Bicycle Riding Laws

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During rush hour this morning (8:30) I was driving toward downtown on Anacapa Street. Both one-way lanes were filled with traffic. A bicyclist was also riding in the same direction.

With no bike lane available, the cyclist was riding in the right traffic lane close to parked cars. Cars were then forced to slow behind the bicyclist and merge into the left lane to go around the bicyclist, creating a small traffic jam.

Forum question: Since a bike lane exists in the same direction of travel (State St.) should bicyclists be obligated to use streets where a bike lane is available in their direction of travel?

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a-1540322878 Oct 23, 2018 12:27 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Cyclists shouldn't be forced to drive on a certain road, but they should take it into consideration for their own safety. Then again, their own safety doesn't seem to matter to many cyclists I see racing through stop signs, riding without lights at night, and other dangerous maneuvers.

GeneralTree Oct 23, 2018 01:06 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Use common sense in determining your route.

REX OF SB Oct 23, 2018 01:09 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

"…should bicyclists be obligated to use streets where a bike lane is available in their direction of travel?"............................I don't think they should be legally obligated to use a street with a bike lane, but I think they're morally obligated to. Back in the not-so-distant past when I commuted via bicycle to work downtown from my home on the upper Westside, I would NEVER ride on streets such as De la Vina, Anacapa, Chapala, and the like because just one street over was a dedicated bike lane. That said, nothing is more annoying than being on a street with a bike lane, such as Castillo, and coming across a group of two or three riders riding abreast and taking up the whole traffic lane. And as far as the entire westbound side of East Cota now a bike lane, with no motor vehicle parking whatsoever, I drive that route several times a week and I have never—EVER—seen a single bicyclist there. Thanks so much, City of SB.

PitMix Oct 23, 2018 01:39 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Would you rather ride down Anacapa with the timed light signals or on State Street that could take a 1/2 day to go from top to bottom if you hit every light? That is also an option for cars if you think it is such a great transportation corridor. Maybe it is safer for bikes but with pedestrians and cars doing erratic things, maybe it isn't. There should be a bike lane on a street that would allow bike traffic to travel efficiently to their destination. The one bike lane on Castillo is not enough. I've biked down Anacapa many times and am usually moving at car speed to hit the lights.

ZeroHawk Oct 23, 2018 01:49 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

ive biked and skateboarded and drove downtown most of my 40something years here. I live in the heart of this mess we call downtown. I watch so many cyclists (you know who you are) that are brazen and over entitled and blow through stop signs, lights, crosswalks, refusing to yield to right of way, impeding traffic and doing seriously bone headed moves like riding on DLV or Anacapa. Or many of the other streets downtown. Let's be real here. Groups of cyclists with fancy over priced road bikes tend to be obnoxious and take up way more space than they should. They taunt and challenge drivers (dumb move IMO) and cause collisions. Small narrow city streets and too many cars parking on the streets and too many LARGE vehicles. These streets were not made with this in mind. I bike on roads with bike lanes 75% of the time and use safer routes to connect. Why? Because i'm not an idiot and will never challenge a 7500lb vehicle in a game of chicken. The 3ft 'law' isn't applicable when you do the math, 3ft from either side of the road = 6ft, that's more or less one full lane on DLV. Another topic, are the over entitled dog owners, but we'll save that for another post ;)

x01660 Oct 23, 2018 04:04 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: "Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?" The Master replied: "How about 'shu' [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?" If we all followed this, things would be a lot more civil and pleasant... Oh well....

oceandrew Oct 23, 2018 05:11 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Let's see if I have this right... a bicyclist has to go out of his/her way for several minutes to prevent an inconvenience to strangers in cars that only costs them less than a minute off their routine. No wonder civility is breaking down as we demand more of others than we do of ourselves.

a-1540342186 Oct 23, 2018 05:49 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

I agree with you completely. However, cyclists need to understand that when they follow the rules they can get run over, and when they do not follow the rules they tend get run over more often. When I ride, I follow the rules and watch out for any and all vehicles, and assume they do not see me. I never take up a whole lane and block cars even when I have a right to. My reason: I do not want to be run over. Cyclists, please play it safe, follow the rules, and live another day.

a-1540346964 Oct 23, 2018 07:09 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

This post reminds me of the time I was riding my bike on Hollister Ave, Old Town Goleta and some woman made a zippy right turn into the bank parking lot, cutting me off and missing the front tire of my bike (I slammed on my brakes) by mere inches. When I followed her into the parking lot and asked why she felt the need to nearly run me over, she called me a "choice name" and told me I should " . . . be on the bike path. That's where you belong." Hahahahaha. Now that's RICH. So . . . I am supposed to WALK MY BIKE on the sidewalks of Old Town Goleta if I'm running errands or just out for a ride because bicyclists "belong" on the bike path? I, too, ride my bike in Santa Barbara, mostly downtown and now mainly on bike paths. After nearly 50 years of riding my bike around here, I sure as heck don't feel AT ALL SAFE on the streets. Never been hit and don't want to ruin my record (or my body). Drivers are angry. They are distracted. They are impatient. They are easily offended and annoyed. Not all of them. Some are polite. I have drivers waving me through a four-way stop, when it's not my turn. Some people are nice. I yell at guys (it's 95% guys) when they are riding their bicycles on the sidewalks. Those idiots endanger pedestrians and will cause heartache when they get "cleaned up" by some driver not expecting a moron riding along on the sidewalk at 15-20mph and through crosswalks-----often against traffic on a one-way street. My answer to the OP is this: Bicyclists are legally considered to be operators of vehicles. They are on a par legally with car/SUV/truck drivers. Bicyclists have the RIGHT to ride where they CAN, legally. That said, this mega-traffic, "over-entitled" (that's redundancy at its best, ZEROHAWK) seething mess of car/SUV/truck drivers has taken all the fun out of riding a bike anywhere on City streets and roads/County streets and roads. Not only because I don't want to become a collision victim, but also because I love my lungs-----I don't ride where there's traffic if I can help it. Who needs to breathe in all that particulate matter? Who needs to deal with any (haha) "over-entitled" drivers?

a-1540347550 Oct 23, 2018 07:19 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Sometimes it makes sense to plan your bike route and go a little extra way for peace of mind... I wonder thou if SB drivers notice small black and white signs that say what speed limits. On DeLaVina it is either 30 or 25 mph. Before you fume and spasm over a cyclist that makes you hit brakes look at your speedometer and the speed limit. The motorcycle cop just makes happy rounds here writing speeding tickets. Easy money. Take a breath and slow down and enjoy your life.

a-1541023417 Oct 31, 2018 03:03 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Bravo! I walked and worked on De la Vina, around Quinto. A dangerous speedway indeed. And "normal" drivers get mad at drivers who drive legally or appropriately for the conditions...

a-1540348227 Oct 23, 2018 07:30 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

If the speed limit all over town was 25mph and enforced as such not only would there be less vehicle accidents and fewer pedestrians run over, the air would be cleaner, too. Eventually drivers would calm down and I bet everyone would be happier.

a-1540353250 Oct 23, 2018 08:54 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

I ride my bike all over town and I’m interested in self preservation, so I generally choose routes with bike lanes. That bicyclist has every right to peddle up Anacapa, but I’d have chosen a different route.

EastBeach Oct 24, 2018 01:10 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

OP/ODDS BOKIN - Obligated? No. As others have said, the law says bicycles and autos have the same status and must share the roadway safely. The rules are here ....... https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/hdbk/shr_slow_veh ..... That said, I recently had to ride my bike to pick up my car at the auto shop and planned a "safer" route. Ironically, as a mountain biker, I'd rather take my chances on a steep technical trail in the backcountry than riding down a city street with a guy in a car behind me who incorrectly doesn't believe cyclists have a right to share the roadway.

Odds Bodkin Oct 24, 2018 09:52 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

EASTBEACH - Yes, thank you. I understand the laws. I started the forum wanting to provoke thoughtful debate. It seems to have worked - comments have been reasoned and without the typical sarcasm/snark.

sbandto Oct 24, 2018 06:44 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

http://www.sbbike.org/top_10_laws?fbclid=IwAR3cVAsD2oH22nyN4KaBvlMEHAPKVdRYX9b2HQYJ06XupcWHkpralHVxdAg

420722 Oct 24, 2018 06:46 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Sure it’s legal to go down Dlv or anacapa but why would you? Bikes shouldn’t be obligated to take another route but you would think common sense or human decency would take over and you would choose another route. You won’t catch me riding on any of those streets.

mm1970 Oct 24, 2018 09:53 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

If your destination is DLV or Anacapa, yes.

local123 Oct 24, 2018 10:20 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

FYI Yesterday at the time OP specified, State Street was blocked off for construction starting at Victoria and southbound traffic was re-routed to Anacapa. Same for today, except this time the construction started on Anapamu.

Believe me, I do not want to ride on Anacapa, but then and today I was forced to.

Share the road.

a-1540402709 Oct 24, 2018 10:38 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

"Share the road," indeed. Also, don't forget to share responsibility for following the traffic laws on the road.

Luvaduck Oct 24, 2018 10:28 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Another issue to be aware of: Some bicycle riders ride on the wrong side of the street, not with traffic. Those and the ones who ride on the sidewalks are more likely not less likely to be hit since they are coming from an unexpected direction/situation.

local123 Oct 24, 2018 10:41 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

@LUVADUCK Your comment makes it sound like riding against traffic or on the sidewalk is a common practice for cyclists. It's not, your everyday commuter knows it's illegal and dangerous and is not going to do these things.

ScottH Oct 24, 2018 11:19 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

The main problem is the attitude of bikers, especially the ones that get all dressed up in their "uniforms" to simply peddle a bike. They believe they own the road and I've heard them say rude comments to cars, runners, walkers, etc.. They really need to get back off and use the bike paths when available. But at least they look like professional "lance armstrong" bikers while they're busy complaining :)

EastBeach Oct 24, 2018 11:57 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Seriously doubt that's the rule and is more the exception. Drivers in BMW's have caught my eye driving very dangerously but I don't assume most/all are like that. Furthermore, I don't make any assumptions about their psychological makeup - though I have seen them *apply* makeup while driving :)

mm1970 Oct 25, 2018 08:56 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Hardly all cyclists are like that. The "uniforms", as you put it, are specifically designed for cyclists to be comfortable and VISIBLE. The type of outfit that I may wear to bike around town at my 10 mph on my 20 year old hybrid is quite different than what I'd wear if I were attempting to ride 50-100 miles.

Yes, on occasion I've heard rude statements (like when I'm running in the bike lane because the sidewalk is bumpy, narrow, and slanted). But generally I've had no problems.

Bicycles are vehicles. While it's great that we have bike paths around town - several of them are "multi-use" paths, and I'm pretty darned glad the serious cyclists aren't riding on the bike path at Cabrillo with the joggers and the dog walkers and the strollers. As vehicles, they have every right to be on the road. Just keep 'em off the sidewalk.

local123 Oct 24, 2018 11:27 AM
Bicycle Riding Laws

Is that really the "main problem"? OP's reason for even creating this thread seems to be the main problem because there was construction that re-routed traffic to Anacapa on the day they were complaining about.

Odds Bodkin Oct 25, 2018 01:50 PM
Bicycle Riding Laws

And, speaking of dangerous cyclist behavior - this afternoon I was driving on Foothill between San Roque and the 154. A cyclist was properly in the narrow shoulder/bike lane. So far so good. But - as we entered a downhill run at La Cumbre he sat up straight and rode with no hands! Talk about foolish!

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