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Thread: Protected Bike Lane on Quincy btwn 9th and Wilson

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    At least that's the intent that I perceive.
    I agree this is the intent. But the white sign color indicates that the information is regulatory, per MUTCD.

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    It IS regulatory. What may be confusing people is the use of pictures as short hands for the law.

    Does anyone think that the presence of a bike symbol, but no scooter symbol, with the pointer to the bike lane means scooters are banned from those lanes? Clearly they are not.

    The symbols mean - the lane on the right is a "bike lane". It is open to all vehicles eligible to use bike lanes under Virginia Law and local codes - which means human powered bikes, ebikes, scooters - but NOT cars, motorcycles, etc.. The lane on the left is a general travel lane - it is open to all vehicles eligible to use general travel lanes under Va law and local codes - cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bikes, ebikes, escooters, etc.

    It not practical or necessary to have a symbol for each type of vehicle. A "bikes may use full lane sign" sign can be added if there is an actual problem with harassment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    I think (hope?) we all agree that Arlington cannot legally prohibit bicyclists from taking the lane on Quincy. However, that is precisely the message communicated by this sign. If you interpret this sign as an indication that motorists are forbidden to use the bike lane, then by symmetry the sign also indicates that bicyclists are forbidden to use the general lane.

    Many cyclists will not want to use the separated facility. Signage like this could encourage harassment from aggressive or uninformed drivers, possibly including police. If such a sign is needed to keep motorists out of the bike lane, then the left side should be depicted for cars and bikes, with the right side for bikes only. Also it would be helpful to paint sharrows in the general travel lane to emphasize that message.
    I think the law is unclear in VA if you would be allowed to use the regular travel lane for traveling. Bikes are supposed to stay to the right under VA law, unless impractical. To me, that means by law you probably have to use the bike lane, unless there was some issue that makes it impractical - e.g. turning left at some location along Quincy, the bike lane was blocked or flooded, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    It IS regulatory. What may be confusing people is the use of pictures as short hands for the law.
    That's why they're supposed to use standard signs rather than making shit up as they go along.

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  7. #36
    dasgeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Does anyone think that the presence of a bike symbol, but no scooter symbol, with the pointer to the bike lane means scooters are banned from those lanes? Clearly they are not.

    The symbols mean - the lane on the right is a "bike lane". It is open to all vehicles eligible to use bike lanes under Virginia Law and local codes - which means human powered bikes, ebikes, scooters - but NOT cars, motorcycles, etc.. The lane on the left is a general travel lane - it is open to all vehicles eligible to use general travel lanes under Va law and local codes - cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bikes, ebikes, escooters, etc.
    So, fun fact, the Arlington County Ordinances relevant to bike lanes are 14.2-65 & 65.1. I'll leave it to you all to read it and form an opinion as to whether scooters are allowed in bike lanes.

    At the BAC meeting tonight, we'll be talking about where ebikes and escooters should ride and whether there are sections of Arlington Code that should be amended...

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    So, fun fact, the Arlington County Ordinances relevant to bike lanes are 14.2-65 & 65.1. I'll leave it to you all to read it and form an opinion as to whether scooters are allowed in bike lanes.

    At the BAC meeting tonight, we'll be talking about where ebikes and escooters should ride and whether there are sections of Arlington Code that should be amended...
    14.2-65.1 seems like it could be problematic. Unless it is continually updated (it's now 4 years old), someone driving a car on a bike lane that is not on the list might make the claim that they were not operating illegally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    14.2-65.1 seems like it could be problematic. Unless it is continually updated (it's now 4 years old), someone driving a car on a bike lane that is not on the list might make the claim that they were not operating illegally.
    That list also contains some errors/omissions regarding bike lanes that definitely existed in 2014.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    I think the law is unclear in VA if you would be allowed to use the regular travel lane for traveling. Bikes are supposed to stay to the right under VA law, unless impractical. To me, that means by law you probably have to use the bike lane, unless there was some issue that makes it impractical - e.g. turning left at some location along Quincy, the bike lane was blocked or flooded, etc.
    "Safely practicable" is the language used in 46.2-905. A non-exhaustive list of exceptions is provided, indicating many examples of situations that permit riding further left than is necessary merely to be safely practicable. Depending on design and scene conditions, PBL facilities are often safely practicable only for low-speed cycling (~10MPH).

    Would state law forbid a cyclist from riding 20MPH (i.e. less than the normal speed of traffic) in the general travel lane due to the presence of a PBL that is only safe at half that speed? Has a court ever weighed in on this?

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  12. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    "Safely practicable" is the language used in 46.2-905. A non-exhaustive list of exceptions is provided, indicating many examples of situations that permit riding further left than is necessary merely to be safely practicable. Depending on design and scene conditions, PBL facilities are often safely practicable only for low-speed cycling (~10MPH).

    Would state law forbid a cyclist from riding 20MPH (i.e. less than the normal speed of traffic) in the general travel lane due to the presence of a PBL that is only safe at half that speed? Has a court ever weighed in on this?
    1. Until quite recently there were no PBLs in Virginia
    2. I doubt any police force in any city or county in Virginia WITH a PBL would cite a cyclist for riding in the general travel lane near a PBL - probably even a slow cyclist. So it would only come to court in a civil case, I guess. If a driver hit a cyclist taking the lane adjacent to a PBL and their attorney chose to invoke 46.2
    3. I don't know if we have even had any collisions in that kind of location in those kinds of circumstances.

    edit - the first protected bike lanes in Arlington were Hayes and Eads Streets in 2014. Those were certainly the first in NoVa. The first in Richmond was in 2018, so I guess there were none before 2014. And the total "lane mile - years" of PBLs in Virginia is pretty small.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 06-03-2019 at 01:17 PM.

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