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Old 03-10-11, 08:16 AM   #1
work4bike
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Road Riding Illegal

Curious, any of you live in an area where it is illegal to ride a bike on a road because of a cycling facility provided? I'm asking because of what I read on this website: http://bicycledriving.org/bikeways/bike-lanes


An Excerpt:

Mandatory Bicycle Lane Use
Bicycle lane use is mandatory in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany (if there is a bike lane sign), France (if required by local authorities), Ireland, the Canadian Province of Quebec and the U.S. States of Alabama, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Oregon (if required by local authorities), and Pennsylvania (if indicated by a sign). The UK has both advisory cycle lanes (use not required) and compulsory cycle lanes (use required).
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Old 03-10-11, 09:03 AM   #2
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If there are compulsory cycle lanes in the UK someone should really tell the government:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAn...code/DG_069837
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Old 03-10-11, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john gault View Post
Curious, any of you live in an area where it is illegal to ride a bike on a road because of a cycling facility provided?
Since Florida passed HB971 last year, you live in such an area. See
http://www.floridabicycle.org/joinus...itsummary.html

But note that such rules don't prohibit you from riding on a road. They restrict what portion of the road you ride on under some circumstances - the bike lane is part of the road.
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Old 03-10-11, 10:42 AM   #4
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Kentucky has a law requiring riding in a bike lane if "practical". That opens up a can of worms.

Most of the bike lanes here in Louisville are poorly designed. The city police ignore the law. The county sheriffs office has a different feeling, and recently ticketed a well-known bike activist for taking the lane, even though there was another traffic lane in the same direction.

After enough publicity, the sheriffs office thew out the ticket.

Bottom line, if the bike lane/path is well designed, use it. It will be less stressful. If it puts you in a door zone, then don't use it. If you get pulled over and ticketed, well, that's bad luck.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:04 AM   #5
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Some areas of NorCal are because it's just too dangerous not to be.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:11 AM   #6
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Since Florida passed HB971 last year, you live in such an area. See
http://www.floridabicycle.org/joinus...itsummary.html

But note that such rules don't prohibit you from riding on a road. They restrict what portion of the road you ride on under some circumstances - the bike lane is part of the road.
No, that doesn't make it illegal to ride in the road. The only real intent of the law was to prevent cyclists from riding abreast to the point where they were extending out into the car lanes, impeding traffic. Cyclists should not impede traffic by riding abreast, in the same manner motorists should not ride abreast preventing other motorists from passing.

That law doesn't change one aspect of how I ride a bike. When I need to make a left turn I leave the bikelane and get in the left turn lane or when making a right turn I get inline with the drivers making a right turn. I also leave the bike lane due to obstructions -- all these things are allowed by the law. http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/bikelaw.html#bl

I'm talking about separated bike lanes and bike paths that are provided and the law requires cyclists to use in lieu of the road.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:31 AM   #7
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I think you've fallen victim to misinformed hyperbole.

In New York State, road riding is specifically made legal. For the record, NYS was the first state to have legislation protecting cyclists' right to use the road. Since 1887 some version or another of the following has been the law:

Quote:
Section 1234. Riding on roadways, shoulders, bicycle lanes and bicycle paths.

* (a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle shall be driven either on a usable bicycle lane or, if a usable bicycle 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. Conditions to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.
The only thing it mandates is that I stay in the bike lane if one is available and it is safe. Why wouldn't I want to use a bike lane when conditions warrant?

Nowhere in the code does it say I have to move off the road if there are other facilities provided.

In several municipalities around here, including the city's Central Business District, it's illegal to ride anywhere BUT the road.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:40 AM   #8
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I used to be big on people following the law and felt compelled to lead by example...but these days I'm more of a follower by example, so until the politicians and the bankers and the corporations and everyone else decide they give a crap about following the laws, I'm gonna take their example and do wtf I please.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john gault View Post
Curious, any of you live in an area where it is illegal to ride a bike on a road because of a cycling facility provided? I'm asking because of what I read on this website: http://bicycledriving.org/bikeways/bike-lanes


An Excerpt:

Mandatory Bicycle Lane Use
The UK has both advisory cycle lanes (use not required) and compulsory cycle lanes (use required).
Slightly misleading language (two nations separated by a single language - Winston Churchill). Advisory (shown by broken white line) means that a driver may enter it. Mandatory, shown by solid white line, means that a driver must not enter it. It doesn't refer to any obligation on cyclists to use them (see rules 61 and 62 below)

61
Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

63
Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.
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Old 03-10-11, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john gault View Post
Curious, any of you live in an area where it is illegal to ride a bike on a road because of a cycling facility provided? I'm asking because of what I read on this website: http://bicycledriving.org/bikeways/bike-lanes


An Excerpt:

Mandatory Bicycle Lane Use
Bicycle lane use is mandatory in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany (if there is a bike lane sign), France (if required by local authorities), Ireland, the Canadian Province of Quebec and the U.S. States of Alabama, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Oregon (if required by local authorities), and Pennsylvania (if indicated by a sign). The UK has both advisory cycle lanes (use not required) and compulsory cycle lanes (use required).
Oregon Revised Statue (ORS) 814.420 may require that on the surface. However, paragraph 2 of ORS 814.420 provides an out. A cyclist may elect not to use a provided mulit-use (aka bicycle) path if the the responsible jurisdiction has not established (requiring public hearings) that the path is "suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed'. If cited, it is up to the cyclist to prove at trial that there had been no hearing with affirmative evidence. At this time, I am not familiar with any of the jurisdictions near me having gone through the required public hearing process. Because if they did, they would then have a duty to maintain the path in a condition that would allow it to continue to be suitable for safe bicycle use.
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Old 03-11-11, 06:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by john gault View Post
Pennsylvania (if indicated by a sign)[/I][/B]
I've never seen anything in the cycling laws for PA regarding this. There could be some local laws in some specific areas (I would guess larger cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). However, I've never seen a sign indicating mandatory use of a bike lane. For that matter, in Erie I see very few bike lanes (thank goodness).
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Old 03-11-11, 06:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john gault View Post
"Since Florida passed HB971 last year, you live in such an area. See
http://www.floridabicycle.org/joinus...itsummary.html

But note that such rules don't prohibit you from riding on a road. They restrict what portion of the road you ride on under some circumstances - the bike lane is part of the road."

No, that doesn't make it illegal to ride in the road. The only real intent of the law was to prevent cyclists from riding abreast to the point where they were extending out into the car lanes, impeding traffic. Cyclists should not impede traffic by riding abreast, in the same manner motorists should not ride abreast preventing other motorists from passing.

That law doesn't change one aspect of how I ride a bike. When I need to make a left turn I leave the bikelane and get in the left turn lane or when making a right turn I get inline with the drivers making a right turn. I also leave the bike lane due to obstructions -- all these things are allowed by the law. http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/bikelaw.html#bl

I'm talking about separated bike lanes and bike paths that are provided and the law requires cyclists to use in lieu of the road.
What you quoted in your original post was about jurisdictions that have 'mandatory bike lanes' and that now includes the law in Florida. California's law is similar to Florida's and I believe the same is true of most of the other places cited in your original post. If you're interested in mandatory use of separated facilities then you'd want a list of places that have 'mandatory bike paths' rather than bike lanes.
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Old 03-11-11, 06:53 AM   #13
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I used to be big on people following the law and felt compelled to lead by example...but these days I'm more of a follower by example, so until the politicians and the bankers and the corporations and everyone else decide they give a crap about following the laws, I'm gonna take their example and do wtf I please.
You're becoming more and more Aussie every day!
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Old 03-11-11, 08:05 AM   #14
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What you quoted in your original post was about jurisdictions that have 'mandatory bike lanes' and that now includes the law in Florida. California's law is similar to Florida's and I believe the same is true of most of the other places cited in your original post. If you're interested in mandatory use of separated facilities then you'd want a list of places that have 'mandatory bike paths' rather than bike lanes.
You're right, I should have been more precise in my question. I am only interested in areas that require madatory use of bike paths or separated bike lanes (SBLs), such as those found in Amsterdam, although some of the bikelanes I've seen in NYC can be, to some degree a SBL. Which I see as being almost the same as a bike path, the only real difference being that you'll probably see less non-cyclists on the SBLs, yet still have issues with various obstructions.

Personally, I just want a little more real estate on the regular roads. My concern is that if we get too many of these elaborate SBLs or bike paths built it will strengthen the argument of those that want cyclists off the road.
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Old 03-11-11, 09:11 AM   #15
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Maryland has mandatory bike lane use, which is very disturbing after this story: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...,4632453.story
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Old 03-11-11, 02:21 PM   #16
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Maryland has mandatory bike lane use, which is very disturbing after this story: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...,4632453.story
The most disturbing part of the story is this:

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No charges or citations have or are likely to be filed against the driver of the vehicle
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Old 03-11-11, 03:42 PM   #17
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Kentucky has a law requiring riding in a bike lane if "practical". That opens up a can of worms.

Most of the bike lanes here in Louisville are poorly designed. The city police ignore the law. The county sheriffs office has a different feeling, and recently ticketed a well-known bike activist for taking the lane, even though there was another traffic lane in the same direction.

After enough publicity, the sheriffs office thew out the ticket.

Bottom line, if the bike lane/path is well designed, use it. It will be less stressful. If it puts you in a door zone, then don't use it. If you get pulled over and ticketed, well, that's bad luck.
Are you sure about this being a Kentucky law, or is it just a local Louisville ordinance? Last time I checked the KRS's (about three or so years ago, now) all that was stated about bicycle laws was that the Transportation Cabinet was empowered to make rules, but when I looked for the rules there weren't any.

I'd appreciate it if you could cite the KRS.
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Old 03-11-11, 06:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by john gault View Post
You're right, I should have been more precise in my question. I am only interested in areas that require madatory use of bike paths or separated bike lanes (SBLs), such as those found in Amsterdam, although some of the bikelanes I've seen in NYC can be, to some degree a SBL. Which I see as being almost the same as a bike path, the only real difference being that you'll probably see less non-cyclists on the SBLs, yet still have issues with various obstructions.

Personally, I just want a little more real estate on the regular roads. My concern is that if we get too many of these elaborate SBLs or bike paths built it will strengthen the argument of those that want cyclists off the road.
Have you actually ever ridden in the Netherlands or any other place that has a good network of SBLs?

Cycling in the Netherlands is a very pleasant experience. Country roads don't have SBLs, only paralleling the major roads (something like 90% of major roads have SBLs), on country roads you can ride as you please. There is also an extensive network of long distance cycle paths. I rode from the north of France to Holland exclusively on separated bike paths (except for in Liege, horrible cycling city). Nearly 100 miles without any traffic, it was horrible
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Old 03-11-11, 09:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
I used to be big on people following the law and felt compelled to lead by example...but these days I'm more of a follower by example, so until the politicians and the bankers and the corporations and everyone else decide they give a crap about following the laws, I'm gonna take their example and do wtf I please.
Chipcom you still crack me up... this pretty much sums up my attitude. I do what works (tempered with consideration for others) and the law be damned.
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Old 03-12-11, 07:53 AM   #20
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Have you actually ever ridden in the Netherlands or any other place that has a good network of SBLs?

Cycling in the Netherlands is a very pleasant experience. Country roads don't have SBLs, only paralleling the major roads (something like 90% of major roads have SBLs), on country roads you can ride as you please. There is also an extensive network of long distance cycle paths. I rode from the north of France to Holland exclusively on separated bike paths (except for in Liege, horrible cycling city). Nearly 100 miles without any traffic, it was horrible
No I haven't, but I've been there and seen what it looks like in the cities, but admit don't know anything about the country roads. My questions are more out of curiosity of these areas from people that have ridden extensively on these SBLs.

However, I've ridden on many MUPs, some of which were called bike paths, but are there really any true bike paths, seems like any bike path becomes a MUP.

My concern: I've been cycling as my primary form of transportation for over 20 years, all on roads. I've commuted anywhere from 5-25 miles one way to work and over that time you develop a certain riding style, including speed. Of all the MUPs I've ridden on I can't safely ride that way, just too many people and blind corners which limit one's speed. I feel like I'm part of a herd. And everything I've seen with respect to SBLs presents virtually the same riding conditions and in many cases with far more intersections (stop and go riding). Why does that concern me? Because if we here in the U.S. develop too many of these cycling infrastructure than that will strengthen the argument of those that want bicycles off the road. Isn't that the case in much of the Netherlands?

I currently live in Florida and here we don't have much in the way of elaborate bike infrastructure, just a few roads with bike lanes, which basically amounts to a little more real estate for the cyclists. Just how I like it.
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Old 03-12-11, 01:58 PM   #21
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Because if we here in the U.S. develop too many of these cycling infrastructure than that will strengthen the argument of those that want bicycles off the road. Isn't that the case in much of the Netherlands?

It's not so black and white IMO.
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Old 03-12-11, 08:08 PM   #22
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I used to be big on people following the law and felt compelled to lead by example...but these days I'm more of a follower by example, so until the politicians and the bankers and the corporations and everyone else decide they give a crap about following the laws, I'm gonna take their example and do wtf I please.
I'm definitely playing for this team and have been for a few years. We have been being "punked" for years by those knuckleheads.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:15 PM   #23
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That link has incorrect (or at least, very out-of-date) info for Pennsylvania.

From the online PA Vehicle Code: (title 75, Chapter 35: Special Vehicles and Pedestrians)

Quote:
3501. Applicability of traffic laws to pedalcycles.
(a) General rule.--Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a
roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject
to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by
this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter
and except as to those provisions of this title which by their
nature can have no application.
Quote:
of pedalcycles.
(f) Mandatory use of available pedalcycle path.--(Deleted by
amendment).
(Dec. 15, 1995, P.L.655, No.72, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1998,
P.L.1126, No.151, eff. 60 days)
1998 Amendment. Act 151 amended subsec. (b) and deleted
subsec. (f).
So, no "mandatory use" law has been on the books since the Clinton Administration, and:
Quote:
3502. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
Any person violating any provision of this subchapter is
guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be
sentenced to pay a fine of $10.
So, despite an increase in the number of "bicycle-specific" paths in the last 15 years, a "mandatory use" law was taken OFF the books...and at any event, you're looking at a $10 fine. (A good lawyer could probably bargain them down to $5 or so, BTW.)
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Old 03-13-11, 02:37 PM   #24
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Because if we here in the U.S. develop too many of these cycling infrastructure than that will strengthen the argument of those that want bicycles off the road. Isn't that the case in much of the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands most of the people making decisions about the transportation infrastructure are either cyclists themselves or at least have many close friends and relatives who are. If that were the case in the US I'd have fewer concerns about inadequate cycling facilities being used as an excuse to impose restrictions on cyclists using the regular roadways.
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Old 03-31-11, 10:49 PM   #25
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Hi folks,
I'm the author of the site that was linked in the OP. I've been meaning to fix the UK reference for some time (there was a correction in the comments section of that page already) as well as the Pennsylvania reference. Well, I finally fixed it, as well as the Penn. reference in the Guide to the Laws section. I believe that the rest of the list of places with mandatory BL laws is correct. I also took the opportunity to add this comment:

Further, in jurisdictions that require bicyclists to operate generally as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, marking a shoulder as a bike lane may create a greater restriction, since the shoulder is generally not part of the legal definition of “roadway,” but a bike lane is (except in Oregon, where a bike lane is not part of the “roadway”).

That broadens the situation.

Oh, I forgot to add Florida. Will fix.
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