Tag Archive for CVC21202

Morning Links: Yes, bikes can ride abreast, killer NM meth driver set free, and attempted murder over a snowball

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reports there was a fatal crash between two drivers at 82nd and Broadway in South LA’s Florence neighborhood, which appears to have involved a pair of bike riders in a collateral damage crash.

No word on who was killed, but chances are, it was one or more of the people on bicycles.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Update: Sadly, our fears were confirmed. The only good news is that there was only one victim.

………

The Riverside Press Enterprise tries, and fails, to answer the question of whether bicyclists are allowed to ride two or more abreast.

Not so simple answer: There is nothing in California law that forbids riding abreast.

Some police agencies attempt to use CVC 21202 to forbid riding abreast, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, concluding that the outside rider is violating the law.

However, they fail to consider the many exceptions to CVC 21202, which make it clear that the requirement to ride to the right does not apply on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is most of the right hand traffic lanes in Southern California.

In which case there is no limit to the number of people who can ride abreast — as long as you remain within a single lane.

However, you still have to pull over to the right when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles following behind you and unable to pass. But once again, that does not apply in some circumstances.

Like if there are two or more lanes in the direction you’re traveling, in which case drivers can simply change lanes to pass.

It’s also worth noting that the law doesn’t apply if you’re riding at the speed of traffic around you.

So if you’re riding the speed limit, or drivers are slowed to your speed by congestion, you can ride wherever the hell you want.

Including riding abreast if that’s what you want.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Albuquerque man remains free despite killing a bike rider in a horrific hit and run, and testing positive for meth at least twice; his lawyers say the case should be dropped because he suffers from PTSD, ADHD and depression.

And yes, there is video, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Some things you just can’t unsee.

At least the judge told him not to drive, though. And everyone knows meth heads do exactly what they’re told.

Right?

Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the heads-up.

………

This is what’s known as a disproportionate response.

A road raging Seattle woman tries to run people over after someone hit her car with a snowball. Then gets out of her car and physically attacks them until she was restrained.

Seriously.

Attempted murder is never an appropriate response.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards a new video that explains how Toronto increased bicycling rates a whopping 1095% on two busy roads for a paltry $1.25 million.

Or less than one million in US dollars.

………

Evidently, dockless bikeshare is pretty chill in Seattle these days.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

State

San Diego agreed to pay $1 million to a bike rider who seriously injured his face and jaw after hitting a pothole; advocates say it illustrates the city’s inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

A San Jose newspaper takes a look at bike and pedestrian safety from a decidedly windshield perspective, telling the people not in the big, dangerous machines to wear reflective clothes and pay attention in parking lots so drivers won’t hurt them. Or worse.

Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare service is cutting into the company’s eponymous ride-hailing service in San Francisco.

Lyft donates $700,000 to Oakland to provide bikes and transit discounts to underserved community members, including establishing a bicycle lending library and starting a process to bring bikeshare to the city.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed when he was struck by two drivers as he was crossing an intersection, one of whom fled the scene.

National

A new report says US bicycling fatalities are at their highest level since 1991. Or at least they were in 2016, which is the last year for which national stats are currently available. And chances are they haven’t gone down much since then, if at all.

Bike Snob grabs a pipe and dons his cardigan sweater to offer some fatherly advice on how to teach your kid to have a positive attitude about bicycling in a bike-unfriendly world.

NBC says riding a bicycle with her husband helped “reignite the lust” in a woman’s marriage, even though she just says it reconnect them with the romance of earlier days. Which isn’t exactly the same thing.

A writer for Bicycling shares nine tips she learned from riding almost every kind of bicycle.

Next month, you can trade your current bike in for a new Trek roadie with disc brakes.

That Portland woman who killed a bike rider while high on her dog’s Xanax got a well-deserved 15 years behind bars. Hopefully that comes with a mandatory drug treatment program for both of them.

A Seattle man recovered his stolen Bianchi with the help of a local Facebook group and a BOLO alert among Jimmy John’s delivery riders.

If there can be peace between Alaskan winter bike riders and cross-country skiers, maybe there’s hope for our nation’s political divide.

Over 200 people turned out on a night with a wind chill of 50 degrees below zero to honor a fallen Chicago bicyclist who was killed in a crash while riding home from work last week.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner will fix up 200 bicycles donated by the state police to give to local kids who don’t have one; last year they collaborated to give away over 2,000 bikes.

No surprise here. Pittsburgh bike riders say they’re more comfortable sharing streets with self-driving vehicles than with their human counterparts.

A South Carolina second-grade teacher helped save the father of one of her students; she spotted the seven-year old riding his bicycle on a busy highway to get help after finding his dad passed out from a diabetic episode.

He gets it. An op-ed in a Florida paper says the three E’s — education, enforcement and engineering — aren’t enough to lower the state’s worst in the nation bicycling death rate; it will take solid data, and real action based on that data.

Florida lawmakers consider making the same mistake California made by raising the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $1,500, although the Golden State only made it $1,000. Problem is the value of most bicycles is far less than that, making it the equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card for bike thieves.

A Florida woman is suing Lime for a crash that left her daughter in a persistent vegetative state over instructions that tell e-scooter users to ride in the street, even though that’s illegal in the state. In California, it’s illegal to use motorized scooters on the sidewalk. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip. 

International

Another day, another smartphone app promising to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders and pedestrians. But only if the driver and the person on the bike or on foot both have it installed and turned on. Not to mention convincing drivers they don’t have to pay attention because the app will do it for them.

A writer from Calgary offers tips on relatively cheap ways to keep warm riding your bike on winter days.

An Irish cycling coach says 2019 will be the worst year ever for bicycle crashes, because too many people are learning to get fast on virtual trainers before they develop the skill to ride safely on the streets.

Colnago celebrates the 87th birthday of founder Ernesto Calnago with a $56,000 gold-plated bike.

A former Nigerian governor died nearly 45 years after he escaped an army general by fleeing to Lagos on his bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Italian cycling pros launch a petition calling for better laws to protect bicyclists in the country in memory of fallen Giro winner Michele Scarponi, including a requirement for bike lanes and a safe passing distance.

More proof the Era of Doping hasn’t ended yet. A 50-year old amateur cyclist from Alabama was banned for four years after she failed a urine test.

Finally…

Who needs Vision Zero when you have some of the nation’s crappiest drivers? Seriously, when you’re riding your bike with five outstanding warrants while carrying drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon, obey the damn traffic laws, already.

And it’s probably not the best idea to text your husband to say you’re at the local tavern after just attempting to run his bike down with your car.

Is it right to pass on the right? Or dangerous and illegal?

It’s a simple syllogism.

Passing on the right is illegal; I pass on the right. Therefore, I break the law.

Right?

Okay, so it’s not up there with Socrates’ classic hits, like “All men are mortal.” But that was the gist of a conversation that took place last week, in response to my comments about the recent TRL study showing drivers are responsible for the overwhelming majority of British cycling collisions.

A reader named Doug questioned how closely the British data actually correlates to Los Angeles, which is a fair question. While British drivers complain about the very same cyclist behaviors L.A. drivers do — and vice versa — we have no statistics to back us up.

Primarily because no one has bothered to do an in-depth study of cycling in this city — let alone an analysis of how and why cycling accidents happen and who is at fault.

But more to the point, at least in terms of today’s topic, he also complained about cyclists who run stop signs and red lights. And about riders who pass on the right.

Like I do. And like I often advise other cyclists to do.

Pass on the right, that is — not run red lights.

As Doug put it,

Splitting lines, by both motorcycles and bicycles, is legal in California. However, passing on the right is not, and that is very different. Certainly, a responsible cyclists knows that passing on the right is dangerous and should be avoided.

So who’s right?

From my perspective, you’re almost always better off at the front of an intersection, where you can be seen from every angle, than stopped in the lane behind a line of cars — where drivers coming up from behind may not anticipate the presence of a cyclist, and where you could be hidden from oncoming and cross traffic. And that often means working your way up the right side of the traffic lane.

There are other situations that seem to call for passing on the right, as well. Like riding in heavy traffic, where you can easily ride faster than the speed of the cars next to you. Or when traffic is stopped while you have a clear path ahead.

My justification for doing it is simple. CVC21202 requires that you ride as far to the right as practicable. So unless you’re actually riding in the traffic lane, you’re in a separate lane from the traffic next to you — usually the parking lane or a strip of pavement to the right of the actual traffic lane.

And according to the applicable traffic code, CVC21754, passing on the right is allowed “whenever there is unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in the direction of travel.” In other words, if there’s a clear lane of travel wide enough for your bike, it’s legal.

Still not sure?

Look at it this way. Say you’re driving in the right lane on a four lane street, with two lanes of traffic in each direction. The cars in the left lane come to a stop while the lead driver waits to make a left turn. Does that mean you have to stop as well, even though you’re in the next lane? Or if the traffic to your left slows down, do you have to slow as well to avoid passing anyone?

Of course not.

If that happened, traffic would grind to a halt on virtually every street and highway in the country. And since the same laws apply for bikes as for other road users, if it’s legal for drivers, it’s legal for us.

But that was just my opinion — based on nothing more than the rationalizations of a highly opinionated, semi-analytical long-time cyclist. Then I read almost exactly the same arguments on cycling lawyer Bob Mionske’s Bicycle Law website.

But as Rick Bernardi’s column there makes clear, just because something’s legal, that doesn’t mean you may not still get a ticket for it. And you may not win in court, either.

The other question is, is it safe?

Only about as safe as any other maneuver on streets filled with sometimes careless and inattentive drivers.

Some drivers may not check their mirrors and blind spots before moving to the right, never considering that anyone else might want to occupy that same space.

Or operate under the mistaken assumption that it’s illegal for cyclists to pass on the right, and therefore, none would even try. Because, you know, drivers never do anything we think they’re not supposed to do, either.

So you have to be careful.

Keep a close eye on the cars on your left, watching for right turn signals or front wheels turned to the right, as well as cars slowly inching over or drivers turning to look over their shoulders. Always pass on the left side of a right turn lane. And never, ever pass to the right of a car that’s waiting to make a right turn.

But consider this. The recent landmark study of cycling accidents from Fort Collins, Colorado, listed passing on the right as a contributing factor in just one of 354 cycling collisions.

One.

In other words, about 213 less than the number of broadside collisions that occurred as a result of simply riding a bike across an intersection.

And I don’t know anyone who says that just riding across the street is dangerous.

Or illegal.

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