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Thread: Question about law concerning two cyclists riding abreast

  1. #21
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    I just used a tape measure to measure off 14 feet. I don't think I've ever seen a lane that wide.

    I then did a google search on lane width and found the following in Wikipedia: "In the United States, the Interstate Highway standards for the Interstate Highway System use a 12 ft (3.7 m) standard lane width, while narrower lanes are used on lower classification roads." So if lanes less that 14 feet are considered to be substandard width, one can always take the lane.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I just used a tape measure to measure off 14 feet. I don't think I've ever seen a lane that wide.

    I then did a google search on lane width and found the following in Wikipedia: "In the United States, the Interstate Highway standards for the Interstate Highway System use a 12 ft (3.7 m) standard lane width, while narrower lanes are used on lower classification roads." So if lanes less that 14 feet are considered to be substandard width, one can always take the lane.

    One reason you rarely see 14 feet lanes anymore is that lanes that wide encourage speeding. Local govts like to put in " low hanging fruit" painted bike lanes instead. Doesnt remove a travel lane, doesn't remove parking, makes the neighbors happy, and they can say "bike network " though you're riding in the same place you'd be required to be anyway.

    Nonetheless you can still occasionally find a really wide lane. A short section of Ford going south from North Hampton is that wide, and I dutifully ride to the right on it, as much as the potholes allow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Basically you can take a lane when it less than 14 feet.
    Wait, slow down - where does 14 feet come from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    One reason you rarely see 14 feet lanes anymore is that lanes that wide encourage speeding.
    Yes; 15 or 20 years ago it was DOT trendy to put in these superwide lanes as a "bike-friendly facility". Then experience showed that people sped even more than normal in them and cyclists generally hated them. It took a while, but I think they're no longer trendy anywhere in the region. But I can certainly think of examples of roads built with a super-size right lane "for bikes".

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Wait, slow down - where does 14 feet come from?
    Maximum width of a non oversized vehicle is 8.5 feet, including mirrors. https://vacode.org/46.2-1105/

    IIUC that is also the standard width of a parking lane.

    3 feet to pass safely. about 2 to 3 feet width for a bike and rider?

    I guess?

  6. #26
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    Coincidentally, Cyliq cameras sent a promotional email this weekend that linked to a Bike Law blog post about the successful prosecution of a driver in Maryland that failed to give folks 3 feet when passing (from the video it's pretty clearly a punish pass, and the summary says the sideview mirror clipped one of the riders):

    https://www.bikelaw.com/2021/04/cycliq-video/

    https://upride.cc/incident/aggressiv...r-hit-and-run/

    Related to the current thread, the incident occurred on October 3, 2020, two days after an amendment to Maryland law went into effect permitting drivers to cross the double yellow to safely pass a bicyclist with all the usual caveats of safe passing – clear sight line, no oncoming traffic, adequate time, etc.

  7. #27
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    So in the last couple of days I have made more of a point of noticing double yellow lines. Plenty of them on streets in Arlington and Alexandria that are straight with fairly gentle grades, and generally good visibility. Localities just paint them where they expect significant volumes I guess. I was passed by cars going across the yellow several times on Army Navy Driver, for example. I believe I was right to take the lane, and it all happened without incident.

  8. #28
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    I've also been looking for double yellow lines. My most common ride takes up Kemp Mill from Randolph then over to Sligo and University and then all the way down Sligo to New Hampshire. (this used to be part of my commuting route, and is now my route for a quick ride for exercise). There is a double line the entire stretch of Kemp Mill and through the entire stretch of Sligo. On some parts, visibility is quite good and cars can safely pass. On other sections, visibility is poor and cars cannot safely pass. The double yellow line is essentially meaningless and is ignored by motorists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    The double yellow line is essentially meaningless and is ignored by motorists.
    I can assure you that this is not the only law being ignored by motorists.

    More bicycle laws are NOT going to make things safer; they simply add to confusion and ignorance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaCynic View Post
    I can assure you that this is not the only law being ignored by motorists.

    More bicycle laws are NOT going to make things safer; they simply add to confusion and ignorance.
    In the case I'm referring to, the double yellow line should be ignored because it unfortunately provides no useful information. Motorists and cyclists simply need to use good judgment. I wonder what is the point of putting down meaningless road markers.

    I agree with your point that laws are not going to make things safer. When I'm on the road, my decisions are based on what I believe is safe, not on what the law requires. But it still wouldn't hurt if laws were written to be as clear and sensible as possible. Unclear laws citing cyclists as impediments strike me as simply bad laws. The three foot passing law is a good one: it is clear and to the point. Motorists do not know exactly what three feet is, but the law does convey the idea that they cannot pass to close to a cyclist. (Of course, most motorists don't even know this rule. The good drivers simply understand that they should have a safety margin when passing.)

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