY is not one. You can't construct 1234 such that it requires traveling on the shoulder. You are required to use a bike lane if a safe one is available, but if it is not, you can travel "near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder." There is an OR in there. And NY state explicitly defines roadway as not including the shoulder.

  21. #46
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I agree with (unterhausen) that being a egotistical pighead cyclist with a whole string of cars behind is a reason to pull over and let them pass. I too have done so a few times in the past. If nothing else it creates good public relations for cyclist.

    That said I still feel that cyclist do have the right to take the lane. It also borders on the FRAP rule. ONLY the cyclist is a judge of how for right he can safely ride. Trash and broken up shoulders have to be avoided.

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    So did he WIN LOSE OR DRAW ?

    I ride right because it is where cars spend the least amount of time. TEXTING means the driver looks up every 5 seconds while his car moves more or less down the middle of the road. No way would I select the middle of the road in the AGE OF DISTRACTED DRIVING.
    I am not un-nerved or particularly concerned by close shaves. Close shavers are generally alert drivers.
    It is also polite-and since I take the same route-for years- I see these same drivers over and over.Only a fool would intentionally piss them off by using a completely unproven(and unproveable) "safety" technique that assumes a 25 lb bicycle can prevent an aggressive driver from making a dangerous pass.
    It might decrease close shaves-done by alert drivers-but alert drivers aren't the ones that kill riders.
    You lane takers are using the wrong marker-close shaves aren't a suitable stand in for "hits"
    Why don't you actually measure-keep a log-how many lane takers are hit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjdm View Post
    NY is not one. You can't construct 1234 such that it requires traveling on the shoulder. You are required to use a bike lane if a safe one is available, but if it is not, you can travel "near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder." There is an OR in there. And NY state explicitly defines roadway as not including the shoulder.
    The "or" isn't indicating a choice between two equivalent options.

    (a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skate shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along near the right-hand curb or edge. - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/V....dH1LfIui.dpuf
    If there's a shoulder and it's usable and you are unduely interfering with traffic, you have to use it.

    Very few state laws mention shoulders. In the states that don't, you are never required to use them but (rather obviously) you can use them. That is, in those states, using the shoulder is a choice between options (the roadway is the explicit option and the shoulder is the unspoken one).

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/VAT/VII/25/1120

    (b) In addition, upon all roadways, any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall 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, - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/V....7msg7jJp.dpuf
    Here's a similar law (a very similar law) with the same use of "or" (many states have this law).

    If there are two (or more) lanes going in the same way, you have to use the right hand one if you are going slow (you can be anywhere in it). Or (if there is no right-hand lane), you have to be close to the right side of the travel lane.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 12-06-13 at 08:34 AM.

  24. #49
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    Dang, I can't even figure out who is arguing what point of view here. I pretty much ride wherever I need to to feel safe, right, left or in the lane. The last time I was stopped for riding on the right hand side of the roadway was in northeastern Arkansas in 1972. And that was a long time ago in a place far far away.
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Damn those fundamentalist dogma cops. At least now they will be prohibited from practicing their dogma on cyclists.
    I would concur with those who disparaged the cluelessness of the cops involved and how they handled Eli Damon's persistence and baiting of their ignorance. That said, it won't change a thing for how cyclists ride or are treated in Hadley. This was much ado about nothing that cost the Town of Hadley not only the cost of the settlement but legal and administrative costs. If you think this is an example of responsible advocacy and good citizenship that raises public opinion or makes the world better for cyclists then I believe you are mistaken.


    The VC haters are many in this thread.

    I realize I often defend bicycle infrastructure, like bike paths, MUPS, Rail Trails, bike lanes and sharrows but that defense does not define how I ride on the road in the absence of said accommodations. Making use of the full lane, riding as a vehicle on the roadway is something that I do every single day that I ride. I think if you rode with me on the roadway you would find I am very much a vehicular cyclist. This type of riding was around long before certain "bike experts" turned "Vehicular Cycling" into a trademarked dogma, which is often used to drive a wedge between cyclists. You would be absolutely correct to say I am not that kind of "VC" cyclist. I'm more of a pragmatic vehicular cyclist than a dogmatic Vehicular Cyclist.

    But I have no idea how it serves you, other cyclists or bike advocacy in general to delineate those who do not adhere to this dogma as "VC Haters". I don't hate it I just don't buy it. I don't get it as a strategy to win others over to your point of view.

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