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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LA Launches “Every Lane is a Bike Lane … Bicyclists may need a full lane; Please share the road” campaign [The Source]


13-1362_otd_bike_traffic_safety_30sheet_jl_loLet’s face it. There are only so many bike lanes in our region and there remains many place where cyclists are faced a grim choice. They either must ride in a pebble-strewn parking lane/gutter where they have to avoid obstacles such as parked cars and garbage cans. Or they must ride in traffic lanes with vehicles that are faster than bikes and outweigh bikes by thousands of pounds.
With that in mind, here’s a news release Metro issued today on its new bike safety campaign which is more blunt than the “share the road” signs seen on many area streets. The point is this: cyclists are legally entitled to share most surface streets in California. And motorists are legally bound to pass them at a safe distance, although California law doesn’t specify an exact distance. 
Here is a good summary from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on cycling laws and guidelines:
Bicyclists:
 
  • Are entitled to share the road with motor vehicles.
  • Have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle and motorcycle drivers.
  • Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route.

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