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Riding on the road when there’s bike lanes

Old 09-18-22, 11:52 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yes, but check if your country has some variation on this rule:

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations...
Unfortunately, in Belgium, it is very specific that if a bike lane (or path) is present, the cyclist MUST be in the designated space for the bicycles. I’ve been reminded of such by angry Belgian drivers (typically much more aggressive about this in the Flemish parts) and the Police a few times. Fortunately, in organized group rides of 10 cyclists or more, the lane/path rule is not applicable. Just need to find 9 others.
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Old 09-19-22, 07:34 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yup, stupid bike lanes are a great way to get crippled .... back when cities started painting bike lanes, most fo the time they were way too smart to ask an actual cyclist .... so you get people blithely turning right as the "bike lane" dwindles to an end at the entrance to a shopping center or something, and as a rider you can hit a car or hit a curb.

In that case, i ignore the bike lane because the bike lane is not on my path of travel. can't ticket me for not riding in a bike lane which is not on the road or route I am traveling.
"Get on the sidewalk" when there is none .... no sense even acknowledging those guys ... those are the Flat-Earthers of traffic law.
Yes, but check if your country has some variation on this rule:

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.


I haven't ridden much out of the US but in almost every US state there is a version of this law with this language. Therefore you can legitimately argue in court that the bike lane was unsafe---if indeed it was.

it pays to know this stuff. if I have to take a ticket at the scene I will, but I Will go to court with several highlighted copies of the current Uniform Traffic Code, plus photos taken from the scene featuring a copy of the day's newspaper plus a copy of my receipt for the paper showing I bought it just after the incident.

I have never had to do this though .... because I ride confidently and courteously and give way when being right might mean getting hit, and I ignore whatever the idiots say, because they are idiots after all.
One point, the State of Michigan (I'm not sure if you are in USA or not) does not have a cyclists "... SHALL ride in the lane marked for bicycle use ... " though such practice is recommended and many similar caveats are stated. It is clearly stated that cyclists have the right to use the lanes of the main roadway even if a "bicycle facility" is provided and conditions when taking the late is permitted. At some locations there are signs highlighting the existence of bike lanes.

But a lot is lately bothering me: riders of scooters E or not, upper level E-bikes and very small-engined scooters being ridden in bike lanes. They also seem to be temporary free parking, places for traffic signs, people to put "slow down for children" signs, police taking breathers while running a speed trap, and various autonomous test vehicles to be run. Not to mention salmoning riders, unskilled riders, and runners running normally (salmoning) or pretending to be bikes and riding in the direction of wheeled traffic. Being Ann Arbor we also have folks on less-stable tri bikes. We also have walkers using bike lanes, which are separated curb-like barriers or bollards. Bike paths are not just for bikes anymore!

The sidewalk hazards are driveways, dogs, dog leashes, wide chlld carriages, adults in rows, unmasked adults with/without COVID, and the cyclists riding bikes built for speed at low speeds for which they are less stable and have handling which may be precarious at low speeds.
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Old 09-19-22, 08:31 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Unfortunately, in Belgium, it is very specific that if a bike lane (or path) is present, the cyclist MUST be in the designated space for the bicycles.
And if the bike lane is blocked, totally impassable ... the cyclist just stands there?

I did a short bit of online searching but I didn't ever see the actual statute--I know how to search for US law, and I like to read the actual laws, not some other person's interpretation---often one person posts some understanding with an air of great authority and everyone repeats that, while the actual law says quite another thing.

Many US bike laws say bikes must use the bike lane but in another clause explain that bikes may use auto lanes if conditions warrant---but not many people read the fifth clause of the third section , and just repeat the first line of the first section.

I don't know Belgian law .... not in Flemish, not much French, nor Walloon, or whatever languages Belgian people might speak. I do know that I would look more deeply. Otherwise, if I dropped a small barricade in a bike lane, no rider could go around it. Seems unlikely .... but who knows?

I did see that apparently Belgian bike lanes are bi-directional ... so you will always meet oncoming bike traffic. Seems inefficient, but whatever.
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Old 09-20-22, 03:20 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Bike path or bike lane involve the same question for me. Outside of the obvious "is it rideable" question, my number one consideration is where it puts me in relation to cars turning rihht at the intersection. Those paths that are a few feet to the right from the road are invariably awful at busy intersections.
Try to imagine an urban situation. Just try. In a single city block there may be an alley and two driveways. Plus the intersection at end of block. The bike lane is to right of parking lane. The parking lane is permanently fully occupied. Most of the vehicles parked are trucks or SUVs. Drivers in traffic lane cannot see bikes in bike lane, bikes in lane cannot see drivers about to turn right. If you can imagine that at all you will understand why urban bike lanes are hopeless.
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Old 09-20-22, 05:17 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Try to imagine an urban situation. Just try. In a single city block there may be an alley and two driveways. Plus the intersection at end of block. The bike lane is to right of parking lane. The parking lane is permanently fully occupied. Most of the vehicles parked are trucks or SUVs. Drivers in traffic lane cannot see bikes in bike lane, bikes in lane cannot see drivers about to turn right. If you can imagine that at all you will understand why urban bike lanes are hopeless.

Well, I just rode the bike lane on Mass. Ave. from Arlington to Cambridge and back going about 21 mph. Do I still have to imagine it? It was actually pretty well positioned and very fast. I popped out of the lane in a couple places, but it wasn't even remotely scary for an urban ride, especially in the Boston area..
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Old 09-20-22, 05:20 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Try to imagine an urban situation. Just try. In a single city block there may be an alley and two driveways. Plus the intersection at end of block. The bike lane is to right of parking lane. The parking lane is permanently fully occupied. Most of the vehicles parked are trucks or SUVs. Drivers in traffic lane cannot see bikes in bike lane, bikes in lane cannot see drivers about to turn right. If you can imagine that at all you will understand why urban bike lanes are hopeless.
I ride those kinds of lanes every week. The garmin radar still manages to pick up vehicles approaching from behind. Not the best thought out solution but better than nothing.



Bike lane w parked cars on the left.
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Old 09-20-22, 10:00 PM
  #82  
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i was riding through Cambridge, Ontario on my way to a bicycle shop. That bicycle shop was on the other side of highway #401 which is a major highway. There's an overpass with a protected bike lane on it. The thing is the bike lane is on the far right of the road and actually goes to the right of the on-ramp to the highway. there are a LOT of BIG trucks using that Franklin Blvd on-ramp. talk about a dangerous bicycle lane.


So, NO! in many cases I do not use a bike lane. This is especially true of the many "Door-zone' bicycle lanes that I see.

Cheers
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Old 09-20-22, 11:30 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
i was riding through Cambridge, Ontario on my way to a bicycle shop. That bicycle shop was on the other side of highway #401 which is a major highway. There's an overpass with a protected bike lane on it. The thing is the bike lane is on the far right of the road and actually goes to the right of the on-ramp to the highway. there are a LOT of BIG trucks using that Franklin Blvd on-ramp. talk about a dangerous bicycle lane.


So, NO! in many cases I do not use a bike lane. This is especially true of the many "Door-zone' bicycle lanes that I see.

Cheers
In Toronto, we had a dangerous situation like this at the eastbound direction of the Bloor viaduct crossing the DVP on-ramp. Now there are traffic lights specifically for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
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Old 09-20-22, 11:42 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Try to imagine an urban situation. Just try. In a single city block there may be an alley and two driveways. Plus the intersection at end of block. The bike lane is to right of parking lane. The parking lane is permanently fully occupied. Most of the vehicles parked are trucks or SUVs. Drivers in traffic lane cannot see bikes in bike lane, bikes in lane cannot see drivers about to turn right. If you can imagine that at all you will understand why urban bike lanes are hopeless.
Of the many types of bike lanes in Toronto, the one you describe is one of the safest. The difference is that car parking does not go all the way to the intersection - they never did anyways. By law, parking right up to the intersection is prohibited where I live. The parked cars provide a safety buffer for cyclists.

So right-turning vehicles, when they pose a danger to cyclists, have posed the same danger to pedestrians when there were no bike lanes. However, now with bike lanes, those that have curbs or bollards at the intersection force motorists be more aware while making their turns carefully. If you can't imagine that, then come visit and see for yourself.
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Old 09-20-22, 11:42 PM
  #85  
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Unless thought out as an integral part of the entire road design, bike lanes are a rather blunt subliminal message to cyclists that we don't belong here. That's why every serious cyclist needs to learn the confidence and necessary skill to ride in traffic.
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Old 09-20-22, 11:46 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
In Toronto, we had a dangerous situation like this at the eastbound direction of the Bloor viaduct crossing the DVP on-ramp. Now there are traffic lights specifically for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
I used to ride past that DVP on-ramp every evening on the way home form work. I pulled into the adjacent straight through lane well before getting to that on-ramp. I do the same thing here in Waterloo Region whenever I have to go over the 401 highway on any road with an on-ramp to the 401.

Cheers
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Old 09-20-22, 11:58 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
And if the bike lane is blocked, totally impassable ... the cyclist just stands there?

I did a short bit of online searching but I didn't ever see the actual statute--I know how to search for US law, and I like to read the actual laws, not some other person's interpretation---often one person posts some understanding with an air of great authority and everyone repeats that, while the actual law says quite another thing.

Many US bike laws say bikes must use the bike lane but in another clause explain that bikes may use auto lanes if conditions warrant---but not many people read the fifth clause of the third section , and just repeat the first line of the first section.

I don't know Belgian law .... not in Flemish, not much French, nor Walloon, or whatever languages Belgian people might speak. I do know that I would look more deeply. Otherwise, if I dropped a small barricade in a bike lane, no rider could go around it. Seems unlikely .... but who knows?

I did see that apparently Belgian bike lanes are bi-directional ... so you will always meet oncoming bike traffic. Seems inefficient, but whatever.
I'm not going to second guess Belgian law but where I live, if a bike lane is blocked, I simply ride with the motor vehicles until I can get back in.

If the bike lane is protected with barricades such as curbs, bollards or planters, that the cyclist can't get out, then those same planters would have prevented motorists from getting in.

But if the bike lane were completely blocked by construction, then the construction workers would have created a detour for cyclists to ride or constrictions such that motorists and cyclists must travel in single-file.

And yes, debris in bike lanes do get cleaned.

Where there's a will, there's a way. No more defeatist attitudes in Toronto.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:05 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I used to ride past that DVP on-ramp every evening on the way home form work. I pulled into the adjacent straight through lane well before getting to that on-ramp. I do the same thing here in Waterloo Region whenever I have to go over the 401 highway on any road with an on-ramp to the 401.

Cheers
That was the approach before the city had changed it to traffic lights. I used to have to cross the car lanes by riding along one of the two painted green lanes marked with sharrows. Yes, as a cyclists you have to have the nerve to keep looking over your left shoulder until it was clear and expect that drivers expect cyclists to cross.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:32 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
The local bicycle advocacy group, San Diego Bicycle Coalition, is pushing these damn things and they are, unfortunately, multiplying! In my view, they are the most dangerous place anyone can ride and I avoid them like the plague. They are unsafe at anything more than walking speed so what is the point?
The point is that it’s probably the best the Coalition could get the City engineers to agree to. the painted bike gutter isn’t safer than riding in the road, it doesn’t increase mode share, but it does get SOMETHING bike related onto the road. Once a bike “lane” exists, it’s harder for the engineers to remove it than to improve it. It’s a foothold rather than a final condition.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:34 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That was the approach before the city had changed it to traffic lights. I used to have to cross the car lanes by riding along one of the two painted green lanes marked with sharrows. Yes, as a cyclists you have to have the nerve to keep looking over your left shoulder until it was clear and expect that drivers expect cyclists to cross.
That's precisely where a GOOD quality rear-view mirror is handy. I used the Mirrcycle mirror on my bicycle.

Then I discovered the Rosedale Valley Road route and used that to get from Broadview and Gerrard to Yonge and Davenport. Gerrard to River, River to Bayview, Bayview to Rosedale and then Rosedale to the little side street just before climbing out to Yonge Street. in the evening ride home I reversed that route.

The area of Toronto I lived in sure has changed since the mid-1980s.

Cheers
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Old 09-21-22, 12:37 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
Unless thought out as an integral part of the entire road design, bike lanes are a rather blunt subliminal message to cyclists that we don't belong here. That's why every serious cyclist needs to learn the confidence and necessary skill to ride in traffic.
Your first sentence is undeniably true.

As to your second, how do you propose I teach my 7 year old son and daughter the confidence to ride in traffic? This is exactly why we need properly designed bike infrastructure.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:26 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Your first sentence is undeniably true.

As to your second, how do you propose I teach my 7 year old son and daughter the confidence to ride in traffic? This is exactly why we need properly designed bike infrastructure.
Our statements are not mutually exclusive.
There are interesting initiatives in other countries to teach 7 year old children to ride in traffic, such as this velobus in France.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:36 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
There are interesting initiatives in other countries to teach 7 year old children to ride in traffic, such as this velobus in France.
The same initiative is being tried with adults who are too afraid to ride in traffic by themselves :
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Old 09-21-22, 09:04 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Well, I just rode the bike lane on Mass. Ave. from Arlington to Cambridge and back going about 21 mph. Do I still have to imagine it? It was actually pretty well positioned and very fast. I popped out of the lane in a couple places, but it wasn't even remotely scary for an urban ride, especially in the Boston area..
The lanes I m referencing no one ever gets near 21mph. Occasionally food delivery messengers totally on the edge might get above 15.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:24 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Of the many types of bike lanes in Toronto, the one you describe is one of the safest. The difference is that car parking does not go all the way to the intersection - they never did anyways. By law, parking right up to the intersection is prohibited where I live. The parked cars provide a safety buffer for cyclists.

So right-turning vehicles, when they pose a danger to cyclists, have posed the same danger to pedestrians when there were no bike lanes. However, now with bike lanes, those that have curbs or bollards at the intersection force motorists be more aware while making their turns carefully. If you can't imagine that, then come visit and see for yourself.
Around here there might be one or two car lengths left open before the intersection. When the intersection is with an alley it will be zero. Let me repeat. Bike cannot see motor vehicles operating next to them as they approach intersections. Motor vehicles cannot see bicycles they are overtaking or driving parallel to. Entering the intersection it might be a split second the two parties can see each other. When the intersection is an alley entrance there may be no view of the bike lane at all until front end of car is in the bike lane. Does that sound dangerous yet? Or shall we hand wave some more about buffers and careful drivers?

At ordinary intersection with ordinary parking and no bike lanes pedestrians and motor vehicles can see each other a long way off. Parked trucks are and always have been an issue. When that parked truck is a one-off most are going to behave with added caution. When a rather worse situation becomes the norm and people want to get somewhere it gets harder. I don't even visit a lot of streets in my immediate area because the only safe speed is walking speed. For both the bike and the motor vehicle. As previously stated bicycle traffic is way down in my downtown area.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:29 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by b88 View Post
I ride those kinds of lanes every week. The garmin radar still manages to pick up vehicles approaching from behind. Not the best thought out solution but better than nothing.



Bike lane w parked cars on the left.
How do you find an urban street with no trucks and no SUVs? Glad your Garmin picks up the vehicle moving near you in a sea of vehicles. Does the Garmin also advise the driver you are there when he has no possibility of seeing you?
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Old 09-21-22, 09:39 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
Unless thought out as an integral part of the entire road design, bike lanes are a rather blunt subliminal message to cyclists that we don't belong here. That's why every serious cyclist needs to learn the confidence and necessary skill to ride in traffic.
Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Your first sentence is undeniably true.

As to your second, how do you propose I teach my 7 year old son and daughter the confidence to ride in traffic? This is exactly why we need properly designed bike infrastructure.
How are you going to teach your children to walk safely on city streets? How are you going to teach your children Anything?

Sorry if you think teaching your kids survival techniques is a waste of time or impossible. I know I learned, and I have been riding in traffic since that age .... but whatever.

By the way, the phrase "bike lane" didn't even exist when I started riding on the streets.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:18 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
In Toronto, we had a dangerous situation like this at the eastbound direction of the Bloor viaduct crossing the DVP on-ramp. Now there are traffic lights specifically for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
I never knew they put traffic lights in. I used to ride as far as Sherbourne then turn back. That's good to know, thanks. I just saw the light installed on google map. The lineup of cars trying to get on the DVP during rush hour must piss the hell outta motorists.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:20 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The lanes I m referencing no one ever gets near 21mph. Occasionally food delivery messengers totally on the edge might get above 15.

Guess you never rode on Mass. Ave. I was going that fast, and I wasn't the only one. I hade a fun conversation with a guy about our Serotta Atlantas while pedaling rapidly through some traffic. Some urban lanes are pretty great, some completely suck and are unusable.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
... Let me repeat. Bike cannot see motor vehicles operating next to them as they approach intersections. Motor vehicles cannot see bicycles they are overtaking or driving parallel to. ...

....
It's where you live that may be true. Not where I live.
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