Below are comments from the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) on the RRTAC July 19 agenda items relating to the Santa Ana River Trail (SART):
1. First and foremost, we applaud the county’s efforts in reaching out to and working with the cycling community to come up with a SART detour well in advance of the widening of the 91 freeway. Furthermore, we appreciate the county’s commitment to come with a long term solution that will most likely be more attractive than the original concept of a bikeway adjacent to the freeway.
2. When cyclist access to State Route 91 was severed due to conversion to a freeway in the 1970s, the section of the SART between Gypsum Canyon and Green River was constructed to provide an alternate transportational route for cyclists in accordance with Streets and Highways Code Section 888. Read more…
AB1581, which became law in 2008, requires all new or replaced traffic signals to respond to the presence of bicyclists. In addition, a requirement to develop signal timing guidance was also a part of AB1581. Both are incorporated in Policy Directive 09-06 from Caltrans.
The video clip below is of a cyclist making a left turn from a residential collector onto a six lane arterial. Although it’s a bit difficult to see in the video due to the wide angle lens, the cyclist’s position when the light turns green for traffic on the arterial is in the middle of the number two lane. The cyclist reaches the bike lane on the other side at about 12 seconds after receiving the green.
California law requires motorists to merge into a bike lane before turning right. This is consistent with destination positioning traffic principles (right turning traffic turns from the rightmost part of the roadway) and thereby minimizes the chance of a “right hook” crash, where a right turning motorist turns across the path of a cyclist proceeding straight.
A few years ago, Oregon was dealing with conflicting laws – one that required motorists to make right turns from the edge of the roadway, and yet another required them to stay out of bike lanes. The police proposed a California-style law which would require motorists to merge into the bike lane before turning. That did not gain traction, and so the net result in Oregon is that motorists are required to turn across bike lanes when turning right. http://bikeportland.org/2006/11/29/police-propose-bike-lane-law-change/
As the Mercury News article illustrates, there is often confusion among motorists and cyclists about the California law regarding motorist right turns and bike lanes. In my (Brian’s) view, part of the confusion is that motorists are being asked to occupy two lanes at once (the bike lane and part of the travel lane) – which runs counter to the concept we’ve all learned about only being in one lane at a time. But what other solution is there when bike lanes are striped to the right of lanes where motorists may turn right? Since there seems to be little desire to drop the bike lane stripe before intersections (even though the design standards allow it), the California law appears to be the best way to address the potential conflicts.
In the next week or so, we’re going to be moving the URL for the blog. Unfortunately, that will change the URL for the RSS feed. So please update your RSS reader to go here so you don’t get dropped in the transition. Sorry to all for the inconvenience!
This article was in the outdoor section of yesterday’s Orange County register. It’s an article describing how to be safe while running at night – but did the author really have to disparage bicycling at night? Here’s a video showing it can be done safely:
On Friday, October 31, at approximately 3:30 PM, I was bicycling northbound on [street name removed]. Approaching the railroad tracks, the bike lane disappears and the outside lane narrows to a width that is unsafe to share side by side with a motor vehicle. I checked for traffic to the rear and then merged to the center of the outside lane. This is a defensive bicycling maneuver (supported by traffic law) to discourage motorists from passing too close within a narrow lane. After my merge, I noticed in my mirror that one of your drivers was approaching from behind in the outside lane. He saw me, safely changed lanes well in advance, and left plenty of passing clearance. However, the driver honked his horn as he passed in apparent ignorance or disapproval of my right to use the road. Read more…
CABO was informed that a cyclist was cited for violating CVC 21202. He felt that he was unfairly cited, fought the citation in traffic court and lost. We can’t reveal specifics of the case because the cyclist is currently preparing an appeal.
21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
If the cyclist’s appeal is successful, justification is needed in order to get the decision published. We need examples where other cyclists may have been unfairly cited – or even if stopped, delayed or harassed in any way by a law enforcement officer – for allegedly violating CVC 21202. Please post here and/or contact us at cabobike -at- cabobike -dot- org as appropriate.
The California MUTCD prohibits raised barriers or raised pavement markers between travel lanes and bike lanes. This is to avoid trapping cyclists when they need to leave the bike lane to make left turns, to pass another cyclist, to avoid debris, or to avoid conflicts with turning traffic.
It is illegal to cross a gore striped area two feet or wider. Therefore, the gore area has the same effect as a physical barrier between the travel lanes and bike lanes.
It is CABO’s position that gore separated bike lanes violate the intent of the provision prohibiting barriers between travel lanes and bike lanes. However, for clarity, CABO requested that the appropriate wording be added to specifically prohibit gore separated bike lanes.