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Thread: Upcoming Micromobility Ordinance will also regulate e-bikes

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    ACPD still harasses cyclists with rules that are unclear (recently a woman was stopped for not hugging the curb on Marshall Drive, where there's a grate on the curb and a blind hill) and when asked, the police chief defended the officer), so these aren't meaningless issues.
    Are you referring to Marshall Drive eastbound from Fort Myer downhill towards 110 (where there is a grate at the bottom of the dip before a short rise)? That lane is far too narrow (11 feet maybe?) to share with a motor vehicle, and any cyclist should claim the whole lane. I hope we have weighed in with ACPD?

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    Are you referring to Marshall Drive eastbound from Fort Myer downhill towards 110 (where there is a grate at the bottom of the dip before a short rise)? That lane is far too narrow (11 feet maybe?) to share with a motor vehicle, and any cyclist should claim the whole lane. I hope we have weighed in with ACPD?
    Yep, there. Chief Farr claims the lane is 12 feet wide, and reasons that a bike is 3', an average car 6', so there's room for a car to pass with a 3' buffer if a bike is as far right as possible. He claims that it is better for the bike to be right so that a car will pass on the right side of the double yellow, because there is a blind hill. I disagree.

    It has yet to be brought up... I've been mulling possibilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Yep, there. Chief Farr claims the lane is 12 feet wide, and reasons that a bike is 3', an average car 6', so there's room for a car to pass with a 3' buffer if a bike is as far right as possible, and the car's tires are on the right hand line of the double yellow.
    FTF the Chief

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  6. #24
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    Chief Farr should ride a bike up that hill and let me pass him in my SUV. Bet I could change his mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Yep, there. Chief Farr claims the lane is 12 feet wide, and reasons that a bike is 3', an average car 6', so there's room for a car to pass with a 3' buffer if a bike is as far right as possible. He claims that it is better for the bike to be right so that a car will pass on the right side of the double yellow, because there is a blind hill. I disagree.

    It has yet to be brought up... I've been mulling possibilities.
    An average car may be six feet, but trucks, SUVs, and buses are wider. Riding to the right encourages dangerous passes by larger vehicles. And it also encourages dangerous passes even by smaller vehicles that will certainly not be driven right on the yellow line due to fears of a head-on collision. Not to mention the obvious dangers of the curb and grate.

    The rule of thumb that I recall learning for deciding whether a lane should be taken or whether it can be safely shared side-by-side is 14 feet. ShareVARoads.org's guidelines, endorsed by VDOT, stipulate that a cyclist should take the lane whenever the lane is "of ordinary width (10-12 feet)" (see "Take the Lane", page 10). I'm not aware of any relevant court ruling though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    The rule of thumb that I recall learning for deciding whether a lane should be taken or whether it can be safely shared side-by-side is 14 feet. ShareVARoads.org's guidelines, endorsed by VDOT, stipulate that a cyclist should take the lane whenever the lane is "of ordinary width (10-12 feet)" (see "Take the Lane", page 10). I'm not aware of any relevant court ruling though.
    Thanks for finding this. I note the Oxford comma in that sentence is helpful to our cause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    I see you point, but I guess I'd say there are rules, and then there are norms. To me, the value in a speed limit sign is the norm that it communicates -- that it isn't OK to go as fast as you please without concern for more vulnerable trail users. There's an implied threat of enforcement that is yes, largely toothless. I'm open to alternative signage that communicates the need for courteous behavior in a simple, brief way. We could just put up more "Hey, be a PAL" signs and hope that works.
    The problem is, that isn't what the sign communicates. It says that you're perfectly ok going 15MPH (+ the 10MPH courtesy window) which is flat out dangerous on a crowded trail. If the intent is to encourage safe trail use, then the implementation should align with that goal--not slap on a speed limit so that bikes have to "follow the same rules as cars" even though the concerns and vehicles are more different than the same. (A speed limit sign for a car is greatly restrictive--a 20MPH bike speed limit would be like a 120MPH car speed limit, and how many of those do you see in the area?) I would love to see ideas for legislating safe behavior (rather than arbitrary and capricous restrictions that don't really enhance safety) but it seems that it's really hard to do so (and the concern dasgeh raised about selective/harassing enforcement is huge when it comes to things that boil down to using good judgment).

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Thanks for finding this. I note the Oxford comma in that sentence is helpful to our cause.
    This is on page 18 of the same document:
    How far to the right?
    Bicyclists should not hug the curb or road edge since this position makes bicyclists less visible to motorists, promotes unsafe motorist passing, and exposes bicyclists to various hazards. While bicyclist are required to stay “as far right as safely practicable,” it is clearly not practicable to share travel lanes less than 14 feed wide with autos. Bicyclists should position themselves to maximize visibility and vantage and to discourage motorists from turning right into them. Bicyclists may use the shoulders or take the lane.

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  14. #29
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    For those who are unfamiliar, here is the road in question. There is no frickin' way any experienced person riding a bicycle would hug the curb to allow cars to pass on this blind rise. As both an experienced rider and a League Certified Instructor, I would advise anybody to take the middle of this lane for their own safety. Even now that I have been informed one could be issued a ticket, I would still advise that. Anything less is putting themselves in potential danger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    This is on page 18 of the same document:
    How far to the right?
    Bicyclists should not hug the curb or road edge since this position makes bicyclists less visible to motorists, promotes unsafe motorist passing, and exposes bicyclists to various hazards. While bicyclist are required to stay “as far right as safely practicable,” it is clearly not practicable to share travel lanes less than 14 feed wide with autos. Bicyclists should position themselves to maximize visibility and vantage and to discourage motorists from turning right into them. Bicyclists may use the shoulders or take the lane.
    Nice find.

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