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Illegal to NOT use bike lane?

Old 09-25-08, 02:18 PM
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jaw_24
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Illegal to NOT use bike lane?

Can you be ticketed for not using a bike lane on a road where there is one? I am thinking you could because of the law about riding as far as practical to the right.

I ask because there are a few roads on my route where the bike lane is rough or poorly maintained, and so I will ride in the vehicle lane until a car approaches.

In addition, some of the roads were just recently "repaved", where "repaved" simply means slapping down some tar, dumping a whole bunch of rocks on top, and sweeping the loose rocks into the bike lane. So it appears that if I complain about rough lanes, I get even worse lanes.

In either case, would the only defense be that the existing bike lane is unsafe or not practical due to debris?
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Old 09-25-08, 02:42 PM
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johnnytheboy
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just be thankful you live where there are actually bike lanes!!
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Old 09-25-08, 03:14 PM
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evblazer
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Originally Posted by jaw_24 View Post
Can you be ticketed for not using a bike lane on a road where there is one? I am thinking you could because of the law about riding as far as practical to the right.

I ask because there are a few roads on my route where the bike lane is rough or poorly maintained, and so I will ride in the vehicle lane until a car approaches.

In addition, some of the roads were just recently "repaved", where "repaved" simply means slapping down some tar, dumping a whole bunch of rocks on top, and sweeping the loose rocks into the bike lane. So it appears that if I complain about rough lanes, I get even worse lanes.

In either case, would the only defense be that the existing bike lane is unsafe or not practical due to debris?
If the bike lane is rough and poorly maintained it is unsafe. If it is unsafe to ride in it isn't practicable to ride in it. From section 551.103
"...(b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
...(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway."

I've never seen anything about a bike lane. Are you sure it is an actual bike lane a not a shoulder? A shoulder potentially isn't part of the roadway at all, it certainly isn't a travel lane.
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Old 09-25-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
If the bike lane is rough and poorly maintained it is unsafe. If it is unsafe to ride in it isn't practicable to ride in it. From section 551.103
"...(b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
...(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway."

I've never seen anything about a bike lane. Are you sure it is an actual bike lane a not a shoulder? A shoulder potentially isn't part of the roadway at all, it certainly isn't a travel lane.
it's probably a bike lane. I've got some pictures of the piss poor bike lanes we have here.

I was run off the road by a car the other day. Little did he know that on bad roads an bicycle is faster than a little German roadster.
4 officers showed up to take care of things.
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Old 09-25-08, 03:35 PM
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I don't have any bike lanes on my 4 mile commute. There's also several short stretches where 1-2 inch deep sand and small rocks are abundant. I'm not sure where they came from, but it sure isn't fun keeping the front wheel steady. The rough pavement I can handle, and the cars seem to be used to me now. I ride however far left I need to stay upright and in control. Honking drivers get the finger salute.,,,,BD
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Old 09-25-08, 07:03 PM
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I really don't know or never heard of anyone getting a ticket for that. One of the bike lanes by my house Commonwealth and Westhiemer has a design flaw if you go straight you will get a right hook because the car lane next to it is right turn only. So I never ride it at that intersection. I have often thought of getting a rattle can and putting a warning on that lane, no telling how many accidents have occured because both parties were doing what they were supposed to.
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Old 09-26-08, 12:15 PM
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Yes, coming from the Houston suburbs, I am giddy that there are even a few square feet of paved road that are labeled as a bike lane (I am temporarily in Lubbock). Makes it so much less stressful to get around--I have only spent $20 in gas this month, and that was from traveling out of Lubbock.

Unfortunately, anyone that has lived in Lubbock can confirm the quality of pavement in the city, and it seems that whenever they try to fix the road it just gets worse.

I just want to confirm that it is not illegal to avoid the bike lane if it is there. I could definitely see making the argument that it is unsafe to ride in these lanes, but I also know from experience that any officer of the law can skew the gray areas a little if they really want to peg you.

One particularly bad section is on a "recommended" bike route where it appears they have repaved a few times without actually removing the existing pavement first--so there is now a pretty steep shoulder that goes into the curb. The loose rocks that recently got swept there make it very dangerous if you get within 2-3 feet of the curb.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:29 AM
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yea houston suburbs have no bike lanes. but on briar forest and on richmond there's one that stretches for a good distance. i feel like just riding on it on a saturday morning as just a ride.

in the city there are a few lanes, but most of them are share lanes that nobody knows you have to share.
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