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View Poll Results: Please choose the option that most accurately reflects your position.
I support laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes when they exist. 2 2.11%
I support laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes as long as they have reasonable exceptions (e.g. CA's 21208). 27 28.42%
I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes. 16 16.84%
I would support a law that explicitly said cyclists are never required to ride in a bike lane. 6 6.32%
I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes AND I would support a law that explicitly said cyclists are never required to ride in a bike lane. 44 46.32%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-24-05, 09:23 PM   #1
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Mandatory bike lanes

Let's see if we can agree on this much about bike lanes...

Do you support laws that require cyclists (with exceptions) to ride in bike lanes when they exist?
Would you support a law repealing any such requirement?
Would you support a law that explicitly stated cyclists are never required to ride in bike lanes?

VOTE NOW!
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Old 02-24-05, 10:56 PM   #2
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>>>>I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes<<<<

I choose this one because the others seem too radical. I think it should be optional to ride in the bike lane and repealing any laws to the contrary is a good idea. All bike lanes are not created equal so the bad ones need to be avoided with no penalty from the law.
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Old 02-24-05, 11:10 PM   #3
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I tend to agree with you but in the end would support making the explicit statement in order to make it clear to motorists, law enforcement agencies and driver manual writers. Such a law might even get mentioned in the driver manual...
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Old 02-25-05, 03:39 AM   #4
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I don't support the "reasonable exceptions" provision because the cop and the judge get to decide what's reasonable. As this thread about a NYC ticket shows, cops often have a very stupid idea about when cyclists may leave bike lanes. The cop claimed that in order to make a left turn, cyclists must wait until the last second to leave a bike lane and dart across traffic.

If you scroll down to post #81, the cyclist explains that the NYC cop gave him a ticket for not using the bike lane because the cyclist moved to the left lane half a block before he was going to turn left. The cycist ended upp paying the ticket.

Steve, why is it "too radical" to say that cyclists don't have to use bike lanes?
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Old 02-25-05, 03:46 AM   #5
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In the UK there is no obligation to use a bike lane.

It seems to work OK, although you do end up in the odd shouting match with drivers who don't know the rule.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:37 AM   #6
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Kill Me . . . Kill Me Now!!!

OK, I'll bite, albeit against my better judgment. Instead of writing laws about bike lanes, how about getting transpo engineers to design and munis to install properly designed lanes. I believe a lot of the problems with bike lanes are improper design. Given a good standardized design, then the issue of writing laws for cyclists and lanes should be addressed, analogous to laws for motorists and lane striping.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:46 AM   #7
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Sheesh, another lame troll poll?!

What cyclist in their right mind would vote for laws that restrict how and where they can ride?
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Old 02-25-05, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick burns
What cyclist in their right mind would vote for laws that restrict how and where they can ride?
When you support the striping of a bike lane, you implicitely support forcing cyclists to use it. Generally, the law either expressly requires cyclists to use bike lanes (mandatory sidepath laws) or implicitely requires cyclists to use them (because a cyclist not using a bike lane would not be as far to the right as "practicable" in a cop's judgment).
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Old 02-25-05, 10:15 AM   #9
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oops.

I selected:
I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes.

but meant to select:


I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes AND I would support a law that explicitly said cyclists are never required to ride in a bike lane.


I hope this poll is satisfying you, serge, and is furthering your understanding of how people @ bikeforums who paricipate in your threads think/feel/respond.
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Old 02-25-05, 10:42 AM   #10
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The last option to make BLs as optional as possible for cyclists.

In AZ you are never required to use BL, but if a vehicle passes you closer than 3ft and injures/kills you the driver is fined $1000. However if a BL is present in this same situation and you are not in it and they pass and hit you they are not fined. So clearly this law support the concept that its OK to hit a cyclist if they are not in the BL.

Al
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Old 02-25-05, 11:32 AM   #11
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I don't see the need for any such law and I only see the need for bike lanes where they offer a cyclist a parallel path to otherwise dense fast multi laned "urban hiways" with speeds over 45MPH.

I simply want an alternative to riding between the autos on these "urban hiways," and while a WOL is a start, a Bike Lane is better... it alerts fast moving autos that I will be there on the road and they should stay in their place.

I also feel that many current bike lanes are poorly designed and probably not needed.
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Old 02-25-05, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
The last option to make BLs as optional as possible for cyclists.

In AZ you are never required to use BL, but if a vehicle passes you closer than 3ft and injures/kills you the driver is fined $1000. However if a BL is present in this same situation and you are not in it and they pass and hit you they are not fined. So clearly this law support the concept that its OK to hit a cyclist if they are not in the BL.

Al
That sounds terrible, but has that situation ever come to pass? Knowing how heartless some lawyers can be I'm sure it has.

Despite being a big supporter of increased facilities (WOLs, Bike Lanes, & MUPs) I would never support any laws limiting the use of any road by cyclists. Hell, I even think interstates out of Urban areas should be open to cyclists, and I believe that some are, though I could be wrong. Living in California I know the law says that a cyclist should use a bike lane when supplied, but there are so many loopholes that it really hardly matters. On roads like Venice the shoulder and bike lane area are so wide that even the most aggressive VC cyclist would find themselves in the bike lane 95% of the time. And at intersections the lane goes to the left of right-turning traffic with signage alerting motorists to watch for merging cyclists, again not perfect, but at least not the normal suicidal path. Then on roads like Santa Monica the bike lane runs right in the door zone, and since the law specifically states that a cyclist can use their judgement to avoid hazards I avoid the whole hazardous bike lane. Finally I think the LAPD is so busy dealing with real crime it would have to be a very slow day for a cop to waste even a second on where I'm riding. Every cop I've ever encountered down here either smiles and waves or looks so busy that they don't even see me.
While I can understand the worry of a lawyer using even the smallest bike lane requirements against a cyclist in a bike/auto accident. I believe laws like the CA one are written to include common sense and allow a cyclist to use their best judgement. But I did vote for the final option, because the idea of a cyclist being prosecuted, even just one, for not using a bike lane turns my stomach.
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Old 02-25-05, 02:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lala
I hope this poll is satisfying you, serge, and is furthering your understanding of how people @ bikeforums who paricipate in your threads think/feel/respond.
It is, thanks. I'm happy to see most of us agree on at least this aspect of bike lanes.

What do you think the chances are of actually repealing these laws. Ha. A couple of years ago there was a concerted effort to loosen up some of the restrictions. It looked like it was going to pass until the CHP and AAA (i.e. motorist lobby) took a strong stand against it. Most cyclists don't even realize how hammered we're getting by the motorist lobby, and that cyclists who are bike lane supporters are pawns on the side of the motorist lobby.
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Old 02-25-05, 02:37 PM   #14
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This poll is hopelessly biased; I won't be voting.
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Old 02-25-05, 02:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by randya
This poll is hopelessly biased; I won't be voting.
How could it be changed to be objective in your view?
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Old 02-25-05, 02:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Treespeed
I believe laws like the CA one are written to include common sense and allow a cyclist to use their best judgement.
That's what I thought until I heard from the guys who got those exceptions put in there, and what they had to go through to get them. It is my understanding that the interpretation of "common sense" back then was that cyclists should stay out of the way of motorists, period. That's the basis for 21202 and 21208. The only way the cycling advocates got those exceptions put in was by arguing that the state would get sued for wrongful death without them. The end result is legal mumbo-jumbo of which most cyclists are not aware (not to mention motorists and law enforcement), so it does not do them much good. What everyone seems to be affected by is the key language:
Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway ... any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway ... shall ride within the bicycle lane...
Anyway, here's the full text of 21208:

21208. (a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
(bold emphasis mine)
In other words...
"You better be in the bike lane, boy, unless you have a damn good reason!"
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Old 02-25-05, 02:48 PM   #17
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Randya - how is this poll biased?
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Old 02-25-05, 02:56 PM   #18
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I shouldn't have to explain myself, you should know exactly what I mean. But *sigh* IMO, these are leading questions that further your agenda. If you still don't understand, see post #7.
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Old 02-25-05, 03:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Serge *******
Randya - how is this poll biased?
Every poll you create is biased. They're designed solely for the purpose of extracting responses that you can use to promote your ideas.
This has been brought to your attention numerous times, and each time you feign ignorance.
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Old 02-25-05, 03:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lala
oops.

I selected:
I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes.

but meant to select:


I would support repealing any laws that require cyclists to ride in bike lanes AND I would support a law that explicitly said cyclists are never required to ride in a bike lane.
Me, too. Didn't read the last one too carefully.
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Old 02-25-05, 03:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick burns
Every poll you create is biased. They're designed solely for the purpose of extracting responses that you can use to promote your ideas.
This has been brought to your attention numerous times, and each time you feign ignorance.
How is it biased? Just because I have a bias, and I create the poll, doesn't mean it's biased. What specifically about it is biased. And DC asked a good question: how would you change it so it would not be biased? Is the wording biased? Is the question order biased? What's biased about this poll?

Besides, if you're right, then my polls are poorly designed, since this is the first poll, I believe, whose results actually agree with my opinion. If I wanted to post a poll designed to produce pre-determined results, they would be producing those results.

It's a free country. You are free to think that I have some nefarious purposes here, but I'm constantly questioning my own assumptions, and these polls are ways to confirm or refute my assumptions about what other cyclists think.

The bike lane poll is a good example. Someone else started a pretty simply poll, asking simply whether you supported bike lanes or not. I thought it was a good idea, but wanted to see more nuanced opinions. So I started my own poll, and then a moderator combined the two.

I've been thinking about some other polls, based on a recent post (#589?) from sbhikes/Diane in the huge bike lane poll thread. Since the time I've been here I've assumed that it was self-evident that riding near the edge of the roadway makes a cyclist less visible than riding further out in the lane, closer to the center. Diane surprised me in her post when she said that she disagreed with that. Now I'm wondering how many other cyclists in this forum see it in the way she does. A poll would allow me to find out. But if I did that, would that be a poll "designed solely for the purpose of extracting responses that [I] can use to promote [my] ideas?"

All I'm trying to promote is safe and fun traffic cycling. Of course I have my ideas on how to do that. Is there anything wrong with that? You guys make it sounds like I have some kind of dark and nefarious motivations.
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Old 02-25-05, 03:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge *******

That's what I thought until I heard from the guys who got those exceptions put in there, and what they had to go through to get them. It is my understanding that the interpretation of "common sense" back then was that cyclists should stay out of the way of motorists, period. That's the basis for 21202 and 21208. The only way the cycling advocates got those exceptions put in was by arguing that the state would get sued for wrongful death without them. The end result is legal mumbo-jumbo of which most cyclists are not aware (not to mention motorists and law enforcement), so it does not do them much good. What everyone seems to be affected by is the key language:
Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway ... any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway ... shall ride within the bicycle lane...
Anyway, here's the full text of 21208:

21208. (a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
(bold emphasis mine)
In other words...
"You better be in the bike lane, boy, unless you have a damn good reason!"
Serge,

I don't mean to inflame you but that is your reading of the law, with, I think we can all agree a fairly hefty bias. A bias that you are more than welcome to have. You are closing your eyes to the numerous exceptions in this law and really stretching the premise of cyclist persecution and segregation.
Yes, in your philosophy this law should not exist and if it didn't there would be no reason to have exceptions. But we can also agree that in your opinion there really shouldn't be a bike lane at all, which is again an opinion you are more than entitled to have.

So lets recap, you're not thrilled with bike lanes, and you really don't like laws requiring you to use them.
That's cool. It is my opinion though that there are enough exceptions in this law, especially for an experienced cyclist who wishes to bike vehicularly. One of the first portions of the law states if the cyclist is moving slower than traffic then they should be in the bike lane, if you're moving faster than traffic instant bike lane out. You've stated before that it is rude to be in traffic if you are impeding traffic (taking the lane.) Though if you feel the bike lane is unsafe that is also an instant out of the bike lane, road debris (which you are fond of pointing out,) along with the door zone would be perfect examples of the lane being hazardous. Again, as I stated before, the law seems to leave the decision to what is hazardous up to the rider. You believe that most lanes by there very nature are hazardous, so that would be your logic in avoiding them.

This really begs the question, has anyone in California been cited under this provision?

As an aside on my ride to get coffee at lunch I saw two USC students one exiting a sidewalk onto a crosswalk, the other riding on the wrong side of the street plow into each other. No serious injuries, but each of course blaming the other for the accident. I guess they don't have any cyclist education on this campus.
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Old 02-25-05, 04:22 PM   #23
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As an aside on my ride to get coffee at lunch I saw two USC students one exiting a sidewalk onto a crosswalk, the other riding on the wrong side of the street plow into each other. No serious injuries, but each of course blaming the other for the accident. I guess they don't have any cyclist education on this campus.
Heh - I was at USC yesterday, and had to dodge kids riding their cruisers all over the sidewalk. Good thing there are some wide sidewalks there. Too bad the bike lane is in the door zone most of the time.

I think the CA law has reasonable enough exceptions. I feel confident that I'm not breaking any laws when I take the lane to avoid getting right-hooked or avoid fallen palm tree parts. Most of the streets I ride on during my commute are plenty wide, and if they don't have a bike lane (stretches of Moulton Parkway near Leisure World), I'll take the right lane, and the cars have two other lanes to use to get around me.
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Old 02-25-05, 04:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Treespeed
As an aside on my ride to get coffee at lunch I saw two USC students one exiting a sidewalk onto a crosswalk, the other riding on the wrong side of the street plow into each other. No serious injuries, but each of course blaming the other for the accident. I guess they don't have any cyclist education on this campus.


Oh, believe me, my eyes are not closed to the exceptions in the law. I believe it is a brilliant piece of nuanced legislation, because it gives me all the outs I need. The problem with it is that the outs are nuanced. That is, only geeks like us bother to learn the law and how it applies to us, so that we can ride outside of the bike lane when necessary confident in the knowledge that what we are doing is legal. The problem is that most cyclists, who are not geeks, don't know this. Most motorists don't know it - these nuances are not explained in the driver's manual - that's for sure. And, sadly, most law enforcement officers don't know it. Luckily their lack of knowledge about cyclist rights doesn't affect us directly very much because they rarely enforce it, but it does affect us in other more insidious ways (see below). In other words, while your eyes and my eyes are not closed to the nuanced exceptions, the eyes of most people are. A quick informal poll in your place of work should convince you quickly enough. Just ask: when is a cyclist allowed by law to leave a bike lane? Can even one person come up with even half of the situations?

As to the insidious effects of law enforcement not understanding cyclist rights (because, in my view, they are stated too subtly in the law), I'll give you two examples:
  1. In a tragic collision about a year ago on a rural 2-lane highway where a pickup driver was passing some cars (driving in the oncoming lane) he hit and killed a cyclist. The officer at the scene declared the driver "did nothing wrong" and sent him home without a blood alcohol test and before the ME could arrive to examine the truck and driver. Months later the CHP reversed the finding of the officer, stating that the pickup driver broke the law when he crossed the center line into the oncoming lane because it had "traffic" in it (because legally, the cyclists - one of which he hit - constituted "traffic" - something the CHP officer did not recognize). But the DA apparently decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
  2. One of the reasons the CHP and the AAA opposed AB 1408 last year, which at the time was rewriting these laws to be less subtle, was because they felt the changes "would allow cyclists to leave the right edge of the road (and the bike lane) more often than does current law". This opinion stemmed from either a misunderstanding of the current (nuanced) law, or from the understanding that the general misundertanding of the current law would be fixed, and what would "allow cyclists to leave the right edge more often" would not be a substantive change to the law (since ab1408 did not provide one), but would be the broader understanding by cyclists of what their rights are. Since this bill was essentially killed by the opposition of the CHP and AAA, it changed to be something completely different and I stopped tracking it. But you can still find it on the assembly website if you search for 1408 in the 2003-2004 year.
    http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm
    Look at the earlier versions.

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Old 02-25-05, 05:08 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=Serge *******][size=3]


Oh, believe me, my eyes are not closed to the exceptions in the law. I believe it is a brilliant piece of nuanced legislation, because it gives me all the outs I need. The problem with it is that the outs are nuanced. That is, only geeks like us bother to learn the law and how it applies to us

Who are you calling a geek?
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