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Pulled over by the CHP while biking on I-280

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Pulled over by the CHP while biking on I-280

Old 01-22-22, 08:57 PM
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Factemp
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Pulled over by the CHP while biking on I-280

I also was stopped by a CHP around 2008 at the exact northbound location. I tried to explain the signage by the on ramp excludes prohibiting bicycles. And as the OP stated, there is a sign just prior to the next exit instructing bicyclist to exit. It's also the same situation directly across the highway for southbound riders.

I believe at some point the exception was granted as there is no reasonable alternative to continue traveling south or north bound on skyline without taking a significant detour far down the eastern side of the highway.

As I tried to explain this the officer he simply stated that pedestrians are not allowed on the highway which is prohibited. I stated I was on a bike. He then said that a "bike" is a pedestrian. I didn't even argue it at this point. He released me with a warning.

I believe the highway patrol are simply not aware of the allowed access.

I bring this up now as I've started to ride my bike again and this is a key part of my loop to do a round trip of crystal springs trail. I'm want to ride this section and am looking to see if there has been clarification on the legality.
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Old 01-22-22, 09:19 PM
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Joe Bikerider
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I know there are several freeways in the bay area that have proper signage and people ride these sections with no problems. Like going up highway 24 west to the Caldecott tunnel.

Last edited by unterhausen; 01-23-22 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 01-22-22, 10:16 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I closed the other thread and made your post into a new thread. The op of the other thread deleted all his posts anyway.

Last edited by unterhausen; 01-23-22 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:42 AM
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Can you provide a map so I can see what your referring too? I am going to just say it...there is no way in hell I would be caught on an interstate highway on my bike. BUT without picturing what your up against I can't throw shade on your situation.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:45 AM
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There are many states that allow freeway cycling. Apparently CA does based on the signage and the previous poster. I always feel the best approach for this type of issue is to reach out to your local andb/or statewide advocacy group. Ask them to contact and help train CHP. You also might want to write a friendly email to them and perhaps your representative suggesting the need for training. This all assumes you were right which I think you were.
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Old 01-23-22, 09:56 AM
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If you were in the right, then it's good that you didn't escalate the situation since the patrolman thought that he was correct. Being outright belligerent might have led to a ticket or even worse. Problems like this are better resolved at a later date with persons higher in the chain of command.

Find some information that factually supports your claim and send it to the commander of the prescient or what ever the top dog and branch of the CHP is called.

If warnings have any longer term issues for your driving record or such, then you might want to see about that getting removed from your record.
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Old 01-23-22, 03:30 PM
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I used to ride my bike on a freeway just about every day when I lived in Utah. If bikes are prohibited, it will say on the sign that is at every freeway entrance. Google maps isn't fully reliable regarding this, but they try.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:34 AM
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Utah allows bicycles on the freeway shoulder except in metropolitan areas. I was at Fort Ord in the late 70s and it was a highway patrol officer that showed me where it was legal to use the freeway instead of 13 miles of a narrow two lane road with no shoulder. I wouldn't fear a ticket. The ticket is an opportunity to educate or aggravate the HP officer who pulled you over.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:58 AM
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Sure looks like OP got this right:

https://bayareabicyclelaw.com/safety...es-on-freeway/
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Old 01-24-22, 11:43 AM
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It's allowed when it's the only reasonable alternative. There are sections of I-80 in the Sierras. I've also ridden for a short distance on I-5/US-99 when Discovery Park was flooded and it was the only way over the American.
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Old 01-24-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It's allowed when it's the only reasonable alternative. There are sections of I-80 in the Sierras. I've also ridden for a short distance on I-5/US-99 when Discovery Park was flooded and it was the only way over the American.

Pretty cool website reference, don't know if it's comprehensive and/or kept current:

https://www.cabobike.org/touring/freeway.htm

ETA--this is apparently very old, referring to a stretch as being open due to the events of 9/11.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you were in the right, then it's good that you didn't escalate the situation since the patrolman thought that he was correct. Being outright belligerent might have led to a ticket or even worse. Problems like this are better resolved at a later date with persons higher in the chain of command.

Find some information that factually supports your claim and send it to the commander of the prescient or what ever the top dog and branch of the CHP is called.

If warnings have any longer term issues for your driving record or such, then you might want to see about that getting removed from your record.
How can it lead to a ticket if it is posted "OK" on the freeway signs and it is the patrolman that was in the wrong?
Oh sure, you may physically be issued a ticket, but in court you can give proof and the patrolman may even be "lectured."

I used to have to commute on Interstate 5 in San Diego on a daily basis... Into and out of Sorrento Valley. That area now has a dedicated bike path that parallels the interstate.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How can it lead to a ticket if it is posted "OK" on the freeway signs and it is the patrolman that was in the wrong?
Oh sure, you may physically be issued a ticket, but in court you can give proof and the patrolman may even be "lectured."

I used to have to commute on Interstate 5 in San Diego on a daily basis... Into and out of Sorrento Valley. That area now has a dedicated bike path that parallels the interstate.

The issue is once the cop has said he's letting you go with a warning, there's nothing to be gained from hanging out arguing with him, and if you really want to object to the stop, it's better to do so by talking with someone in the PD or make a complaint. If a cop really wants to write a ticket, they'll figure out a reason to (improper reflector or the like), so there is always a risk to prolonging the "argument" and really nothing to gain.

Having to go down to court and argue a ticket is already a bit of punishment even if you end up acquitted, better to make the point in your own time and more on your own terms.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Factemp View Post
As I tried to explain this the officer he simply stated that pedestrians are not allowed on the highway which is prohibited. I stated I was on a bike. He then said that a "bike" is a pedestrian.
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Old 01-24-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How can it lead to a ticket if it is posted "OK" on the freeway signs and it is the patrolman that was in the wrong?
You really have to ask or is this just sarcasm or something I'm missing.

However when the law enforcement thinks that a person violated a traffic law and they choose to go after them, then they'll issue a ticket. The patrolman issuing the ticket only has to believe that there was a violation. You prove your innocence in the traffic court.
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Old 01-25-22, 01:19 PM
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I drive there every day. That's my commute! I expect to see bicycles on the small section of 280 from 35 to the Larkspur exit. I also keep my eyes out for the riders who continue on the shoulder beyond the exit, either from confusion or because they think its safer or faster than the surface streets.
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Old 01-25-22, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mgb View Post
I also keep my eyes out for the riders who continue on the shoulder beyond the exit, either from confusion or because they think its safer or faster than the surface streets.
The irony is that apart from crossing the ramps and the occasional wildly distracted driver, an interstate shoulder probably is safer than a shoulderless 50 mph road.

But we don't do that back east.

Using the grassy margins of interstates to construct trails is an option that should be considered more, especially when they're just local connections that don't even have to cross a ramp. For example near me we have a proposal to route a trail through an additional bay of overpass where I90 crosses a rail line, then build a quarter mile of new trail alongside the interstate, until it can continue to an improved version of what is basically the service road of a flood control dam, the the total effect of creating a route through presently isolated neighborhood streets that fills the critical gap in a bi-state rail trail.

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Old 01-25-22, 05:42 PM
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California has trial by written declaration. If cited you don't need to appear in court at first, you send a letter to the court explaining your case. You pay the ticket price as bail. If you are still found responsible you still get a day in court at which the officer needs to appear. If the judge lets you off for the letter or in traffic court you get your money back.

This used to be a way to get out of a speeding ticket, back in my former life of motorcycles and turbo Subarus. The officer had to write a letter and sometimes wouldn't, and on appeal he'd have to trade shifts to make it, so he wouldn't show. I've heard they have been since then scheduled to show up and get paid for it.

https://www.courts.ca.gov/34713.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en
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Old 03-25-22, 04:34 PM
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In California any highway with "at grade" cross traffic is not a "freeway" and bikes are allowed. The CHP enforce the laws which have not change in this regard in the past 50 years. When a friend and I first started traveling down Hwy 101 we could encounter a sign that bicycles were not allowed and when we asked a CHP officer where we should go instead he said he did not know as he always took the freeway. He added that if he saw us on the freeway he would give us a ticket.

That led to our creating the first map for cyclists in the 1970's that showed how to legally travel through the state from Oregon to Mexico. We were able to get the Division of Highways to print 10,000 of the maps and to have their personnel maintain the maps over time. But overall the access to safe roads for cyclists is little improvement over the 50 years since we created that map.

Sad to say but the oil and automobile and land developers have been allowed to make the United States the most hazardous country in the world for cyclists. Ironic as the first road associations to improve road conditions were formed by bicyclists.
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Old 04-08-22, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
Can you provide a map so I can see what your referring too? I am going to just say it...there is no way in hell I would be caught on an interstate highway on my bike. BUT without picturing what your up against I can't throw shade on your situation.
I don't know about the OP's I-280 situation, but here near my house it is allowed for bikes to ride on I-15 between the W Bernardo/Pomerado and Via Rancho/Bear Valley exits over Lake Hodges. There is also the pedestrian bridge and a freeway underpass that provide a longer, more pleasant option, but cyclists in a hurry ride the freeway shoulder once in a while (it's at least as wide as a lane), you can zoom in here and see it

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.0615.../data=!3m1!1e3

One time like 5-10 years ago, I was riding with a group of friends and we planned to go through Camp Pendleton, but they had closed the base to cyclists that day, and our only option was to ride on the shoulder of I-5, and that was like 15 miles. It was hellish with a narrow shoulder strewn with debris, and cars whizzing by at 80mph
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Old 04-08-22, 02:06 PM
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*Engage extreme sarcasm mode*: I'm confused here. Bicyclists aren't allowed on Interstate highways, but motorists park and drive on sidewalks/MUPs and in bike lanes (and wait in pedestrian/MUP crossings) with impunity....
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Old 04-08-22, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
*Engage extreme sarcasm mode*: I'm confused here. Bicyclists aren't allowed on Interstate highways, but motorists park and drive on sidewalks/MUPs and in bike lanes (and wait in pedestrian/MUP crossings) with impunity....
Well yeah... But those thing have an engine... So the LEOs sort of consider them legit. Now if cyclists would just go "VROOM VROOM" on the interstate... They'd probably be OK.
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Old 04-08-22, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Well yeah... But those thing have an engine... So the LEOs sort of consider them legit. Now if cyclists would just go "VROOM VROOM" on the interstate... They'd probably be OK.
Roflmao, that made my day!
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Old 04-08-22, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Maybe I missed it, but it looks like 280 is not on that list.
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Old 04-09-22, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Maybe I missed it, but it looks like 280 is not on that list.

That list is not supposed to be comprehensive. I can't tell if this link will work, but it's an image of a "Bicycles Must Exit" sign on 280 from Google maps:

https://maps.app.goo.gl/HJzEktTGeUYsaQ8z9

Last edited by livedarklions; 04-09-22 at 05:47 AM.
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