Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fwd: Bike Lane at Local ES

So, I complained to the county, a school principal, and the local police about cars parking in a bike lane.  Here's the response.  Interesting to note that essentially a car driver can do what he wants in a "bike preferred" lane and be protected in the eyes of the local police.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Bike Lane at Local ES


I will answer your questions in the order that you asked them

Your first question was whether or not vehicles can drive and or sit attended in a bicycle lane, and the answer to that is yes, under some circumstances.  As it is clearly defined in 46.2-100 bicycles have preferential use not dedicated use, so in a situation such as this, yes a vehicle can absolutely stop in the bicycle lane.  Just as if a vehicle was to break down in the right thru lane, and be unmovable without the use of a tow truck, vehicle could most certainly pass on the right utilizing the bicycle lane. As to your comment that 46.2-905 "does not refer to the bicycle lane" you are correct, but that is irrelevant, because 46.2-905 refers to all operations of a bicycle, so it most certainly does apply.

Now your second question of would it be acceptable for the vehicles to sit in one of the other two lanes.  The short answer is yes if there were no bicycle lane that would be acceptable.  Now let me explain this a little more in depth.  Any vehicle that is stopped waiting to turn right onto another street or into a location, must always pull as far to the right of the roadway as possible.  This happens at dozens of schools across the county every day.

Now to summarize this situation, bicycle lanes are, as clearly defined in 46.2-100, for the preferential use of bicycles, not the dedicated use of them.  Furthermore, as it is clearly stated in 46.2-905 any bicycle must stay to the right of the roadway except, among a long list of other reason, you are having to pass stopped or parked cars.

There is no violation by these vehicles that are stopping and waiting to turn into the Local ES to pick up or drop off their kids.  They are doing not only the right thing, but the safest thing too.  I would strongly recommend that as you approach these vehicles, you cautiously move to the right most portion of the roadway that is available for your travels, and proceed with caution.  That is what the law requires you to do.

Local Police


From: Me
Sent: Thu 6/10/2010 5:43 AM

So, you are saying that cars can drive and or sit attended in a bicycle lane?  46.2-905 does not refer to the bicycle lane.

Would it be acceptable for the cars to sit attended in one of the other 2 lanes?  I think that would not be tolerated.  By saying that this is not enforceable, that basically defeats the purpose of the bicycle lane and contradicts the signs on Beulah Road that state that lane is for bicycles only.

On Jun 9, 2010, at 9:13 PM, Local Police wrote:

       The code states Under 46.2-100 "Definitions":
       "Bicycle Lane" means that portion of the roadway designated by signs and/or pavement markings for the preferential use of bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds.

       Furthermore, in 46.2-905, it clearly states that it is the bicyclists responsibility to safely go around parked or slow moving vehicles (see #3 below)
       46.2-905. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds on roadways and bicycle paths.

       Any person operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances:

       1. When overtaking and passing another 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, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge;

       4. When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and

       5. When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.

       For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane too narrow for a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.

       Persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or electric power-assisted bicycles on a highway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, shall move into a single file formation as quickly as is practicable when being overtaken from the rear by a faster moving vehicle, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride in a single lane.

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Department of Conservation and Recreation shall permit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any bicycle path or trail designated by the Department for such

       I would say not enforceable , unless those cars were unattended and therefore truely "parked" on the roadway which I have never seen at any of the schools Kiss and Ride lines

      Local Police Department

No comments: