Bike Lanes?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by George Farnsworth, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:

    > Stephen Harding wrote:


    >> I've seen bicyclists riding way out in the lane, as if on a motorcycle,
    >> cars backing up behind them, apparently attempting to "make a point"
    >> about what their rights are.


    You can read minds? I don't believe it.

    >> You don't need bike lanes or bike paths to ride the road. Just ride!
    >> But having them there shouldn't be interpreted as somehow undermining
    >> bike road use by "duping" riders into giving up their rights. How is
    >> riding the road giving up your rights?


    > Road riding doesn't give up rights: it exercises them. Bike lanes result
    > in reduced rights. Since most bike lanes carry the baggage of being
    > explicitly mandatory, it is pretty clear bicyclists have less right to
    > use the standard lane. Even if a specific bike lane law doesn't exist,
    > motorists act as if one does. Try riding outside the bike lane!


    Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where are
    bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the country
    and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly hostile
    in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the occasional
    jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything. Their behviour
    is random and their "reason" is moot.

    Matt O.
     


  2. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    > On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:
    >>Road riding doesn't give up rights: it exercises them. Bike lanes result
    >>in reduced rights. Since most bike lanes carry the baggage of being
    >>explicitly mandatory, it is pretty clear bicyclists have less right to
    >>use the standard lane. Even if a specific bike lane law doesn't exist,
    >>motorists act as if one does. Try riding outside the bike lane!


    Matt O'Toole wrote:
    > Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where are
    > bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the country
    > and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly hostile
    > in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the occasional
    > jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything. Their behviour
    > is random and their "reason" is moot.


    I invite you to come to Atlanta where cyclists are often referred to as
    "hood ornaments" in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We'll cut through
    campus, head up North Ave, go down Peachtree Street and hang a louie on
    17th. It'll be fun.

    Exhibit A: photos from the new 17th Street Bridge - the fancy new bridge
    connecting Midtown to Atlantic Station (our "new, progressive,
    pedestrian friendly, mixed-use" development) where cagers and bus
    drivers consistently tell me to ride in the bike lane (you'll see why I
    don't).
    http://flickr.com/photos/p_myron_h/tags/bikelane/

    And Exhibit B: GA Code Section 40-6-294 (c)
    "Whenever a usable path has been provided adjacent to a roadway and
    designated for the exclusive use of bicycle riders, then the appropriate
    governing authority may require that bicycle riders use such path and
    not use those sections of the roadway so specified by such local
    governing authority. The governing authority may be petitioned to remove
    restrictions upon demonstration that the path has become inadequate due
    to capacity, maintenance, or other causes."
    http://www.gohs.state.ga.us/gabikelaws.html

    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the f to ph to reply:.
     
  3. Matt O'Toole wrote:
    > On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Stephen Harding wrote:

    >
    >>>I've seen bicyclists riding way out in the lane, as if on a motorcycle,
    >>>cars backing up behind them, apparently attempting to "make a point"
    >>>about what their rights are.

    >
    > You can read minds? I don't believe it.


    What do *you* think they were doing? Just three oblivious
    bicyclists who have no clue as to what's going on behind
    them?

    In one situation, the car *lightly* tapped the horn to
    let them know someone was behind them. Nothing!

    What do *you* think was going on?

    Since I'll presume you have the same capabilities of mind
    reading as I have, I guess you won't be able to say.


    SMH
     
  4. Wayne Pein wrote:
    > Stephen Harding wrote:


    > If there were no bike lane stripes, then there couldn't be bad ones.


    If there were no shoulder stripes, there would be no bad ones
    either. Irrelevant.

    > You doesn't answer the question of why stripe the bike lane? Why not
    > simply leave the standard lane wide?


    I think "adequately wide" shoulder striping is fine. In many
    cases, that's all a bike lane is; a shoulder with "Bike" or
    bike symbol painted on it. Yet suddenly, it becomes a bad
    thing because it has now become a "bike lane" rather than a
    shoulder stripe?

    Shoulder stripes are not there for the bicyclist. They are
    there for the motorist.

    My primary support in favor of bike lanes is that I think it
    may get people out using their bikes for transport (or leisure
    I suppose) that might otherwise decline to do so because of
    motor traffic.

    If it can get more people out pedaling the road, that's a good
    thing, and the more motorists see bicyclists riding the road,
    striped shoulder or "bike lane", perhaps will make the activity
    more acceptable to motorists.

    But ultimately, who cares if motorists "accept" bicyclists
    sharing the road with them? Lane or no lane, laws in most
    states, if not all, say a bicycle is a "road vehicle" with
    as much access to the lane as safety demands. Stripe or no
    stripe, that doesn't change that access.


    SMH
     
  5. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:
    > On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Stephen Harding wrote:

    >
    >
    > Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where are
    > bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the country
    > and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly hostile
    > in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the occasional
    > jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything. Their behviour
    > is random and their "reason" is moot.
    >
    > Matt O.


    Try taking the lane on my local E street bridge going south and you will
    be dead before you get over the bridge, guaranteed. Everybody rides on
    the sidewalk on this bridge. No bike lane and it turns into freeway on
    the south side of the bridge so people are already doing 50-60MPH over
    the bridge. No possibility of a bike lane and if a truck doesn't get you
    the muni bus right behind him will.
    Death trap for roadies that think they have any rights on this bridge.
    Bill Baka
     
  6. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:


    >
    >>Road riding doesn't give up rights: it exercises them. Bike lanes result
    >>in reduced rights. Since most bike lanes carry the baggage of being
    >>explicitly mandatory, it is pretty clear bicyclists have less right to
    >>use the standard lane. Even if a specific bike lane law doesn't exist,
    >>motorists act as if one does. Try riding outside the bike lane!

    >
    >
    > Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where are
    > bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the country
    > and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly hostile
    > in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the occasional
    > jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything. Their behviour
    > is random and their "reason" is moot.
    >



    Matt, you are misinterpreting me. When I said "Try riding outside the
    bike lane!" I meant that if you ride to the left of the line as a matter
    of course along a road section (not merely to make a left, for example),
    you will be subject to increased harassment from motorists. Further, a
    police officer is likely to tell you to get in the bike lane.

    I believe the majority of states have mandatory bike lane laws. Further,
    many municipalities have them. Even if a law doesn't exist, some
    motorists will take exception to you being outside the bike lane. Some
    motorists will take exception to you being to the left of a paved
    shoulder stripe that is not designated as a bike lane.

    Wayne
     
  7. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    Stephen Harding wrote:

    > Wayne Pein wrote:
    >
    >> Stephen Harding wrote:

    >
    >
    >> If there were no bike lane stripes, then there couldn't be bad ones.

    >
    >
    > If there were no shoulder stripes, there would be no bad ones
    > either. Irrelevant.



    There are no bad shoulders because they are not for vehicular travel.
    They are for vehicle recovery and to prevent run-off-road type collisions.



    >
    >> You doesn't answer the question of why stripe the bike lane? Why not
    >> simply leave the standard lane wide?

    >
    >
    > I think "adequately wide" shoulder striping is fine.


    See above.

    In many
    > cases, that's all a bike lane is; a shoulder with "Bike" or
    > bike symbol painted on it. Yet suddenly, it becomes a bad
    > thing because it has now become a "bike lane" rather than a
    > shoulder stripe?


    Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.



    >
    > Shoulder stripes are not there for the bicyclist. They are
    > there for the motorist.



    So why do you ride on them?


    Wayne
     
  8. gds

    gds Guest

    Wayne Pein wrote:


    <big snip>

    > Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.
    >
    >


    Do you really believe this is the best approach in all or most cases?

    Example, out west bicycling is allowed on the (shoulder of) the
    interstates outside of metro areas. So, I have ridden on the shoulder
    of I-10 a number of times. The speed limit in this area is 75 mph. Do
    you think "taking the lane" is a good choice here?
     
  9. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    gds wrote:

    > Wayne Pein wrote:
    >
    >>Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.
    >>


    >
    > Do you really believe this is the best approach in all or most cases?
    >
    > Example, out west bicycling is allowed on the (shoulder of) the
    > interstates outside of metro areas. So, I have ridden on the shoulder
    > of I-10 a number of times. The speed limit in this area is 75 mph. Do
    > you think "taking the lane" is a good choice here?
    >


    My position has long been that bicyclists should as a matter of course
    use the travel lane on normal roads. However, on freeway or near freeway
    design roads using the shoulder is acceptable or preferable.

    Wayne
     
  10. Jim Boyer

    Jim Boyer Guest

    "gds" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Wayne Pein wrote:
    >
    >
    > <big snip>
    >
    >> Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Do you really believe this is the best approach in all or most cases?
    >
    > Example, out west bicycling is allowed on the (shoulder of) the
    > interstates outside of metro areas. So, I have ridden on the shoulder
    > of I-10 a number of times. The speed limit in this area is 75 mph. Do
    > you think "taking the lane" is a good choice here?
    >


    Looking for absolutes, are you? Then sure, go ahead, in all cases.....

    sheesh...

    jb
     
  11. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    Wayne Pein wrote:
    > Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:

    >
    >
    >>
    >>> Road riding doesn't give up rights: it exercises them. Bike lanes result
    >>> in reduced rights. Since most bike lanes carry the baggage of being
    >>> explicitly mandatory, it is pretty clear bicyclists have less right to
    >>> use the standard lane. Even if a specific bike lane law doesn't exist,
    >>> motorists act as if one does. Try riding outside the bike lane!

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where are
    >> bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the
    >> country
    >> and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly hostile
    >> in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the occasional
    >> jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything. Their behviour
    >> is random and their "reason" is moot.
    >>

    >
    >
    > Matt, you are misinterpreting me. When I said "Try riding outside the
    > bike lane!" I meant that if you ride to the left of the line as a matter
    > of course along a road section (not merely to make a left, for example),
    > you will be subject to increased harassment from motorists. Further, a
    > police officer is likely to tell you to get in the bike lane.
    >
    > I believe the majority of states have mandatory bike lane laws. Further,
    > many municipalities have them. Even if a law doesn't exist, some
    > motorists will take exception to you being outside the bike lane. Some
    > motorists will take exception to you being to the left of a paved
    > shoulder stripe that is not designated as a bike lane.
    >
    > Wayne
    >

    Yeah,
    And as I mentioned taking the lane on a road that turns into a freeway
    just where the sidewalk ends is suicide, and I have the bridge to prove
    it. 0.0% bike lane and a 6" perpendicular jump to the sidewalk. I have
    been almost hit by pickup mirrors while walking on the sidewalk with no
    bike.
    Take the lane? What kind of flowers for the funeral?
    Bill Baka
     
  12. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    Jim Boyer wrote:
    > "gds" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>Wayne Pein wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >><big snip>
    >>
    >>>Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>Do you really believe this is the best approach in all or most cases?
    >>
    >>Example, out west bicycling is allowed on the (shoulder of) the
    >>interstates outside of metro areas. So, I have ridden on the shoulder
    >>of I-10 a number of times. The speed limit in this area is 75 mph. Do
    >>you think "taking the lane" is a good choice here?
    >>

    >
    >
    > Looking for absolutes, are you? Then sure, go ahead, in all cases.....
    >
    > sheesh...
    >
    > jb
    >
    >

    Must be a city boy. In the country they won't 'waste' the extra asphalt
    to make a decent ridable shoulder area and the bridges are so old that
    there is barely room for the cars, buses, semis, (and #%%^ SUVs), much
    less a bike lane.
    No absolutes in this world, just birth, taxes, and death. The rest is up
    to how you handle it.
    Bill
     
  13. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 01:06:43 -0500, Paul Hobson wrote:

    >> On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 02:53:08 +0000, Wayne Pein wrote:
    >>>Road riding doesn't give up rights: it exercises them. Bike lanes
    >>>result in reduced rights. Since most bike lanes carry the baggage of
    >>>being explicitly mandatory, it is pretty clear bicyclists have less
    >>>right to use the standard lane. Even if a specific bike lane law
    >>>doesn't exist, motorists act as if one does. Try riding outside the
    >>>bike lane!

    >
    > Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >> Oh, come on Wayne, it's really not that bad out there. First, where
    >> are bike lanes explicitly mandatory? Second, I've ridden all over the
    >> country and in a few others too. I haven't found drivers particularly
    >> hostile in any one place, or for any regular reason. We all meet the
    >> occasional jerk, on road and off, pissed off at anyone or anything.
    >> Their behviour is random and their "reason" is moot.

    >
    > I invite you to come to Atlanta where cyclists are often referred to as
    > "hood ornaments" in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We'll cut through
    > campus, head up North Ave, go down Peachtree Street and hang a louie on
    > 17th. It'll be fun.
    >
    > Exhibit A: photos from the new 17th Street Bridge - the fancy new bridge
    > connecting Midtown to Atlantic Station (our "new, progressive,
    > pedestrian friendly, mixed-use" development) where cagers and bus
    > drivers consistently tell me to ride in the bike lane (you'll see why I
    > don't).
    > http://flickr.com/photos/p_myron_h/tags/bikelane/


    It really doesn't look that bad to me. It wouldn't kill you to ride
    through the gravel, or you could zip down the left side of the bike lane
    or along the line with no trouble. If people honk at you it's their
    problem. They'll honk at you when you're driving a car or truck too.
    Dangerous, you say? Look at accident rates -- still way lower than
    driving. Being hit from behind is vanishingly rare.

    You guys are just whiners.

    How is it you can think your situation is so special, and different from
    any other major metro area in the world? Do you think Los Angeles, or
    Boston, or DC, or Sydney, or Mexico City, or Paris are really any better?
    There are streets in any of the above places that I would avoid, but for
    the most part cycling is the same all over the world, with the same
    issues, the same challenges, and the same solutions.

    > And Exhibit B: GA Code Section 40-6-294 (c) "Whenever a usable path has
    > been provided adjacent to a roadway and designated for the exclusive use
    > of bicycle riders, then the appropriate governing authority may require
    > that bicycle riders use such path and not use those sections of the
    > roadway so specified by such local governing authority. The governing
    > authority may be petitioned to remove restrictions upon demonstration
    > that the path has become inadequate due to capacity, maintenance, or
    > other causes." http://www.gohs.state.ga.us/gabikelaws.html


    That's a mandatory sidepath law, covering paths adjacent to the roadway --
    not bike lanes in the roadway itself. Most states' vehicle codes say, "As
    far to the right as practicable," or something to that effect -- period.
    Read 'em and see for yourself.

    Matt O.
     
  14. gds

    gds Guest

    Wayne Pein wrote:
    > gds wrote:
    >
    > > Wayne Pein wrote:
    > >
    > >>Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.
    > >>

    >
    > >
    > > Do you really believe this is the best approach in all or most cases?
    > >
    > > Example, out west bicycling is allowed on the (shoulder of) the
    > > interstates outside of metro areas. So, I have ridden on the shoulder
    > > of I-10 a number of times. The speed limit in this area is 75 mph. Do
    > > you think "taking the lane" is a good choice here?
    > >

    >
    > My position has long been that bicyclists should as a matter of course
    > use the travel lane on normal roads. However, on freeway or near freeway
    > design roads using the shoulder is acceptable or preferable.
    >
    > Wayne


    OK, thanks for the reply. I agree that how one uses the road and/or
    shoulder is a matter of judgement by the rider.

    But seriously, I think that there is a lot of variation in situation.
    So, here in southern Arizona there are many great roads that have huge,
    well maintained shoulders. The motor traffic is 50 mph + on these and
    most cyclists choose to use the wide shoulder.
    We also have back country roads that have essentially no shoulder and
    on those most cyclists tend to use a fair amount of the travel lane.
     
  15. gds

    gds Guest

    Jim Boyer wrote:
    >>

    > Looking for absolutes, are you? Then sure, go ahead, in all cases.....
    >


    Clarification not absolutes! I read the remark as pretty absolute. The
    reply clarified that.
     
  16. Dane Buson

    Dane Buson Guest

    gds <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Jim Boyer wrote:
    >>>

    >> Looking for absolutes, are you? Then sure, go ahead, in all cases.....

    >
    > Clarification not absolutes! I read the remark as pretty absolute. The
    > reply clarified that.


    Mr. Barnard: SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT! YOUR TYPE REALLY MAKES ME
    PUKE! YOU VACUOUS TOFFEE-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!!!
    Man: Look, I came here for an argument! I'm not just going to stand here...
    Mr. Barnard: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse!

    ^^^ Notice the cagy crossthread reference in the first line.

    ObBike: It's amazing how many people I saw out on bikes on my way home
    yesterday. A far cry from two or three months ago. I'm
    thinking it might be time to put the "Not a tow truck" sign on
    the back of my bike.

    --
    Dane Buson - [email protected]
    When I was in school, I cheated on my metaphysics exam: I looked into
    the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
    -- Woody Allen
     
  17. Wayne Pein wrote:
    > Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    >> Wayne Pein wrote:
    >>
    >>> Stephen Harding wrote:

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>> If there were no bike lane stripes, then there couldn't be bad ones.

    >>
    >> If there were no shoulder stripes, there would be no bad ones
    >> either. Irrelevant.

    >
    > There are no bad shoulders because they are not for vehicular travel.
    > They are for vehicle recovery and to prevent run-off-road type collisions.
    >>
    >>> You doesn't answer the question of why stripe the bike lane? Why not
    >>> simply leave the standard lane wide?

    >>
    >> I think "adequately wide" shoulder striping is fine.

    >
    > See above.
    >
    > In many
    >
    >> cases, that's all a bike lane is; a shoulder with "Bike" or
    >> bike symbol painted on it. Yet suddenly, it becomes a bad
    >> thing because it has now become a "bike lane" rather than a
    >> shoulder stripe?

    >
    > Bicycles, as vehicles, should operate in travel lanes, not on shoulders.


    Depends on the width of the shoulder and how far out in the
    travel lane one is talking about.

    We have conflicting requirements (probably in most state law).
    Generally, a bike is a "road vehicle" and has the right to use
    as much of the road to ensure safety. (Isn't required to ride
    through potholes and junk along the edge of a road).

    Yet at the same time, vehicles in many states that do not
    maintain the speed limit or minimum legal speed are required
    to keep as far to the right as possible and/or even allow
    backed up traffic to pass. In Texas, I recall a requirement
    to pull over and allow cars to pass whenever three or more
    backed up behind if you were unable to maintain minimum posted
    speeds.

    >> Shoulder stripes are not there for the bicyclist. They are
    >> there for the motorist.

    >
    > So why do you ride on them?


    Rephrase.

    Shoulder stripes are there for the aid of the motorists.
    Just as you said above.

    Whether they are there are there or not is largely irrelevant
    for a bicyclist.

    Whether they are marked "Bike" or not is also not particularly
    relevant. They're a convenience but don't change legal rights
    or responsibilities one way or another, except in cases where
    a state might require their use if available, over a road.

    I presume those restrictions are for safety and smoothness of
    traffic flow reasons. Sometimes restrictions are required
    for the benefit of a majority.

    There are roads trucks aren't supposed to travel. There are
    lanes in which vehicles with less than N people are not supposed
    to travel.

    I don't think anyone would argue motorist rights are being lost
    due to those restrictions.


    SMH



    SMH
     
  18. Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    > Shoulder stripes are there for the aid of the motorists.
    > Just as you said above.
    >
    > Whether they are there are there or not is largely irrelevant
    > for a bicyclist.


    I'll agree to this extent: I believe the proper technique is to ignore
    the presence of such stripes. I ride as I would if the stripe were
    non-existent.


    > There are roads trucks aren't supposed to travel. There are
    > lanes in which vehicles with less than N people are not supposed
    > to travel.
    >
    > I don't think anyone would argue motorist rights are being lost
    > due to those restrictions.


    Well, that's mostly because motorists don't _have_ a right to be
    motorists, let alone to be motorists in a particular lane.

    Motoring is an activity that imposes some significant danger on others.
    Thus, it's restricted and licensed.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
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