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Thread: a stop sign, a bike lane with bike, a car wanting to turn right : what are the laws?

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    Default a stop sign, a bike lane with bike, a car wanting to turn right : what are the laws?

    A mention in the area's best bicycle commuting blog Tales of The Sharrows , posed a situation where legally I am ignorant (not hard): what are the laws (DC & otherwise) for both bike & car when the bike is in the bike lane traveling parallel to the car and they approach a stop sign where the driver wants to turn right: MUST the driver turn right from the rightmost position of the lane that means pulling into and over the bike lane? Or is the driver only supposed to be in the rightmost lane WITHOUT going over the bike lane?

    I am not really interested in either opinion on the question, or what a pragmatic cyclist will do; rather what are the laws regarding the driver ( and cyclist) ?

    thanks

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    I can't cite a law. But I see signs all the time that specify cars must yield to bikes in the bike lane when turning.

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    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I think the bike lane should be dashed at that point, denoting that the car should pull over to the right as far as possible before making the turn. Common decency dictates that the car should slow down and merge in behind the cyclist.

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    Thanks - but of course that phrase (" cars must yield to bikes in the bike lane when turning") doesn't distinguish between yielding to bikes going straight after stopping or yielding to bikes AS driver moves into bike lane to make right turn.

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    Take a look at this posting over in Greater Greater Washington. The car must merge into the bike lane when turning right.

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    Thanks DCAKen- exactly what I was looking for since David Alpert quotes the code. I thought that was the case but realized I was only guessing.

    from another Ken (aka "Schwinn Racer")

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    This seems to be the applicable Virginia laws: Summary (IANAL): The driver must move as far right as possible, even if this means crossing the bike lane. A cyclist (with or without a bike lane) is allowed to pass on the right of the car, so could be in the bike lane to the right of the car when the car crosses. The driver of the car is suppossed to yield to any traffic in the bike lane before changing lanes or turning. While "I never saw him, Officer", is not invalidated as a defense, the cyclist would have the law more on their side if they were in the x-walk (unsure if they have to dismount) but that will only help their heirs.

    Observation - I think that most drivers (including myself until I read the rules) would assume they stay out of the bike lane and cut across it when turning. Exception when there is a dedicated turn lane to the right of the bike lane. The bike lane on Dranesville Rd (Rt 228) between Herndon and Rt 7 is dashed approaching cross streets; cars are to cross the lane at those points to merge into the right turn lane. Signage (what hasn't been knocked down or stolen) indicates the merge points. I do not recall if the Lawyers Rd lane (Reston) is striped like this for right turns.

    Links & excerpts I think are applicable:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-846 1. Right turns: Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-803 "Except as otherwise provided by law, when crossing an intersection of highways or the intersection of a highway by a railroad right-of-way, the driver of a vehicle shall drive on the right half of the roadway unless it is obstructed or impassable...."
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-835 "Notwithstanding the provisions of 46.2-833, except where signs are placed prohibiting turns on steady red, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal, after coming to a full stop, may cautiously enter the intersection and make a right turn. Such turning traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic using the intersection. "
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-905 "4. When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right;" (this one is going to get me hurt or killed someday - commute includes an overpass with an exit-only lane)
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...+cod+46.2-907: "A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped may overtake and pass another vehicle on either the left or right side, staying in the same lane as the overtaken vehicle, or changing to a different lane, or riding off the roadway as necessary to pass with safety. A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped may overtake and pass another vehicle only under conditions that permit the movement to be made with safety.
    A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped shall not travel between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, except where one lane is a separate turn lane or a mandatory turn lane. "
    Last edited by KS1G; 03-09-2012 at 01:54 PM. Reason: added info on Rt 228 bike lane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinn Racer View Post
    Thanks DCAKen- exactly what I was looking for since David Alpert quotes the code. I thought that was the case but realized I was only guessing.

    from another Ken (aka "Schwinn Racer")
    No person shall stop, stand, or park a motor vehicle or trailer in any of the following places, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, in compliance with law, or at the direction of a police officer or traffic control device:
    (a) Within an intersection
    (g) In a bicycle lane; or
    http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/Cha...erNumber=18-21 (it's under 18-2105)
    The tricky aspect of this question is the word 'stop sign'. Otherwise it would clearly fall under the regulation requiring vehicles to move to the right. However, in the case of a stop sign, the vehicle is not moving right to avoid traffic per say. In fact, doing so may confuse vehicles at other sides of the stop sign (that's why you rarely see stop signs on four land roads). However, by placing a cycletrack/bike lane there, they have by default created the four lanes of traffic in which case further signage would be needed to indicate the right of way.

    Or, put short, the DC code is actually conflicting on this manner. You could argue it both ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    The tricky aspect of this question is the word 'stop sign'. Otherwise it would clearly fall under the regulation requiring vehicles to move to the right. However, in the case of a stop sign, the vehicle is not moving right to avoid traffic per say. In fact, doing so may confuse vehicles at other sides of the stop sign (that's why you rarely see stop signs on four land roads). However, by placing a cycletrack/bike lane there, they have by default created the four lanes of traffic in which case further signage would be needed to indicate the right of way.

    Or, put short, the DC code is actually conflicting on this manner. You could argue it both ways.
    I don't see a conflict. You're moving to the right to turn, in compliance with the law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I don't see a conflict. You're moving to the right to turn, in compliance with the law.
    By definition you will be stopping as well as overtaking the bicycle, in which case you throw 18.2202.09 in which discusses 'safely clear of the overtaken bicycle' the 3' rule and the previous discussed no stopping in a bicycle lane law. I think you get some legal ambiguity in that sense. The solution of the DC council is to specify the law in this regard the same way they do in 18.2202 noting if it's an actual bicycle lane, etc.

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