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  1. #1
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Using a left or "Inner" shoulder

    There is a short section of busy road, about a mile and a third long that I used to commute on.
    It has no outside shoulder, unless you count the soft, glass filled and manhole infested space there.
    It does have an "inner" shoulder, quite wide enough for a small car. I started using it before
    I looked up the rules, which state something like "as far to the right as practicable or on the shoulder"

    I would loiter in the merge lane or stop to the side while watching the traffic in my mirror, and when clear, sprint across to the shoulder, and continue there, watching traffic in my mirror as I did so. At first, I noticed a police car or two, slowing slightly, I'm sure they considered the legality and safety of my technique, then decided it was legal and the best option.
    The road is fast, constricted, has a curve, lots of distractions, and is notorious for bad behavior. Taking the lane is not something to do without massive strobe lights.

    What would you do?

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Is there one same direction lane and inner shoulder or two?

    If one, can faster vehicles use inner shoulder to pass cyclist in lane?

    Al

  3. #3
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Is there one same direction lane and inner shoulder or two?

    If one, can faster vehicles use inner shoulder to pass cyclist in lane?

    Al
    Not sure what you are asking, it is a 4 lane divided road, 2 lanes in each direction, plus the "inner" left shoulder on both sides. There is a wide grass meridian, very lumpy and rough, I only ever used that when there was 6 inches of snow.

  4. #4
    1973 Sekine dogbreathpnw's Avatar
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    Oregon Revised Statutes expressly permits cyclists to stay to the left of traffic on a one way street or on a divided highway with shoulders. Is it something like that? If so, and it helps you get where you're going (for instance, you avoid darting across lanes of traffic at the last minute), I say go for it!

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    same rules in WA state: legal if same direction of traffic (i.e. one way road or divided), and not limited to the shoulder, allowed full use of lane if deemed necessary by bicyclist.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure if this is the same, but I think I encounter the same on my commute. (for reference here is my commute home)

    On my way to work it isn't a big deal. There is a section of a nice 2 lane country type road (Rt 144) that briefly merges onto a 4 lane divided highway (Rt 40). On my way to work it is all right turns, so I just merge onto Rt 40, stay in the right lane and exit back onto 144.

    But on the way home I have to turn left onto Rt 40, go a half mile or so, and then turn left to get back onto Rt 144.

    Rt 40 is your standard "annoying to bike" road. 4 lanes, 2 in each direction. No shoulder. Big grassy median. Constant strip malls.

    If I follow the "stay as far right" I would be in the right lane for half a mile, then have to try and merge 2 lanes to get into the left turn lane. But between the leftmost lane and the grassy median there is a small, but sufficient "shoulder" So on my way home I take the leftmost left turn lane, stay in the left median and just haul ass until I get to the left turn lane at the light and exit off.

    It works fine for me. I know it throws the drivers all outta wack, but I really don't care.

    -D

  7. #7
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    i would stick to the shoulderless outside lane simply b/c there is less chance of "surprising" someone there.
    kick-up the speed a couple notches to reduce the time of exposure there, for sure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    You don't want to use a left shoulder on a divided road. Police officers hate when cars they are pulling over stop there. The chance of being rear ended is much higher on that side of the road.
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

  9. #9
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post
    I know it throws the drivers all outta wack, but I really don't care.
    If they are outta wack, that means they are seeing you! I love riding even the double yellow at times for the same reason - I am safer and more visible - which makes me safer still. Looks crazy - so motorists give me even more space.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  10. #10
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Okay, I just stumbled into this conversation a bit late... but...

    Like the OP, I have a section of my commute that is a divided highway. The right shoulder is fine for most of it. However, there is an interchange with a freeway. At the interchange there are ramps exiting and entering the divided highway on the right. I always move to the inside shoulder, and I'm unsure of the legality of that here in Indiana.

    It seems to be the safest thing, and I haven't been stopped for doing it. I often take the lane, but not here. The speed limit is 55.
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