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Old 07-14-08, 01:41 PM   #1
Chaba
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Texas/Houston Bicycle Laws?

Oi fellow cyclist!

So I was wondering today on my ride to school after I got yelled at by some
jerk in a porche. Are there any laws that say cyclist are prohibited from
riding on the road? I have a road bike and I really hate riding in the bike lanes.
cars have no respect for them even with riders using them.
I've almost been hit a total of 7 times including today.
There is no way I'm using the sidewalks they are horrible in this area and some roads don't have
bike lanes anyway (down chimney rock before san felipe same down voss). How the heck else
are bikers suppose to get to where they are going if they can't ride on the road?
I think I'm going to start carrying a water gun or something I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong
but then again this is Houston and it isn't biker friendly.
I just want to make sure I have every right to be pissed off before I yell back or take my water gun out.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:00 PM   #2
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As for your comment about not wantingo to ride on the sidewalks...that is against the law in Texas.

Here is a good start on learning the bike laws of Texas...Bike Texas
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Old 07-14-08, 03:57 PM   #3
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good deal thanks for that.
now i can raise havoc next time someone yells at me at a stop light.

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Old 07-14-08, 04:02 PM   #4
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Water Gun is No Match for a 45 Bang Bang
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Old 07-16-08, 12:18 PM   #5
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Not to mention that you're already dealing with a jerk that has no regard for your safety. Bicycle no match for four wheeled lethal weapon controlled by said jerk. Pretend they are speaking a language that you don't understand, smile and wave (using all your fingers extended).

If they are yelling at you at a stop light, maybe make up some one syllable word that you can form into a question like, "Neh?", and watch them try to communicate with you by slowing down their speech, talking louder and putting O at the end of every word, "G-E-T-O B-I-K-E-O O-F-F-O R-O-A-D-O!". That ought to be good for a laugh.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:58 PM   #6
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As for your comment about not wantingo to ride on the sidewalks...that is against the law in Texas.
Where did you get your information about riding on sidewalks being against the law in Texas?

There is a City of Houston Ordinance restricting such:

Section 45-302

No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk in the City of Houston within a business district or where prohibited by sign. A business district is defined as "the territory contiguous to and including a roadway when, within 600 feet along such roadway, there are buildings in use for business or industrial purpose which occupy 300 feet collectively on both sides of the roadway". Also, bicyclists are required to yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal to pedestrians when riding on approved sidewalks. (In general, bicyclists are permitted to ride on sidewalks unless prohibited by local ordinances, although experienced cyclists usually agree that it is much safer to ride on the street and follow the laws as they apply to any other vehicle.)
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Old 07-16-08, 01:47 PM   #7
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I don't remember the exact "id", just the the law was passed back before the 50's. Back when people actually used the sidewalk. Present days the law is only used for things like "probable cause" or if you've made the cops mad.

I know that some cities have passed their ordinance allowing it (Austin, and El Paso). San Antonio's ordinance only allows for Law enforcement/emergency.

And in "off the record" conversations with some cops, there is curb rule. "Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103) " While it doesn't define near the curb well, it doesn't say "past the curb" either.
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Old 07-16-08, 01:54 PM   #8
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I cant find where it says, but in Texas a local law is not allowed to prohibit cycling on a state road or highway that isnt controlled-access
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Old 07-17-08, 12:57 PM   #9
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Not to mention that you're already dealing with a jerk that has no regard for your safety. Bicycle no match for four wheeled lethal weapon controlled by said jerk. Pretend they are speaking a language that you don't understand, smile and wave (using all your fingers extended).

If they are yelling at you at a stop light, maybe make up some one syllable word that you can form into a question like, "Neh?", and watch them try to communicate with you by slowing down their speech, talking louder and putting O at the end of every word, "G-E-T-O B-I-K-E-O O-F-F-O R-O-A-D-O!". That ought to be good for a laugh.
spent some time in Japan did we?

hahahaha me too....

your trick works like a charm!
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Old 07-18-08, 01:58 AM   #10
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spent some time in Japan did we?

hahahaha me too....

your trick works like a charm!
No never went to Japan. Just watch a lot of subtitled anime and dorama.

Not to mention Kurasawa movies, and anything with Toshirô Mifune or Sonny Chiba.
But I'm not a Japan freak.

Besides I noticed the OP refers to himself as Grand Ninja. Ninjutsu also uses deception.
Anyone who has read Go Rin No Sho knows there is more then one way to achieve victory.

Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 07-18-08 at 10:42 AM. Reason: added smart a** comment.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:33 AM   #11
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TExas statutes, transportation, mainly 551

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/tn.toc.htm
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Old 07-20-08, 04:20 AM   #12
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In San Antonio, at least, it is illegal to ride your bicycle on a sidewalk. That said, I believe there is a high probability that no one would ever stop/ticket you for this offense. Using sidewalks, however, can be a dangerous practice. If you're on a sidewalk versus the road, it's more likely a car would make a right turn into your path since the driver literally never saw you (it's hard enough for them to scan what's in the road in front of them, let alone the sidewalk).
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Old 07-20-08, 07:04 PM   #13
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TExas statutes, transportation, mainly 551

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/tn.toc.htm
Oi- that link is awesome!
Thanks Tate.

btw I used my water gun for the first time this morning.
the guy looked like he wanted to kill me at first then he just started laughing.

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Old 07-23-08, 11:49 AM   #14
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Oi- that link is awesome!
Thanks Tate.

btw I used my water gun for the first time this morning.
the guy looked like he wanted to kill me at first then he just started laughing.

I'd be careful with that water gun, Quick Draw. You never know when someone isn't going to laugh it off.
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Old 07-25-08, 10:04 AM   #15
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I'd be careful with that water gun, Quick Draw. You never know when someone isn't going to laugh it off.
anything else you recommend when you're about to get hit by some jerk on the road?

I've clearly run out of ideas.
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Old 07-25-08, 12:22 PM   #16
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anything else you recommend when you're about to get hit by some jerk on the road?

I've clearly run out of ideas.
I've got nothing. Carry on.

Well, that and you could try and find better routes through neighborhoods if you're that prone to encountering troublesome motorists. Staying off the main roads is always a good idea especially in that area. (although it's probably a little difficult finding neighborhood roads that don't suddenly dead end over there. but it's possible.)
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Old 07-25-08, 01:06 PM   #17
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anything else you recommend when you're about to get hit by some jerk on the road?

I've clearly run out of ideas.
I'm totally sympathetic. I know the area you're riding quite well and have ridden there myself. But lose the water gun. Someone's gonna pull the real thing on you one day.
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Old 07-25-08, 01:22 PM   #18
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I'm totally sympathetic. I know the area you're riding quite well and have ridden there myself. But lose the water gun. Someone's gonna pull the real thing on you one day.
Yeah, don't make us start a thread about the ballistics of water versus 9mm.
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Old 07-25-08, 02:01 PM   #19
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Are you going north or south? You mention Chimney Rock and Voss. Well right in between those two is Fountainveiw. Guess what. It has a bike lane but that's only good if you're going south. If you are going north take Chimney Rock. That road isn't that bad. Or you can get the bike route map at http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/bikeways/maps.htm There is a funky route going from Yorktown through the Tanglewood area (where Bush I lives).

Don't mess around with the water gun. You are asking to be messed up one way or another.
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Old 07-25-08, 06:14 PM   #20
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I agree with those recommending to lose the watergun. The act of reaching for a weapon, whether the weapon exists or not, or is deadly or not, can justify the use of force, including deadly force, by another person, which includes a THIRD PARTY who may not have seen the origin of the conflict.

Yes, there will be times when a watergun will be a harmless addition to a conflict, but you might die before it becomes apparent to others what you are really doing.
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Old 07-25-08, 07:01 PM   #21
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OK, I will try to be more specific. A police officer, or private citizen, wearing a open-topped holster typical of the type used by plainclothed officers and private citizens with carry licenses, can draw and fire in just over one second, once the decision to do so has been made. It takes roughly three-quarters of a second for the brain to perceive a change in circumstances, and communicate to the muscles to change a course of action. Think about it. Cyclist "C1" and motorist "M1" stop to have an animated chat about traffic laws. Behind the motorist, blocked by the animated chat, is another motorist or cyclist, "GG," who is carrying a weapon, and may or may not be duty-bound to keep the peace, whether on or off the clock. He is looking upon the animated chat, hoping that things settle down, but then sees C1 reach into a pocket or container, and perform an action that is consistent with taking a firing grip on a pistol. At that instant, a chain of events is set into motion, as GG starts drawing his weapon. He is performing an action that takes little more than one second to perform. It will take at least three-quarters of a second for GG to perceive a change in circumstances, and tell his muscles to interrupt the sequence of drawing and firing his pistol at C1. GG may actually perceive that C1 is pointing a water pistol, but be unable to interrupt the firing sequence in time. GG may be so focused on the big picture, as he should be, that he see the water pistol as a mere silhouette, and will not know the whole truth until he approaches to check on the condition of the bleeding form of C1.

The law WILL be on the side of GG, which is why I arbitrarily used GG, for Good Guy. Courts do listen to the scientific side, and science will be on the side of GG. He may feel terrible, once he realizes he used deadly force against someone with a water pistol, but that does not change what happened, and hopefully GG will be able to resume a normal life.

I chose to use a third party for this story, but the one with a real gun could be a party to the disturbance. I could be that third party, because I have been in the area in question many times, usually in a motor vehicle, but sometimes on a bicycle. I carry a badge, and a firearm.

I am sure some will wonder why GG, instead of firing, does not yell, "Freeze, police!" Well, I could write a book about that, but that gets into tactics of prevailing in a gunfight. Remember reaction time; if GG decides to issue a verbal challenge, and C1 has a real handgun, C1 will be able to pivot and fire at GG, before GG has a chance to react to the changing circumstances, or, of course, C1, with a real handgun, could ventilate M1 several times, before GG could react by firing. There is much reading on reaction time and the OODA loop available, and I recommend not getting too deep into that here. (OODA = Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, terminology coined by an Air Force officer named Boyd.)
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Old 07-25-08, 07:28 PM   #22
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Too much science there (and I have a science degree). OP - Just paint your weapon BRIGHT pink and carry it around your waist or with a sling so everyone knows what it is
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Old 07-25-08, 07:40 PM   #23
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Pink won't work! Kel-tec has made pink pistols, and some fools are paying gunsmiths to coat other pistols pink.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:49 PM   #24
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Staying off the main roads is always a good idea especially in that area. (although it's probably a little difficult finding neighborhood roads that don't suddenly dead end over there. but it's possible.)
When I first got my bike I was so scared to ride on the road that all I did was ride neighborhood streets that were not as high traffic.

and guess what? some idiot didn't obey his stop sign and I was coming up to the neighborhood cross street (i didn't have a stop sign, but I was slowing down) luckily he braked but still got the end of my bike and the rest is history! I ate it soo bad. I stretched my mcl and acl really bad. Still have a bruise actually and this happened almost 4 months ago. So I stopped ridding through neighborhood streets.

maybe I should just quit cycling and go back to skateboarding....
but then you've got the cool teenage boys that don't want to share the ramp
with a 23 year old chica like me.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:56 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=Tex_Arcana;7134538]Are you going north or south? You mention Chimney Rock and Voss. Well right in between those two is Fountainveiw.

I go to the art institute so I commute to school and it's on yorktown and san felipe. I'm coming from wirt and westview other side of the 10.

Going down chimney rock once you pass up memorial there is no more bike lane until you hit san felipe
and the road sucks right before you hit woodway. Down voss there is no bike lane and there is even a no bikes on the road posted up- that's until you hit woodway as well if i'm not mistaken.
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