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Taking the lane vs impeding traffic

Old 04-05-15, 11:15 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
What a pant load.

Please read the entirety of the Code of Viriginia WRT bicycling, relevant portions bolded:

https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...0+cod+46.2-905



So if the lane ain't wide enough for a bike and a car to fit in safely, the CYCLIST GETS THE WHOLE LANE - no matter how fast (or slow) he's moving.

Note also that bikes moving at the speed of traffic have no responsibility at all to keep as far right as practicable. At all.
Perhaps you can point out the section that states bicyclists get a pass on impeding traffic if they are going as fast as they can no matter when and where they place themselves in a lane of moving traffic regardless of the width of the traffic lane, or the volume or speed of the rest of the traffic. Or is that found only in the secret "case law" or "standard interpretations" known only by a select few BF legal scholars.
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Old 04-06-15, 07:49 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
What a pant load.

Please read the entirety of the Code of Viriginia WRT bicycling, relevant portions bolded:

https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...0+cod+46.2-905



So if the lane ain't wide enough for a bike and a car to fit in safely, the CYCLIST GETS THE WHOLE LANE - no matter how fast (or slow) he's moving.

Note also that bikes moving at the speed of traffic have no responsibility at all to keep as far right as practicable. At all.
That's still conditional, not carte blanche to use any and all traffic lanes as one sees fit without restriction as some imply.
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Old 04-06-15, 09:15 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Check your states laws?

Washington says cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles,allows cyclists to ride 2 abreast while keeping as far to the right as safe,
I love how your statement contradicts itself. In reality, our laws give cyclists few of the rights of motorvehicles and far, far too much responsibility.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 04-06-15 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 04-06-15, 09:23 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
That's still conditional, not carte blanche to use any and all traffic lanes as one sees fit without restriction as some imply.
These statutes refer to the "normal speed of traffic"*. I interpret "normal to mean anything above 15 mph on a city street.

*hilarious how bike-centric statutes are almost always vague
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Old 04-06-15, 09:28 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
These statutes refer to the "normal speed of traffic"*. I interpret "normal to mean anything above 15 mph on a city street.

*hilarious how bike-centric statutes are almost always vague
Is your interpretation the "standard interpretation" we've been hearing so much about on this thread?
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Old 04-06-15, 09:42 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Is your interpretation the "standard interpretation" we've been hearing so much about on this thread?
Bike specific statutes are typically discriminatory and ridiculously vague/open-ended. Who the heck knows what is legal and is not legal when it comes to bike driving? This is why I never bicycle drive...
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Old 04-06-15, 09:54 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Bike specific statutes are typically discriminatory and ridiculously vague/open-ended. Who the heck knows what is legal and is not legal when it comes to bike driving? This is why I never bicycle drive...
But bike specific statutes are not as ridiculously vague/open-ended as unwritten/unreferenced interpretations and legal cases and processes known only by BF legal scholars.
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Old 04-06-15, 10:21 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Perhaps you can point out the section that states bicyclists get a pass on impeding traffic if they are going as fast as they can no matter when and where they place themselves in a lane of moving traffic regardless of the width of the traffic lane, or the volume or speed of the rest of the traffic. Or is that found only in the secret "case law" or "standard interpretations" known only by a select few BF legal scholars.
You got that bass ackwards.

It's up to YOU to show the law prohibiting the action.
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Old 04-06-15, 10:23 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
That's still conditional, not carte blanche to use any and all traffic lanes as one sees fit without restriction as some imply.
Now you are just making up things. No one is saying any and all traffic lanes and you know it.

The Virginia state law achoo posted and the Illinois state law below gives tremendous latitude to the cyclist. Also note that I have actually gone out and measured lane widths, and the vast majority of streets in my area would be considered "substandard lane width" roads. Meaning, the cyclist has no legal responsibility to keep to the right. Also the underlined "and safe" below was a recent amendment to the law in Illinois, giving cyclists even more latitude in determining the best lane position.

The fact is, cyclists have way more legal right to use the lane than they exercise. So much so, that when cyclists actually do exercise that right, they are often insulted and threatened, and then other cyclists scold them for it.

(625 ILCS 5/11-1505) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1505)
Sec. 11-1505. Position of bicycles and motorized pedal
cycles on roadways -Riding on roadways and bicycle paths. (a)
Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a
roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time
and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as
close as practicable and safe to the right-hand curb or edge of
the roadway except under the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motorized
pedal cycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or
into a private road or driveway; or
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions
including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked
or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorized pedal cycles,
pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width
lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb
or edge. For purposes of this subsection, a "substandard width
lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or
motorized pedal cycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by
side within the lane.
4. When approaching a place where a right turn is
authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle
upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes
may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as
practicable.

Last edited by Cyclosaurus; 04-06-15 at 10:24 AM. Reason: format
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Old 04-06-15, 10:48 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
You got that bass ackwards.

It's up to YOU to show the law prohibiting the action.
I suspect that any LEO could cite the same VA Law that you quoted as well as any other statute that described violations for impeding traffic, when writing a ticket for a cyclist taking a lane and NOT riding as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing, and not otherwise exempted by the law that you quoted.

The point being there is NO exemption for a cyclist just because he is riding as fast as he can, if that speed is "less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing."

Note: Nothing in the statute gives the cyclist the final authority to make the only decision on what is "safely practicable" and if there is a difference of opinion with a ticket writing LEO I wouldn't count on a vague excuse like "I Always Take The Lane" will stand up too often.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 04-06-15 at 12:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-06-15, 11:24 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Now you are just making up things. No one is saying any and all traffic lanes and you know it.
There most certainly are VC and "I am traffic" proponents who advocate cyclists using roads exactly as motor vehicles do without any consideration for how it impacts others. Obviously when there's no other reasonable option or isnt a significant disruption one may use the road as nessary or desired, but when its done dogmatically because one "has the right", its nothing more than willful obstruction.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:07 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
There most certainly are VC and "I am traffic" proponents who advocate cyclists using roads exactly as motor vehicles do without any consideration for how it impacts others. Obviously when there's no other reasonable option or isnt a significant disruption one may use the road as nessary or desired, but when its done dogmatically because one "has the right", its nothing more than willful obstruction.
Funny, here you are defending your right as a driver to disrupt a bike and/or traffic lane even when you don't have a legal right to do so. So in your mind a driver can break the law and disrupt others if it's convenient, but a cyclist should be deferential to the point of not exercising their legal rights unless all the drivers using the road approve.

What about "Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle" do you not understand? The law does not provide a right for motorists to not be inconvenienced.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:19 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Funny, here you are defending your right as a driver to disrupt a bike and/or traffic lane even when you don't have a legal right to do so. So in your mind a driver can break the law and disrupt others if it's convenient, but a cyclist should be deferential to the point of not exercising their legal rights unless all the drivers using the road approve.

What about "Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle" do you not understand? The law does not provide a right for motorists to not be inconvenienced.
There's so much emphasis in debating fine points of law here that common sense has been lost in the shuffle.

Maybe we can try to stick to basics. If you're riding in such a way that traffic backs up behind you then, by definition (though not necessarily legal definition), you are impeding the flow of traffic. If traffic is getting around you without meaningful delay then you're not.

The basics are pretty clear and simple. Th legal definitions and implications may not be as clear, but the reality is that it's rare for the law to get involved in these everyday situations. I'm sure it varies by jurisdiction, and by individual temperament, but by and large, you have to go out of your way for the police to care enough to get involved.

So, my advice is to ride however you're most comfortable doing so, but try to treat the other road users as if they were family.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:37 PM
  #64  
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In my state, a recently passed 3' passing law included language allowing passing a cyclist in an otherwise no-passing zone, over a double yellow line as long as the pass is safe to make. Also clarifies that a bicycle is entitled to, and should use the left turn lane when making a left hand turn on a road with such a lane. And that cyclists are allowed to operate two-up on roads.

I generally ride asFRAP -- outside the fog line if there's a decent shoulder, as close to the fog line within the lane as safe to do so. Really it depends on road side conditions, debris fields, puddles, etc, and riding right also includes at least a 24" margin to my right.

But there are places, usually ones where cars have passed too close on multiple occasions, where I will take the entire lane.

I don't like riding two abreast simply because it does not feel safe to me. Less room for emergency/sudden maneuvers if needed: pothole ahead, rider to your right, overtaking car to your left? No thanks.

My state used to have an impeding traffic law defined as driving less than the posted speed limit with 5 or more vehicles piled up behind a driver, but that was changed to much more vague wording which leaves interpretation and enforcement more up to LEO judgement and decision at the scene. With the revised impeding law, the newer 3' passing law with accompanying cars may pass a cyclist over a double yellow when safe to do so, it could very well mean that a car refusing to pass a cyclist over a double yellow when there has been ample opportunity to do so means the driver is impeding traffic, not the cyclist.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:37 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I suspect that any LEO could cite the same VA Law that you quoted as well as any other statute that described violations for impeding traffic, when writing a ticket for a cyclist taking a lane and NOT riding as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing, and not otherwise exempted by the law that you quoted.

The point being there is NO exemption for a cyclist just because he is riding as fast as he can, if that speed is "less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing."

Note: Nothing in the statute gives the cyclist the final authority to make the only decision on what is "safely practicable" and if there is a difference of opinion with a ticket writing LEO I wouldn't count on a vague excuse like "I Always Take The Lane" will stand up too often.
Nope.

You got nothing.

Point to the statute being violated in your hypothetical situation.

Or again: you got nothing.

Don't pontificate on what some hypothetical LEO might quote, quote it yourself.

Or again: you got nothing.
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Old 04-06-15, 12:38 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Funny, here you are defending your right as a driver to disrupt a bike and/or traffic lane even when you don't have a legal right to do so. So in your mind a driver can break the law and disrupt others if it's convenient, but a cyclist should be deferential to the point of not exercising their legal rights unless all the drivers using the road approve.

What about "Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle" do you not understand? The law does not provide a right for motorists to not be inconvenienced.
I understand that there are circumstances where one has no choice but to inconvenience other road users which applies equally to all modes, but that has nothing to do with willful disregard for others without reasonable cause or need.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:01 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
If you're riding in such a way that traffic backs up behind you then, by definition (though not necessarily legal definition), you are impeding the flow of traffic. If traffic is getting around you without meaningful delay then you're not.
Motion at 12, 15, or 18 mph is not "backing up" traffic, it is simply causing traffic to move a little more slowly. This happens all the time in cities. Aggressive and dangerous passing on local bike boulevard/greenways is far too common because motorists view a cyclist cycling at 15 mph as impeding traffic. If cities mandate a standard 25 mph speed limit (the default in NYC), is a cyclist travelling at 15 mph really "impeding" traffic? I think not.

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Old 04-06-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I understand that there are circumstances where one has no choice but to inconvenience other road users which applies equally to all modes, but that has nothing to do with willful disregard for others without reasonable cause or need.
The problem is that many motorist's view of inconvenience is completely out of touch with reality. A 20 second "delay" by a bike moving at 15 mph is viewed as a major invonvenience. Cyclists are still the "others" that are "in their way". When it comes to bike-car relations, admonitions for "politeness" typically focus on one-sided respect for the "mights/rights/convenience" of the majority. @$%^ that.

I make every effort to not violate anyone's right of way but the only time I think about the hypothetical emotional state of motorists is when I'm responding to posts on bikeforums...
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Old 04-06-15, 01:08 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I understand that there are circumstances where one has no choice but to inconvenience other road users which applies equally to all modes, but that has nothing to do with willful disregard for others without reasonable cause or need.
It's funny that you reserve the right to decide for yourself what you think is reasonable amount of inconvenience you can impose on others. You might try granting the same courtesy to others who decide that taking the lane is the best option for themeven if you wouldn't in the same situationbefore labeling them a crazy radical.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:12 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
This thread got my attention as the wife and I had a 'lively' discussion a couple weeks ago, the story: the two of us were riding out of our neighborhood on a pot-hole-war-zone two-lane road with a double yellow line. A minivan passes us, crossing the double yellow line, the driver was at a respectable speed and gave good clearance. However, my wife lost her $h!t, gave a very nice one-finger-salute and some colorful language. I was not happy with this. The wife said she was mad because the driver passed in a no passing zone.


footnote - the wife is really pissed because this residential street has been turned into a highway with the closure of a major state highway less then a mile away.
169.18 DRIVING RULES - Yes cars can cross the double yellow to pass when the road is obstructed, including slow vehicles.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:14 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Motion at 12, 15, or 18 mph is not "backing up" traffic, it is simply causing traffic to move a little more slowly. This happens all the time in cities. Aggressive and dangerous passing on local bike boulevard/greenways is far too common because motorists view a cyclist cycling at 15 mph as impeding traffic. If cities mandate a standard 25 mph speed limit (the default in NYC), is a cyclist travelling at 15 mph really "impeding" traffic? I think not.
You may not think so, but the motorists may disagree. But I'm less interested in parsing sentences and debating meaning of words, than I am in getting to my destination comfortably. So I make situational adjustments, best (IMO) balancing my needs, rights and preferences, with those of those who share the road with me.

Over the years, I've learned a key difference between commuting and general riding for sport or touring. As a commuter, I'm on the same roads at roughly the same time daily. As such I see the same cops, garbagemen, UPS & Fedex drivers, cops and fellow (car) commuters. Over the years, we've come to know each other, and I assume that since a bicyclist is more unusual than a car, many come to recognize me. So I try not to be recognized as "that damm cyclist again", but as a part of the road community.

So far, my go along to get along approach has worked for me. The cops and bus and commercial drivers greet me as we pass each other, and even a fair number of motorists will roll down widows and chat at lights. I've been offered lifts when caught in the rain, asked if I need help if I have a flat, and when not on the bike it's not rare for someone to ask "where's the bike today" and offer a lift.

So regardless of laws or debates, I find life fa more pleasant being a well regarded member of a community, than trying to make a point.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:34 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
It's funny that you reserve the right to decide for yourself what you think is reasonable amount of inconvenience you can impose on others. You might try granting the same courtesy to others who decide that taking the lane is the best option for themeven if you wouldn't in the same situationbefore labeling them a crazy radical.
We all must make judgment calls from our individual perspective and its impossible to please everyone, but that doesn't make ones perspective beyond reproach when all must bear the burden of one individuals selfishness.
My wife and I have the right to walk on the local MUT holding hands, as pedestrians we have the right of way over cyclists, pedestrians and have no "legal" obligation to make way for a cyclist who wishes to pass, but any rational, sane person recognizes that steadfastly exercising that "right" is nothing more than willful disregard for others and inappropriate for shared public assets.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:47 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
The problem is that many motorist's view of inconvenience is completely out of touch with reality. A 20 second "delay" by a bike moving at 15 mph is viewed as a major invonvenience. Cyclists are still the "others" that are "in their way". When it comes to bike-car relations, admonitions for "politeness" typically focus on one-sided respect for the "mights/rights/convenience" of the majority. @$%^ that.

I make every effort to not violate anyone's right of way but the only time I think about the hypothetical emotional state of motorists is when I'm responding to posts on bikeforums...

The irony, is that these same drivers can't see that cars are creating more obstructions than a bike. Example, I bike next to 494 in Minneapolis every day. 494 is a 6-lane interstate and will be jammed every rush hour with bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling at 10 mph - no bikes slowed them down, only cars. But ONE bike on a county road will causes a driver to let off the gas pedal for a fraction of a second to make a safe pass, that bike, in their mind, is the major problem.

Perception.

What are you going to do? meh.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:58 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
We all must make judgment calls from our individual perspective and its impossible to please everyone, but that doesn't make ones perspective beyond reproach when all must bear the burden of one individuals selfishness.
My wife and I have the right to walk on the local MUT holding hands, as pedestrians we have the right of way over cyclists, pedestrians and have no "legal" obligation to make way for a cyclist who wishes to pass, but any rational, sane person recognizes that steadfastly exercising that "right" is nothing more than willful disregard for others and inappropriate for shared public assets.
Your analogy isn't very good, and here's why: there are not many rules on the MUP compared to an actual road. On the road, the law already says things such as cyclists must stay in the right lane, and can't ride more than two abreast, etc. The actual envelope of situations where a cyclist can legally cause more than a moment's delay is pretty small. Yes, on a narrow, two lane road with limited visibility, a line of cars might stack up behind a cyclist. But even then, that's a constraint of the road itself, not the product of some malicious selfishness. Your argument would apply only if the slightest delay is considered too much.
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Old 04-06-15, 02:05 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
The irony, is that these same drivers can't see that cars are creating more obstructions than a bike. ... But ONE bike on a county road will causes a driver to let off the gas pedal for a fraction of a second to make a safe pass, that bike, in their mind, is the major problem.

Perception.
I suppose almost all of us, myself included, are both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists. My perception is that I am slowed down and inconvenienced far more often and for a longer period of time by cars&trucks that are 'in my way' when I'm cycling than I am by bikes when I'm driving. Yet I have never once come across a discussion in a car magazine, forum, or blog on how drivers should change their behavior so they stop inconveniencing bicyclists.
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