Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

I am not a slow moving vehicle

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

I am not a slow moving vehicle

Old 05-24-06, 09:25 AM
  #1  
sbhikes
Dominatrikes
Thread Starter
 
sbhikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Still in Santa Barbara
Posts: 4,920

Bikes: Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am not a slow moving vehicle

I have a problem with the whole slow moving vehicle concept. I am not operating a slow moving vehicle.

A bicycle is a human powered vehicle and I am operating it at the speed for which it was designed.

Operators of true slow moving vehicles (such as forklifts, farm equipment, earth-moving equipment) tend to be members of unions, carry special licenses, operate their vehicles for commercial purposes, and only take those vehicles on roads under special, limited circumstances.

A bicyclist operates his vehicle as a member of the public, on public roads provided to him by the State which serves him.

Operated by the public, upon public roads, at the speeds for which the vehicle is designed, a bicycle cannot be considered to be in the same category as forklifts, farm equipment or earth-moving equipment and the like. And because bicycles are operated by the public, upon public roads, at the speeds for which the vehicle is designed, they should be deserving of public services that fit within the parameters of the bicycle. Just as roads are designed for cars which have their own properties, roads must be designed to suit the properties of the bicycle.

It is wrong to say that we are like something that barely uses the public roads at all (forklifts etc). It is wrong to say we should use those roads as is is despite the hostile designs that do not work well for bicycles. It is not good bicycle advocacy in my opinion. We are taxpayers, we are members of the public, we are operating human powered vehicles and we deserve suitably designed public accommodations.
sbhikes is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 09:31 AM
  #2  
NoRacer
Isaias
 
NoRacer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 5,182

Bikes: Ridley X-Fire (carbon, white)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sbhikes
...carry special licenses, operate their vehicles for commercial purposes, and only take those vehicles on roads under special, limited circumstances.
Sounds like pro racers.
NoRacer is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 09:34 AM
  #3  
Bikepacker67
Banned
 
Bikepacker67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ogopogo's shoreline
Posts: 4,083

Bikes: LHT, Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I'm faster than most farm equipment/forklifts!
Bikepacker67 is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:08 AM
  #4  
wonkemtel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't disagree with the OP and I take the lane sometimes for safety and sometimes to make a point but sometimes it;s still me vs several thousands of pounds operated by a less than briliant psuedo human. I especially like when I get told to geton the sidewalk by a hummer driver as if I am less appropriate for urban roads than he is. I got pinched between a moving car and a parked car a couple of weeks ago and fell over but was ok, but bruised ribs take a while, i DIDNT GET THE PLATE BUT will be mindful next time, still I wasn;t discoraged and started commuting, today I drove but that was the first time since last Tuesday and at a 42 mile rt Im feeling good about it.
wonkemtel is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:15 AM
  #5  
Dusk
LeMond Lives!
 
Dusk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Edina, MN
Posts: 560

Bikes: In 1963 my sister taught me to ride on her girl’s frame (no wonder I shave my legs) Schwinn it was blue and it weighted a billion pounds. – Gone, 2nd bike - a Schwinn Colligate (Gold) 5 speed – Traded in, 3rd bike – 1971 Schwinn Continental (Maro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This might be of help.

Legally Speaking - with Bob Mionske: To impede or not to impede, that is the question
By Robert Mionske, JD
This report filed April 20, 2006
Dear Bob:
I have the good fortune to live in Southern Minnesota where the roads are in good condition, and relatively free of traffic. Our club rides are always quite enjoyable and take us on some very pleasant routes through local farmland. Most of the roads we ride on have very minimal traffic, to the point where a car goes past us (in either direction) often only once every 10 or 15 minutes. In general, most motorists are quite considerate, but as always there are a few who feel that bicyclists simply do not belong on the roads.
Minnesota law states that bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, as long as we stay to the right side of the road, and do not occupy more than one lane. Another provision is that we do not "impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic." Those motorists who do get angry that bicycles are on the road often tell us that we are not allowed to impede traffic, and this often seems to be the major basis for their complaints. This occurs even when there is no other traffic on the road, and the car may only have to slow for a few seconds until safe to pass us. So my question for you is from a legal standpoint, what exactly constitutes "impeding the normal and reasonable flow of traffic?"
Of interest, these same motorists never seem to get upset when they end up behind some large piece of farm equipment driving down the road at a pace much slower than bicycles.
Thanks
T. M.
Minnesota
Dear T.M.,
Don't you hate it when your ride on the beautiful roads in southern Minnesota, and some motorist who has no problem waiting behind some slow-moving farm vehicle, comes up behind you and starts quoting the Minnesota Traffic Regulations chapter and verse to prove that you are violating the law?...So are you? I love questions like this, because the answer is easy, and it's the right outcome:
You are not impeding traffic, and therefore, you are not violating the law by riding in the right lane. Let's find out why.
Let's start with some basics. First, in Minnesota, Section 169.01(2) of the Traffic Regulations defines a "vehicle" as
· Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
Now that's a pretty inclusive definition of vehicle, and includes farm tractors, trailers, and yes, bicycles. So what rights do bicycles have on Minnesota roads? According to Section 169.222(1) of the Traffic Regulations, "all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle..." However, as you've mentioned, Section 169.222(4) of the Minnesota Traffic Regulations also requires that "Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
· When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or narrow width lanes, that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.
· Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway or shoulder shall not ride more than two abreast and shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.
There are a few interesting observations to be made about the language of this statute. First, the statute requires you to ride "as close as practicable" to the right. This is standard statutory language across the United States, and merely means that you have to ride as close to the right as is feasible under the conditions. It is not a commandment to ride as close to the right as possible to the right under all conditions. In fact, the legislature suggests several conditions under which a cyclist would be justified in not riding to the right.
Second, did you notice that there's no requirement in the statute for a cyclist to ride anywhere other than the road? The statute anticipates that cyclists will be riding "upon a roadway or shoulder," and that on laned roadways, cyclists can only occupy one lane. This language indicates that the legislature intends that bicycles will be riding on the road.
Third, did you notice the words "normal and reasonable?" What is the "normal and reasonable" movement of traffic? And, as you asked, what constitutes impeding "the normal and reasonable movement of traffic"? For an answer, let's ride over to Ohio.
In 1999, Steven Selz, a cyclist, was cited for "impeding traffic" in Trotwood, Ohio (see You gotta fight for your right to slooooow down). At trial, the cyclist's attorney focused on establishing the following points:
· The cyclist was riding at a reasonably normal bicycling speed;
· There was no posted minimum speed limit; and
· The established maximum speed limit was not only an unreasonable speed for a bicycle, it was an unsafe speed for a bicycle.
This part of the cyclist's case focused on the "reasonable movement of traffic"-the bicycle was traveling at a reasonable speed. But is it reasonable for a bicycle to travel at a reasonable speed if other traffic on the road is capable of moving at a faster speed? According to his attorney, Steve Magas...well, I'll let him tell it in his own words:
I argued that the most important word in the Trotwood ordinance was the word "traffic." "Traffic" cannot be impeded, so just what is "traffic." State law tells us that traffic includes far more than cars and trucks and buses. "Traffic" is defined to include "...pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, trackless trolleys, and other devices either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of traveling." Thus a bicycle operator IS traffic -- the bicycle operator is part of the class of people protected by the statute.
"Traffic" is a broad piece of fabric, with many different threads. Not all "traffic" goes, or is capable of going, 45mph. By including these slower moving objects in the definition of "traffic" the legislature is allowing for varying speeds of vehicles on the roadways. If something is going as fast as it can on a roadway on which it has a right to proceed, how can it be "impeding" traffic?
As he notes in his account, the trial court didn't buy that argument, and Selz didn't get the yellow jersey. However, Selz wasn't quite ready to quit just yet, so he advanced to the next stage-The Ohio Court of Appeals. There, the Justices
agreed with Selz that the ordinance cannot reasonably be read as prohibiting bicycles from using a public highway. In this regard, the case before us is similar to Lott v. Smith...That court held that an operator of a corn combine could not be found to have violated the statute...The corn combine was traveling at or near its highest possible speed...The facts in the case before us are virtually identical, except that a bicycle is substituted for the corn combine. In both cases the vehicle was being operated at, or close to, the highest possible speed. In either case, holding the operator to have violated the slow speed statute would be tantamount to excluding operators of these vehicles from the public roadways, something that each legislative authority has not clearly expressed an intention to do.
Based on that analysis, the Ohio court held in Trotwood v. Selz that
a bicyclist is not in violation of the ordinance when he is traveling as fast as he reasonably can.
Now let's ride back to Minnesota. As we saw in Ohio, the statutes are virtually identical. In fact, let's look at Minnesota's definition of "traffic"; under Section 169.01(44) of the Minnesota Traffic Regulations
"Traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, street cars, and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using any highway for purposes of travel.
Almost exactly what Ohio's code says. Now, the appellate decision in Trotwood v. Selz wasn't explicitly based on that definition, but let's look again at an interesting point Selz' attorney raised at trial:
a bicycle operator IS traffic -- the bicycle operator is part of the class of people protected by the statute.
"Traffic" is a broad piece of fabric, with many different threads. Not all "traffic" goes, or is capable of going, 45mph. By including these slower moving objects in the definition of "traffic" the legislature is allowing for varying speeds of vehicles on the roadways. If something is going as fast as it can on a roadway on which it has a right to proceed, how can it be "impeding" traffic?
That's basically what the Ohio Court of Appeals said. Keep in mind that the holding in Ohio isn't binding authority upon courts in Minnesota; however, it is persuasive authority, which makes it extremely likely that any case of a similar nature in Minnesota would be decided the same way.
Now, what I've really done is tell you what doesn't constitute impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, but that's really all the courts have told us, and as long as you're riding within what the law allows, you won't run the risk of impeding traffic. What do you think? Is it time for a ride?
Good luck,
Bob
(Research and drafting provided by Rick Bernardi-law student- Lewis and Clark)

Now read the fine print:

Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 national championship road race. After retiring from racing in 1993, he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske's practice is now split between personal-injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property, etc). If you have a cycling-related legal question, please send it to mionskelaw@hotmail.com Bob will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions each week to answer in this column. General bicycle-accident advice can be found at www.bicyclelaw.com.
Important notice:
The information provided in the "Legally speaking" column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public web site is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this web site. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the web site without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.
Dusk is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:24 AM
  #6  
yes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 675
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
right on - dianne

We are usually slow moving. If a bike is a vehicle, it's a slow moving one.

Originally Posted by sbhikes
It is wrong to say that we are like something that barely uses the public roads at all (forklifts etc).
Well, at the moment, there aren't a lot of us.

Originally Posted by sbhikes
It is wrong to say we should use those roads as is is despite the hostile designs that do not work well for bicycles. It is not good bicycle advocacy in my opinion. We are taxpayers, we are members of the public, we are operating human powered vehicles and we deserve suitably designed public accommodations.
I'm on board w/ this one. Heck, I'd say we should be subsidized just like hybrid owners, home owners, and parents. We should definitely be more subsidized than car owners. We need a louder voice. Thanks for using yours.

I want a federal and state tax incentive, just like any alternative energy source or hybrid car. I want bigger shoulders (on the road), and more through streets in neighborhoods away from the main car drags. My city has annoying road pattern to discourage people from driving through neighborhoods.
It would also be nice to get a healthy living subsidy (from health insurance or government). I also want a sign below the share the road sign that says not to pass within 3 ft of a cyclist.
yes is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:35 AM
  #7  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,719

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10312 Post(s)
Liked 2,331 Times in 1,609 Posts
Great legal opinion, thanks Dusk.

Now the rest of this is not directed at you per se, but at cyclists all over and obviously the internet browsing cyclists in particular.

Now only one problem as I see it... only a hand full of cyclists and lawyers are aware of it.

The real question is how to make motorists aware that WE ARE TRAFFIC, and that WE HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS as the motorists.

I know some here will suggest that simply riding on the road in a safe legal and predictable manner will "tell" the motorist all that. I disagree... the motorists may tolerate you on the road, but nothing in your riding style will tell them that the law stands behind you. Most motorists think they are just being polite or are just avoiding you.

Don't believe me? Go ask your coworkers what they think of cyclists on the road, and if those cyclists have any right to be on the road. I think you will hear some disturbing opinion.
genec is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:55 AM
  #8  
sbhikes
Dominatrikes
Thread Starter
 
sbhikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Still in Santa Barbara
Posts: 4,920

Bikes: Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dusk
a bicycle operator IS traffic -- the bicycle operator is part of the class of people protected by the statute.
"Traffic" is a broad piece of fabric, with many different threads. Not all "traffic" goes, or is capable of going, 45mph. By including these slower moving objects in the definition of "traffic" the legislature is allowing for varying speeds of vehicles on the roadways. If something is going as fast as it can on a roadway on which it has a right to proceed, how can it be "impeding" traffic?
I'm offering that as a protected class of people, and as traffic, and as traveling at the speed for which the machine is designed, we are deserving of roadways designed to accommodate us. I see dozens of cyclists on my route every day and I'm sure I'd see many more with better accommodations.
sbhikes is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:55 AM
  #9  
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 8,401

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
The concept about slow moving vehicles as presented in the original post is flawed.

At least in PA horse and buggy operators (such as the Amish) have full access to the road, and operate at the speed they are intended to operate (the horses are usually at a trotting pace). They many times display slow moving vehicle symbols and are treated as legal travellers and are generally treated with respect by motorists.

We as bicyclists (at least most of us) are slow moving vehicles as well... slow moving vehicle only denotes a vehicle not allowed on the road whenever they want/need to be there in the minds of the uninformed.

There is nothing I am aware of in vehicle code (I am a layman, so will accept correction) that gives slow moving vehicles a sub-vehicle status just a recognition that they are limited in their top speed below the usual traffic speed.

Am I wrong?
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 10:57 AM
  #10  
sbhikes
Dominatrikes
Thread Starter
 
sbhikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Still in Santa Barbara
Posts: 4,920

Bikes: Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't think we should be excluded or have to suffer special rules and regulations just because we are slower than other vehicles. I think the roads should be designed for us to begin with and not just for vehicles that can go 45mph or more.
sbhikes is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:10 AM
  #11  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I have a problem with the whole slow moving vehicle concept. I am not operating a slow moving vehicle.

A bicycle is a human powered vehicle and I am operating it at the speed for which it was designed.

Operators of true slow moving vehicles (such as forklifts, farm equipment, earth-moving equipment) tend to be members of unions, carry special licenses, operate their vehicles for commercial purposes, and only take those vehicles on roads under special, limited circumstances.

A bicyclist operates his vehicle as a member of the public, on public roads provided to him by the State which serves him.

Operated by the public, upon public roads, at the speeds for which the vehicle is designed, a bicycle cannot be considered to be in the same category as forklifts, farm equipment or earth-moving equipment and the like. And because bicycles are operated by the public, upon public roads, at the speeds for which the vehicle is designed, they should be deserving of public services that fit within the parameters of the bicycle. Just as roads are designed for cars which have their own properties, roads must be designed to suit the properties of the bicycle.

It is wrong to say that we are like something that barely uses the public roads at all (forklifts etc). It is wrong to say we should use those roads as is is despite the hostile designs that do not work well for bicycles. It is not good bicycle advocacy in my opinion. We are taxpayers, we are members of the public, we are operating human powered vehicles and we deserve suitably designed public accommodations.
Well said. I agree, and I think it's extremely important for cyclists to be accomodated in the same level of comfort, safety and convenience that motorists are, whenever possible. Of course, I say that as a cyclist, knowing that non-cycling motorists don't really understand my unique needs.

I ride the roads as they are because it's reality. There are many times I've thought, "Gee, they could widen this road," or "they could enforce the speed limit," etc. Fortunately, I'm able to get around where I need to without too many difficulties, but it's obvious that the roads were not designed with me in mind. Still, road design seem to suit me very well, considering I wasn't in their plans!

I like where you're going with this, even if it turns out your solutions might not be the same as mine.
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:11 AM
  #12  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,360

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I think the roads should be designed for us to begin with and not just for vehicles that can go 45mph or more.
Maybe, but that horse has been out of the barn for a lot of years. Bout the only thing that will change it is a total paradigm shift prompted by some huge event, like no sources of energy to power a vehicle faster than a horse.

Here in Ohio, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. So, if I operate that vehicle on the roadways, I am operating a slow-moving vehicle, using the speeds of other vehicles on the road as a benchmark. If I ride on a MUP, well now I am the top-dawg speed-wise and the peds are the slow movers....hey there's a thought, peds required to wear them big ole triangles on their butts when walking on the MUP!
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:16 AM
  #13  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I don't think we should be excluded or have to suffer special rules and regulations just because we are slower than other vehicles. I think the roads should be designed for us to begin with and not just for vehicles that can go 45mph or more.
Originally Posted by chipcom
Maybe, but that horse has been out of the barn for a lot of years. Bout the only thing that will change it is a total paradigm shift prompted by some huge event, like no sources of energy to power a vehicle faster than a horse.
Chip, isn't that what bike lanes are for?
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:27 AM
  #14  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Seems to me that Diane has hit the crux of the matter. We are not "slow moving vehicles" in the true sense of the word, because we are often everyday users of the road.

The basic dilemma of bicycle transportation is speed differential. We are slower, and slower-moving traffic always has to be taken into account in road design so that the needs of all road users are accomodated fairly, safely and conveniently. Where many of us differ is in our approaches to solving this problem, but we should pretty much agree about the problem.
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:37 AM
  #15  
sggoodri
Senior Member
 
sggoodri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 3,073

Bikes: 1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If my interpretation is correct, Diane worries that "slow moving vehicle" status equates her with a class of users whom the general public views as unintended or less legitimate users of public roads.

I find this interesting because where I live, the general public appears to be more accepting and tolerant of the idea of tractors, tobacco wagons, harvesters, and construction equipment (not to mention garbage trucks and mail trucks) moving at slow speeds on public roadways than they are of bicyclists. This may be because in some of these parts there are more such slow-moving motor vehicles on the road than bicyclists.

The public where I live appears to accept the idea that moving tractors, tobacco, harvesters and front loaders from one place to another often requires use of public roads by these slower-than-average vehicles, and that drivers of these vehicles ought to have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the public roads when they operate there. In this context, I feel that comparing bicyclists with drivers of slow moving vehicles improves perception of the cyclists' operational and legal issues. The public bias against bicyclists, when it appears, seems to be associated with economic class discrimination or tax/regulation resentment sparked by occasional, minor travel delays, but the anti-bicyclists tend to claim that the real reason they oppose bicyclists' use of roads is the "unworkability" of road sharing with slower vehicles in principle, as if slow vehicles are a new threat being added to the road environment. But when faced with the example of slow-moving motor vehicles, which the anti-bicyclists do not oppose, the anti-bicyclists have little choice but to abandon that argument, or reveal their hypocrisy.
sggoodri is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 11:44 AM
  #16  
Helmet Head
Banned.
 
Helmet Head's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 13,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cyclists are not slow moving vehicles. Cyclists are people. In many jurisdictions, including Diane's CA, cyclists are not drivers of slow moving vehicles, because bicycles (legally) are not vehicles. However, cyclists do have the same rights and responsibilites as drivers of vehicles. And when we are moving slower than other traffic, then we have the same rights and responsibilities of drivers of vehicles that are moving slower than other traffic.

Freeways are extraordinary roads that are designed for smooth traffic flow, where slow moving vehicles are prohibited. Taking this car-centric "freeway mentality" and applying it to ordinary roads, which Diane apparently has done, is an error.

Ordinary roads are designed for wide ranges of speeds, from zero (e.g., when traffic is stopped at intersections, perhaps at a red light, or waiting for a pedestrian or left-turner to cross), and even "negative" (relative to flow) speeds (e.g., when someone backs up into a parallel parking spot), all the way up to and beyond the posted speed limit.

To contend that existing ordinary roads are not designed for cyclists requires a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic vehicular rules of the road, traffic flow, speed and destination positioning, and probably comes from a car-centric mentality that applies rules appropriate on extraordinary roads like freeways, to ordinary urban, suburban and rural streets and highways where such application is inappropriate.

It is disappointing to encounter so-called cycling advocates that hold this car-centric view so deeply that they don't even recognize its influence on their thinking and attitude.

The OP demonstrates typical PnP (paint 'n path) thinking. For PnP advocates, the "same rights, same roads, same rules" slogan endorsed by most cycling advocacy organizations is empty and meaningless. What they really support are "special rights, segregated roads, different rules".

Last edited by Helmet Head; 05-24-06 at 12:09 PM.
Helmet Head is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 12:06 PM
  #17  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sggoodri
I find this interesting because where I live, the general public appears to be more accepting and tolerant of the idea of tractors, tobacco wagons, harvesters, and construction equipment (not to mention garbage trucks and mail trucks) moving at slow speeds on public roadways than they are of bicyclists.
I agree that the general public tends not to see cyclists as legitimate road users. The knucklehead who got behind me and leaned on his horn yesterday was an extreme example. I found myself descending into a lower status as one of my digital appendages got a mind of it's own, communicating more directly on a similar level.

There is a lot we disagree on and fight about, but one thing we agree on is that we want the freedom to ride to as many places as we can, and enjoy ourselves to the utmost without pressure.
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 12:07 PM
  #18  
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Posts: 18,025

Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
oadway space is valuable public space and should be designed for all users to share without conflict. as idealized a notion of vehicular parity is, the reality of on the ground anticyclist bias exists by gashuffers.

steve goodrich mentions it above in the discrimation in his area between agricultural machinery versus bicyclists.

i'm with diane, bicyclists deserve roadway accomodation so as to maximise expedient traffic flow for all users without conflict. when a speed differential approaches 2x for the average cyclist, roadway accomodation should be encouraged to provide maximum roadway expediency by all users.

velotransit accomodations ARE speed AND destination accomodating, provide preferred and preferential lanes of travel for bikes in the presence of auto congestion and "Sweet spot" roadway and visibility positioning in the presence OR absence of petrocentric traffic.
Bekologist is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 12:12 PM
  #19  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,360

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Chip, isn't that what bike lanes are for?
I suppose...but I always thought of bikes lanes as a way to make use of unused roadway/shoulder that was originally designed for cars and get government funding to boot!
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 12:29 PM
  #20  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by chipcom
I suppose...but I always thought of bikes lanes as a way to make use of unused roadway/shoulder that was originally designed for cars and get government funding to boot!
Now I know you're just a grouchy old jarhead!

__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 01:10 PM
  #21  
sggoodri
Senior Member
 
sggoodri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 3,073

Bikes: 1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bekologist
i'm with diane, bicyclists deserve roadway accomodation so as to maximise expedient traffic flow for all users without conflict. when a speed differential approaches 2x for the average cyclist, roadway accomodation should be encouraged to provide maximum roadway expediency by all users.
I've always supported the principle that improved passing facilities should be prioritized where passing is most common and its ease most desirable. This is the reasoning behind Cary, NC's current standard of incorporating wide outside through lanes into all new and improved arterial roadways. (The old standard was narrow outside lanes.) Adding passing space to busy, higher speed roads makes more sense than adding it to low-traffic, lower speed roads.

However, the public is unwilling to pay enough to obtain an infrastructure where no delays occur. There will always be places where drivers of some vehicles are delayed by drivers of others. The question is, how do we want to characterize this situation? Who is not accommodated by the imperfect facility - the person traveling slower, or the person wanting to travel faster? Does the road lack a "slower vehicle" lane, or does it lack a "faster vehicle lane?"

As drivers of slower vehicles, I believe that it is in our interest to promote the paradigm that the road supports slow vehicles by default, and that passing improvements are optional facilities to serve the preferences of drivers who wish to travel faster with less delay. From this viewpoint, all users can get to their desired destinations regardless of vehicle type, and the drivers of faster vehicles can get there faster depending on the availablility of passing facilities.

The alternative assumption, that travel by slower vehicles is illegitimate or impractical without special slow-vehicle lanes, would appear to limit the destinations available to cyclists.

The historical use of ordinary roads by slow-moving vehicles, and the simple system of vehicular rules that has worked reasonably well for low-speed vehicles, seems to provide a good model for the use of ordinary roads by bicycles. The addition of passing facilities to those roads where passing is most useful is all well and good as long as it does not imply illegitimacy of slow travel without such. The passing facilities might or might not be striped a separate lanes and might or might not have different widths from the lanes used by the slowest vehicles depending on the statistics of the vehicle sizes. But I think it is preferable to be considered by default to be a driver of a slow moving vehicle on a generic vehicle facility rather than a non-driver of a non-vehicle that must be kept out of the way of "real" vehicles.

-Steve Goodridge

Last edited by sggoodri; 05-24-06 at 01:16 PM.
sggoodri is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 01:39 PM
  #22  
Monoborracho
Senior Member
 
Monoborracho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Small town America with lots of good roads
Posts: 2,701

Bikes: More than I really should own.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I have a problem with the whole slow moving vehicle concept. I am not operating a slow moving vehicle.
Like it or not, the road was not designed for bicycles, but for cars. We are slow moving relative to the usual traffic.

We always lose when we tangle with anything on the road, be it a semi truck, or a dog.

Whether you like it or not its a fact, we move slowly. I don't mind the designation. I want to be seen by all drivers, and I carry a slow moving patch on the back of my rack pack when touring and in the early AM rides.

I don't want to be dead right.
Monoborracho is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 02:41 PM
  #23  
sbhikes
Dominatrikes
Thread Starter
 
sbhikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Still in Santa Barbara
Posts: 4,920

Bikes: Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We are slower but we are not slow-moving vehicles. We are operating our vehicles at their intended speed at or near the maximum speed and on the surfaces for which they were designed to be used (not on the factory floor or on the farm), and for the same purposes as all other faster consumer-use vehicles. So we ought to be entitled to the same considerations.

We should not be "tolerated" like tobacco trucks. We should not have to pull over for everyone who is faster. Our needs should not be at the bottom of the pile, or ignored altogether, when roads are built. I make a hell of a lot of money and have no write-offs so I deserve my tax money going where it helps me. And I deserve a subsidy as well, while I'm at it. Somebody should give me tax credits for the pollutants I'm not spewing.
sbhikes is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 03:04 PM
  #24  
patc
Dubito ergo sum.
 
patc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,735

Bikes: Bessie.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I have a problem with the whole slow moving vehicle concept. I am not operating a slow moving vehicle.
Move to Ontario. Here bikes are specifically excluded from the smv definition.
patc is offline  
Old 05-24-06, 03:25 PM
  #25  
sggoodri
Senior Member
 
sggoodri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 3,073

Bikes: 1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sbhikes
We are slower but we are not slow-moving vehicles. We are operating our vehicles at their intended speed at or near the maximum speed and on the surfaces for which they were designed to be used (not on the factory floor or on the farm), and for the same purposes as all other faster consumer-use vehicles. So we ought to be entitled to the same considerations.

We should not be "tolerated" like tobacco trucks. We should not have to pull over for everyone who is faster. Our needs should not be at the bottom of the pile, or ignored altogether, when roads are built. I make a hell of a lot of money and have no write-offs so I deserve my tax money going where it helps me. And I deserve a subsidy as well, while I'm at it. Somebody should give me tax credits for the pollutants I'm not spewing.
Again, its interesting to me the distinctions you make, possibly based on where we live.

Here, the tobacco wagon haulers don't usually pull over for faster traffic. The state law in NC never requires drivers of slow moving vehicles to pull off the road, only to use the right lane available for their direction of travel. The purpose of building many of the roads was to transport tobacco in the first place.

Garbage trucks and mail trucks here often travel at reduced speed as they stop and go short distances, but this is required for their function. People understand why they travel slowly and accept this.

To be "tolerated" like a tobacco wagon driver or mail truck operator would, in my mind, be a step up from what we have in my area now, which is a lot of drivers who think we don't belong on the roadway at all unless it is striped with a bike lane. I would rather be viewed as the driver of a vehicle with limited speed capability than the driver of a class of vehicle that has reduced legitimacy on normal, unmarked roads.
sggoodri is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.