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Thread Box:
Bicyclist Bill of Rights!
Thread started by illuminateLA at 02.3.08 - 7:32 pm

Alex is calling it, we've got rights!

But if we don't claim them, we don't get them.

We need a Bicyclist Bill of Rights! (BBR)


reply


“Regardless of your mode of transportation, your freedom to move in the public arena is a civil rights issue, and whenever one user-group gains access at the expense of another user-group, it’s a civil rights violation – plain and simple.”



SoapBoxLA
02.3.08 - 7:36 pm

reply


i had a situation with the culver city pd during the Los Angelopes ride last night. the officers were trailing the group while telling us to 'move to the right'. i maintained my position on the road as they pulled up to my left, asked if i had heard them. i responded with an affirmative. i also attempted to briefly explain my rights according to the CVC and asked if they wanted to pull over so i could show them the faded and wrinkled Illuminate L.A. flyer that i hoped i still had in my bag.

the officer proceeded to read the flyer with the vehicle code aloud and affirm that i was in violation of each rule. i responded by repeating my rights to the road with consideration of the conditions in which in feel safest. he neither confirmed nor denied the CVC, but insisted that i was blocking traffic. he also threatened to ticket me.

neither of us were willing to concede as we were both stubborn and adamant about getting our points across. he continued his lecture by informing me that i did not have these rights. he then asked if i drove a car, and if so, how would i react to a group of cyclist 'impeding traffic'.

luckily, user1 and brassknuckle stuck around to witness my blundering conversation with the officer. user1 confirmed the vehicle code to the officer and told them that we should get out of here... and they let me go.

Question: why are so many riders so afraid of asserting themselves on the road? as soon as a cop shows up, everyone runs away with their tail between their legs. i hear many complaints, gripes, issues in these forums but when some of you folks are confronted with the reality of the situation, you run away like cowards. shame on you!



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 8:52 pm

reply


Personally, when I'm riding in a big group, having drunk more than a few beers with a basket full of alcohol behind my seat and knowledge that more than a few of the ridazz around me are carrying weed, it seems to me that discretion is the better part of valour. I've gone toe-to-toe with a couple of cops who endangered me on my commute over the years, but I prefer to make sure I only pick fights I'm guaranteed to win, so when I heard the cops behind us last night, I figured we'd all be better off to just get into the right lane and let them have their way so as to prevent any high drama that may have impeded the flow of Fun.

And the truth is, there are plenty of things in the vehicle code they could have thrown at us that would have stuck, including having a parade without a permit (I've been on the receiving end of that one, while holding a memorial motorcycle ride for a fallen rider, no less), running lights, dui, and I'm sure tallbikes aren't legal for street use, so asserting our rights to take up 3 lanes of traffic in that context just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Most of us make efforts to be law abiding on rides like Critical Mass, so it makes a lot of sense to stand up to The Man on rides that have political intent and try to fly under the radar on the fun rides, or we are all too likely to start attracting negative attention to those rides. That's why I started herding riders over into the right line when I heard the cop, anyway.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 9:08 pm

reply


Someone needs to write a song or chant that will help us memorize civil vehicle codes. Not necessarily verbatim, but probably just the gist of it.

We need the equivalent of a Declaration of Independence first.



the reverend dak
02.3.08 - 9:10 pm

reply


ideasculptor wrote:
"...so asserting our rights to take up 3 lanes of traffic in that context just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me."

i'd suggest reading with more caution because no one in this forum mentioned 'asserting our rights to take up 3 lanes of traffic'.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 9:32 pm

reply


Impeding traffic, failure to move to the right, controlling the lane, leaving the bike lane, failure to pull a parade permit are bogus positions taken by under-informed and under-educated law enforcement officers.

We deserve better!

Those rights we don't claim, we lose!

We have 1st amendment rights to assemble. If the police want to declare it an illegal assembly, they simply need to make that announcement and give instructions on the correct route for dispersal.



Is it too much to expect our municipalities to educate their law enforcement officers on the rights of cyclists.





SoapBoxLA
02.3.08 - 9:37 pm

reply


Just called Culver City Watch Commander to lodge a complaint:

310-837-1221

Watch Commander Lt. Tankenson

Cyclists have the right to the lane. Cyclists can share the lane with other cyclists. (Just like we do with cars, motorcycles and sometimes buses!) Cyclists aren't obligated to give up the lane simply in anticipation of automobile traffic. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated and informed Law Enforcement.



SoapBoxLA
02.3.08 - 9:45 pm

reply


thanks for the number. i just called to file a complain as well, and was told that i could not file a complaint if i did not have the officer's name.

i asked to speak to lt. tankenson and was asked to leave a message with my name and number.
apparently, even having the date, time, direction of travel in which my incident occurred with the officer 'may or may not help'.





meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 9:53 pm

reply


I'm going to agree with ideasculptor on this one.

Since I was not on the ride when the cops motioned bikes to the right hand lane I cannot comment on this event but what I will say is, I have been on several rides where I felt that we should be more considerate of the traffic conditions. I understand that we as cyclists feel like we are not getting fair representation by the traffic communities but the roads are still public spaces being shared by both cars and bikes. I do not think that we need to consume the entire road to make cars understand that we exist and/or deserve rights. I have witnessed many occasions where cyclists felt the need to obstruct the left lanes of traffic which I feel only makes the situation worse not to mention gives bikers in the left lane the opportunity to get:

a) hit by a car
b) ticketed by the police
c) endanger other cyclists in the ride

I've read the CVC and while I may not agree with all it's clauses it does not give bikes rights to the left hand lane unless turning left. We only have rights in the bike lane and right most lane in most situations. In large rides this does suck, but it's not impossible to keep most (if not all bikes) on the right.



e-rock
02.3.08 - 9:54 pm

reply


meandmybluebike:

I love it that you stand up to your rights and I wish more people would do that. It would make it so much easier for all of us cyclists if more would Stand Up and Speak Up!



illuminateLA
02.3.08 - 9:55 pm

reply


ideasculptor and e-rock!

PAY ATTENTION! maybe you're tired, so i'll give you that as an excuse for your absurd responses.

NO ONE IN THIS FORUM MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT TAKING UP EVERY LANE. WE ARE ENTITLED TO THE RIGHT LANE.

if you are afraid of getting busted for drinking, i understand, stay low key, but then i don't want to hear you complain about cyclists rights or getting swiped by a car or bus. you're doing a disservice to the entire bicycle community.




meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:10 pm

reply


I didn't know that CCPD was pulling people over or I would have hung around. Not that I wouldn't have made the situation worse with my big mouf. My point being that not everyone who kept going was being a big pussy; some of us just didn't see it.



PC
02.3.08 - 10:14 pm

reply


bluebike,

I do understand the situation you are discussing, however I did not witness the cops pull you guys over. I would have liked to be there to have a more informed understanding the circumstances.

I respect the fact that you asserted your rights to the cops, but this situation reminds me of too many times where I felt that cyclists were risking their lives by obstructing traffic. The fact still remains that legally we only have rights to one lane of traffic.



e-rock
02.3.08 - 10:17 pm

reply


MAMBB, Lt. Tankenson is standing by and waiting for your call.

310-837-1221 is the desk or call him direct 310-253-6202.



SoapBoxLA
02.3.08 - 10:17 pm

reply


i just spoken to tankenson who was cordial and quite understanding of the situation. i discussed the situation to him and enlightened him to the fact that critical mass happens internationally; not just in san francisco.

e-rock:
you're agreeing with me, so why are you disagreeing with me?

pc: i pulled the officers over to explain the laws.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:29 pm

reply


For those that haven't read it, here is the code.

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.


I was behind Meandmyblue bike when she pulled over and spoke with the police officer. The issue last night was that the officer and Annie seemed to be talking about two seperate things. When the officer was speaking to everyone over the loudspeaker, the group was taking more than one lane. A bunch of us also ran the red light at that moment too. It seemed to me that Annie was asserting her right to be in the left side of the right lane due to the crowd and the officer was discussing the fact that people were in the left lane. Neither one of them was going to win the argument because the reality was, both of them were right. The officer was saying "You" but it sounded like he was using that word to refer to the whole group.

BTW Annie, i know you said you were bumbling through it, but you were very well spoken and stated your case quite well and were well versed on the code.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 10:31 pm

reply


brassK:
i wasn't riding in the left lane and very rarely do i take the left lane. i'm fond of sharing. the officer did mention some riders doing 'figure 8's' in the road and i told him that i could only speak for myself.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:35 pm

reply


bluebike,

I'm agreeing with you because I feel that I understand the situation that you were confronted with yesterday and feel that the police officer was wrong and you were correct to assert your position with him.

I'm disagreeing with you because I feel the need to explain situations that I have been apart of in the past where I feel that we were in the wrong.



e-rock
02.3.08 - 10:35 pm

reply


PC: Please learn to read.

Love,
PC



PC
02.3.08 - 10:37 pm

reply


e-rock:
no one is condoning taking up the entire street. that's a 'franz for critical mass rights' forum.
i'm talking basic cvc in which i was in complete compliance of.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:39 pm

reply


PC = Perverted Clown






Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 10:41 pm

reply


@meandmybluebike - Annie, I know you weren't in the left lane. I said you were on the left side of the right lane. Like I said, you were correct in what you were saying. And I do remember you saying you can only speak for yourself. All I'm saying is that if the officer was indeed talking about the group as a whole, he was correct that we were not following the CVC code. Again, you were not breaking the law and you stood up for yourself quite well. I'm glad you did.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 10:43 pm

reply


meandmybluebike: Learn to read.

love,
meandmybluebike



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:44 pm

reply


bk: i could have sworn that i was in the middle of the lane when i heard people yelling about the sky falling.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:46 pm

reply


it's possible you were in the middle of the lane. I can't totally remember, but either way, you definitely were not breaking the law.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 10:49 pm

reply


brassK:
thanks so much again for sticking around. it was quite a relief to see you and allen behind me when i turned around.




meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:49 pm

reply


meandmybluebike - not only did riders talk about our right to take up all the lanes, but several actually moved to the left and did so.

The bumper stickers say "share the road" not "bow to our human powered superiority"

Some of our lawbreaking is more-or-less justifiable within the context of a large ride, but completely preventing the flow of traffic on multi-lane streets doesn't make us any friends. Its tough to balance fun and freedom with being (slightly) responsible road users, but it is something we should be striving for because, let's face it, if car drivers behaved like we did on our party rides, they'd be in a world of hurt with The Man and cyclists would be mighty pissed, too, since they'd be sliding in and out of the bike lane at will, running red lights without warning, speeding, swerving, and generally behaving like morons.

Now, I happen to like behaving like a moron on my bicycle, and there's a world of difference between the kind of pain and suffering I'm likely to cause on my bike and what a car driver is capable of, so I'm not trying to equate the behaviours, but I do think we ought to differentiate between political activity and party-riding. Personally, I doubt that a hundred or more cyclists partying on the streets is doing much for our efforts to get more bike sensitive legislation signed into law, but that's no reason not to do it, so long as we aren't actively detracting from those efforts. But there's something of a fine line there that we probably should be pretty wary of crossing. That's how I try to ride, anyway. I don't spend a lot of time trying to convince others



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 10:49 pm

reply


except for my dance movezz. they're always getting me into trouble.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 10:50 pm

reply


The two cops in question here were both youngsters. The cop Bluebike was having the debate with was clueless and didn't really care to hear what we had to say. By we I mean Bluebike! Neither him nor Bluebike was making any head way, so I thought it was best to just back off and get on our way. I asked the cop where the Culver City boundaries were going down Washington, the street we were on. He stated Lincoln was the boundary. After the cops split, some of the other ridazz started coming by, so we joined them. It just so happen that these cops were right at the corner of Lincoln & Washington stopping someone when we past. They were able to see us taking the right lane coming into Venice.

For the record it was two lanes heading south. The parking area was almost completely deserted. Traffic was very lite. The cops came up to us when we were waiting at a light. They were on their horn telling us to move over. Everyone did. I happened to be by default almost completely to the right. I moved over a foot or two so he could get to the front of the red light. I pick my fights, this was not going to one of them since just about everyone else moved. Really, I just wanted this a-hole out of my life!

Taking up both lanes was needless since we had the parking area free and the right lane. In this situation, with the number of ridazz we had, this area was plenty. The ridazz shouldn't of had to move over to the parking area just to please the man. Leaving one lane open would have been an appropriate thing to do.

Learn your rights to the road. Stand up for your rights. Personally I usually tell the officer if I've done something wrong, then give me a ticket and we'll handle this in court. I understand others may not want to take this route, but it forces the officer to put up or shut up.



User1
02.3.08 - 10:50 pm

reply


Alan, I hate to say this, but we were taking up both lanes. The cop also was following us as we were rolling through a red light. We weren't stopped. I know this because I was one of the people in a large group that went through the red light as the cop was talking to us on the loudspeaker.

I'm not going to say the cop was wrong just because we as cyclists usually get a bum wrap. The cop was just as right as Annie. They were just arguing about two different things.

The cop did know the CVC code and was explaining that we shouldn't be taking the left lane. Nothing in the code gives us that right.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 10:57 pm

reply


And just for the record, I'm not doing a disservice to anyone by recommending to other riders to stay in the right lane and be low key when there is clearly a cop behind us asking us to do the same thing over his PA. I didn't ask anyone to do anything other than what I'd expect of any polite road user, and the cop didn't appear to be asking us to do anything other than keep the left lane(s) free for vehicular traffic, which is pretty reasonable. What I was trying to do was eliminate any excuse he might have to pull some of us over and hassle or cite us, with bullshit tickets or not. Parade without a permit might be a BS reason to cite us, but you better believe they can make it stick in court, especially considering the costumes and tall bikes. And really, it is pretty hard to argue that riders on tall bikes have any kind of right to the road.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 10:59 pm

reply


ideasculptor and everyone else:

whether you realize it or not, riding a bike (especially in los angeles) inherently makes a strong statement. and when you assert your rights to the road in according to THE LAW, it makes an even stronger statement and pisses the uninformed and uneducated people (regardless of chosen transportation mode) off.

my particular point has nothing to do with taking over the entire streets or more than one lane, and i don't know why you keep bringing that up.
we're talking about cvc21202 and asserting our rights.
that's it.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:00 pm

reply


BIKE POWER!






Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 11:04 pm

reply


Brassknuckle wrote:

Nothing in the code gives us that right.

Nothing in the code has to "give" you that right. Whether it's legal to ride in the left lane depends on the average speed of "traffic" (which the law unhelpfully leaves undefined, opening the door to endless back-and-forth over whether the speed of a large group of bicycles can be used as the metric for determining that speed), on road conditions, and on the relative speed of bicycle or motor traffic in the right lane.

You have a right to ride in any lane on any road, subject to the limitations specifically spelled out in the vehicle code or delegated to municipalities. If the police can show you that one or more of those limitations apply to you, fair enough; but the fact that the law doesn't specifically enumerate your right to ride in the left lane doesn't mean that you can't ride in the left lane.

On the other hand, the law aside, if they ask you to keep a lane or two on a multi-lane road open for motor traffic, it's not a big deal to just do it. I promise you, folks, you won't lose your imaginary punk rock credibility. They're happy, the drivers are happy, we're still on the road, and everybody wins.



PC
02.3.08 - 11:07 pm

reply


ideasculptor:
YOU ARE NOT paying attention AT ALL! maybe you're tired, eh?

here is the situation for the last time and if you cannot understand it, i pity you.

Two lanes of traffic.
I am riding in RIGHT lane.
LEFT lane next to me and in front of me CLEAR.
Officers driving in CLEAR LEFT lane, telling me (in RIGHT lane) to move to RIGHT.

let's do some calculations now:
1 (left lane)+ 1(right lane) = 2 (lanes)

therefore: officers where asking me to ride in the UNSAFE "Door Zone" or on top of the parked cars.
GET IT?

I was a bike messenger in New York in 1998 and am too familiar with this infamous zone.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:09 pm

reply


MAMBB

That's sp annoying. I'm super impressed that YOU pulled over THE COP. Wow?! Especially in CC.

Anyway, regardless of your position on CM, or group rides, or whatever, the cops need to know what law you're breaking. They can't just decide that because you're impeding motorists you're breaking the law. Bikers have the right to impeded motorists in many situations. Like the one MAMBB was in - when the lane isn't shareable with cars then you can take it, and vehicular cyclists will tell you to do so by getting in the middle or the left side of the road. Annie was totally within her rights.

Cyclists have the right to informed law enforcement, and that's something we can all agree on. So that's precisely the kind of thing that should go into a Bicyclists Bill of Rights (just to come full circle and bring it back to the original topic)

MAMBB POWER!



Alex Thompson
02.3.08 - 11:10 pm

reply


Just pull out your

VEGAN BANANA PENIS!







yeah i learned about font color now. watch out.





Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 11:13 pm

reply


ideasculptor:
i wasn't pointing out you in particular, but was generally saying that those who cower in the presence of authority when that particular person is not breaking the law, is doing a disservice to the bike community. if you fall into that category, then shame on you.



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:16 pm

reply


Yeah I know we were taking up both lanes. I thought when he left and got up to the other ridazz ahead, he was trying to get them to occupy the parking area of the road, yes or no? Or was he giving us the right lane, and telling us to keep out of the fast lane?

In regards to the debate with Annie, was he saying we can occupy the right lane and stay out of the fast lane? Or stay out of both lanes? I rolled up on the debate a bit late.



User1
02.3.08 - 11:16 pm

reply


User1: The parking lane is not a traffic lane. Nobody should put oneself in danger because the cop has nothing better to do then chase down a group of cyclists and order them around.

If there are two lanes and a parking lane, stay in the number 2 lane, which is the traffic lane closest to the curb, the. Why would one ride in the parking lane! So that a car that wants to park can mow you down? Also, parking lanes are full of oil spots, debris and pot holes. That's just an accident waiting to happen.




illuminateLA
02.3.08 - 11:18 pm

reply


F#CK ALLAN





Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 11:20 pm

reply


Let me say this again. The group was taking up both lanes. Annie was in the right lane. I agree with the BBR idea. I agree we need informed officers, motorists and cyclists. I agree we need to stand up for our rights, but we have to be honest and admit when we are wrong. The group was not abiding by the CVC.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 11:22 pm

reply


user1 and everyone else:

they wanted us to probably ride single file as close to the parked cars as possible.
i was riding in the MIDDLE OF THE RIGHT LANE and they rolled up next to me and said "can you hear me? move over to the right!"

an road conditions on washington boulevard in culver city in the right lane are so cracked and uneven and UNSAFE that riding in the left lane would have been safer.

now washington place heading east... well, now that's a nicely paved two wheel heaven.






meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:23 pm

reply


What particular part of the CVC was the group violating?



PC
02.3.08 - 11:23 pm

reply


Borfo -
yeah i learned about font color now. watch out.


Me -
A shiver just went down my spine after reading this! There's nothing more volatile on this forum than a pregnant Borfo that has just discovered a new html code!




User1
02.3.08 - 11:23 pm

reply


illuminateLA,

Can you point out where I was advocating riding in the parking area?



User1
02.3.08 - 11:27 pm

reply


@PC - You know, after re-reading the code, it actually doesn't say anything about specifically riding in the right lane. I might be wrong about us violating the CVC. Does that mean we are technically allowed to take all the lanes in the direction we are going?

Not that we need to take the whole road, but can we be ticketed for it? soapbox can you help me out on this?



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 11:28 pm

reply


User 1: Can you point out where anybody said that you were advocating riding in the parking lane?



PC
02.3.08 - 11:29 pm

reply


pc:
the officers mentioned that we were 'impeding traffic'. perhaps riders behind me cleared as far to the right to avoid getting busted for whatever they were or were not doing, which is why they cruised along side me. i was probably the only one that refused to be oppressed. it was a rosa parks moment for me. and being a female is oppressing enough, darn it!



meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:30 pm

reply


Brassknuckle: there's nothing "technical" about it. If you are keeping up with traffic, you may ride in any lane you please. The only hitch is that the definition of traffic (or, to be a little more specific, the average speed of traffic) isn't made clear. If there's nothing but bikes for blocks and blocks, is the average speed of those bikes the average speed of traffic? I say yes, but I don't think it's been tested in court.



PC
02.3.08 - 11:32 pm

reply


FUCK THE POPO!





Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 11:33 pm

reply


I think Dan and I have made it pretty clear that we aren't talking about your particular circumstance at all, since you were surely pulled over as representative of the group, rather than for a specific action of your own. We are talking about the fact that what got the officer on our case in the first place was the fact that we were totally obstructing traffic by riding in both lanes. He was clearly asking us to move into the right hand lane on his PA, not into the door zone. And there were riders in the left lane the entire time he was with us - until you were stopped, at which point we all pulled up to wait. He was gracious enough to completely ignore a group of at least 20 of us who blew right through a yellow/red light directly in front of him.

I wasn't witness to your conversation with the cop, and I haven't really commented on it. I have been talking only about the behaviour of the group and the reaction of the cop to that behaviour, and I don't think he was out of line asking us to keep to the right lane.

LAPD are incredibly confrontational when they actually talk to people. I've witnessed this fact on way too many occasions. You cannot utter a single word to most LAPD and SMPD officers without being accused of talking back or otherwise giving them 'attitude,' so I have no difficulty believing that things went from bad to worse once you pulled over and started conversing with him. Which is why I've been trying to make the point that we'd be well served to avoid such confrontation by riding according to some common rules of road etiquette, regardless of what the CVC says our rights may be. Asking us to keep to the right lane is pretty reasonable, even if there is an argument to be made for legally occupying any lane we want. It is well worth bearing in mind that "slower traffic keep right" is also encoded in the CVC in various places, and they can nail you for violating it pretty much any time you aren't in the right lane unless you are turning left or are traveling faster than the cars.

I live on both sides of this issue, cause I'm also a motorcyclist, and we, too, have certain rights that aren't fully understood by the cage drivers and often result in ill-will that can easily be life threatening Lane splitting IS legal in california - and I don't know anyone who does it with any regularity who hasn't had doors intentionally opened into them, hot coffee thrown in their face, or cars swerving to hit them. But I've also spent many a mile stuck behind a peloton of road riders who refuse to provide even the slightest modicum of room to pass on a twisty mountain road, even when given an opportunity to do so. It is hardly surprising, then, when riders get driven off the road by frustrated car drivers who try to pass when there isn't room. I lost my best friend to a head-on collision with a car that crossed the double yellow in order to get around such a pack of bicycles a year ago this week, and that was nothing more than an avoidable tragedy that left 3 kids and 3 grandkids without their dad/granddad because of the hubris of a bunch of bicycles who were riding up a steep mountain at about 7 mph. In the ensuing court case, it was shown that the bicycles had gone past 3 large turnouts without letting a single car through, and when the car eventually passed illegally, there was a line of 14 cars stuck behind them. In California, it is illegal for a slow moving vehicle to hold up more than 5 vehicles without pulling over to let them by. In the end, the court allowed a plea bargain for the driver that resulted in misdemeanor charges for taking my friend's life, and the deciding factor was almost certainly the behaviour of the bicyclists. So I'm pretty sensitive to our perception by other road users, and we'd be wise to keep that perception in mind when we are out and about.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 11:37 pm

reply


I thought this thread was about our Bill of Rights?



kyber
02.3.08 - 11:38 pm

reply


This one is easy. It is illegal to obstruct faster traffic unless you are traveling the speed limit. Limits themselves are supposed to be set in accordance with the average speed of traffic, and outside of school zones, you can contest speeding tickets if the average speed hasn't been surveyed within a certain number of years and limits set to within some percentage of the value.

In california, it is illegal to fail to pull over to let faster traffic pass if you are holding up more than 5 vehicles. The number is similar in other states.

More importantly, we ask cars to "share the road," and it is political suicide to ask others to be held to higher standards than we hold ourselves to, whether the behaviour is technically legal or not.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 11:41 pm

reply


User1: "The ridazz shouldn't of had to move over to the parking area just to please the man."

My apologies! I read "should have" instead of "shouldn't of had." You are right and I'm dyslexic.



illuminateLA
02.3.08 - 11:41 pm

reply


Wow! Lt Tankerson just called back, spoke highly of MAMBB, acknowledged that he had learned a bit of CVC this evening and that he was open to a Roll Call presentation to his officers on Cyclists and their rights!





SoapBoxLA
02.3.08 - 11:43 pm

reply


It is about our bill of rights. But we shouldn't ask for rights if we aren't also willing to agree to abide by certain limits to behaviour as well, so we might as well hash out just what those limits ought to be, don't you think?



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 11:43 pm

reply


ideasculptor:
you haven't read and/or comprehended what i'm talking about.

1. THE COP DID NOT PULL ME OVER. I PULLED HIM OVER.

2. I WAS IN THE RIGHT LANE AND TO MOVE MORE TO THE RIGHT WOULD BE IN THE DOOR ZONE OR ON TOP OF THE CARS.
THERE IS NO FURTHER RIGHT THAN THE RIGHT LANE.






meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:45 pm

reply


@User1 - Sorry i didn't see your last post. He wasn't trying to get people to occupy the parking area. He was behind people who were still in the left lane trying to get everyone to move to the right lane.

The cop was actually nice. He wasn't trying to ticket Annie, they were just having a discussion. He was trying to explain that we were impeding traffic by taking up both lanes. That is why he asked Annie if she also drove a car, and if so, how would she feel if she wasn't given any lane to get through and had to ride behind all of the cyclists.

My impression was that he wasn't trying to be a dick, he was just trying to get the group in the right lane.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 11:46 pm

reply


i like me and mambb



Joe Borfo
02.3.08 - 11:47 pm

reply


I love lamp.



kyber
02.3.08 - 11:48 pm

reply


OK, I just went back and re-read some posts I missed when i was typing. Clearly, if they were asking riders to move to the right side of the right lane, they were way out of line, and any of us probably would have done the same thing. Nothing that they aid over the PA gave those of us at the front the impression that they were doing anything other than asking us to stick to the right lane. I guess my assumption was that any cop would be bright enough to understand that if bicycles are subject to the CVC, then they also have the right to the full lane on the right. More importantly, you've got to be a moron to think that you are going to convince a group of 100 bicycles to ride single file for any length of time. Not only would it not be safe when traveling across intersections and such, but it would also be damn difficult, considering the variations in riding speed. But then, there will likely not ever be a shortage of dumb cops. Some of my best friends work in law enforcement, but there will alway be plenty of cops who are too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time, too, and I guess we had a run-in with one of them last night.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 11:52 pm

reply


Sam, he wasn't trying to get people to ride single file. He just wanted us to leave the left lane open to cars.



brassknuckle
02.3.08 - 11:54 pm

reply


Brassknuckle, that was my interpretation, too, but MAMBB says she was asked to move to the right even while she was riding in the right lane, which certainly would have gotten my goat enough to ask them to stop and talk, too.



ideasculptor
02.3.08 - 11:57 pm

reply


ideasculptor wrote:

You cannot utter a single word to most LAPD and SMPD officers without being accused of talking back or otherwise giving them 'attitude,' so I have no difficulty believing that things went from bad to worse once you pulled over and started conversing with him. Which is why I've been trying to make the point that we'd be well served to avoid such confrontation by riding according to some common rules of road etiquette, regardless of what the CVC says our rights may be.

You're right, but for the wrong reasons.

Leaving a lane open for motor traffic is a nice thing to do, and worth doing for that reason alone. It also tends to placate cops, which makes them go away, which is conducive to fun.

But. You say that it's good to avoid confrontation with cops because they don't like being talked back to? Au contraire. That's all the more reason to talk back to them, when you know you're in the right. Their dislike of being contradicted is a very bad habit, and we who know better should strive to break them of that habit. When a cop is ignorant of your rights, educate him. They get away with that shit because nobody wants to be seen as confrontational. Bwaaak bwak bwak.



PC
02.3.08 - 11:57 pm

reply


Well if the officer was making the request for the ridazz to get out of the fast lane, and giving us the use of the other lane, then why was Annie hassled with? You're sure the officer wasn't trying to make everyone ride in the parking zone?



User1
02.3.08 - 11:58 pm

reply


ideasculptor:

"LAPD are incredibly confrontational when they actually talk to people. You cannot utter a single word to most LAPD and SMPD officers without being accused of talking back or otherwise giving them 'attitude,' so I have no difficulty believing that things went from bad to worse once you pulled over and started conversing with him."

1. WRONG! he was completely cordial and things went from bad to just fine.

"i lost my best friend to a head-on collision with a car that crossed the double yellow in order to get around such a pack of bicycles a year ago this week, and that was nothing more than an avoidable tragedy that left 3 kids and 3 grandkids without their dad/granddad because of the hubris of a bunch of bicycles who were riding up a steep mountain at about 7 mph.about 7 mph."

2. I CANNOT believe that you blamed the cyclists for you frined's death, instead of the irrational car driver who hit him.

YOU'VE JUST ANNOUNCED YOUR IDIOCY AND IGNORANCE TO EVERYONE. i'm just glad i didn't have to say it.




meandmybluebike
02.3.08 - 11:58 pm

reply


user1:
i am 100% certain that i was in the middle of the right lane and that he was asking me to move over even more, which again, would mean riding in the door zone next to the parked cars.





meandmybluebike
02.4.08 - 12:02 am

reply


@ideasculptor - I was there for the whole conversation between Annie and the officer, and they never told her she had to be riding single file or in the gutter. She was in the right lane and they didn't dispute that either. He was talking about the group as a whole. Annie didn't do anything wrong, and she wasn't pulled over nor was she going to get a ticket.



brassknuckle
02.4.08 - 12:02 am

reply


Firstly, this thread is seriously hijacked. Pull over or I will call in a FunDERSTRIKE.

Secondly, EVERYBODY CALM YOURSELVES.


This has been a special presentation of Alex Thompson, egotistical conflict moderater, thank you!



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:04 am

reply


brassk:
when they pulled up next to me they told me that i had to move over to the right when i was already in the right lane. any more to the right would be approaching door zone or closer.
he also did threaten to ticket me. this happened while i was still riding and attempting to converse with the officer.



meandmybluebike
02.4.08 - 12:07 am

reply


Never mind with my ??? above.



User1
02.4.08 - 12:07 am

reply


What Thompson said.

Can we maybe learn to disagree without being disagreeable? Is it really necessary to say "you're wrong, and you're also an idiot and a chicken thief" when "you're wrong" would suffice?



PC
02.4.08 - 12:08 am

reply


I was right behind Annie as she pulled to the side. the cop had just yelled at me about running the light. which in actuality I did NOT run I was very cautious of making the light knowing they were behind us. The police, as I understood it, were yelling at those of us riding in the right to pull even further right than the right hand lane. the cops were tailing us IN the right lane trying to cow us over to the parking lane. my girl unfortunately had an open beer and was hiding it when I told the cop that we had the right to be in the right lane and that we are traffic. at this point he told me he was going to ticket me for running the light. "I DID NOT run the light" I said firmly and he came back with "you want to bet?" That's when I decided to fall back and we ditched the beer turning in to a parking lot. as we circled around I saw that they pulled Annie over. sorry Annie, I really did want to stop but I decided i didnt want to risk getting a ticket for running a light, even though I was completely innocent of doing so. I didnt want to test the fairness of the justice system.

The thought of riding back crossed many people's minds. all of us that were gathered at costco knew you were getting a ticket. But it was also the fact that half the group ran the light and were riding in the left lane and so forth that i think made people hesitant to go back confront these cops. they rookie cops too. real hungry to show their power. They were tellling us to move over to the right into the dangerous parked car and door zone. they were clearly wrong.





Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:08 am

reply


my apologies. i didn't hear that part.



brassknuckle
02.4.08 - 12:09 am

reply


"I just hate you, and I hate your...ass...face!"





PC
02.4.08 - 12:12 am

reply


ideasculptor,

Cyclists have the right to the full support of law enforcement and we have the right to expect law enforcement to be informed and educated on the rights of cyclists to use the streets.

Those rights don't disappear when someone breaks the law. They exist. Other rules may be applied but our inherent basic rights as members of society and as users of the road exist and they are ours to claim and ours to protect.

There are no asterisks!



SoapBoxLA
02.4.08 - 12:12 am

reply


hey soapbox, call me tomorrow. got a quick question for you about the cvc etc. i'm going to bed now. good night all.



brassknuckle
02.4.08 - 12:15 am

reply


Brassknuckles -
Sam, he wasn't trying to get people to ride single file. He just wanted us to leave the left lane open to cars.

Me -
So why was Annie being hassled with? I think he was wanting us to stay out of both lanes.



User1
02.4.08 - 12:16 am

reply


originally it seemed that they just wanted us out of the left lane, which everyone did for the most part. BUT then they started riding our asses in the RIGHT lane and were telling us to mover further to the right. THAT was un called for!



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:19 am

reply


Roadblock wrote:

"I DID NOT run the light" I said firmly and he came back with "you want to bet?"

The correct answer to that question is: "Yes. In court, if necessary."



PC
02.4.08 - 12:19 am

reply



_________________________

------END OF THREAD-------
_________________________



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:20 am

reply


"The correct answer to that question is: "Yes. In court, if necessary.""


not if you're holding an open containter.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:22 am

reply


illuminateLA,

Can you point out where I was advocating riding in the parking area?



User1
02.4.08 - 12:25 am

reply


here Allan goes with this unnecessary arguing. We all know what the deal is now. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER.

SAY IT BROTHAZZ AND SISTAZZ!!!!


BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER. BIKE POWER.



BIKE POWER!





Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:28 am

reply


LO fucking L!!



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:30 am

reply


Roadblock wrote:

not if you're holding an open containter.

In which case, it's best to let someone else educate the cops. That way, you don't put yourself in the position where they can call your bluff and you're forced to back down.





PC
02.4.08 - 12:30 am

reply


That's it:

FunDER STYRkE!!

FunDER STYRkE!!

FunDER STYRkE!!

FunDER STYRkE!!

FunDER STYRkE!!




Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:31 am

reply


Dear Allan: Learn to read. She already apologized to you.



PC
02.4.08 - 12:32 am

reply



"Roadblock wrote:

not if you're holding an open containter.

In which case, it's best to let someone else educate the cops. That way, you don't put yourself in the position where they can call your bluff and you're forced to back down. "

yup, I would have to agree, and that's what we did.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:32 am

reply


I hear the distant rumble of I know not what. R it goblins or gangly ghouls? R it centaurs with trays of veggie subway (tm) sandwiches? OR R IT Something to do with fun? Something striking?



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:35 am

reply


My bad! I didn't mean to send that second request. It was on another tab I had open.



User1
02.4.08 - 12:38 am

reply





F#CKED BORFO





User1
02.4.08 - 12:40 am

reply


I'm glad everyone has chosen to respect the FunDEr StyrKE I unleashed upon this thread. It is good of you, and protects you from the Bikining that always follows FunderZ.

I think the original topic was a Bicyclist Bill of Rights. I think this thread is kind of a good example of why such a document would help. Here there has been a lot of discussion about the specifics of legality, but I think everyone involved agreed that informed law enforcement is important, and that that is a problem. A Bicyclist Bill of Rights aims to remind us of that common ground.

What do you think?


Larger font = so liberating. It's like riding commando, which I do.



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:43 am

reply


I THINK RIDAZZ SHOULD GO TO BURNING MAN



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:45 am

reply


Do they have funders?



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:47 am

reply


All the TIME!



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:47 am

reply


Thompson, I know you're trying to lighten up the mood here, but you've just given us something else to argue about.

To the perennial debate topics of "helmet or no helmet" and "brakeless or brakefull," we can now add "underwear or no underwear." Chafed nuts: indispensable badge of street credibility, or scarlet letter of bike shame? Discuss, at great length and with maximum vitriol!



PC
02.4.08 - 12:48 am

reply


PC needs no nut butter to go to BLACK ROCK CITY



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:50 am

reply


Usually when I mention that I'm running commando I'm hoping the mood will get heavy, and possibly hot, not lighten.

Serious though, what else could we put in such a document?



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:51 am

reply






Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:52 am

reply


IT DOESNT MATTER IF HE'S RIGHT, BUT WHO IS "BICYCLIST BILL"?



SKIDMARCUS
02.4.08 - 12:54 am

reply


OH GOD



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 12:55 am

reply


Alex, let start posting rights that we are to expect from this bill.


my first thought was to say that we should be considered a vehicle in traffic. but we are not the same as a vehicle in that we are human powered.... so should there be a special distinction?

I think our first right would be a right to any road.
given that right we are a special type of vehicle.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:55 am

reply


How bout CVC 21202? Since not even the cops know it!

Here's another one, bicycles are to be treated like any other vehicle on the road!



User1
02.4.08 - 12:55 am

reply


I actually thought that there was someone named "bicyclist Bill" when I clicked the thread... I actually avoided the thread cause I thought it was going to be about some kooky old man who's name is Bill and has been riding for the past 50 years across all the states washing dishes like Dishwasher Pete.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 12:57 am

reply




Howabout:

The right to travel in safety, and without for it.
The right to substantial and sufficient road space.


Does that get it all? The first one at least sounds very much like a human/civil right.



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 12:59 am

reply


You are so awesome Roadblock. You make me wanna be a better person, like a human, almost.



SKIDMARCUS
02.4.08 - 1:01 am

reply


MAMBB:
"YOU'VE JUST ANNOUNCED YOUR IDIOCY AND IGNORANCE TO EVERYONE. i'm just glad i didn't have to say it. "

Tell that to me after you've just held your best friend's head in your hands while he gasped his last breath after being crushed by a car. The car driver was in the wrong, but anyone who witnessed the scene, including 14 car drivers, 5 motorcyclists, and the responding law enforcement officers placed a good bit of the cause, if not the blame, on the cyclists and their boneheaded insistence on completely controlling a 45mph road at 7mph. My friend would be alive today, had they been more considerate. And while they weren't cited, precisely because of the difficulty of prosecution, there is no doubt that holding up traffic is a violation of the vehicle code. The car driver made a stupid and mortal decision, but she didn't make it in a vacuum. There were 3 consecutive pullouts with big "slow traffic keep right" signs and declarations of their existence at least 1/4 mile before they occurred that were completely ignored by the cyclists, whose arguments were identical to yours - "we weren't doing anything wrong. we've got the same right to the road that cars do, etc" In fact, they stood there over my friend's body making those very arguments.

There's a big difference between being legally allowed to do something and exercising common sense and common courtesy when using the road, and quite frankly, that difference is "idiocy and ignorance." And incidentally, I didn't blame the cyclists for the accident, but I did blame them for the fact that the driver got off with a misdemeanor and a $200 fine. The judge flat-out stated that he was allowing the plea bargain precisely because of the extenuating circumstances of the cyclists blocking traffic in one direction.

You might want to take a longer look at your own words before throwing out terms like 'idiocy' and 'ignorance,' particularly when talking about events that you have almost no knowledge of whatsoever.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 1:05 am

reply


The right to be treated as a means of legitamate yet vulnerable transportation




Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 1:05 am

reply


legitimate


whatever... goodnight.



Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 1:07 am

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No chance of that SKIDZ.

Sometimes when I let my dog out of the basement I get the sense that she is super eager and happy because she thinks that any day now we're going to teach her human skills like using doorknobs and driving cars and buying cookies.

You're like that SKIDZ. We're always superhappy to see you cause we're thinking, man, any day now SKIDZ is gonna teach me the ways of FuN like where to get funny glasses and how to have fun all the time. But no, you don't teach us, because we lack the necessary opposable funmbs.



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 1:07 am

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but I did blame them for the fact that the driver got off with a misdemeanor and a $200 fine. The judge flat-out stated that he was allowing the plea bargain precisely because of the extenuating circumstances of the cyclists blocking traffic in one direction. "


Sam with all due respect in this case you must blame the JUDGE. The driver was completely at fault. yes The cyclists in this case were being assholes by not pulling into the lanes or riding single file but that doesnt give any excuse to some driver who pulls an ill advised and dangerous traffic manuever. The judge should have thrown the book at this driver period. I'm sorry for your loss.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:11 am

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With all due respect, etc., I think that a more immediately useful idea than a Bill Of Rights would be to think of some specific changes to specific California laws that could be made, and then cobble together a group of bike-friendly legislators to introduce and fight for them.

As we have just seen, it's possible to go on...and ON, and ON...about what the CVC does or does not allow us to do, and about how to enforce it and educate people about it. But you almost never see or hear anybody talk about changing it. Mr. Kieron 139 and I were discussing this on the way up to SF for Critical Mass, and I wish I could remember what we came up with, but here are a few changes that I would make for starters:

1) Eliminate or modify the part of CVC 21202 that requires cyclists to be going the same speed as normal traffic in order to be exempt from the "as far to the right as practicable" requirement. The way the law is currently written, a cyclist is subject to that requirement even if all the cars are exceeding the speed limit! Add a proviso that if a cyclist is going X% (maybe 80? 90?) of the posted speed limit, she is exempt and can take a traffic lane regardless of road conditions or lane width.

2) Take the ambiguity out of CVC 21800 (d) (1). It currently reads:

The driver of any vehicle approaching an intersection which has official traffic control signals that are inoperative shall stop at the intersection, and may proceed with caution when it is safe to do so.

To this, add: "A traffic control signal actuated by a magnetic or motion-sensing vehicle detection device shall be deemed inoperative when the device fails to register the presence of a vehicle within its intended area of detection. A bicycle shall be considered a vehicle for the purpose of this section."

3) All stop signs are yield signs for bicycles. This would not relieve the cyclist of his obligation to check for traffic at intersections and to yield right-of-way when appropriate.

That's just what I've got. Whadda you got?

I understand the reasoning behind the Bicyclist's Bill of Rights, but bills of rights are broad by nature. We need to get specific.



PC
02.4.08 - 1:23 am

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"3) All stop signs are yield signs for bicycles. This would not relieve the cyclist of his obligation to check for traffic at intersections and to yield right-of-way when appropriate. "


nice!!



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:26 am

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also, we could focus on writing laws that encourgae the use of human powered vehicles by adding tax credits per human powered miles travelled



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:30 am

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PC,

I dig your suggestions, excepting #3, that all stop signs become yields for cyclists. As the velorucĂ­on progresses a cyclist/cyclist collision as a result of inattentively run stop signs is a certainty. To mitigate that I'd prefer two kinds of stop signs, perhaps differentiated by a different borders. The first type would be a "hard" stop for which all vehicles must make a complete stop. The second would be a "soft" stop which would be a yield sign for cyclists and a stop sign for everyone else. Properly set up you could get out to an arterial, near your destination, and into the neighborhood maybe only stopping 4 times. That would be safer and still reasonable, respecting the fact that we have to get ourselves moving unlike motor vehicles.

About your priority suggestions. I don't agree, but I also say "why not do both?" Administering BRW I've repeatedly tried to steer volunteers away from tasks they suggested and wanted to do, toward tasks I thought were more crucial. I feel now that was usually a mistake. I'm a big fan of letting people do that activist work which they feel inclined to do. I'm into the BBR thing, and Stephen is, so we're probably going to be most productive doing that. Plus I don't know any legislators, and this work might be just the stepping stone to get in a position to do what you're talking about.

But I totally encourage anybody who's interested in PC's approach to go after it, and do it hard.



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 1:35 am

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Roadblock, that's certainly my take on the situation, but that doesn't change the outcome of the courtcase. It is precisely why the driver's lawyer made the argument as part of a plea bargain rather than as a defense in trial. And needless to say, her insurance company is dealing with a mighty large lawsuit, but the plea bargain certainly didn't make the lawsuit any easier.

And it doesn't change the nature of my argument, which is that there's a big difference between being legally allowed to do something and being mindful of common courtesy as a road user. Critical Mass is a time to assert our rights to their maximum - that's part of its purpose. Party rides are a time to have fun and minimize the likelihood of a bad trip, as it were, which I'd define as either a serious accident, a road rage incident, or a nasty law enforcement encounter.

And I don't think this conversation is, at all, a hijacking of the thread topic. You cannot demand a Bill of Rights if you aren't also willing to adhere to one for other road users. In short, it isn't just about what they have to do for us, but also what we have to do for them, and I'd think that part of that would certainly be to make efforts not to impede the flow of traffic when it is safely possible to do so.

I remember when mountain biking first got really popular in the early 90s and trail access was under attack by equestrians and hikers in just about every town in California. The solution was not to demand that bicyclists get treated equally by the various land-use authorities. The solution was for the bicyclists to organize and demand that other bicyclists treat the other trail users equally. That meant giving rights of way when passing others on the trail, ascenders giving way to descenders, adhering to reasonable speed limits on descents, participating in trail maintenance, etc. Once we were able to demonstrate to authorities that we were self-policing and acting responsibly as a group, despite the existence of the occasional bad apple, the authorities started giving us all kinds of respect in many towns, often times favouring bicyclists over the other trail users precisely because of their sense of entitlement in contrast to the cyclists sense of participation. It became possible to organize races on the very trails that we had been at risk of losing all access to a few years earlier.

I would suggest that if we really want to garner the cooperation of the various police departments, we'd be best served to establish a volunteer corps of 'ride marshals' who could act to try to keep rides safe and adhering to our side of any bill of rights we might envision. It would require nothing short of some reflective vests, a few cheap FRS radios, and a community willing to come up with a set of 'rules' that we think are reasonable to abide by. Cop interaction would be handled by marshals on any ride in much the same way as MAMBB handled th confrontation last night. They'd be trained in the applicable sections of the CVC, and would hopefully become familir to the cops in question - much the same way our volunteers became very familiar to the forest service rangers in the 90s. The marshals would also be responsible for corking, where appropriate, and could probably carry propaganda material for handing to cars to explain the situation in order to keep tempers reasonable. We carried flyers for trail users on the mountain, too, and they were REALLY helpful, occasionally even getting hikers out on bikes in the wake of a conversation. And finally, a really nice touch is for marshals to get first responder training. I've got several friends who are cops and paramedics who have held first responder training classes for groups of motorcyclists, and I have no doubt that they'd be happy to do the same for us if we asked. It doesn't usually cost anything more than offering some food and a space to host the class, and such training will be invaluable when we have accidents, which we surely will.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 1:39 am

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ideasculptor you had me all the way up to the last paragraph. that idea has come and gone for years now and it just is wrong for many reasons

the main argument is responsibility, time, and resources. having people have duties and obligations leaves them also responsible for accidents and nobody wants that responsibility. it would even mean that say a driver who cant get through because of a cyclist party ride than they can sue the "marshals" for being irresponsible and leading to whatever tragedy might have happened. ride leaders should be able to have fun and the community should be individully self policing. we are designing a form of anarchy in which a collective will of influence keeps order rather than individuals with more power over undesignated individuals.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:48 am

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Joe Borfo
02.4.08 - 1:50 am

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is that one of you know who's diagrams?



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:52 am

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Any light that doesn't change for a vehicle - any vehicle - is already considered to be malfunctioning. You are legally allowed to run them after sitting through one cycle. I've put this one to the test on numerous occasions on motorcycles (which also rarely trigger those things), and I've been pulled over a couple of times for it when the cop didn't see me wait, but i've never gotten a ticket. I don't see any reason to add more laws to cover things that are already covered by the current CVC.

You'll never convince anyone to write a law that allows bicycles to run stop signs that cars have to stop at. If you add something like that, you'll never get any politician to sign off on it. At best, strive to make certain things not forbidden. Lane splitting by motorcycles is allowed by virtue of the fact that there is no law in the CVC that makes it illegal for vehicles to share a lane in parallel. It applies to cars precisely because lanes are rarely wide enough for two cars abreast, and it allows motorcycles to split, something that the CHP defends because the know from experience that it is safer in between a line of cars that stopping and starting with them, waiting to be rear-ended by an inattentive driver.

The suggestion that converts stop signs on residential streets to yield signs for non-motorized traffic has a lot of practical merit, but I wonder about its political viability. Car drivers really don't like it when they perceive other road users as having a privilege that they don't. I've had more things thrown at me by car drivers while lane splitting than I can possibly list - though my favourite was an unopened can of Hawaiian Punch which was promptly opened and tossed back - but I think we'd be asking for ill will from drivers if we ask to be able to blow through stop signs that cars have to stop at. It is also asking for trouble for careless riders who get complacent and fail to check for the right of way. We are all fairly skilled urban riders, but there are lots of folks who ride less than 5 miles per week who aren't, and laws tend to get written for the lowest common denominator.

I'd rather see things in the Bill of Rights such as a commitment from the city to eradicate dangerous potholes (defined as some minimum depth and area) in the right lane and door zone within a minimum period of time, provide buttons to activate magnetic sensor controlled lights, and guarantee a minimum pavement quality in all designated bike lanes.

I'm looking for things that will make it safer for me to ride when I'm riding legally - not things that give me privileges others don't have. I don't object to having to adhere to the same rules of the road as other road users. I run stop signs at my own risk, and cops are usually pretty good about taking context into account when I'm riding on my own. I've been ignored when gratuitously running stop signs more times than I can count, and I can't say I fault them much when they are enforcing the stop signs in manhattan beach that are run by swarms of bikes all day long on weekends, and I don't really fault them for enforcing the rules of the road on CM rides since CM is itself about showing that bikes deserve the respect of other road users, not that they are superior. Enforcing high-traffic stop signs is an appropriate measure to ensure safety and throughput for all traffic.

I'd also like to see a commitment from local police departments to actually enforce the vehicle code when other road users violate a bicyclist's safety. I've long since lost count of the number of times cars have passed me, only to turn right directly across my path, and it has happened in front of cops on more than a few occasions, and they've done nothing but shrug. I've had cops do it to me a time or two, as well, including one who hit me in 1995 or 96.

I'd also like to see an automatic doubling of fines on citations written against cars who endanger bicyclists, just as fines are doubled in construction zones and such. These are much easier measures to get passed, since they increase revenue and don't actually make anything newly illegal, yet they will have an effect on our safety.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 2:01 am

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Alex Thompson wrote:

I'd prefer two kinds of stop signs, perhaps differentiated by a different borders. The first type would be a "hard" stop for which all vehicles must make a complete stop. The second would be a "soft" stop which would be a yield sign for cyclists and a stop sign for everyone else. Properly set up you could get out to an arterial, near your destination, and into the neighborhood maybe only stopping 4 times. That would be safer and still reasonable, respecting the fact that we have to get ourselves moving unlike motor vehicles.

Now that you mention it, I like that better than my idea. It's also more politically viable.

As to a Bill of Rights vs. specific changes to the CVC: now that you mention that, I think I see your point, and I also think that these two approaches can be usefully (if not very subtly) distinguished from one another in terms of "civil rights" vs. "civil liberties," respectively. Both are important, of course, and having one without the other would be useless, but they're different things and are often contested on different battle grounds.

So with that in mind, maybe the BBOR should concentrate on funding, infrastructure, and design (civil rights), while a campaign to amend the CVC focuses on traffic laws WRT lane positioning, interaction with cars, etc. (civil liberties). Am I making any sense at all here? Don't answer that.



PC
02.4.08 - 2:03 am

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ideasculptor wrote:

You'll never convince anyone to write a law that allows bicycles to run stop signs that cars have to stop at.

Wrong. It's already been done in the hotbed of hippie-dippie idealism known as Idaho.



PC
02.4.08 - 2:06 am

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...and as for ride marshals, we've already got enough people who think they can tell other Ridazz what to do.



PC
02.4.08 - 2:09 am

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actually PC, the law doesnt allow for bikes to run red lights, they still have to stop... it jsut that after the stop they can go if traffic conditions allow.

http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newidst?sctid=490070020.K



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 2:10 am

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@roadblock:
"ideasculptor you had me all the way up to the last paragraph. that idea has come and gone for years now and it just is wrong for many reasons "

Fair enough. I don't think that acting as a marshal necessarily exposes one to legal culpability. I think of them more as facilitators than enforcers. People to point out the route, cork intersections, and maintain communication between front and back, but such a thing certainly isn't a requirement in order to police ourselves a little better.I don't worry about the smaller and high paced rides, as they tend to adhere to a consistent set of behaviours and smaller footprint, and the huge 1000+ people rides are basically parades and totally unmanageable but also pretty much unenforceable by the authorities, too. But last night's ride was a manageable size and would probably police itself well if we simply lay out some ground guidelines ('ground rules' sounds like it will violate the feeling of anarchy by too large a degree) in advance and have enough riders willing to adhere to them that peer pressure will pull in the rest.




ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 2:14 am

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The law allows motorcycles to "run" a red light in TN after stopping. I suppose it would apply to cyclists.

T.C.A. 55-8-110
.......
.
.(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the driver of a motorcycle approaching an intersection that is controlled by a traffic-control signal utilizing a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection and, after exercising due care as provided by law, may proceed with due caution when it is safe to do so. It is not a defense to a violation of § 55-8-109 that the driver of a motorcycle proceeded under the belief that a traffic-control signal utilized a vehicle detection device or was inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle when such signal did not utilize a vehicle detection device or that any such device was not in fact inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle.



SoapBoxLA
02.4.08 - 2:15 am

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PC,

That makes sense to me. You're suggesting a division of labor. The BBR is conceptual and begins locally. The CVC amending is state level and is concrete specifics. I bike this. A nice aspect of this division of labor is it makes it easy for new peeps to figure out which effort is most interesting to them. And of course you've got various non BBR local efforts going which are out there already.

Digg!



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 2:16 am

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@PC:
"Wrong. It's already been done in the hotbed of hippie-dippie idealism known as Idaho."

OK, amend my statement with the suffix "in LA - a city of millions, most of whom don't ride bikes"

Besides, don't we all already do that? I NEVER stop at a stop sign unless I see a cop there or a car is clearly not going to give me the right of way, and I never get hassled for doing it unless I'm in a group, with the exception of stop signs that are so routinely run by cyclists that they are explicitly enforced (manhattan beach and SM come to mind). I'd say that cars refuse to give me the right of way about as often as they run the stop sign entirely, so giving me the right of way via a yield sign doesn't give me much, but I'd think it would put more complacent cyclists in increased danger.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea for its convenience, but in the grand scheme of wanting to place a document in front of a politician or police department that I want them to get behind, it floats pretty far to the bottom. Huge potholes, lights that never change, and cars that run me off the road loom much larger.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 2:24 am

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Roadblock wrote:

actually PC, the law doesnt allow for bikes to run red lights, they still have to stop

I didn't say it did. Sam in his post and I in my response were talking about stop signs. On that point the Idaho law is unambiguous:

49-720. STOPPING -- TURN AND STOP SIGNALS. (1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.



PC
02.4.08 - 2:25 am

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as for tax credits for bicyclists, that one has been on my mind for a long time, and I think I have a solution.

A tax credit is a tough sell because it is difficult to prove 'use' and 'ownership' isn't enough of a differentiator, since just about everyone owns a bike and absolutely anyone can afford one.

I got to thinking about that little problem a few months back, and I think I came up with a solution, though I haven't put the final touches on it. The answer lies in carbon credits. I've never really liked the idea of carbon credits, since the whole concept seems more about assuaging liberal guilt for a wasteful lifestyle (witness Al Gore's credit purchases in order to justify an electric bill the size of a small town's), and doesn't really do anything to reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere unless/until the R&D it pays for comes to fruition. Without a cap on total emissions, buying credits gets you nothing but a warm fuzzy feeling about a promise of future benefits.

Unless, that is, the credits you are buying go directly into the pockets of people who are actively reducing their own carbon footprint. That way, you are actually trading your carbon for someone else's reduction, rather than some future reduction that may never occur or may occur too late.

So my thought was to establish a non-profit that people can purchase carbon credits from. That non-profit would then allow businesses to offer discounts to cyclists that were directly redeemable from the credit fund. Ride your bike to the movie theatre and you get a $1 discount, yet it doesn't cost the theatre a penny, or maybe only costs the theatre $0.50

So my next problem was how to handle the infrastructure in a manner that would keep merchants willing to participate. There are a couple of potential solutions, and all of them would probably come into play in the long run.

Initially, the obvious way to handle it is to have the merchant charge full price, but issue some kind of redeemable coupon that could be sent in to the fund in exchange for cash. This is the easiest to implement, especially when the program is small, but it is also the least convenient for all parties - except the merchant. What I'd like to see, eventually, is something that ties into the largest credit card verification services. This would utilize the communications infrastructure and hardware that merchants already have in place, but it would allow for an instant transaction. The merchant merely swipes a special credit card that the cyclist provides, and the discount is immediately transferred to the cyclist's account. The card can be used as an ordinary credit card for purchases, too, using the money earned by riding.

As the system grows, it could actually feed into a genuine tax credit, since it would have the advantage of leaving an auditable trail of bicycle usage for every consumer. Sure, there would be inevitable scammers who walk around with a bike just to get discounts, but so long as individual discounts are small, the number of scammers would be kept low. Shopping malls would need some kind of validation service in the bike parking area that could be presented to merchants as proof of having arrived on a bike - no different than parking validation that exists today for cars. Employers could offer a daily credit for bicycle commuters at minimal expense or overhead.

I'd hope that, eventually, having an auditable paper trail of bicycle usage could net you a car insurance discount and maybe a medical insurance discount, too.

I just pitched the idea of a credit for cycle commuting at my workplace, since we pay a monthly parking fee. I figure that the building should be willing to refund me a small amount for every day I don't use a parking spot (spots aren't assigned to individuals), since it allows them to sell more parking permits without increasing the number of spaces available. I'm hoping that they'll at least come up with a discount for the cafeteria or something, but I haven't heard back, yet.

My idea still isn't entirely fleshed out, but it is getting there. My goals were the following:


  • minimal infrastructure requirements
  • ease of use
  • tied to the use of bicycles for economic activity. I don't really think we should be claiming credits for riding on a los angelopes ride, for instance, but we should be able to claim credits for the beer we buy on the ride. Those who use bikes for more of their economic activity will also see the most benefit, while still tying that benefit to the size of their income, since their rebate will still be tied to the amount spent, which is limited by income.
  • Can be just as effective on a very local scale as it would be if it were city wide. We could start by just getting businesses in a small area involved and grow it outward from there.
  • Tied into the carbon credit concept in order to divert some of that money to immediate carbon reduction.






ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 2:51 am

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Incidentally, the whole idea was sparked by a comment by one of the members of radiohead with David Byrne in Wired magazine. They commented that, while the carbon footprint of hauling busloads of gear and musicians around isn't good, the real carbon disaster incurred by touring is the thousands of people who drive their cars to see the show every night. I started thinking about how theatre owners could offer discounts to people who arrive in a carbon neutral manner and the whole thing fell into place.

It'll take a monumental grassroots effort to sell businesses on the idea, and will probably require some kind of philanthropic donation to kick off the fund, but if we start off small and grow, I think it can be handled. Its the kind of thing that SF and LA bicycle coalitions are perfectly positioned to handle, and best yet, it requires absolutely no government intervention whatsoever, other than to file as a non-profit.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 3:05 am

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ideasculptor wrote:

OK, amend my statement with the suffix "in LA - a city of millions, most of whom don't ride bikes"

Idaho is a state of a million and a half, most of whom don't ride bikes.

Besides, don't we all already do that?

Yes. And we risk a costly traffic ticket every time we do it. Common sense would dictate that the law be amended to ratify a technique practiced thousands of times a day, perfectly safely, by cyclists. Am I missing something here? Maybe you're saying we should leave certain perfectly harmless things illegal just so that we can feel a tingly frisson of misbehavior several times a day? OK, probably not, but I'm at a loss to imagine any other earthly reason why "everybody does it and it's not a big deal" could be seen as an argument for making something illegal.

in the grand scheme of wanting to place a document in front of a politician or police department that I want them to get behind, it floats pretty far to the bottom. Huge potholes, lights that never change, and cars that run me off the road loom much larger.

Well, at least that makes sense. But since you're apparently really hot on using policy to encourage people to favor low-carbon forms of transport, you might want to think of the "hard/soft stop sign" thing as a way to make cycling more attractive. You indisputably get places faster and more efficiently when you don't have to stop and re-accelerate every few blocks. Right?



PC
02.4.08 - 3:26 am

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I'm bored at work, so I just had a re-read of the entire thread, and I have to say, the most distressing thing, to my mind, is that certain folks here seem to have the common internet malady of failing to bear in mind that the people they are typing to are also people they are all too likely to interact with in meatspace. Personally, I find it fairly offensive to be called an idiot or ignorant for expressing my opinion, particularly when I've gone out of my way to express that opinion in a polite manner.

MAMBB, your response to absolutely anyone who doesn't agree with you is to accuse them of a failure of reading comprehension, and then to start throwing around some pretty offensive labels, and quite frankly, I take issue with it. Not only did you accuse me of not bothering to read what you wrote, but your own responses seemed to conveniently ignore much of what I wrote so that the rest could be taken out of context and used to denigrate me. I particularly enjoyed the way you managed to call me ignorant and in idiot in the very sentence in which you denied calling me an idiot and ignorant. That's anonymous internet arguing at its finest, right there.

If we are going to talk politics, and any thread labeled "Bicyclist Bill of Rights" is going to be political in nature, then you'd better be able to handle a polite discussion with people who don't necessarily agree with you on every point of your dialectic.

Hell, I'm all too likely to point out flaws in an argument, even when I agree with it, if only because someone needs to play devil's advocate if you don't want to get laughed out of the room the first time you have to discuss the thing with someone who actually disagrees with you. And I've been having this conversation for years with my fellow motorcyclists, most of whom would gladly see bicyclists banned from public streets, just as the car drivers would.

Can we continue this discussion civilly, or should I bow out now because I dare to have a nuanced disagreement with the platform espoused by those who started the thread?



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 4:37 am

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Idaho = 15.6 people per square mile, the vast majority of them in rural areas with even lower density

California = 217.2 people per square mile, the vast majority of them in urban areas with far higher density

Like I said, from a cyclist's perspective, its a great idea. But I've also got a pretty good sense of what is politically viable here, and that one is a pretty distinct long shot, in my opinion. It might have a shot in SF, where cyclists have a stronger voice in local politics, but I don't see it down here. I also don't really think it is appropriate for a 'bill of rights' but that has already been addressed by splitting the effort between changes to CVC and writing a bill of rights.

Why don't we just compile a list of rights we'd like to offer for consideration and a separate list of changes to the CVC that would ensure those rights. That kind of thing is a PITA to compile on a thread where posts can't be edited later, but I'm sure we could throw up a web page somewhere.

Here is my personal hotlist:



  • The right to ride without encountering life threatening potholes, lumps, and other repairable hazards

  • The right to be detected by traffic signals so that riders aren't forced to violate traffic controls

  • The right to be treated with polite consideration by other road users

  • The right to traffic control measures that, wherever possible, work to minimize the inconvenience posed by human powered acceleration (just for you, PC)

  • the right to bike lanes that connect to each other and connect all the areas of the city

  • The right to including cycling specific content in new driver education and traffic school programs

  • the right to the proper level of adulation expressed by all cage drivers whenever they witness the superiority of their cycling overlords. Said adulation may be expressed either in the form of sexual favours (as appropriate) or prostration of said driver, touching forehead to the ground until cyclist is no longer in view.


OK, that last one is a bit of a stretch. The others seem workable.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 4:40 am

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I'm sorry, user "ideasculptor," but your idea for tax credits for bicyclists is unworkable.

To keep track of miles ridden, cyclists would have to install cyclocomputers on their bicycles.

Cyclocomputers are dorky.

The last thing cyclists need is something that makes them look dorkier than they already look simply by virtue of being grown adults on bicycles. Your proposal will go down in flames. I'm pluggable!

My logic is airtight, so do not try to argue with me. Would you like to be authenticated?



PAM
02.4.08 - 5:16 am

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@PC:
"'I'm at a loss to imagine any other earthly reason why 'everybody does it and it's not a big deal' could be seen as an argument for making something illegal. "

That's not the argument I'm making. It is already illegal, and I'm arguing that you are very unlikely to get them to change that, no matter the merit of your argument, because the perception by the vast majority of road users, who don't ride bikes and don't like bikes, is that it will be offering a privilege to bicycles that they don't have for themselves. I've stated in every response to the suggestion so far that I like the idea, I just don't think it is politically viable. I've stated that as clearly as I possibly can, but you continue to ignore it. I think autobahn style speed limits on rural freeways are a good idea, too, but I'm not out advocating for them for much the same reason, even though I routinely ride well in excess of the speed limit when and where it is safe to do so.






ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 5:17 am

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PAM, your logic is faulty. If you read my suggestion, it isn't based on mileage whatsoever. It is based on economic activity. I could care less how far you rode. I care how much economic activity you generated without burning fossil fuels. The credits are pegged to purchases, which, of course, also pegs them to income/net-worth. Its a sales credit - the inverse of a sales tax. And yes, I wrote it up that way precisely because, unlike cars, bikes don't have a (mostly) tamperproof odometer installed by the manufacturer. And because they are dorky.

And no, I need no authentication. I disabled authentication. I AM the superuser.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 5:21 am

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Oh, and it isn't a tax credit. It is a carbon credit.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 5:21 am

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@PC:
"you're apparently really hot on using policy to encourage people to favor low-carbon forms of transport, you might want to think of the "hard/soft stop sign" thing as a way to make cycling more attractive."

Yes and no, really. Cars waste far more carbon when accelerating than when cruising at constant velocity. It would actually take a lot more carbon out of the atmosphere if we let cars roll through stop signs without stopping/slowing whenever possible. From an environmentalist's perspective, the bikes should be waiting for the cars in that particular context.

Making cycling more attractive has its merits, but I doubt that running stop signs will really do much on that score. Carbon credits to cyclists would be far more effective. People respond to monetary stimulus, no matter how superficial it may be - obviously, its cheaper to run a bike, even without the credits, but most folks will never adopt cycles at the total expense of car ownership, so they will never really see the true savings of being a cyclist. They'll just spend money on a driveway ornament that they use less frequently. So paying them to ride a bike works more effectively for converting them to bicycle trasport than letting them run a stop sign on occasion.

Also, most shopping is done quite locally to the home, often in a car that doesn't even get fully warmed up on the way to the store, and involving quite a bit of stop and go driving on local streets. Most commuting is done over much longer distances on the freeway where, traffic aside, warmed up vehicles that can drive at a steady speed keep carbon output to a minimum. So again, offering carbon credit based discounts on retail purchases made by bicyclists would get people to choose a bike for the very journeys that have the worst carbon-per-mile footprint.



ideasculptor
02.4.08 - 5:35 am

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seems much more likely to have legislation for re-defining stops as yield for human powered vehicles as the Idaho law spells out, than to have soft stop sign put in which would cost scarce transit funding on hundreds of miles of side streets.

the tax credit could be taken care of by measuring the average mileage per person and crediting someone who drives under that mileage. isnt mileage recorded when you get smogged?



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 10:23 am

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ideasculptor:

1. i was never arguing with you about an opinion. i was stating what had happened in my particular incident this past saturday evening and my rights to the road.
-i NEVER mentioned my personal opinion about how i feel about riders taking up more than one lane because i wanted to keep it related to what i was doing (riding in the RIGHT LANE) and what the officers told me i was in violation of (riding in the RIGHT LANE).
get it? it's the same thing.

2. i had to state this more than three times and you were still going on and on about how you think we should be respectful on the road and share. correct? although, i have the same opinion, i declined to mention that because i wasn't talking about MY opinion; simply stating facts of the evening.

3. you mentioned a couple times that you had to 'go back' and 're-read' some of the posts. i think if you would have practiced more caution earlier instead of writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about something i never mentioned in the first place, my immature name calling might not have occurred.

4. i ignored some of your paragraphs because you kept repeating yourself and i found that annoying and disinteresting.

5. i have no problem calling you an idiot and i have no problem with someone having the same opinion about me. especially when you argue with yourself and blame cyclists for the death of your friend, when a car was the one who drove erratically and hit your friend because he was pissed about the bikes 'slowing up traffic'.





meandmybluebike
02.4.08 - 11:13 am

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ideasculptor -
I'd also like to see an automatic doubling of fines on citations written against cars who endanger bicyclists, just as fines are doubled in construction zones and such. These are much easier measures to get passed, since they increase revenue and don't actually make anything newly illegal, yet they will have an effect on our safety.


Me -
Yeah this looks alot more doable than any of the other suggestions I've seen on this thread. It's the easiest to get passed, and probably the fastest to get implemented. It has the immediate effect of making all the cyclist a bit safer.

Some of the other measures would take decades to pass, if they pass at all. The measure above holds the most bang for the buck!

PS: I'm sorry to hear the story about your friend ideasculptor. I would be pretty pissed off at cyclists if this happened to a loved one. I assume that in the civil lawsuit above, all the cyclist are mentioned as defendants as well as the driver?




User1
02.4.08 - 11:31 am

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"Yes and no, really. Cars waste far more carbon when accelerating than when cruising at constant velocity. It would actually take a lot more carbon out of the atmosphere if we let cars roll through stop signs without stopping/slowing whenever possible. From an environmentalist's perspective, the bikes should be waiting for the cars in that particular context."

traffic circles seem like a great way keep cars and traffic moving through an intersection without stopping.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 11:34 am

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ideasculptor wrote:

From an environmentalist's perspective, the bikes should be waiting for the cars in that particular context.

From an environmentalist's perspective, the majority of those people in cars should be on bikes.

Making cycling more attractive has its merits, but I doubt that running stop signs

For the love of cripes, it's not "running" a stop sign if the the sign is legally a "bikes yield" sign. Let's not use language to obscure meaning. That's not what it's for.

Carbon credits to cyclists would be far more effective. People respond to monetary stimulus, no matter how superficial it may be - obviously, its cheaper to run a bike, even without the credits, but most folks will never adopt cycles at the total expense of car ownership, so they will never really see the true savings of being a cyclist. They'll just spend money on a driveway ornament that they use less frequently. So paying them to ride a bike works more effectively for converting them to bicycle trasport

I seriously doubt that you can pay people enough to influence their decision one way or the other. With the amount of money it would take to accomplish this, and to overcome the extra work that people would have to do to claim the credit, you could invest in a Velib- or Bicing-type community bike program, or do something else far more useful and less dreary than creating a bike-credit bureaucracy.

Also, most shopping is done quite locally to the home [...] So again, offering carbon credit based discounts on retail purchases made by bicyclists would get people to choose a bike for the very journeys that have the worst carbon-per-mile footprint.

Again, doubtful. If the puny amount of money that this carbon credit would likely realistically offer were really a factor in people's decision to make a "quite local to the home" shopping trip by car or bike, they would already be going by bike and saving the gas money.

Roadblock wrote:

seems much more likely to have legislation for re-defining stops as yield for human powered vehicles as the Idaho law spells out, than to have soft stop sign put in which would cost scarce transit funding on hundreds of miles of side streets.

Compared to the cost of, say, striping yet another useless bike lane? I don't think so. All that would be needed is a small "BIKES YIELD" plaque to be affixed to an existing stop sign. We're not talking about a manned mission to Mars, here.



PC
02.4.08 - 1:05 pm

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uh, you guys lost me about 3000 words ago.

This is what I know, cars don't throw go zooming past you, honking their horns, yelling at you, and throwing shit at you when you are driving a big-rig, bulldozers, forklifts, horse driven carriages, school buses, parade floats, or other slow moving vehicle. They wait, pass you when it's safe, or even offer assistance to get you out of the road if necessary. But if you're on a bike, forget it. You are somehow a target for humiliation, threats, soda bottles, paintballs, bbs, and other violent things. That is my experience.

As bicycles on the road, we don't get any form of respect.

That alone is a purpose for a Bill of Rights.



the reverend dak
02.4.08 - 1:11 pm

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"Compared to the cost of, say, striping yet another useless bike lane? I don't think so. All that would be needed is a small "BIKES YIELD" plaque to be affixed to an existing stop sign. We're not talking about a manned mission to Mars, here."

I never mentioned anything about bike lanes. What I'm saying again is, that declring stop signs to be regarded as yield for human powered vehicles woul be cheaper than putting up more signs across hundreds of miles of side streets.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 1:11 pm

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"As bicycles on the road, we don't get any form of respect."

No kidding, WTF is up with that? Is it envy???



toweliesbong
02.4.08 - 1:16 pm

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Sorry, RB, I didn't mean to suggest that you did mention anything about bike lanes. I was putting it in perspective. The cost of altering some stop signs is negligible compared to other work that is already being done to roads for the (ostensible) sake of cyclists. I.e., not a significant factor in whether a "hard/soft sign" law would be viable.



PC
02.4.08 - 1:16 pm

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Man, y'all are going to town. I'm lost. I'm glad the hard/soft stop sign idea is interesting to y'all . . . it's never been one people liked before. I wonder if ideasculptor's idea about carbon credits etc might be better executed in a place where there are more bikers. I feel that it's an idea better suited to driving ridership from 5% to 15% than .25% to 1%.



Alex Thompson
02.4.08 - 1:33 pm

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First of all, this is a fascinating and important thread... a Bicycle Bill of Rights. Talking about changing laws is an animal that would need immense public and political support... something that we as bicyclists lack at our core.

However, a BBoR is catchy and succinct enough to build towards a publicity or awareness campaign. Afterall, our primary goal is to feel safe and enjoy due respect on the roads. Remember, virtually all encounters with the police occur while we ride in huge MR groups and are, admittingly, breaking lots of laws. When we ride alone, in small groups, commute, or train, our advasaries are not the cops, but the soccer moms in SUVs. The public can be converted with a simpathetic awarness campaign.

My suggestion is to build a BBoR into a clear enough concept and promote it as a PR campaign. Concrete changes to the law can come later.

If this thread shows anything, it's that there is significant intellectual prowess amongst the MR community.



indigis
02.4.08 - 1:58 pm

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revdak:
i'm going to guess that part of the reason cyclists don't get respect on the road is partially due to the following:
1. uninformed/uneducated motorists
2. uninformed/uneducated cyclists who cower in the presence of authority, despite the fact that they are in the right (granted there are many reasons for avoiding the authority.)

basically, i think many cyclists are not standing up for themselves because they'd rather not 'deal with the repercussive hassle' that comes with interactions with law enforcement or aggressive and possibly violent drivers.







meandmybluebike
02.4.08 - 2:39 pm

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I totally agree. Especially #2 (not the poop). There are times I see fellow cyclists blatantly risking their lives, cutting off cars. Blocking the passing lane out of spite, etc. It's dangerous and not what I consider exercising their rights. They're being bullies, and THEY don't deserve any respect. Respect is earned, and a lot of us riders haven't earned any... BUT there are some basic things are are just common sense, like being in a big metal box that has more metal in just the bolts than our whole bike. And that they essentially put our lives in stupid danger... That message needs to get out there immediately. You, meandmybluebike, are one of the few that has the balls to get that out there. I've blocked many cars, been pushed, having my bike wedged underneath fenders, to protect riders, only for them to threaten calling the cops on me for blocking them. I've seen this situation get out of hand, and the one that usually gets cuffed is the cyclists. All kinds of laws get broken when there are altercations between cars & bicycles. Yeah, we run lights on occasion. But forcing bikes off the road, into the curb is not only illegal but deadly. Throwing objects out of moving vehicles is illegal, too. My point, rules (and laws) are supposed to make our world fair and foremost SAFE for their participants.

Rights of passage and presence.
---

More on topic:

Is this going to be a universal Bill of Rights? Is the goal for it to be recognized by all governing bodies?

Who signs it? Riders or Public Officials?

I mean, is it going to be a declaration of rights? or a bill to be proposed into law?





the reverend dak
02.4.08 - 3:19 pm

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The first step is to articulate our rights, to claim them. The second step is to support these rights with legislation and policy.





SoapBoxLA
02.4.08 - 3:28 pm

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it's a give and take. if you are intoxicated and / or had just run a light, then stopping to argue with the cops would be quite silly. but if you are obeying the laws and are not intoxicated / have paraphanalia on you then stopping to talk to the cops is essential. when you are in the right yes, stop and talk to the cops if they harass you. (you really dont have a choice if they want you to pull over) If you are intoxicated or are riding illegally then argueing with a cop is not the smartest thing you can do. that's just common sense. luckily for MAMBB she is straightedge and had not obviously broken any laws within sight of the cop. it made sense that she fight for her rights which she did. as she said, she didnt speak for anyone else which was also a wise move considering many had broken laws in front of the cop. had she been intoxicated like many others on the ride I think the story would have gone differently.



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 3:41 pm

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Articulate our rights? That means understanding them.

I'm getting that we have to identify those rights, universal rights that we apply in all cities, in all places we ride bikes. Once we identify those rights, then we have to exercise those rights. Embrace & empower ourselves with them. Then we get them supported and recognized by the state, or powers that be.

Where do we start?




the reverend dak
02.4.08 - 3:42 pm

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I would be curious to know what the policy is towards cyclists in some of the most bicycle friendly societies. maybe a good starting point for our bill of rights is to examine the policies of the Netherlands, Denmark and so forth...



Roadblock
02.4.08 - 3:44 pm

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indigis wrote:

Talking about changing laws is an animal that would need immense public and political support... something that we as bicyclists lack at our core.

Laws are made and changed every day without immense public and political support. It's just a matter of how you frame your argument, and to whom.

For example, the hard/soft stop sign can be sold to certain politicians as a way to be seen doing something about global warming and motor vehicle gridlock without having to spend a lot of money.

And the one that clears up CVC 21800 (d) (1) regarding inoperative traffic signals should be entirely uncontroversial. Nobody could, or would, argue that an operator of a car, truck, motorcycle, moped, rickshaw, or bicycle should have to sit all night at a red light that won't flip because the sensor doesn't work.



PC
02.5.08 - 4:24 am

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If cyclists were to organize around legislation in traditional ways, damm straight we would be able to get some laws changed. If we can put together some common sense proposals, frame them in the right light, and then flood our elected representatives with our opinion (calls, faxes, petitions) you better believe that we would begin to see a change in policy. The problem is to get these ideas down first and go from there. Something to organize around will make it a lot easier to make the next couple of steps.



Streets Blog
02.5.08 - 3:16 pm

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