Tag Archive for rights of cyclists

Morning Links: Atwater paper calls legal cyclists lane hogs, a handful of links and a long list of upcoming events

photo from Atwater Village News Facebook page

photo from Atwater Village News Facebook page

First up, a local newspaper manages to get it wrong. And brings out the ire of the Facebook cycling community.

The Atwater Village News posted a photo on its Facebook page, showing four bike riders taking the lane on a two-lane ramp, labeling them “Lane Hogs.” Then cites CVC 21202(a), which says that cyclists are required to ride as close to the right as practicable when traveling below the speed of traffic.

If only they’d read a little further, they would have seen the many exceptions contained in sections 1 ­through 4, particularly the one that says that the law doesn’t apply on substandard width lanes. And defines substandard width as any lane too narrow for a bike and motor vehicle to safely share while traveling side by side.

Kind of like the one shown in the picture.

So for any journalists, police officers, motorists, online commenters or anyone else who’s still unclear on the concept, let’s get it straight.

Bicycles aren’t in the way of traffic, they are traffic as defined by law, with a legal right to the road.

Bikes are required to right as far to the right as practicable whenever traveling below the normal speed of traffic. Which does not mean as far to the right as possible, but only as far as is safe under the current circumstances, allowing riders to position themselves further to the left to avoid gravel and glass, potholes and swinging car doors.

However, cyclists aren’t required to ride to the right if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic — which means the legal speed limit, or less if traffic is moving slower than that. Or if the lane is too narrow to safely share, which is defined as a safe distance from the curb, plus the width of the bike and any motor vehicle, along with a three-foot passing distance.

By that standard, most right lanes in the LA area are substandard.

There is also nothing in California law that requires cyclists to ride single file. Not one word. Bike riders can travel two, three or more abreast, as long as they remain within a single lane, and that lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle. Doing so improves safety by making the riders more visible while forcing motorists to change lanes to pass.

And the law requiring slower traffic to pull over to allow faster traffic to pass only applies when there are five or more vehicles stuck behind and unable to go around. Which means it doesn’t apply on any road with two or more lanes in the same direction, where a driver could simply change lanes to pass.

Got it?

Thanks to LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Let’s catch up on some of the upcoming events.

Helen’s Cycles and ThinkCure! are holding a training ride tomorrow for The Life Ride; the two day event will roll in March to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

Also on Saturday, the Eastside Bike Club is teaming with Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia and the Monrovia Cyclists Against Diabetes to ride down to the Tour de Cure Kickoff at the Reef in Long Beach.

Pasadena Complete Streets holds their monthly meeting on Monday, February 2nd at Day One, across from Pasadena City Hall.

Speaking of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 3rd at Hollywood City Hall; BAC meetings are always open to the public.

Helen’s is also hosting a 2015 Cannondale demo and group ride on Saturday, February 7th on Mulholland Drive; another will be held in Westwood, with a ride up world famous Nichols Canyon on the following day, Sunday the 8th.

Also on the 8th, Stan’s Bike Shop is the kickoff point for a fun ride celebrating the birthday of GoBici president Jorge Rodriguez. But aren’t most bike rides fun?

The Eastside Bike Club brings back their Friendship Love Ride on Saturday, February 14th.

Streetsblog is celebrating the seventh anniversary of LA’s most influential transportation website and champion of livable streets on Saturday, February 21st.

The Sakura Ride will be held at Lake Balboa on March 14th to honor the fourth anniversary of the disastrous March, 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

And LA’s favorite fundraising ride, the annual LA River Ride, is set for Sunday, June 28th to benefit the LACBC.

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A few other quick notes:

We’ll soon find out if it’s really true that you should use a car if you want to get away with murder. Notorious — as the LA Times calls him — rap mogul Suge Knight is charged with deliberately running down two men with his truck following an argument on a movie set, killing one.

An LA cyclist who lost his leg in a collision with a big rig truck is awarded a whopping $33.8 million settlement.

KPCC is once again auctioning off a chance to ride with political reporter and triathlete Sharon McNary, with your choice of beach cruise or coastal bike tour. I had a chance to join in on last year’s beach cruise until my diabetes knocked me on my ass, dammit.

Two cyclists came to the aid of an unconscious woman being raped on the campus of Stanford University; the riders caught the suspect, a member of the university swim team, as he tried to run away. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Portland officials use magnetic sweepers to pick up the tacks someone is spilling on a popular bike route.

In an extreme case of driveway rage, a Nevada man boils over when his neighbor’s son uses his driveway as a turning point for the kid’s bike. And shoves his pistol down the neighbor’s throat to make his point.

Maybe the cop can’t read. A New York cyclist fights a ticket he got for riding on a bike path; the officer wrote him up for disobeying a sign — right next to one saying bikes were allowed there.

A Florida man fights a ticket for riding in the traffic lane, and wins.

Finally, even elected officials can’t catch a break when they ride, as a Toronto city councillor — yes, that’s how they spell it up there — sees the case against the driver who hit her dismissed because the police forgot to give the driver a ticket.

 

Morning Links: Making up the law on PCH, Olin ghost bike goes missing, and Canyon Lake cyclist critically injured

Once again, a sheriff’s deputy is caught on video making up traffic law on PCH.

For anyone unclear on the concept — law enforcement included — bike riders are allowed to ride in the traffic lane under California law, and allowed to take the full lane if it’s not wide enough to safely share with a motor vehicle.

And there is nothing in state law banning cyclists from riding two or more abreast as long as they stay in a single, non-sharable lane on a multi-lane roadway.

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Someone has taken the ghost bike for fallen cyclist and Napster CEO Milt Olin, despite efforts of the City of Calabasas to maintain it. And still no word about the results of the investigation into Olin’s death or whether the sheriff’s deputy who killed him will face charges.

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More bad news from the Inland Empire, as a 15-year old Canyon Lake cyclist suffers critical injuries after broadsiding an SUV at the base of a steep descent. The impact was hard enough that the vehicle’s airbags deployed.

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Local

Some of DTLA’s larger new buildings feature more bike than car parking.

New LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds says it’s time to slow LA traffic to a more human scale, and may bring big changes to the city.

Meanwhile, LADOT has completed 50 miles of road diets in the last 15 years, and has finally budgeted for a citywide network of bicycle wayfinding signs.

Discovering the Ballona Creek bike path.

Sounds like fun. Metro and CICLE sponsor a Downtown LA Film History Ride on July 19th; maybe they’ll visit the Spring Street green lane gutted at the request of Hollywood filmmakers.

 

State

Newport Beach unveils the city’s draft bicycle plan, which will be under discussion when the Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee meets on Monday.

Nice. San Clemente approves a two-way bike path along the coast highway, as well as bike lanes for riders who want to remain on the roadway.

Seriously? San Diego is the only California city named to USA Today’s list of the 10 best cities for bicycling. No mention of Long Beach, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Davis, Palo Alto or any other CA towns.

 

National

Your bike is finally welcome on Amtrak.

Fading bike lanes send a message of disrespect from motorists.

A bike safety educator takes issue with the Bike League’s recent report showing 40% of bicycling fatalities over a 12-month period involved hit-from-behind collisions; thanks to Karen Karabell for the heads-up.

The feds are investigating a sabotaged Aspen CO bike trail after someone hid nail-studded boards on the path. Except it’s the Bureau of Land Management doing the investigating, not the FBI.

Life is cheap in Colorado, as a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist from my hometown gets four years probation and one year of work release.

A new deal could save New York’s Citi Bike bike share program.

 

International

How can you tell when police investigations are biased against bike riders? When they conclude cyclists are at fault in over three-quarters of all bike collisions.

The key to encouraging alternative transportation is to make private cars the least efficient mode of transport.

Maybe wheel-suckers don’t suck after all. Drafting cuts wind resistance up to 49%, while reducing drag for the lead rider by 5%. And it turns out shaving your legs really does make you faster.

A UK man is riding across Africa following the death of his parents from cancer.

Bicycling is booming in Bangkok, even if it puts bike riders in the danger zone.

 

Finally…

An LA cop watches as a red light-running driver threatens a pedestrian, then blames the walker for blocking the road. And no matter how mad you may be, your bike deserves better than to be thrown onto the hood of a driver’s car; maybe they can charge him with bicycle cruelty.

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Just a quick reminder. Bikes are usually the most efficient way to get in and out of your local fireworks display. Just ride with extra care, because drivers will be focused on finding that elusive parking space or beating the crowd home instead of looking for you.

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