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Bicycles and the Law



 
 
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  #11  
Old July 18th 12, 07:54 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
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Default Bicycles and the Law

On Monday, July 16, 2012 7:24:05 AM UTC-7, Frank Krygowski wrote:
wrote:
> Pardon me. I assumed that other states had more or less the same laws of California:
>
>
> V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway
> Operation on Roadway
>
> 21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride 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 conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle 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 upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
>
> Do you see anywhere allowing riding two abreast? Or on sidewalks save when passing?

Most states' laws follow reasonably well the Uniform Vehicle Code,
although admittedly, state legislators get "creative" with bike laws
more than motor vehicle laws.

Anyway, most states specify that bicyclists may ride "no more than two
abreast." Thus, two abreast is allowed.

FWIW, I had to (patiently, carefully) explain that to an Idaho State
Patrolman when he stopped us on the downgrade just west of Lolo Pass.
It helped that he decided to grab his copy of the Idaho traffic code to
show me. I was able to point to the exact wording.

About the rest: Most cyclists are really not very competent, even if
they're capable of great athleticism. It's seems to be rare to find one
who has even wondered about the best position on the road, let alone
read any instructional material on that topic. It's damned rare to find
anyone who's taken a class that teaches such things.

In fact, many cyclists seem to take pride in inviting (by being too far
right) large trucks to pass by brushing their elbows, then being able to
maintain a perfectly straight line despite the danger they invited.

AFAIK, no state requires riding far to the right when a lane is too
narrow to safely share, as does the California law you quoted. The
problem, I think, is that most cylists and many motorists don't
understand that.

There are some cycling advocates who would prefer that _all_
cycling-specific laws be removed; that bicycles be treated exactly the
same, under the law, as any other vehicle. They say the other "slow
moving vehicle" laws are adequate when the bikes are in fact slow, and
that when bikes are as fast as other traffic, or when there is no other
traffic, bikes should be operated like any other vehicle - for example,
with no requirement to keep far to the right.

There's logic in that position, I think.

--
- Frank Krygowski


Frank, I know that you're a very experienced and thoughtful rider. Perhaps it's where you live but around the San Francisco bay area here although you sometimes see HUGE training groups playing racer they are generally very watchful and thoughtful of the traffic. And in return we generally get very polite auto drivers.

Yesterday I went through Oakland along a street with quite busy truck traffic and in every single event of trucks passing they pulled into the middle lane giving the two of us plenty of room. Also they signaled quite far ahead of time when they intended to turn and especially when they intended to turn right.

In almost every case that we've had any problems recently it was from what appeared to be immigrants. Save for one case in a very ritzy hill neighborhood where some jackass in a Cadillac thought that he owned the road. But he was a quite rare exception.

While we were riding in a group on the Bike For Breath Century course we observed a HUGE training group riding two and three abreast in the opposite direction and as a car came up from behind they either pulled into single file or over far enough that an approaching car could pass. And the cars again were very polite.

I don't believe we should treat bikes exactly like cars because we can't accelerate nor maneuver as well as autos. But I do think that it's time for California to update their bicycle code at least to allow two abreast riding where it's safe.
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  #12  
Old July 18th 12, 07:57 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
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Default Bicycles and the Law

On Friday, July 13, 2012 6:42:52 PM UTC-7, Cyclintom wrote:
In a group ride it isnít unusual to see people aged from 18 to 75 and having fun together. What other exercises could you say that for?

Because of all the changes in cycling we have to start looking at the law and the cyclist perhaps with the idea of updating the laws to meet modern conditions.

The law demands that cyclists ride on the street and not on sidewalks and that they ride to the far right of the road at all times.

There are a number of problems with such laws. For instance, there are plenty of places such as around schools and colleges where there is heavy auto traffic at times while foot traffic might be at a minimum. These roads could also be very narrow and perhaps with many one way roads that make it difficult for students to get where theyíre trying to go.

So it is normal for students in these conditions to ride on the sidewalks.. Just as it is normal for younger children to ride on sidewalks because they do not understand how to judge traffic flow and it is dangerous for them to be in traffic.

Now most police are well aware of these conditions and as long as people are being careful they do not enforce the laws on the books. But there remains the fact that they could enforce them and cite people if they wanted to..

Also consider the group ride where riders are on wide roads with minimal traffic and so are riding two abreast and taking up an entire lane. They do this for a number of reasons. Of course there is the companionship of conversations but these group riding methods have practicality as well.

For instance, street sweepers tend to throw a lot of broken glass onto the right side of the roads. Bicycle tires are very sensitive to puncture. Holes, cracks in the road and most especially road debris such as glass shards and wire particles can cause a flat of a $100 tire. Bicyclists carry means to repair such flats but it is a good deal of work so cyclists tend to watch for all of the above dangers. Since they are on the right side of the road the only way to dodge these things is to turn out into the roadway.

For reasons entirely beyond me, on a many lanes road, when cyclists are riding to the far right a lot or motorists will take the right lane of the road. Many roads have sufficient room for this dodging but it can startle some drivers if a cyclist suddenly veers out from the side of the roadway.

Also when riding to the far right cars approaching from side roads are often unaware of these cyclists. So they will occasionally pull part way into the intersection to get a better view of traffic and then they are in the path of the cyclists who now might have to dodge into passing traffic or come to a stop.

If groups are riding in a traffic lane, two abreast, the outside rider is much easier seen to intersecting traffic as well as putting the group out of the glass. And taking an entire lane they have more room to dodge potholes, cracks etc. that are becoming more and more prevalent as cities are in financial binds and delay resurfacing roads.

And it forces light traffic out to more outside lanes where it is difficult for them to trap the riders in between them and intersecting traffic.

Again, most police officers are well aware of this reasoning (since many of them cycle themselves for fitness) but the fact remains that on a bad day most of the group if not all could be cited.

Cyclists in general will obey the laws to the letter on narrow or heavily trafficked roads. And those with bike lanes, which are typically, too narrow for two abreast riding.

What Iím suggesting is that the laws need to be updated so that the real actions of cyclists are taken into account as well instead of only the convenience of automobile drivers. Thereís definitely a time for a change.


Wes, I thought I made it clear that we are a hilly region with very steep hills. Climbing is slow but coming down can be VERY fast and you absolutely need the traction of a racing tire. Why else do you suppose they make such tires?
  #14  
Old July 31st 12, 06:16 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
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Default Bicycles and the Law

On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 1:57:59 PM UTC-5, (unknown) wrote:
On Friday, July 13, 2012 6:42:52 PM UTC-7, Cyclintom wrote:

In a group ride it isnít unusual to see people aged from 18 to 75 and having fun together. What other exercises could you say that for?




Because of all the changes in cycling we have to start looking at the law and the cyclist perhaps with the idea of updating the laws to meet modern conditions.




The law demands that cyclists ride on the street and not on sidewalks and that they ride to the far right of the road at all times.




There are a number of problems with such laws. For instance, there are plenty of places such as around schools and colleges where there is heavy auto traffic at times while foot traffic might be at a minimum. These roads could also be very narrow and perhaps with many one way roads that make it difficult for students to get where theyíre trying to go.




So it is normal for students in these conditions to ride on the sidewalks. Just as it is normal for younger children to ride on sidewalks because they do not understand how to judge traffic flow and it is dangerous for them to be in traffic.




Now most police are well aware of these conditions and as long as people are being careful they do not enforce the laws on the books. But there remains the fact that they could enforce them and cite people if they wanted to.




Also consider the group ride where riders are on wide roads with minimal traffic and so are riding two abreast and taking up an entire lane. They do this for a number of reasons. Of course there is the companionship of conversations but these group riding methods have practicality as well.




For instance, street sweepers tend to throw a lot of broken glass onto the right side of the roads. Bicycle tires are very sensitive to puncture. Holes, cracks in the road and most especially road debris such as glass shards and wire particles can cause a flat of a $100 tire. Bicyclists carry means to repair such flats but it is a good deal of work so cyclists tend to watch for all of the above dangers. Since they are on the right side of the road the only way to dodge these things is to turn out into the roadway.




For reasons entirely beyond me, on a many lanes road, when cyclists are riding to the far right a lot or motorists will take the right lane of the road. Many roads have sufficient room for this dodging but it can startle some drivers if a cyclist suddenly veers out from the side of the roadway.




Also when riding to the far right cars approaching from side roads are often unaware of these cyclists. So they will occasionally pull part way into the intersection to get a better view of traffic and then they are in the path of the cyclists who now might have to dodge into passing traffic or come to a stop.




If groups are riding in a traffic lane, two abreast, the outside rider is much easier seen to intersecting traffic as well as putting the group out of the glass. And taking an entire lane they have more room to dodge potholes, cracks etc. that are becoming more and more prevalent as cities are in financial binds and delay resurfacing roads.




And it forces light traffic out to more outside lanes where it is difficult for them to trap the riders in between them and intersecting traffic.




Again, most police officers are well aware of this reasoning (since many of them cycle themselves for fitness) but the fact remains that on a bad day most of the group if not all could be cited.




Cyclists in general will obey the laws to the letter on narrow or heavily trafficked roads. And those with bike lanes, which are typically, too narrow for two abreast riding.




What Iím suggesting is that the laws need to be updated so that the real actions of cyclists are taken into account as well instead of only the convenience of automobile drivers. Thereís definitely a time for a change..




Wes, I thought I made it clear that we are a hilly region with very steep hills. Climbing is slow but coming down can be VERY fast and you absolutely need the traction of a racing tire. Why else do you suppose they make such tires?


What makes you think racing tires have superior traction to non-racing tires? Racing tires are mostly about light weight.
 




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