[*BCM*] [Fwd: Re: [massbike] Globe: Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic]
jim_bcm at xuth.net
Sun May 18 22:10:36 EDT 2008
But you people are only considering state laws and completely neglecting
all of the various incarnations of city ordinances!
And it's not as if they're in any way consistent either. Now that
Somerville has put bike lanes on parts of Beacon St, bike lane usage
on the Beacon/Hampshire corridor (legally) becomes interesting because
the bike lane is supposed to be treated differently in Cambridge and
Somerville (and different still from how it would get used in the rest
of the state).
The three specific things that I know of are:
a) Somerville law says that a cyclist must be in the bike lane if it
exists unless avoiding a hazard, turning left or overtaking another
cyclist. MGL (and Cambridge) has no such requirement.
b) Somerville law states that motor vehicles should merge into the bike
lane to turn right while Cambridge keeps motorists out of the lane
completely except to cross it.
c) MGL allows motor scooters and mopeds to use the bike lane. Both
Cambridge and Somerville do not allow any motor vehicles to use the
On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 09:37:06PM -0400, Jeffrey L. Rosenblum wrote:
> FYI, more accurate details. jeff
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [massbike] Globe: Bicyclists are entitled to use the
> entire lane of traffic
> Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 21:31:33 -0400
> From: John S. Allen <jsallen at bikexprt.com>
> To: rosenblum.jeff at gmail.com
> At 08:43 PM 5/18/2008, Jeffrey Rosenblum wrote:
> > "Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic, not just
> > the margin, so long as they're in the right-most lane."
> > http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/18/taking_a_careful_law_abiding_trip_down_memory_lane/
> > nice that this was included in his list!
> But the author doesn't have it right. Bicyclists (or any driver) are
> entitled to the use of the entire lane in any lane except when able to
> give way safely to the right to allow naother to overtake, but must stay
> in the right lane except when passing or turning left.
> Chapter 89, section 4B. Driving in lane nearest right side of way
> Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane
> nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for
> travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for
> a left turn. When the right lane has been constructed or designated
> for purposes other than ordinary travel, a driver shall drive his
> vehicle in the lane adjacent to the right lane except when
> overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left or right
> turn; provided, however, that a driver may drive his vehicle in such
> right lane if signs have been erected by the department of highways
> permitting the use of such lane.
> Chapter 89: Section 2. Passing vehicle traveling in same direction
> Section 2. Except as herein otherwise provided, the driver of a
> vehicle passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction
> shall drive a safe distance to the left of such other vehicle; and,
> if the way is of sufficient width for the two vehicles to pass, the
> driver of the leading one shall not unnecessarily obstruct the
> other. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted,
> the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in
> favor of the overtaking vehicle on visible signal and shall not
> increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the
> overtaking vehicle.
> The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction
> and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles,
> overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle
> overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a
> one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is
> restricted to one direction of movement.
> These Massachusetts laws are unusual -- other states don't restrict
> drivers to the right lane nearly as much, but most restrict bicyclists more.
> And, as the writer's confusion highlights, Massachusetts traffic laws
> are poorly organized and difficult to interpret.
> See http://www.bikexprt.com/massfacil/laws/kearney.htm for a discussion
> of the oddity of the Massachusetts right-lane use law.
> See http://bicycledriving.org/law/guide-to-improving-laws for a
> discussion of the laws of the different states.bos
> I am sending this message separately to massbike and to the massbike
> Boston discussion list to avoid bounces in replies. I do not subscribe
> to the critical mass list. Jeff, you may forward to that list if you wish.
> John S. Allen
> 7 University Park
> Waltham, MA 02453-1523 USA
> 781 891-9307
> jsallen at bikexprt.com
> Boston Critical Mass mailing list
> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
> To unsubscribe email list-unsubscribe at bostoncriticalmass.org
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass