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Old 03-12-10, 11:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
The lay may support moving to the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass but texas bike specific statute seems not to require that highway position of bicyclists.
I concur there.

I think part of ChipSeal's problem is that the jurors were probably thinking of slow traffic moving to the shoulder to let people pass -- it's polite, and quite common in rural areas here. But it's not required by law.

(And it's also not normally done on four lane highways like he was on simply because it's not really needed. It's really only common on two lane roads.)
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Personally, i feel a bicyclist operating a bicycle should never be subject to impeding traffic regulations.
Never is too strong a word. If you're intentionally going 2 mph and it's not up a steep hill, then you're impeding traffic. But if you're going 10+ mph, no.
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Critical mass participants blocking traffic are engaging in civil disobedience and breaking some other law, not laws regulating if, when and what kind of slow moving vehicles are required to pull onto a shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass.
At it's base, Critical Mass is just a bunch of vehicles on the road. They may or may not break laws, traffic or other -- though with hundreds of cyclists, it often works better if you disregard certain laws. It's pretty much unrelated to this case -- I was just wrong about what charges he was being hit with.

As for Texas, as far as I know, there are NO laws that require a slow moving vehicle to move to the shoulder. In fact, the laws generally state that motor vehicles may not drive on the shoulder in most cases -- but one exception is that you can pull over to let somebody pass.

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Regulating human powered vehicles distinct from motor driven devices is beneficial to bicyclists and overall roadway safety both.
In some cases. But I think it's generally best for regulations to be vehicle-type agnostic as long as there's not a good reason for them not to be.
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Old 03-12-10, 01:02 PM   #27
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As for Texas, as far as I know, there are NO laws that require a slow moving vehicle to move to the shoulder. In fact, the laws generally state that motor vehicles may not drive on the shoulder in most cases -- but one exception is that you can pull over to let somebody pass.
Let's try this again. The quote from the code is:
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Sec. 545.363. MINIMUM SPEED REGULATIONS. (a) An operator may not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
While it does not say that a slow-moving vehicle has to go to the shoulder, it does say it cannot "impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic." If a bunch of cars stacked up behind a piece of farm equipment and a cop ticketed the operator because he thought he should have moved to the shoulder to let the other vehicles pass, do you think it would stick? I can't honestly say. That's basically the same situation that ChipSeal is in thogh.
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Old 03-12-10, 07:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
If a bunch of cars stacked up behind a piece of farm equipment and a cop ticketed the operator because he thought he should have moved to the shoulder to let the other vehicles pass, do you think it would stick? I can't honestly say. That's basically the same situation that ChipSeal is in thogh.
Yup, pretty much. Except that there's no bunch of cars -- any cars that came up just changed lanes and drove on by, not slowed at all. Except for the cop, I guess, and the one guy who thought he'd help (?) ChipSeal by getting behind him with his flashers on (I read about it on one of his blog entries, that this was in the cop's video footage.)

Though if your combine starts shedding parts at 25 mph, that would seem to require that you keep it under 25 mph for safety's sake, wouldn't it? If you can ride on the shoulder occasionally to let traffic pass on the two lane road (well, ChipSeal's road was four lanes, but you get the idea), that would be the nice thing to do (Drive Friendly, Texas!), but I don't see that requirement in the law ... (Yes, I know, you could quote the law again ...)
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Old 03-13-10, 08:31 AM   #29
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I concur there.

I think part of ChipSeal's problem is that the jurors were probably thinking of slow traffic moving to the shoulder to let people pass -- it's polite, and quite common in rural areas here. But it's not required by law.

(And it's also not normally done on four lane highways like he was on simply because it's not really needed. It's really only common on two lane roads.)
Never is too strong a word. If you're intentionally going 2 mph and it's not up a steep hill, then you're impeding traffic. But if you're going 10+ mph, no.
At it's base, Critical Mass is just a bunch of vehicles on the road. They may or may not break laws, traffic or other -- though with hundreds of cyclists, it often works better if you disregard certain laws. It's pretty much unrelated to this case -- I was just wrong about what charges he was being hit with.

As for Texas, as far as I know, there are NO laws that require a slow moving vehicle to move to the shoulder. In fact, the laws generally state that motor vehicles may not drive on the shoulder in most cases -- but one exception is that you can pull over to let somebody pass.

In some cases. But I think it's generally best for regulations to be vehicle-type agnostic as long as there's not a good reason for them not to be.
I strongly disagree that vehicle codes should be 'vehicle agnostic'. Removal of bike specificity in traffic codes can be a pathway leading to an erosion of bicyclists rights.

States should regulate operation of any motor driven device - motorized lawn mowers, electric golf carts and mini bikes, segways, etc. - separate from bicyclists, particularily for the purposes of clarifying 'impeding traffic' regulations.

Chipseal is in his predicament partially because texas traffic law DOES NOT CLEARLY DEFINE cyclists duties (in the presence of faster traffic) distinct from motor vehicles.

Operators of human powered vehicles should not be subject to impeding traffic laws like drivers of motor driven devices. the notion that a bicyclist can impede traffic is a de facto ban of practical travel by bicycle on many busy roads...

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Old 03-13-10, 09:21 AM   #30
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I strongly disagree that vehicle codes should be 'vehicle agnostic'. Removal of bike specificity in traffic codes can be a pathway leading to an erosion of bicyclists rights.

States should regulate operation of any motor driven device - motorized lawn mowers, electric golf carts and mini bikes, segways, etc. - separate from bicyclists, particularily for the purposes of clarifying 'impeding traffic' regulations.

Chipseal is in his predicament partially because texas traffic law DOES NOT CLEARLY DEFINE cyclists duties (in the presence of faster traffic) distinct from motor vehicles.

Operators of human powered vehicles should not be subject to impeding traffic laws like drivers of motor driven devices. the notion that a bicyclist can impede traffic is a de facto ban of practical travel by bicycle on many busy roads...
That is exactly why most state codes apply the impeding traffic law specifically to drivers of motor vehicles; drivers of bicycles, or of a flock of sheep, cannot be prosecuted under their codes.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:49 AM   #31
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a more philosophical question would be if states should regulate bicyclists to be subject to impeding traffic laws.

.....correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm pretty sure one of the recent posters to this thread is in favor of laws regulating bikes as being capable of impeding traffic and being required to pull off the roadway entirely to favor faster traffic.

should states clarify their traffic codes so that "impeding" or "impeding- pull off roadway"- laws clearly apply only to motor vehicles and not bicyclists?

should, for instance, california cyclists fight to nullify the law obligating they pull off the road to favor faster traffic?

I know this is a bit of a thread drift, maybe there should be another thread about 'should bicyclists be subject to impeding traffic laws'

separate from chipseals specific 'impeding traffic-got a ticket!' thread. my apologies.

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Old 03-13-10, 05:15 PM   #32
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a more philosophical question would be if states should regulate bicyclists to be subject to impeding traffic laws.

.....correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm pretty sure one of the recent posters to this thread is in favor of laws regulating bikes as being capable of impeding traffic and being required to pull off the roadway entirely to favor faster traffic.

should states clarify their traffic codes so that "impeding" or "impeding- pull off roadway"- laws clearly apply only to motor vehicles and not bicyclists?

should, for instance, california cyclists fight to nullify the law obligating they pull off the road to favor faster traffic?

I know this is a bit of a thread drift, maybe there should be another thread about 'should bicyclists be subject to impeding traffic laws'

separate from chipseals specific 'impeding traffic-got a ticket!' thread. my apologies.
Your comments are so committed to ideological argument that you combine different subjects in one confusion.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:05 PM   #33
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I strongly disagree that vehicle codes should be 'vehicle agnostic'.
As I said, "as long as there's not a good reason for them not to be".

Slow moving vehicles? Bikes are not the only type. The same law should also cover combines and horses.

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Chipseal is in his predicament partially because texas traffic law DOES NOT CLEARLY DEFINE cyclists duties (in the presence of faster traffic) distinct from motor vehicles.
Bicycles are not the only form of slow traffic.

In any event, there are cases where a cyclist should be convicted of impeding traffic (no, ChipSeal's is not such a case), and writing the law so that they can't be charged with it ever is absurd.
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Operators of human powered vehicles should not be subject to impeding traffic laws like drivers of motor driven devices. the notion that a bicyclist can impede traffic is a de facto ban of practical travel by bicycle on many busy roads...
If you're having a slow race on the two lane highway, going 2 mph when the speed limit is 65 mph -- you should be convicted of impeding traffic. But the law should consider that the speed of certain vehicles is limited, and it's unsafe or impossible for them to go above a certain speed, and if they're going close to their max speed (which in the case of a bicycle depends mostly on the rider) then they can't be guilty of impeding traffic.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:06 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by john forester
Your comments are so committed to ideological argument that you combine different subjects in one confusion.
I'm talking about bicyclists impeding traffic, and laws that indicate bicyclists are, indeed, capable of 'impeding traffic.'

what exactly are you talking about, john? do you think bicyclists SHOULD be citable under various reiterations of 'impeding traffic' statutes? should impeding traffic laws become 'vehicle agnostic' so that bicyclists could then be citable for 'impeding traffic'?

like you mention, some states clearly define only motor vehicles as being capable of 'impeding traffic'. perhaps state laws should clearly define impeding traffic as only being possible by motor vehicles' and cyclists should work to clarify state laws so only motor vehicles can be capable of impeding traffic.

what do YOU think, john forester?

directly related to this texas case, are texas bicyclists citable for instances of 'impeding traffic?'

how about california bicyclists? are bicyclists able to be cited for impeding traffic in california? and, philosophically,

should bicyclists be able to be cited for 'impeding traffic?

feign your personal confusion about bicyclists impeding traffic all you want, john forester, don't associate me with your misunderstanding of the topic at hand.

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Old 03-13-10, 09:23 PM   #35
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As a suggestion, how 'bout we leave this thread to support and new of ChipSeal, and move the more general philosophical discussion of whether impeding traffic laws should be applied to bikes in this thread.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:26 PM   #36
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As I said, "as long as there's not a good reason for them not to be".

Slow moving vehicles? Bikes are not the only type. The same law should also cover combines and horses.

Bicycles are not the only form of slow traffic.

In any event, there are cases where a cyclist should be convicted of impeding traffic (no, ChipSeal's is not such a case), and writing the law so that they can't be charged with it ever is absurd.
If you're having a slow race on the two lane highway, going 2 mph when the speed limit is 65 mph -- you should be convicted of impeding traffic. But the law should consider that the speed of certain vehicles is limited, and it's unsafe or impossible for them to go above a certain speed, and if they're going close to their max speed (which in the case of a bicycle depends mostly on the rider) then they can't be guilty of impeding traffic.
]

EDIT: I just read back and caught doohikies suggestion about continuing the discussion in another thread. i will continue the non-chipseal related impeding traffic discussion in the other thread.

To doug, i feel that bicyclists should not be citable under 'impeding traffic' laws. there are some cyclists that very well may travel only a few miles per hour over that unrealistic 2mph you mention.

there should be no suggested culpability that bicyclists could be capable of impeding traffic by not travelling as fast as a bicyclist reasonably can - the difference between the slowest and most fit cyclist is not so great there should be any sort of metric to determine IF a cyclist is moving as fast as is reasonable for a bicyclist. this is NOT absurd.



human powered vehicles should, most assuredly, be treated distinct from motor driven devices. Horses and agricultural equipment? NO problem treating them distinct from private, non agricultural motor vehicles. Think segways, superpowered lawnmowers and custom golf carts. In the 21st century, there needs to be a distinct legal division between Human powered vehicles and motor vehicles.

bicyclists should not be required to pull off the roadway or be citable for impeding traffic while operating in the travelled way, for example.

Requiring a bicyclist EVER leave the travelled way to benefit faster traffic is an affront to bicyclists' use of public roads and highways.

States requirements that bicyclists pull off the roadway so as to not impede traffic, or to be subject to slow moving vehicles-impeding-pull off roadway laws are unacceptable burdens for bicyclists.

Chipseal is being railroaded for failing to yield to the right, off the travelled way, for the benefit for other, faster traffic on the road under Texas 'smv impeding traffic' laws.

Bicyclists should NOT be subject to 'impeding traffic' laws in ANY state.

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Old 03-14-10, 11:07 AM   #37
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I'm talking about bicyclists impeding traffic, and laws that indicate bicyclists are, indeed, capable of 'impeding traffic.'

what exactly are you talking about, john? do you think bicyclists SHOULD be citable under various reiterations of 'impeding traffic' statutes? should impeding traffic laws become 'vehicle agnostic' so that bicyclists could then be citable for 'impeding traffic'?

like you mention, some states clearly define only motor vehicles as being capable of 'impeding traffic'. perhaps state laws should clearly define impeding traffic as only being possible by motor vehicles' and cyclists should work to clarify state laws so only motor vehicles can be capable of impeding traffic.

what do YOU think, john forester?

directly related to this texas case, are texas bicyclists citable for instances of 'impeding traffic?'

how about california bicyclists? are bicyclists able to be cited for impeding traffic in california? and, philosophically,

should bicyclists be able to be cited for 'impeding traffic?

feign your personal confusion about bicyclists impeding traffic all you want, john forester, don't associate me with your misunderstanding of the topic at hand.
I wrote that in your ideological desire to criticize me you have confused the impeding traffic law with the traffic behind backed up law. These are different laws with different applicable conditions. You still don't seem to realize that, or else you are pretending not to realize that; I can't distinguish the states of your mind.
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Old 03-14-10, 12:39 PM   #38
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To doug, i feel that bicyclists should not be citable under 'impeding traffic' laws. there are some cyclists that very well may travel only a few miles per hour over that unrealistic 2mph you mention.
It's totally realistic to consider that a cyclist might intentionally try to impede traffic by going as slow as possible, and the law should support charging him for that. It's not a hypothetical situation -- some Critical Mass participants have pulled that sort of stunt, for example. (I'm generally pro-CM, but some people take it too far, and that would be one of the possible ways.)

But no, if he's going at a reasonable rate for his bike, conditions and physical ability, then no. And while that's a judgment call, I'd make sure I erred far on the side of permissiveness, which is why I said 2 mph. An 80 year old man who never rides could probably average 6 mph on a flat road -- I wouldn't expect to see him taking the lane, but the law should support it.

Lance Armstrong could possibly be held to a higher standard, but I would cut him a lot of slack -- 12 mph? Though really, I'd rather not have different standards for different cyclists -- as long as you're not intentionally going slow to gum traffic up, you should be good.
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there should be no suggested culpability that bicyclists could be capable of impeding traffic by not travelling as fast as a bicyclist reasonably can - the difference between the slowest and most fit cyclist is not so great there should be any sort of metric to determine IF a cyclist is moving as fast as is reasonable for a bicyclist. this is NOT absurd.
I never said all cyclists needed to be Lance Armstrong.

And really, suppose the law was changed so that cyclists could not be charged with impeding traffic under any circumstances. Then some motorist would get pissed off about how cyclists are once again getting special treatment, and he would go to Walmart, buy a bike, and ride 3 mph down a highway in the middle lane (it takes some skill to go slower, which he probably doesn't have) just to show how absurd the law was -- and the police couldn't touch him, because he was right. If there's no FRAP law, he could get a friend or two and clog up every lane! The law would likely then be changed back, perhaps being even worse than it originally was.
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human powered vehicles should, most assuredly, be treated distinct from motor driven devices. Horses and agricultural equipment? NO problem treating them distinct from private, non agricultural motor vehicles. Think segways, superpowered lawnmowers and custom golf carts. In the 21st century, there needs to be a distinct legal division between Human powered vehicles and motor vehicles.
Again, you've ignored my qualifications -- I never claimed that the law should NEVER treat bicycles differently.

As for segways, they're a lot like bikes in their capabilities, and so most laws that apply to bikes ought to apply to segways. (Though most cyclists can go a good deal faster than most segways.) Lawnmowers, super or garden variety powered, typically aren't allowed on the road anyways.
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Bicyclists should NOT be subject to 'impeding traffic' laws in ANY state.
And I categorically disagree.

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Old 03-14-10, 02:31 PM   #39
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I wrote that in your ideological desire to criticize me you have confused the impeding traffic law with the traffic behind backed up law. These are different laws with different applicable conditions. You still don't seem to realize that, or else you are pretending not to realize that; I can't distinguish the states of your mind.
Maybe in California you have multiple laws but at least here in MD there is only one and I suspect the same in Bek's state.
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Old 03-14-10, 02:46 PM   #40
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Maybe in California you have multiple laws but at least here in MD there is only one and I suspect the same in Bek's state.
It is the states of the rural and mountainous West that have the 5-vehicle behind law.
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Old 03-14-10, 04:31 PM   #41
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It is the states of the rural and mountainous West that have the 5-vehicle behind law.
I've pointed out before that two states on the east coast that I cycle in frequenty, PA and DE, both have laws requiring a slow moving vehicle to turnout when vehicles are backed up behind them. In PA, the law doesn't specify an exact number of vehicles which could be a good or bad thing.

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3364. Minimum speed regulation.

(b) Slow moving vehicle to drive off roadway.--Except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, whenever any person drives a vehicle upon a roadway having width for not more than one lane of traffic in each direction at less than the maximum posted speed and at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the driver shall, at the first opportunity when and where it is reasonable and safe to do so and after giving appropriate signal, drive completely off the roadway and onto the berm or shoulder of the highway. The driver may return to the roadway after giving appropriate signal only when the movement can be made in safety and so as not to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.
http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms.../chapter33.pdf
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Old 03-14-10, 05:45 PM   #42
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It's nice Chipseal is doing this but I fear he's peeing into the wind. IMHO, he should take the money and move to another town/state. He's already spent a few nights in jail, they're not done with him....
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Old 03-14-10, 06:08 PM   #43
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Personally, i feel a bicyclist operating a bicycle should never be subject to impeding traffic regulations. certainly not on a four lane roadway where traffic can change lanes to pass.
If I read the different writings correctly, not only "could" they, but they were changing lanes and going around him.
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Old 03-14-10, 06:33 PM   #44
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(since the conversation is continuing unabated in here, i will continue to post to this thread.

neither slow moving-impeding - "SMV-I" - or slow moving vehicles impeding pull off roadway "SMV-I-POR" laws should apply to bicyclists.

rural and mountainous west my foot! California (the entire state) Washington. Idaho. Delaware. Pennsylvania. Alaska. Idaho. and likely a few more.

bicyclists under some conditions in some states are burdened to leave the roadway entirely to benefit faster traffic. this is unacceptable. Requiring a bicyclist ever have to leave the road for other traffic is an affront to bicyclists widely accepted and basic right to travel public rights of way.

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Old 03-14-10, 07:12 PM   #45
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(since the conversation is continuing unabated in here, i will continue to post to this thread.

neither slow moving-impeding - "SMV-I" - or slow moving vehicles impeding pull off roadway "SMV-I-POR" laws should apply to bicyclists.

rural and mountainous west my foot! California (the entire state) Washington. Idaho. Delaware. Pennsylvania.

bicyclists under some conditions in some states are burdened to leave the roadway entirely to benefit faster traffic. this is unacceptable. Requiring a bicyclist ever have to leave the road for other traffic is an affront to bicyclists widely accepted and basic right to travel public rights of way.
First off I do believe there is the requirement that a place to pull off must exist, I don't think the law requires that we dive into a ditch every time a car approaches.

If cars are having a hard time passing me (e.g. they are starting to stack up) and if there is a safe place for me to pull out I do so. I figure if I delay motorists for a minute for my benefit I should be willing to endure the same for their benefit. So far the worst case scenario has been three times in 10 miles, three extra minutes of my time, whoop-de-doo. Road courtesy goes both ways besides I prefer riding the gaps between platoons of traffic.
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Old 03-14-10, 11:08 PM   #46
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Well, it is amazing the treatment chipseal has endured - arrested, and held overnight 3 times in as many months for riding a bike lawfully on the roads of texas!

he is fighting some awful misconception bicyclists are required to pull off the roadway onto the shoulder to benefit other, faster traffic. It may be courteous, but it should NEVER be required of a bicyclist. I am sure chipseal feels the same way and was holding his road line despite there being ample shoulder to ride on.

Texas law seems not to require a bicyclist operate on the shoulder but the statutes appear unclear in Texas.

state laws should be clarified that SMV-I and SMV-I-POR laws do not apply to bicyclists.

bicyclists should NEVER be required to LEAVE THE ROADWAY for the benefit of faster traffic. Bicyclists would ideally be regulated so as to fairly share the roads by operating as far right as is safe, not be required to leave the roadway, and be allowed optional use of shoulders or bikelanes with no applicability of 'impeding' or 'impeding traffic shall pull off roadway' laws.

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Old 03-14-10, 11:24 PM   #47
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but haven't there been rulings in a few states that have determined that a bicycle cannot be considered to be impeding traffic if the cyclist is moving at a "reasonable speed for a bicycle?"

I know it was made into law here in Ohio, after Selz Vs. Trotwood, but I thought there had been similar rulings made in other states. Is it more isolated than I thought, or is Texas completely out of the loop?
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Old 03-15-10, 08:21 AM   #48
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Well, it is amazing the treatment chipseal has endured - arrested, and held overnight 3 times in as many months for riding a bike lawfully on the roads of texas!
I agree, a motorist exceeding the speed limit by 20+mph (endangering life) = here's your ticket. Chipseal who is riding to avoid a common accident type (right hook) gets hauled off to jail.

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he is fighting some awful misconception bicyclists are required to pull off the roadway onto the shoulder to benefit other, faster traffic. It may be courteous, but it should NEVER be required of a bicyclist. I am sure chipseal feels the same way and was holding his road line despite there being ample shoulder to ride on.

Texas law seems not to require a bicyclist operate on the shoulder but the statutes appear unclear in Texas.

state laws should be clarified that SMV-I and SMV-I-POR laws do not apply to bicyclists.

bicyclists should NEVER be required to LEAVE THE ROADWAY for the benefit of faster traffic. Bicyclists would ideally be regulated so as to fairly share the roads by operating as far right as is safe, not be required to leave the roadway, and be allowed optional use of shoulders or bikelanes with no applicability of 'impeding' or 'impeding traffic shall pull off roadway' laws.
There is no doubt there are a lot of problems on how laws are written and interpreted when it comes to cyclists obeying SMV laws but I agree in general principle that cyclists should follow SMV laws with the following caveats; 1) a cyclists is entitled to 6' of road space + 3' passing distance 2) For safety the 6' of space cannot be split between off-roadway and on-roadway 3) cyclists should not be required to weave in and out of any of the exceptions of keeping far right 4) SMV laws are only applicable if the speed differential between cyclists and the speed limit is greater then the standard school zone speed limit (if that differential is safe for pedestrians crossing the street it should be safe for cyclists in the lane.)

This is just some of my thoughts looking at things while I am riding 20+mph, some compromises may be possible for speeds of 10mph or 4mph (steep uphill) but laws should encompass at least 80% of what's possible on the bike and not just the lower 50%.

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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but haven't there been rulings in a few states that have determined that a bicycle cannot be considered to be impeding traffic if the cyclist is moving at a "reasonable speed for a bicycle?"

I know it was made into law here in Ohio, after Selz Vs. Trotwood, but I thought there had been similar rulings made in other states. Is it more isolated than I thought, or is Texas completely out of the loop?
I believe only a handful of states have that legal precedent, while another states legal precedent can have some legal weight, it is not as strong as within the same state.
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Old 03-15-10, 05:52 PM   #49
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I agree, a motorist exceeding the speed limit by 20+mph (endangering life) = here's your ticket. Chipseal who is riding to avoid a common accident type (right hook) gets hauled off to jail.
To be fair, he got several tickets before he was arrested. To make the analogy proper, you'd have to have a kid who keeps getting speeding tickets in the same place, even after trying to fight them in court and losing.

And while I don't know this stretch of road, it looked pretty rural -- which suggests that right turns are miles apart, and so the chances of a right hook are pretty small. Most cyclists in his situation would just ride in the shoulder from the get-go without even seriously considering taking the lane there.

I do hope he prevails -- but you've omitted a few key points and that tends to distort the issue.

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4) SMV laws are only applicable if the speed differential between cyclists and the speed limit is greater then the standard school zone speed limit (if that differential is safe for pedestrians crossing the street it should be safe for cyclists in the lane.)
Just so it's clear, the SMV laws are typically about not slowing other traffic rather than safety -- you've mixed up the two.
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Old 03-15-10, 09:55 PM   #50
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To be fair, he got several tickets before he was arrested. To make the analogy proper, you'd have to have a kid who keeps getting speeding tickets in the same place, even after trying to fight them in court and losing.

And while I don't know this stretch of road, it looked pretty rural -- which suggests that right turns are miles apart, and so the chances of a right hook are pretty small. Most cyclists in his situation would just ride in the shoulder from the get-go without even seriously considering taking the lane there.
To be fair it's more like getting repeatably ticketed and then arrested for having your lights on during the day since that is not specifically allowed by law. (or maybe like having high beams on during the day as that is prohibited in the presence of traffic.)

The issue is Chipseal is being ticketed and arrested faster then the legal system can resolve the issue. At the level of the justice system Chipseal is at, the stress is more on the arresting officer must of had a valid reason for the ticket even though the charge may not properly reflect the officers concerns. Higher courts deal more in accurately interpreting the laws. And if Chipseal loses his case in a higher court, shoulders will then become mandatory use in TX rather then optional.

I am not sure where Chipseal was ticketed but even if right turns are miles apart he could have been ticketed near one. Next there is a report of rumble strips on the shoulder, on one of my routes I used to use to use the shoulder till they put in rumble strips (that will not let you leave the shoulder area at speed) so now I take the lane on a busy two lane bidirectional highway for two miles, What are you supposed to do when they rumble strip right up to the very end of a shoulder and sight lines are poor and speed of traffic is very fast at the end of the shoulder?

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Just so it's clear, the SMV laws are typically about not slowing other traffic rather than safety -- you've mixed up the two.
It's never clearly one or the other unless you believe in historic creation myths. Road safety is about time and space. Left hand turn lanes are safer then making a left from a travel lane, traffic that flows near a uniform speed is safer then a mix of congested areas and free flowing areas (roadways that temporarily widens then narrows.) There is a logic to improving road safety by reducing the speed differential by supplying space for slower traffic. My point is too many view cyclists as if they are standing still (like a left turning car in the travel lane) so for safety they feel we should be using a space for slower traffic but if they understood that we are in fact moving and the speed differential/reaction time is greatly improved for cyclists then that of a car turning left the safety argument evaporates. If SMV were truly about not impeding faster traffic then they would written like the driving slower then what the vehicle is capable of laws but as it is a SMV cannot be (correctly) charged with impeding traffic only for failing to be on the right side of the roadway (which generally does not include the shoulder.)
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