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Are Bicyclists Really Pedestrians

First off, I don't ride a bike regularly. I think the last time I did was over a decade ago. Anyway, to my point.

I don't have a problem with people who ride bikes for transportation. However, as a motorist I do see a problem with a "new" trend that I've seen around the Provo area.

What's the deal with bicyclists riding in car lanes. The most ludicrous scene is that of a bicyclist turning left in a left turn lane. I could be wrong, but I believe a bike cannot accelerate from a stationary position as fast as most cars.

Frankly I find this behavior annoying and dangerous. I'd like to hear other thoughts on this topic.

Peace out...

ridin' bikes

how about you slow the freak down and look out for the bicyclists on the road instead of being irritated by them and whining about it online. (i dont even own a bicycle btw.)
this is certainly the least of provos or anyones problems. (look at SF or many of the citys in europe and youll see the few bicyclists in provo are aok--there arent bazillions of em like in other places.)
in a related note...it is they who are obeying the laws...they are legally vehicles (i think) and are supposed to stay on the street so blame lawmakers or the police or somebody other than them.
i imagine it isnt that easy for them either competing with Ford F-350s for the left turn lane (esp. when the driver of the F-350 is possibly already irritated with em).

having said all this...i imagine that the best solution is: more bike lanes (keep em off the roads and the sidewalks.

Bicyclists, for the purposes

Bicyclists, for the purposes of the law, are considered vehicles and are NOT considered pedestrians. They can get cited for riding on the sidewalk, exceeding the speed limit, or for riding against traffic. As far as left-hand turns go, the cyclist is only in the path of traffic as long as it takes him to get to the right-hand shoulder of the road he's turning into.

While you may find it annoying, it's the law, and it exists for the safety of motorists and cyclists.

I've not ridden a bike in 2 years.

Some links you may find useful.
Provo municipal code, sections below.
9.32.010.
9.32.020
Link to the code: Provo Municipal Code

Utah Health Department Summary of Laws

Yea, I'm with RC. I ride my

Yea, I'm with RC. I ride my bike to work a few times a week and can explain some of this behavior:

The left hand turn lane is the safest place for you to turn on a bicycle. One, everyone around you will be confused and so they will drive more cautiously and two, the only other alternative is turning across ALL lanes of traffic which doesn't really make sense at all.

Cyclers also tend to ride the shoulder in a consistent line. Sometimes that makes it seem like they're in the middle of the road. This is because there are a lot of obstructions on the side of the road and it's better to just stay as close to the road as possible then to be popping in and out of traffic to dodge parked cars, curbs, etc. It's much safer to stay on the shoulder but as close to the road as possible.

The fact that you don't bike regularly illustrates that you don't really know nor have you thought about how a bicycle should operate in traffic. You just see a guy in your way and say "WTF?" That's understandable, but you should try riding a bike around town sometime. It's fun and exercise is good for you. You may even end up with an understanding of why people do some of the things they do.

Thank you for the information...

Thank you for the information on the legalities of bicyclists. Just as a little side note, the usual response to such a scene in my mind is "Oh my gosh!" or "Unbelievable!"

I recognize now that turning from the left turn lane is legal as is using the shoulder of the road.

Now, I am going to get to some technical aspects of my thoughts. Perhaps I am splitting hairs, but I will write it anyway. First, "pedestrian" and "pedal" come from the same root word, so I believe bicyclists are pedestrians just as those who ride large tricycles or foot-driven scooters or those who skate or skateboard. A big difference between a bicyclist and the last two I listed is that those can't steer their transport with things such as handlebars.

What about the option for those using left turn lanes at traffic light-type intersections (to some that have a four-way stop) to cross at the crosswalk(s). When I rode a bicycle to work and to college in the fall of 1995, I made a conscientous effort to walk my bicycle across the crosswalks so that should a motorist not see me and was about to run into me, I could drop my bike and run. Fortunately I never had to do that. I considered myself a pedestrian in every sense. I did not consider my bike a vehicle.

I am certain that laws that have been enacted that give bicyclists the right to turn from left lanes, etc. However, just because a law is there doesn't mean we can't, in a sense, rise above it. For example, I don't care if as a pedestrian I have the right-of-way to cross at an intersection. I'm not going to walk in front of car hoping that the motorist recognizes my right-of-way and lets me use it. When I rode a bicycle, as much as possible, I gave the vehicle's operator the right-of-way even though legally it was mine. And if I walk in places where I must cross streets, I do the same.

Bottom line, people should be aware of natural laws as well as those enacted by people and use common sense because you can be certain there are others out there (I'm speaking of motorists when I say "others") who don't. If there aren't all ready, perhaps it would be good to give brief trainings on being a defensive bicyclist.

Again, thank you, all three who have responded so far for informing me of the laws in place. I will endeavor to be a more observant driver and make certain I give bicyclists and other pedestrians the right of way as much as possible.

Thanks three times.

Sincerely,
Brent

future biker

So I just got to Provo to start school and thinking about getting a bike just for school travel. And I thought about this question. I probably would ride on the road while going straight. I wasn't sure what was meant by the "shoulder" of the road but I'll ride really close to the sidewalk so that a car can squeeze by in the same lane. If there are lots of parked cars I'd probably go on the sidewalk. And I'm not confident enough to go on the left turn lane for fear of getting hit haha.

But it was good info to know about Provo's laws.

Thanks

Dick