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Old 04-29-14, 08:22 AM   #1
benjdm
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Another reckless driving case

Jessamine Co. bicyclist charged with reckless driving sparks court case

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The rights of bicyclists to share the road with drivers is coming to a head in Jessamine County as the county takes a bicyclist charged with reckless driving to court.
For the past year, Cherokee Schill has commuted from Nicholasville to Lexington on some of the busiest roads in central Kentucky.

...To ride safely, she says it's important to be consistent so drivers know what to expect. She stays in the slow lane, taking a position in the right third of the lane...
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Old 04-29-14, 08:36 AM   #2
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More power to the cyclist on her day in court, but after reading about BF member Chipseal's court bout, I fear the worst.
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Old 04-29-14, 09:24 AM   #3
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Google maps suggests this more bike-friendly, more pleasant route, only 3 miles longer:
https://maps.google.com/maps?client=...ed=0CAgQ_AUoAQ
Click on the cyclist icon for the bike friendly route.
Plus I see no mirrors, and I think she should use the shoulder when available. This is not the case to hang bicycle rights on.
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Old 04-29-14, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Google maps suggests this more bike-friendly, more pleasant route, only 3 miles longer:
https://maps.google.com/maps?client=...ed=0CAgQ_AUoAQ
Click on the cyclist icon for the bike friendly route.
Plus I see no mirrors, and I think she should use the shoulder when available. This is not the case to hang bicycle rights on.
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Old 04-29-14, 09:44 AM   #5
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Seems to me that the extreme cases are the ones that define our laws. So this one is just the type to solidify bicyclist rights to use non-limited access roadways. On the other hand, me, I often will ride a mile or two out of my way to be on low traffic roads because I just don't want the stresses of high traffic riding.

But I want the right to ride where it pleases me, not to have where and when I can ride dictated by people calling the sheriffs office complaining that some cyclist is using their road.
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Old 04-29-14, 11:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl
It just creates a very dangerous situation when you've got somebody on a bike that's difficult to see to begin with, on a very highly travelled road, with signifigant speeds and a lot of people don't pay attention to what they should be while driving, so it all compounds itself
That pretty much sums up the lame case against her. Many motorists won't obey the law, thus we should deprive a lawful cyclist of her right to use the public road for transportation. It's for her own good, dontchaknow.

Here's a novel idea: Maybe, just maybe, the sheriffs could start enforcing the traffic laws and banning scofflaw motorists from the roads.
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Old 04-29-14, 12:37 PM   #7
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From the article:

"Under Kentucky law, bicycles are defined as vehicles and have the right to use state roadways. State law says slower-moving vehicles, including bicycles, must drive as close as practical to the right hand boundary of the road. It does not mean riding on the shoulder of the road which can often filled with glass, stones, and other debris."

Actually, no, KY statute 189.300 cites 'practicable,' but why should words matter to media...?
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Old 04-29-14, 01:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Google maps suggests this more bike-friendly, more pleasant route, only 3 miles longer:
https://maps.google.com/maps?client=...ed=0CAgQ_AUoAQ
Click on the cyclist icon for the bike friendly route.
Plus I see no mirrors, and I think she should use the shoulder when available. This is not the case to hang bicycle rights on.
Did you even pay attention to the linked route? It puts her on the same highway 27 that so many want to ban her from riding on.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:24 PM   #9
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It seems the prosecutor has turned logic on it's head with his request for a ban based on the theory that other road users are too careless. Maybe he should be seeking to ban those folks who he claims are the problem.

Hopefully the judge will realize he's constrained by the state law which clearly permits her to be there.

This kind of case can be very dangerous, because it can turn simply on the issue of poor representation rather than the law. I hope that a local lawyer versed in traffic law will be handling the case representing not only her rights, but those of other cyclists.

That said, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, and while preserving legal rights to the roads is important, some roads simply aren't good choices. If there are better alternatives it may make sense to use them. But sometimes there aren't good alternatives, or cyclists may be forced to use a major road as a connector for short distances.

As far as the safety issue goes, if the video is an indicator, she's safe because the traffic is slow and can move around her easily enough. IME this kind of congested road is actually safer than an open 4 lane road where speeds are higher.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
From the article:

"Under Kentucky law, bicycles are defined as vehicles and have the right to use state roadways. State law says slower-moving vehicles, including bicycles, must drive as close as practical to the right hand boundary of the road. It does not mean riding on the shoulder of the road which can often filled with glass, stones, and other debris."

Actually, no, KY statute 189.300 cites 'practicable,' but why should words matter to media...?
At least they got it closer than the people that always want to through in the word 'possible' into the mix.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:26 PM   #11
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Here is the Kentucky regulation that gives cyclists the option of using the shoulder:

601 KAR 14:020. Bicycle safety standards.
Quote:
Section 9. Operation of Bicycles. A bicycle shall be operated in the same manner as a motor vehicle except the following traffic conditions shall apply:

(1) A bicycle may be operated on the shoulder of a highway;

(2) If a highway lane is marked for the exclusive use of bicycles, the operator of a bicycle shall use the lane whenever feasible;

(3) Not more than two (2) bicycles shall be operated abreast in a single highway lane. (20 Ky.R. 1508; Am. 2037; eff. 2-10-94.)
Considering it's a 'may' and the shoulder has rumble strips...
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Old 04-29-14, 01:28 PM   #12
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There should be a bicycle icon to click to see a bike friendly route.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:29 PM   #13
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Personally, I'd be riding in the shoulder on that road, but she's not doing anything illegal. I'm wondering what is the basis of the reckless driving charges.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It seems the prosecutor has turned logic on it's head with his request for a ban based on the theory that other road users are too careless. Maybe he should be seeking to ban those folks who he claims are the problem.

Hopefully the judge will realize he's constrained by the state law which clearly permits her to be there.

This kind of case can be very dangerous, because it can turn simply on the issue of poor representation rather than the law. I hope that a local lawyer versed in traffic law will be handling the case representing not only her rights, but those of other cyclists.

That said, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, and while preserving legal rights to the roads is important, some roads simply aren't good choices. If there are better alternatives it may make sense to use them. But sometimes there aren't good alternatives, or cyclists may be forced to use a major road as a connector for short distances.

As far as the safety issue goes, if the video is an indicator, she's safe because the traffic is slow and can move around her easily enough. IME this kind of congested road is actually safer than an open 4 lane road where speeds are higher.
She also asked for a jury trial. I think she would do better with just a judge hearing the case and making the decision.


Her alternate route is less safe than the highway. Very narrow roads, blind bends, speeding pick up trucks around thosw bends, isolated for a lone cyclist commuting.

http://goo.gl/maps/lgm2X

I really dislike google routing suggestions for cyclists.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
There should be a bicycle icon to click to see a bike friendly route.
There is. But I have rarely liked the cycle route suggestions.

Click my link in the above post, the bicycle icon is in the left panel at the top.
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Old 04-29-14, 01:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
Personally, I'd be riding in the shoulder on that road, but she's not doing anything illegal. I'm wondering what is the basis of the reckless driving charges.
Personally, I would ride the same way she is. Some of the photos I have seen show a wide rumble strip, and large amounts of debris on the shoulder, which of course has a great deal of glass.

If the want her to give the shoulder a try, they need to clean it weekly.
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Old 04-29-14, 02:10 PM   #17
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I don't like it, not one bit, I hope she wins, but it does illustrate why I make it a conscious effort to not take the lane and avoid busy arterials when there are reasonable options.
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Old 04-29-14, 02:34 PM   #18
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If some one told me to add 6mi to my daily commute I'd tell them to piss off. That is ~20min of my day every day traded for a few seconds of convenience for a motorist rarely.
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Old 04-29-14, 02:34 PM   #19
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I don't like it, not one bit, I hope she wins, but it does illustrate why I make it a conscious effort to not take the lane and avoid busy arterials when there are reasonable options.
You would not take the lane in this situation?
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Old 04-29-14, 02:48 PM   #20
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In all honesty, riding this route on a daily basis would have me rethinking my options. But this is America and we have the right to do things that others may choose not to.

As far as the claim that it's a hazard to herself and others goes, the prosecutors argument is actually in her favor because while there have been accidents and deaths, none have involved her or drivers in her immediate vicinity. It might be argued that her presence there makes everybody safer by slowing traffic behind her, and reducing density ahead.
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Old 04-29-14, 02:54 PM   #21
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You would not take the lane in this situation?

that shoulder looks pretty decent to me.
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Old 04-29-14, 03:24 PM   #22
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The good news is that when she wins her lawsuit she will be able to buy a new car AND there will be a bike lane.
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Old 04-29-14, 03:38 PM   #23
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You would not take the lane in this situation?
No, I would be riding the shoulder unless it was physically impossible, if I needed to avoid debris I would treat it like a pass. Ideally I try to avoid roads like that in the first place, but unfortunately that's sometimes not possible, so I run puncture resistant tires on my bikes, then I don't have to fret over every little crumb of debris. Luckly, in my area most roads like that have good bike lanes.
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Old 04-29-14, 05:12 PM   #24
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The good news is that when she wins her lawsuit she will be able to buy a new car AND there will be a bike lane.
What lawsuit?
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Old 04-29-14, 06:56 PM   #25
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You would not take the lane in this situation?

No, I'd be over in that shoulder! Maybe I'm worried about the local driver quality (or lack there of), or maybe I'm just plain chicken.

Good to see she has Hi-viz and I hope she has some kick-ass lights (Dinotte?) on the back.
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