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Old 08-22-13, 01:41 PM   #1
daihard 
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Bicycles in bus-only lanes?

I looked at the Washington State bike laws here but couldn't find relevant information.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/laws.htm

Are bicycles allowed on bus-only lanes in WA, especially where no bike lanes are available?

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-13, 07:58 PM   #2
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A little follow-up. I spoke with a couple of guys at LSB about it. They both *believe* we can legally ride in the bus-only lane. One of them pointed to the state law that says cyclists should "ride as near to the right side of the right through lane," saying most (if not all) bus-only lanes are the right through lanes. That makes sense to me.
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Old 08-25-13, 08:08 PM   #3
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I use the bus-only lane on 522 between Seattle and Bothell fairly regularly and have never had any reason to believe the police care (they pass right by) and the buses don't seem to care either (they just casually take the lane to go around if they need to, with not so much as a honk or holler).
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Old 08-25-13, 08:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
I use the bus-only lane on 522 between Seattle and Bothell fairly regularly and have never had any reason to believe the police care (they pass right by) and the buses don't seem to care either (they just casually take the lane to go around if they need to, with not so much as a honk or holler).
Thanks, that's the bus-only lane I had in mind. The ones in DT explicitly allow bicycles to use them, but I don't see any such sign on SR 522. Good to hear your experience.
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Old 08-26-13, 08:54 PM   #5
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its fine based on this
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.61.770

you are traveling at the slowest rate of traffic, thusly must be in the farthest right (the bus lane).
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Old 08-26-13, 09:06 PM   #6
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its fine based on this
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.61.770

you are traveling at the slowest rate of traffic, thusly must be in the farthest right (the bus lane).
Thanks. I agree. Otherwise, we'd be forced to ride on the right-hand side of the middle lane.
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Old 08-29-13, 10:32 AM   #7
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I have no idea whether it's legal, but that's not a very relevant concern. It's the safest and most polite way to ride on roads that have bus-only lanes. The buses don't come through frequently, so the lanes tend to be empty most of the time. It gets you out of traffic.

Police rarely enforce traffic laws; I've seen cars and bikes run red lights in front of police cars more times than I can count (every day I see drivers of cars run reds). Riding a bike in an empty traffic lane is a much lower-priority thing than running a light. So I'd expect hell to freeze over before anyone got a [strike]ticket[/strike] warning for this.
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Old 08-29-13, 12:03 PM   #8
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There's a short stretch of bus-only lane on Howell between Minor and Eastlake that I take occasionally. Mind you, in this case the bus-only lane is the MIDDLE lane. I once had a Sound Transit bus honk at me, but I still use it. It's a safer lane than the right hand lane getting onto I-5 or the one on the left where traffic is merging from, desperately trying to get over to I-5.

I've always wondered if this middle bus-only lane is actually legal for me to be in, but as I said, it is the safest option, and I'm not really slowing the buses down any. The one bus that honked at me, actually did so while I was stopped at a light and he pulled up behind me. Personally, as far as I am concerned, I'm going to operate as if any lane marked "bus-only" actually means transit and bikes and is just poorly marked, which would be par for the course around here as far as signage goes.
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