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Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 11:37 PM UTC
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So what would it look like if we had to obey both cycling laws and slow moving vehicle laws?

Bike LawsIntro:

So in my conversations with SHA they stated something along the lines "You don't get to pick and choose what traffic laws you have to obey. So slow moving vehicle laws apply to cyclists." But I've always looked at cycling laws as a of clarification of slow moving vehicle law for cyclists. Slow moving vehicle law has "right-hand lane" or "as close as practicable to the right" and cycling laws basically have the same thing but with better explanations when one or the other can be applied. Not to mention the abundance of material that explains how bicycling law should be applied for safety. The from out of nowhere SHA pulls out the so called "requirement" that cyclists must obey slow moving threatens to mess that all up.

So why bring up up slow moving vehicle law at all? Is it just another excuse to say something close to "cyclists need to stay out of the way of cars"? How about SHA needs to build us nice cycling facilities so we could be out of the way of cars? For me this is just a victim blaming thing. Public roads are public space and need to be shared by the public. And everyone needs to be clear on the rules and MDOT has a habit of trying to mess up those rules.

When I was a kid I rode to the right and no big deal, motorists were respectful of my presence. When I got back on the bike in 2000 right hooks and close passing galore. So I found out about "taking the lane" and the problem virtually went away. Again overly stressing cyclist must ride far right is another victim blaming thing. If motorists were polite, courteous and thoughtful to cyclists there may have never been the need to make "taking the lane" lawful for cyclists.

Taking the lane is no more rude than motorists who follow other motorists at a safe 2 second distance. Sure everyone tailgates nowadays and when I drive with a safe following distance I upset drivers behind me but the extra buffer space has saved me (and those following me) from a crash on more than one occasion. Likewise "taking the lane has helped me avoid being in an crash multiple times.

Promoting cyclists must ride right under the unspoken pretence that traffic moves faster that way would be like promoting tailgating to help traffic move faster. Not only is there no net improvement in the flow of traffic more crashes result and crashes are a major source of delays, just listen to the radio during rush hour. (BTW I never hear about safety campaigns or enforcement efforts to crack down on tailgating so in a way it is promoted.)



So what would guidance look like if we had to obey slow moving vehicle law?
So in trying to follow SHA's logic that we can't pick and choose what laws we need to obey I have to start off with choosing to ignoring the following to get close to SHA's statements.
What SHA chooses to ignore:
  • § 21-1202.1 which I take to mean if the bicycle subtitle covers bicycles going slower than the speed limit so therefore other sections in traffic law that cover going slower than the speed limit don't apply.
  • The slow moving vehicle law that says: shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or...

So everyone grab their speedometers because they will be necessary to follow these set of rules and let's see what kind of farce SHA has in store for us.

Here is a chart that shows what rules are applicable based on your speed in relation to the speed limit.

image

Slow Moving Vehicle LawBicycling LawRegular Vehicle Law
How far rightas close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway (sans "and safe")as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe (when applicable)n/a
When required to ride far rightAlwaysOnly in a lane that is wide enough to share (13'-14' or greater), that is not a right turn only lane, on a two way street and the cyclist is not preparing to turn left or the cyclists is avoiding hazards. (Not many streets fit this criteria.)n/a
Shoulder useMandatory regardless of conditionOptional unless speed limit is greater than 50 MPH then shoulder use is requiredDiscouraged
Special equipment a slow moving vehicle emblem unless you average 25 MPH or better*n/an/a
When making a left turnFrom the right side onlyMay use the left side for traffic in that directionMust use the left side for traffic in that direction
One way streetStay on the rightMay use the left side n/a
Avoiding pedestrians or road hazardsNot clearMay move left to avoidWhatever is deemed appropriate to avoid.
The right lane is a right turn only laneStay on the rightMay ride further leftAvoid (unless turning)
Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the laneStay on the rightMay use the full laneUse the full lane
* If your average is 12 mph for example and you are traveling on 25 mph roads you never become a slow moving vehicle so no a slow moving vehicle emblem is required.
Have you ever seen such a complicated mess before?
As I said a complete and utter farce and only designed to confuse everyone on the road so cyclists will be continued to be harassed. Of course none of this would be asserted if you understand slow moving vehicle law as saying shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic.
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Drivers please slow down 5 MPH makes a big difference! [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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How to become the all powerful bike lobey

PoliticsSend me picture of you and whoever you support that's running for an office as long as they are a cyclist or are aware that you are a cyclist then they deserve some time on this site. So I'll start this off with me and Brian Frosh, two cyclists! image
Brian Frosh for attorney general
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Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change

Health & Environment[B' Spokes: We need to promote more sustainable activities.... like bicycling. Meanwhile this is interesting.]


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/science/earth/threat-to-bottom-line-spurs-action-on-climate.html?smid=fb-share
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Race car drivers urge motorists to be kind to cyclists

Biking ElsewhereBy Jim Haug, The Daytona Beach Journal

...
It might be not so surprising considering their love for speed, but many race car drivers also happen to be enthusiastic cyclists.

During a press conference by sponsored by Racers Who Ride, race car drivers urged motorists to give cyclists room on the road and reminded cyclists to respect the rules of the road.

Race car drivers “love going fast. It’s our profession, but there’s a time and place for it. We need to be courteous to one and another. We’re both allowed on the street together. At the end of the day, we’re all humans. It’s a human in the car. It’s a human on the bike. You need to respect one another and give each other room,” said Brad Jaeger, a Continental Tire Series driver who will be competing at the Speedway on Friday.
,,,

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140122/NEWS/140129842?tc=ar#gsc.tab=0
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We need more people like this!

Biking Elsewhere image
Imgur
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Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Stopping gentrification has been used as a point to stop bike lanes.]
****************************************************************************************************
Via NPR

"To my surprise," Freeman says, "it seemed to suggest that people in neighborhoods classified as gentrifying were moving less frequently."

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/22/264528139/long-a-dirty-word-gentrification-may-be-losing-its-stigma
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The American Cities With the Most Growth in Car-Free Households

Biking in Baltimoreby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

car-free_households

Source data: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Have we reached peak car in America? Research from the University of Michigan suggests the answer is “yes.”

...

http://dc.streetsblog.org/2014/01/21/the-american-cities-with-the-most-growth-in-car-free-households/
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Bike Maryland 2014 Legislative Agenda and More

Bike Maryland updates

Strengthen the Existing 3 Foot Passing Law - House Bill 241

Bill Entitled: Vehicle Laws - Overtaking and Passing Bicycles, an EPAMD, or a Motor Scooter.

House Bill 241 strengthens the existing 3 foot passing law by requiring drivers to allow 3 feet to pass a bicyclist on every road and authorizing a driver of a vehicle to drive across the left–side of a roadway in a no–passing zone, if it is safe to do so, to give a bicyclist a minimum of 3 feet of passing distance. We thank Delegate Lafferty for sponsoring this important legislation. Please contact Delegate Lafferty and thank him for supporting pro-bicycle legislation. 

View bill here.

Hearing in the House Environmental Matters Committee Conference Hall, Annapolis on February 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM.

How you can help pass this bill into law:

  1. Contact Carol Silldorff if you are available to testify in Annapolis on February 4, 2014 and have experienced being passed by a motorist with less than 3 feet of passing space where the motorist could have safely crossed the double yellow line to give you the required 3 feet of passing space but did not do so.
  2. Contact Carol Silldorff if you are available to testify in Annapolis on February 4, 2014 if you have experienced 3 feet of passing space when a motorist safely crossed the double yellow line to give you the required 3 feet. 
  3. Bike Maryland will send you a Take Action Alert in a week or two asking that you contact members of the Environmental Matters Committee to request their support of this bill. Please take action when you receive this alert. 

...

This and more http://bikemd.org/page.php?id=672
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Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt. Streets Blog

...
“I think the most important thing is to look at the way the world is and where the world is going and to develop a plan,” Mulally said, according to the Financial Times. “We’re going to see more and more larger cities. Personal mobility is going to be of really ever-increasing importance to livable lifestyles in big cities.”

Mulally said Ford has been trying to adapt to changing consumer preferences since the Great Recession. Americans have been trading giant SUVs for smaller cars. Young people have been purchasing fewer cars altogether, a phenomenon Mulally said might be reversed by cheaper cars.

But he also said he wasn’t sure what role Ford would play in the future of transportation in big cities. According to the Financial Times, Mulally said that adding more cars in urban environments is “not going to work” and that he was interested in developments in “personal mobility” and “quality of life.” Then he seemed to indicate Ford is interested in getting into transit, car sharing, or other models that don’t align with private car ownership.
...

http://dc.streetsblog.org/2014/01/22/ford-ceo-more-cars-in-cities-not-going-to-work/
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