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Bike Lane(3 posts)

Bike LaneJBurton
Jun 1, 2002 7:30 PM
In my less-than-bike-friendly town, there is a single bike lane of about a half mile that is in perhaps the most ridiculous, usless place it could have possbly been put. That place is in the middle of the industrial section where no one would even think about riding. The only reason I use this road is because I live in an even more ridiculous place and have to use it to get to the great rides. For whatever reason, the city planners put in this bike lane (which, by the way, I have never passed another rider on) but do not maintain it. If any street sweepers clean this area of road, they do not bother to clean the bike lane. Because it is in an industrial section, it is constantly filled with debris ranging from varying grades of gravel and sand to metal shavings and glass. There is a fair amount of traffic, but there is ample room for both cars and bikes even without considering the bike lane.

Am I in violation of any laws if there is a posted bike lane but I chose not to use it? I couldn't find a yah or nay in the local bike codes.
re: here's a bit of my local quagmire...Akirasho
Jun 1, 2002 8:53 PM
The State of Ohio currently has the "far right" rule but it does not have the "mandatory-side-path rule". However, local ordinances form a crazy quilt of dangerous rules that conflict with the Uniform Vehicle Code and with state traffic laws.

This link gives you an idea of the quagmire...

Worse yet, you may be subject to arbitrary "judgement" by an over zealous law enforcement officer... (requires Acrobat Reader)

While the case in the above link did not involve a bike lane per se... it was of great interest to me since I use this route to ride to my mom's house! If I were to try to ride a path or bike lane to her home, I'd have to go about 12 miles out of my way... and end up walking the bike the last 4 miles (she only lives 7 miles away).

Even if you found local code, it might be interpreted in several different ways depending on the agenda du jour at city hall.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: Bike LaneDINOSAUR
Jun 2, 2002 8:04 AM
This question popped up once before and I looked up the section that pertains to the CA Vehicle code (note CA). If there is a designated bike lane that is separated from a traffic lane, then the bicyclist is reguired to ride in the designated bike lane unless (this is the kicker) there is an obstacle or debris in the bike lane that requires the cyclist to travel outside of the bike lane to avoid it for his own safety.
I would take the time to contact the city/county road department and advise them of the lack of maintenance of the bike lane. The best way to do this would be by a letter and make a copy for your records. Usually letters work better than a phone call. There is a liability problem for the agency required for maintaining the lane. If there was ever an accident caused by a cyclist required to travel outside of the lane, the city/county would be up the creek, as they had been already been informed of the problem. You might check where you live and see if there is some type of bicycle organization that could assist you. Some have attorneys that know how to use the right lanquage to make someone correct the problem. For what it's worth, road hazards are the number one cause of accidents for the members of my cycling club. Before you go to all this trouble get a copy of the vehicle code for the state in which you reside and see if the bike lane law is the same as the one I mentioned for Ca. Most traffic laws are uniform and consistent from state to state....Good luck.