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Blasted for legally riding on the road even though there’s a bike lane

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Blasted for legally riding on the road even though there’s a bike lane

Old 03-10-24, 01:47 PM
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Blasted for legally riding on the road even though there’s a bike lane

Too many kids clogging the bike lane so I took the street. Among comes trouble maker, rolls his window down and starts yelling, why am I riding on the street being an idiot. So I shouted back, why are you yelling at me for legally riding on the road. There’s too many kids in the bike lane.

As far as I know, you can ride on the road even though there’s a bike lane if you perceive a safety hazard for yourself or others.

Another stress free Sunday.

Last edited by b88; 03-10-24 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 03-10-24, 01:56 PM
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Agree with the judgement call about safety on a path. I think NYC requires a dedicated path be used if one exists alongside a road, or some such, with the caveat of safe conditions. Who makes that judgement call is sometimes in question.
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Old 03-10-24, 02:00 PM
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I don't have an AK-47, nor anything similar, nor any desire to acquire one.

But I have thought about the reactions I would get in my town if I rode with one strapped across my back!

Luckily, aside from one soda thrown at me, and one shouting, finger-waving exchange, things have been fairly mellow here.

P.S. - I hate that adrenaline feeling, too.

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Old 03-10-24, 02:26 PM
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They want you to use the bike lane but you according to the law can leave the bike lane when you deem it not safe. In NYC the police will right a summons and tell you to take it up in court most likely. They have been known to intentionally block the bike lane with there patrol vehicle and hand out summons to go to court when you go around there vehicle which is blocking the bike lane.
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Old 03-10-24, 03:49 PM
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Nowhere in any drivers handbook in America will it specifically say that where there is a bike lane, a bicycle can still ride on the street. And even if it did, you wouldn’t find a question in a written drivers license test. That being the case, drivers will of course think that a cyclist shouldn’t ride outside a bike lane.

When I got my Japan drivers license, that wasn’t the case. The handbook and test make it very clear that cyclists use the roadway, and make very clear the harsh consequences a driver will face if they hit a cyclist. This being the case, cycling on Japanese roadways is quite safe.

Japan’s approach to safety focuses on drivers, because no matter how safe you try to make a vehicle or a road, it will only be safe as the driver you operates a vehicle on that road. Therefore, Japan’s driver training for licenses and traffic laws are harsh, and the system works. Japan’s per capita traffic fatality rate is one-fifth America’s rate.
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Old 03-10-24, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
Nowhere in any drivers handbook in America will it specifically say that where there is a bike lane, a bicycle can still ride on the street. And even if it did, you wouldn’t find a question in a written drivers license test. That being the case, drivers will of course think that a cyclist shouldn’t ride outside a bike lane.
.

Here’s a link to the NYC law that essentially states to use a bike lane except when conditions occur that makes it unsafe.

https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloa...es-english.pdf
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Old 03-10-24, 04:45 PM
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Just another variation of road rage. We can cause a driver several seconds of delay and they go ballistic.
I rode down a slightly twisty road recently, with six vehicles ahead of me and maybe two behind.
One of the motorists behind laid-on his horn, despite zero chance to reach his destination any quicker.
When the road widened, he passed rather closely and blared his horn again.
I laughed when he got hung up at the left turn light and I breezed up to the front of the same left turn line.
He sounded his horn again and made a special effort to drive in my bike lane, a half mile further.
Hopefully, he accepted defeat when I passed him again a mile away at a stop light. Four miles and a tie score!
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Old 03-10-24, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
Nowhere in any drivers handbook in America will it specifically say that where there is a bike lane, a bicycle can still ride on the street. And even if it did, you wouldn’t find a question in a written drivers license test. That being the case, drivers will of course think that a cyclist shouldn’t ride outside a bike lane.

When I got my Japan drivers license, that wasn’t the case. The handbook and test make it very clear that cyclists use the roadway, and make very clear the harsh consequences a driver will face if they hit a cyclist. This being the case, cycling on Japanese roadways is quite safe.

Japan’s approach to safety focuses on drivers, because no matter how safe you try to make a vehicle or a road, it will only be safe as the driver you operates a vehicle on that road. Therefore, Japan’s driver training for licenses and traffic laws are harsh, and the system works. Japan’s per capita traffic fatality rate is one-fifth America’s rate.
NC -“Bicyclists may, but are not required to, utilize any usable path for bicycles that has been provided adjacent to a roadway.”
this from “bikelaw.com”, an NC cycling law site. Needless to say I get the occasional jackass yelling at me if I’m not using the bike lane
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Old 03-10-24, 05:48 PM
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Old 03-11-24, 06:42 AM
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In general, I think we all have to be careful about assuming cyclists have a full legal right to the road, even if we have a moral one. it is often a lot more complicated than that. But really, from pedestrians to semi-trucks, all forms of transportation have limits on where they can and can't go. So why not bikers too?

Where I live, if there is a marked path, cyclists are required to use it (but technically a mandatory path is itself only allowed if it is too dangerous to ride on the street--this means that most mandatory paths are themselves probably illegal).

A quick search regarding CA suggests that cyclists are required to use bike lanes unless they are passing, avoiding hazards etc. I think OP is from CA? if so, then you were ok to go out into the street. But the question, however, would be if you were out there longer than strictly necessary to get around the kids.

But one thing that occurs to me is we as cyclists probably cannot have our cake and eat it too. If we want improved bike infrastructure, we may have to accept that this infrastructure will probably bring with it increased restriction of cyclists to that infrastructure.

After all, one reason to build bike paths is to separate traffic, not just for the bikers' safety, but let's be honest, because it's better for cars too. The same principle applies to sidewalks--separating pedestrians and cars is better for both, and neither is allowed to be to cross over for more than a short period of time. And if there is a big investment in bike infrastructure, politicians are going to want to make sure it's used and that the benefits are visible. So it seems only logical to then require cyclists to use the expensive new bike path (that they lobbied for).
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Old 03-11-24, 10:33 AM
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Racers that say they are riding fast to train, DO NOT belong on bike trails. They belong on the streets where they are a legal vehicle. Hiker biker trails are for everyone. and walker and slower cyclist should not have to get out of the way of anyone that wants to ride very fast.

BTW on a lot of clogged city street a fast cyclist is probably faster than the general traffic is moving anyway.
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Old 03-11-24, 12:33 PM
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I'm having trouble picturing where this happened. Did this involve a bike lane or a MUP (AKA: Bike Path)? What city did this happen in?



.
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Old 03-11-24, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Frkl
In general, I think we all have to be careful about assuming cyclists have a full legal right to the road, even if we have a moral one. it is often a lot more complicated than that. But really, from pedestrians to semi-trucks, all forms of transportation have limits on where they can and can't go. So why not bikers too?

Where I live, if there is a marked path, cyclists are required to use it (but technically a mandatory path is itself only allowed if it is too dangerous to ride on the street--this means that most mandatory paths are themselves probably illegal).

A quick search regarding CA suggests that cyclists are required to use bike lanes unless they are passing, avoiding hazards etc. I think OP is from CA? if so, then you were ok to go out into the street. But the question, however, would be if you were out there longer than strictly necessary to get around the kids.

But one thing that occurs to me is we as cyclists probably cannot have our cake and eat it too. If we want improved bike infrastructure, we may have to accept that this infrastructure will probably bring with it increased restriction of cyclists to that infrastructure.

After all, one reason to build bike paths is to separate traffic, not just for the bikers' safety, but let's be honest, because it's better for cars too. The same principle applies to sidewalks--separating pedestrians and cars is better for both, and neither is allowed to be to cross over for more than a short period of time. And if there is a big investment in bike infrastructure, politicians are going to want to make sure it's used and that the benefits are visible. So it seems only logical to then require cyclists to use the expensive new bike path (that they lobbied for).
Good points. Begs the question is if you fund the so-called “cycling infrastructure”, which becomes a multi-use path, now filled with young children all over the path as well as 3 abreast baby carriages and folks walking dogs with 20 ft leashes, it is no longer a useful cycling infrastructure and you now see the cyclist riding on the road and essentially doing the right thing by getting out of a car and using a bike to commute, then you give them a ticket for riding on the road, because they cannot use the path, and the cop issuing the ticket is deaf to the reason. Seems you cannot then require a cyclist to use the MUT nor can you issue a ticket for riding the road. Sure, build the multi use path but don’t kid yourself that it’s changing anything. NYC has been remarkably proactive in building cycling infrastructure, including marked bike lanes. Then they absolutely refuse to ticket vehicles, including police cars, parked and blocking the lane. The beat cops do not issue parking tickets and the traffic enforcement folks are never out writing tickets to vehicles parked in bike lanes.
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Old 03-11-24, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Frkl
In general, I think we all have to be careful about assuming cyclists have a full legal right to the road, even if we have a moral one. it is often a lot more complicated than that. But really, from pedestrians to semi-trucks, all forms of transportation have limits on where they can and can't go. So why not bikers too?

Where I live, if there is a marked path, cyclists are required to use it (but technically a mandatory path is itself only allowed if it is too dangerous to ride on the street--this means that most mandatory paths are themselves probably illegal).

A quick search regarding CA suggests that cyclists are required to use bike lanes unless they are passing, avoiding hazards etc. I think OP is from CA? if so, then you were ok to go out into the street. But the question, however, would be if you were out there longer than strictly necessary to get around the kids.

But one thing that occurs to me is we as cyclists probably cannot have our cake and eat it too. If we want improved bike infrastructure, we may have to accept that this infrastructure will probably bring with it increased restriction of cyclists to that infrastructure.

After all, one reason to build bike paths is to separate traffic, not just for the bikers' safety, but let's be honest, because it's better for cars too. The same principle applies to sidewalks--separating pedestrians and cars is better for both, and neither is allowed to be to cross over for more than a short period of time. And if there is a big investment in bike infrastructure, politicians are going to want to make sure it's used and that the benefits are visible. So it seems only logical to then require cyclists to use the expensive new bike path (that they lobbied for).
In all honesty I could have pulled back into the bike lane before I reached the lights. At the lights after his barrage I yelled back that driving with a dog on your lap is illegal and he can be charged with careless driving. That was the end of it.

Many cyclists on road bikes on that street will not use the bike lane because of the speed they traveling.

Last edited by b88; 03-11-24 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-11-24, 09:57 PM
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In my town (Chapel Hill NC), the main street used to be two lanes each way, and some time during the pandemic they converted the sidewalk-adjacent lane in each direction to a dedicated bike lane separated from the remaining traffic lanes by parking spaces. A good move in principle, but I consider the bike lanes to be more dangerous than the traffic lanes, because cars and pedestrians pay absolutely no attention to bike lane traffic - their sole concentration is on the traffic lanes, so you have to have your head on a swivel to ensure that a car or pedestrian doesn't obliviously cut in front of you when entering or leaving the roadway. Add the cars and trucks that park in the bike lane, forcing you out into the traffic lane, car doors (unlike the traffic lane, the bike lane isn't wide enough to ensure adequate clearance from doors) etc. My "long term view" is that, the more people using the bike lanes, the more other street users will start to register bike lane traffic. So, I use the bike lanes when I can, unless it's early morning when the traffic lanes are empty. However, sometimes I feel like my albeit-small gesture toward normalizing bike lane usage is "taking one for the team", because it's certainly not doing me any good.
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Old 03-12-24, 02:41 PM
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In California the DMV guidelines state that the bike rider should "ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as possible" unless on a one-way street in which case the rider should be as close to the left curb as possible.

It also states that "stay visible (for example, never weave between parked vehicles)". When there are parked cars anywhere the cyclist needs to ride therefore they need to be out in the traffic lane to be able to do this.

Expecting law enforcement officers in their cars to understand or care about the safety of bicyclists is not realistic. I worry about not getting hit, regardless of the legal aspects.
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Old 03-15-24, 08:42 AM
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One of our city bicycle ordinances state that the city can declare any arterial off limits to cyclist is it is so posted.
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Old 03-16-24, 10:05 AM
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In California the DMV guidelines state that the bike rider should "ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as possible" unless on a one-way street in which case the rider should be as close to the left curb as possible.
​​​​​​​The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
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