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Opinion - Passing cars while in bike lane(18 posts)

Opinion - Passing cars while in bike lanebimini
Oct 20, 2003 11:36 AM
What is your opinion, interpretation of the rules and safety of passing to the right of cars while in a bike lane.

One of my favorite routes is a long gentle downhill section of road with a 25 MPH speed limit followed by a 1 mile flat section with a marked and posted bike lane on the right.

I find I can easily get out into the flow of the car traffic on the down hill which moves at about 30-35 MPH and then be ready to pound it when the road levels out and the bike lane starts. I can ussally pass several cars while staying in my bike lane on this flat before the lane disappears again before another steep winding downhill where I can pull away from the traffic and recover.

Makes me feel good to pass the cars, 5 times as good when one of Bu##heads drivers yelled at me to get on the sidewalk, when I was making my way up the hill. (I like passing the cars even if they don't yell).

It believe is a fairly safe manuver since there are no right turns in this section. Since it is a seperate lane I believe it is okay to pass on the right (I could be wrong here)

What are your opinions of the rules in this case.
I pass 'em (nm)KSC
Oct 20, 2003 11:40 AM
no issuesmohair_chair
Oct 20, 2003 11:45 AM
If there are no right turns, I don't see why you are at all concerned. You have your own lane, so use it and don't worry about the cars.
check your local regs, butSteve_0
Oct 20, 2003 11:46 AM
'passing' normally implies exiting your lane to get around a vehicle ahead of you. Unless the car is in the bike lane, I doubt you're passing.
the rules don't matter if you get careful (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 20, 2003 12:18 PM
sure does...dictates who's suing who. nm.Steve_0
Oct 20, 2003 12:26 PM
though when you're 6 feet under it doesn't matter as much -nm.ColnagoFE
Oct 20, 2003 12:33 PM
You kiddin?Steve_0
Oct 20, 2003 12:38 PM
I've seen how in love with their bikes some of these guys are. They'd probably have their estate sue on their behalf so they can be buried with their 'new-condition' bike.
Oct 21, 2003 4:19 AM
I wonder if I can work something like that into my will.
I'd be carefull with this...biknben
Oct 20, 2003 12:26 PM
As illustrated by my post last week, I'm all for passing cars
i when they are stopped.
This is a different beast. Cars don't expect to be passed. The certainly don't expect it while traveling at speed.

If conditions are as safe as you say, then have a blast. I'd be especially alert to anything that might cause a driver to move into the bike lane. Possibilities include: making a right turn, cutting a corner, and passing another car waiting to make a left.
I'd much rather pass a moving carKSC
Oct 20, 2003 12:35 PM
Too many stopped cars like to suddenly open their doors.
I'd much rather pass a moving carKSC
Oct 20, 2003 12:46 PM
Too many stopped cars like to suddenly open their doors.
but moving cars like to change directions!BenR
Oct 20, 2003 9:02 PM
At least around here, speed limit applies to bikes, too.Cory
Oct 20, 2003 2:28 PM
I've never been cited, but I got warned once--22 on the radar gun in a 15. The cop was funny about it, but he said if he caught me again, he'd write me for it.
Not a problem anymore, though. 15 is about as fast as I can go these days....
If I got a speeding ticket on my bike, I would frame it andbimini
Oct 20, 2003 3:10 PM
hang it in my office.

I'm sure if you tried real hard you could of gotten that ticket from the officer. Try smarting off to him next time.
I'd do it.KG 361
Oct 20, 2003 3:19 PM
But be careful. It's even more fun to pass them in a passing lane =) There is a downhill section on my commute that has a fairly sharp "S" turn in it. SUV's wallow through it. Not me =) Really pisses them off.
A definite
Oct 20, 2003 3:25 PM
It depends a lot on the situation.

Where I live, most of the city streets have marked bike lanes. I pass cars on the right all the time in stop and go traffic. Lots of people ride here, so drivers are somewhat aware of bikes passing on the right, so many of them know to look over their shoulder when making right hand turns across the bike lane. Still have to be really careful, though as idiots that don't pay attention can kill you just the same whether you have the right of way or not.

At higher speeds, I take extra precautions since they don't expect to be passed. If there are cross streets or lots of driveways, I probably won't do it.

The situation you describe sounds like you are on a stretch of that only has a bike lane for a short distance (where you pass the cars). If you pass the cars shortly before the bike lane ends, then they have to pass you a second time, which may not sit too well with them.

The way I understand the vehicular code in my area, is that bicycles are considered vehicles, and bike lanes are considered a lane of traffic. So, basically, cars are supposed to treat bikers just like they would another car that was in a separate lane to their right. All the same rules of the road would apply.

I'd say that maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of the cars give bikers the right of way when they are supposed to. That's a lot better than most places.
If there's room on the right for both the bike and a car to share the lane...Scot_Gore
Oct 21, 2003 6:19 AM
I pass them, whether they are stopped or just moving slowly in traffic. At car cruising speed, I can't keep up and they pass me.