'Every Lane Is A Bike Lane'
Sundogg / LA Weekly Flickr pool
Did you know that bicyclists are entitled to a whole traffic lane, all to themselves?
Yes. In an effort to make L.A. urban traffic slow down even more, Metro, the folks behind the bus and the subway, remind you that bicyclists have the same right to hold up traffic as any little old lady driver from Pasadena.
If you were a little old lady, Mexican gardener, elder, Iranian man, or any combination thereof, and you did 15 miles an hour down Wilshire Boulevard in your Oldsmobile, 1978 Toyota pickup, or Mercedes E Class when everyone else was doing 45, you could get a ticket.
Bicyclists can get tickets for that too, apparently.
Metro this week unveiled its "share the road campaign," which is reminding drivers that bike riders have rights ... and responsibilities:
There are only so many bike lanes in our region and there remains many place[s] where cyclists are faced [with] a grim choice. They either must ride in a pebble-strewn parking lane/gutter where they have to avoid obstacles such as parked cars and garbage cans. Or they must ride in traffic lanes with vehicles that are faster than bikes and outweigh bikes by thousands of pounds.
Yep, though Metro notes that bicyclists "have [a] legal right to take a full lane," the agency also says that they "shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical" and that taking up that full lane is *strike>only legit if they're "moving at the same speed as other traffic."
Metro also says bike riders must obey all the same rules as you fossil-fuel-burners, including stopping at stop signs, a rarity in these parts.
So next time you see a bike rider on the road, tailgate them just like you would any other vehicle. We kid.
*[Corrected at 2:40 p.m.]: Some of you have pointed out the exceptions regarding when a bicyclists can take up a lane and not be going the speed of traffic. Our bad.
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