right of way

11 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I would not do this for fear of my life BUT can I legally ride right down the center of the lane on the road just like a car or do I have to ride off to the side? I had some jackass try to run over me this weekend for being in the lane for 3 seconds. Just wondering if I was right or wrong??

Anonymous's picture
Sonny (not verified)

I believe you can (certainly Rich Rosenthal will chime in with the specifics) and in the city I always do. I usually ride right in the center of the lane. It pisses off drivers to no end but at least they see me and have to make a conscious effort to go around me. That is better than riding next to the curb and drivers do not see you. I surmise that this is the cause of many of the serious accidents on the street by the dreaded right or left hook.

Anonymous's picture
Tony (not verified)

I thought so. I was riding down the middle of a slow cross street coming back from the park. the guy behind me honked and then flew past me within inches of clipping me. At the light i pull up next to him and he calls ME an idiot for riding in the road! I scream at him a while and then ride on. I still regret not dousing him with my water bottle! I didnt think of that until I got home. Next time though!!

Anonymous's picture
chris y (not verified)
slow moving vehicle

At least in MA, where I knew the law. Bike are considered a 'slow moving vehicle' with the right to use of the full lane. However, slow moving vehicles are supposed to allow a vehicle to pass, when it is safe to do so. The driver of the slow moving vehicle makes the decision as to when is it 'safe'.

In the city, I usually take a full lane or at least make myself know and visible.

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)
take the lane

For your safety. If they honk, so what? (What, are you intimidated by a horn belching metal beast?) It beats getting a smashed knee from a door or a dislocated shoulder. The center of the lane is nice: there are fewer potholes and passing cars will stay way to the other left lane when passing. Dont engage drivers who call you names and yell; they really wont run you off the road if you stay your ground. Plus they are not worth dealing with: it's more likely to disrupt your zen mode and cadence. Obey traffic signs, though, and use hand signals. Think of yourself as an automobile, and everything will be fine.

Anonymous's picture
Tony (not verified)

"This A$$wipe actually called me stupid for riding in the raod and tried to insult me by asking where I was from. I told him I had the right of way and he just refused to get it. He was convinced I was an idiot for riding in the street and thought I should have pulled over to let him by when he blew his horn ""gently"". Not to mention that he backed up about 1/2 a block before this to pass a cab and almost backed into to me then as I rode up behind him!!! I brought that up to him also but he was just an arrogant a$$hole which I made sure he knew before I left the red light. Next guy is getting a face full of my water bottle!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Anonymous's picture
Tony (not verified)

...just to paint a picture, this tool was driving a Porsche SUV and looked and sounded just like Bloomberg! ONe of these guys who is better than anyone around him....anywhere!

Anonymous's picture
Ron Gentile (not verified)
Let it go

You're steamed because of an altercation that you initiated. Cars will occasionally honk at you. Get over it and don't take it personally. It's New York--drivers like to honk, it makes them feel special. You can't win anything by arguing with bad drivers, and there are too many psychos in this city to take any chances. Just ignore people like that--don't respond, don't make eye contact. Treat them like you would a bear in the woods.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
"""Treat them like you would a bear in the woods"""

So, shoot them in the shoulder joint with a crossbow?

Anonymous's picture
Tony (not verified)

"No Ron. He did not just honk at me. He honked, then accelerated to pass me down a tight one way side street forcing me off the road and barely missing me within inches! THEN he claimed I was at fault for riding in the road after he ""warned me by gently blowing his horn first"". THAT is why I am a little upset here. But thanks for your 2 cents."

Anonymous's picture
Rich Conroy (not verified)
NYS law

"NYS law is worded in such a way that says you have to ride at the right edge of the road, or at the curb, and then lists a bunch of exceptions (""except . . . when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along near the right-hand curb or edge . . . including fixed or moving objects, vehciles, bicycles . . . surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicyle and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the same lane"") NYSVTL &1234, p. 535.

So, this very specifically says that if a lane is too narrow to share, you can take all of it, which deters miscalculations by drivers trying to pass you.

Generally, it's better to allow 4 ft clearance on your right side to stay clear of dooring (if there are parked cars to your right), and overtaking cars should give you 3-4 ft. of clearance on your left. If a lane is wide enough to allow that kind of clearance (and some are) you shouldn't be in the middle of it. If a lane is too narrow to share with a passing car, with adequate clearance for you on both sides, then you should take that lane.

I personally don't think that riding at the edge or curb is safe. Cyclists are less visible there, both to passing and crossing motorists.

You met a putz. Unfortunately, the more bike lanes and bike paths that get put in to separate cyclists from traffic (and I'm one that likes and uses such facilities), the more motorists will believe that we don't belong on the roads. And NYS state driver's education is such a joke, that it won't dis-abuse them of that mis-placed belief.
Rich"

Anonymous's picture
Tony (not verified)

"Thats exactly why I took it upon myself to ""educate"" him. I could see he was not dangerous. Just a [email protected] on the UES."

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