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Local cyclist ticketed being on the road

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Local cyclist ticketed being on the road

Old 02-11-09, 12:48 PM
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Bob T
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Local cyclist ticketed being on the road

I thought that some who frequent the Advocacy & Safety forum might be interested in the situation described in the following link, and especially in the comments made by a cyclist/cop:

http://www.biketreasurevalley.org/node/370
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Old 02-11-09, 01:19 PM
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I can't help but wonder if they have the "3 inches" aspect correct... if so... sheesh...
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Old 02-11-09, 01:27 PM
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No wonder you're allowed to run reds on a bike in Idaho...there ain't no bikes allowed on the road to run them!
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Old 02-11-09, 02:04 PM
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I like the cops response re: taking ten whole months to learn your occupation. Accusing the OP of not having an education is always helpful. I mean how many professionals have 10 months education ?
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Old 02-11-09, 02:38 PM
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And the cop admits that he thinks it is his duty to stop cyclist who are not breaking any laws, simply because there are bad motorist out there.

Why does he not stop the bad motorist and tell them not to use that particular road?

And he tried to impress with his tri-geek knowledge of traffic cycling!!!
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Old 02-11-09, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I can't help but wonder if they have the "3 inches" aspect correct... if so... sheesh...
http://www.biketreasurevalley.org/sy...vey_ticket.jpg

That is what the cop wrote on the ticket.
"Position on highway 49-717
3" into road"
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Old 02-11-09, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
http://www.biketreasurevalley.org/sy...vey_ticket.jpg

That is what the cop wrote on the ticket.
"Position on highway 49-717
3" into road"
Yeah I saw that... but again I can't help but wonder if it was 3 inches or 3 feet... with just the wrong set of tick marks used. As I said, 3 inches... sheesh!
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Old 02-11-09, 06:07 PM
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Gotta love this bloggers take on the issue!

http://bikenazi.blogspot.com/2009/02...ouble-boy.html
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Old 02-11-09, 09:12 PM
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The statute clearly states as close to the right as practicable. It should be easy to show that 'practicable' is about 3 feet.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:28 PM
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if this ticket doesn't get dismissed. I think we should all ride out there and ride 4" into the road. What a joke. Just looking at the ticket so pisses me off- this cop couldn't think of something better to do than this.

Hey, maybe this is something we'll all agree on!
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Old 02-12-09, 05:13 AM
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I hope someone bumps this when the ticket gets dismissed. Or, hoping it gets bumped when it isn't dismissed so we can all flame about yet another crooked court system. We'll see which way it goes.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
No wonder you're allowed to run reds on a bike in Idaho...there ain't no bikes allowed on the road to run them!
Ironically the cyclist ticketed in this incident (who happens to be a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor) was on the committee who worked to get the red light law enacted a few years ago.

Originally Posted by JinbaIttai View Post
I hope someone bumps this when the ticket gets dismissed. Or, hoping it gets bumped when it isn't dismissed so we can all flame about yet another crooked court system. We'll see which way it goes.
Will post any updates here....
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Old 02-12-09, 10:31 AM
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It would certainly help if we could require every traffic law enforcement officer to take a Road I course from an LCI.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
It would certainly help if we could require every traffic law enforcement officer to take a Road I course from an LCI.
It would certainly help if every traffic law enforcement officer were merely familiar with the cycling laws of their respective states.
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Old 02-12-09, 11:00 AM
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It would certainly help if every traffic law enforcement officer were merely familiar with the ROADWAY laws of their respective states.

Unfortunately, the legal ignorance of our boys in blue isn't limited to cycling related laws...

I took a defensive driving class a number of years ago through my job. One of the instructors was a cop who clearly suffered from the - If I Don't Like It, It Must Be Against The Law - syndrome.
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Old 02-12-09, 11:11 AM
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While In Calif , I have carried a copy of pertinent segments of the Vehicular code with me. My intent was not so much the police. But the occasional problems I had with motorists... Ample demonstration as to why the Stimulus bill need include more funding for bike lane improvement. . I have not the slightest doubt that in our energy future we will see more cyclists, so why not prepare for that eventuality. In cycling unfriendly, Rust belt states with so much unemployment, I see more and more cyclists on the road, so why not prepare for such.
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Old 02-12-09, 11:52 AM
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I think the cop knows the cycling laws, but their attitude is expressed in the commentary by the cyclist/cop that thinks that police are allowed to do things "for our safety". If it's too dangerous for the cyclist, then it's too dangerous for the people in cars.
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Old 02-12-09, 04:31 PM
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The statute has the standard exception to "you must ride on the right" for a substandard width lane. If a car and a bike cannot occupy the same lane side by side, with a reasonable, distance (say 3 feet) between the car and the bike, then you can take the lane, according to the statute.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattleShaun View Post
It would certainly help if every traffic law enforcement officer were merely familiar with the ROADWAY laws of their respective states.

Unfortunately, the legal ignorance of our boys in blue isn't limited to cycling related laws...
Cops are expected to be versed in both the state and local laws of the area they serve. Not only do these laws often differ/conflict in the way they are written, they often differ in the way they may be interpreted by an officer. Add to this that most states and cities change many laws every year, sometimes minor wording corrections but sometimes substantial changes are made. An officer would be lucky to have 4 hours of law training a year, not even enough time to cover these revisions, let alone cover any gaps in the officers knowledge or offer a refresher. Don't like that, too bad, countless feel good policies and lawsuits eat up the rest of an officers yearly training. Add to this the restrictions placed on an officers ability to enforce a law, both statutory and through departmental policy.

Most officers are very familiar with the 10% of the laws they enforce everyday. It is the odd 90% that they may have to apply once every 5 or 10 years that become a problem.

Some cops are just jerks who cannot accept being wrong, like a lot of people in this world.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:23 PM
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We had a speaker at our Bike Symposium that pointed out the handbook for criminal law (stuff they can put people in jail for) that they give police officers can fit in your breast pocket, the traffic law summary approaches telephone book size. The phrase same road same rules took on a whole new meaning for me.
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Old 02-13-09, 07:33 AM
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http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...871505667,,0,5
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Old 02-13-09, 07:43 AM
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Looks like the curb begins at the corner of Castlebury and Chinden. Chinden does not have a curb.

I think this is a RTOL issue, since you're already in the Right Turn Only Lane at that point.

I don't know why the motorists can't use the middle lane, Chinden is a three lane road.

I have to assume that there is a soft shoulder to the right of the paved shoulder.

Also, the ticket was issued at 1700 hours (five PM) , so it was right at the beginning of rush hour, I wonder if that's got anything to do with it.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:53 AM
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when it rains it pours.... (OP stopped by police this time!)

Today at about 7:45am I was commuting to work by bike on Maple Grove between Franklin and Overland. (For those who are not locals, this part of Maple Grove has two lanes in each direction with sidewalks, but no bike lanes). As is my practice I was riding in the middle of the right lane with the left lane available for faster vehicles to use (of which there are hardly any at that hour on a Saturday). Next thing I knew I was stopped by a Boise Police Department officer who told me that since I was unable to keep up with the normal flow of traffic I needed to be as far to the right as possible, not in the middle of the right lane. I asked which law I was breaking by riding this way and he could not give me a specific answer, but stated that he would research the matter and would issue a citation if necessary the next time that he saw me. I mentioned that the Idaho Code states that I only need to ride as far to the right as "practicable" with various exceptions including "substandard with lanes". The officer stated that Maple Grove has "standard" 11 foot lanes which he felt were wide enough for a bicycle and car to share. I respectfully disagreed with him. (I have since done some preliminary research which seems to indicate that for the purpose of this statute, any lane less than 14 feet wide is "substandard". Does anyone know where I can find a legal definition online?). I also mentioned that the Boise City Code goes even further and specifically states that cyclists are entitled to use the right lane.

Our conversation was cordial and there appears to be a possibility for further dialog with the officer (and hopefully with his superiors) regarding this matter.
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Old 02-14-09, 11:05 AM
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AASHTO defines a 14 foot lane as the minimum recommendation for shared use side by side (pg 17.)
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Old 02-14-09, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
AASHTO defines a 14 foot lane as the minimum recommendation for shared use side by side (pg 17.)
Just what I needed. Thanks!
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