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  1. #1
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    Bunch of BS here

    Jessamine County bike commuter found guilty

    "JESSAMINE CO, Ky. (WKYT) - She rides her bike in traffic on some of central Kentucky's busiest roads. But after a Jessamine County woman was found guilty of putting herself and others in danger, she told WKYT's Garrett Wymer the verdict will not keep her bike off the road.

    Police cited Cherokee Schill several times with careless driving and failing to keep to the right on the highway. A judge on Friday convicted Schill, sentencing her to pay a $50 fine for each of the six charges she faced, plus court costs.

    Schill disagrees with the verdict.

    "I think there was a miscarriage of justice here," she told reporters after the trial adjourned.

    According to Kentucky state law, vehicles moving slowly have to stay as far to the right as possible on the highway. Prosecutor Eric Wright says the key word there is "highway." That includes the shoulder - the reason Schill broke the law by riding in traffic on U.S. Route 27, he said.

    "If the shoulder is usable, and it's practicable for it to be used and it can be safely used, and you're moving more slowly than other traffic on the highway at the time, you are to get as far to the right as practicable," Wright said.

    But Schill said riding on the shoulder would be even more dangerous, because she still would have to drive in traffic at times because of all the rumble strips, potholes and debris littering the shoulder.

    Schill maintains she is "operating 110 percent within the law," and that the real violators are cars speeding past her bicycle and disregarding her right-of-way.

    Even now that she has been convicted, Schill said she will not change how she rides. She plans to appeal the court's decision, she said.

    ORIGINAL STORY:

    A bike commuter in Jessamine County was found guilty on six charges after a Friday trial.

    WKYT first told you about Cherokee Schill earlier this year.

    The Nicholasville woman commutes daily from her home to her work in Lexington by bicycle. It's an 18 mile trip.

    Schill is on trial on Friday in Jessamine District Court after being cited three times for careless driving. She says she is not breaking the law.

    The judge is expected to make a decision on Friday evening. The defense attorney presented their case around 2:00 p.m.

    One witness was Tom Armstrong, a cycling instructor from Louisville. He discussed the dangers of riding on the shoulder of the road. Prosecutors argue that the state law requires her to ride on the shoulder of the road because she's a slow moving vehicle.

    Prosecutors say that Schill riding in the slow lane of US 27 presented a danger to herself and drivers. She was ticketed three times.

    Schill took the stand around 4:00 p.m. on Friday. She began crying when she was asked about her daily commute. She says she didn't want to be in anyone's way, but that riding on the shoulder is too dangerous.

    She also says Kentucky law classifies her bike as a vehicle giving her the same rights as anyone driving a car. Prosecutors said her riding on the road led to a backup of vehicles and was dangerous. They also said state law requires slow moving vehicles to move as far to the right as they can, so she should be riding on the shoulder.

    The Judge ruled that the cyclist is guilty on six charges. There are three careless driving offenses and three other traffic offenses. There is a $50 fine for each and she will have one year to pay it off.

    The Judge has encouraged her to be careful and not put herself in danger."

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I am sorry but did I read that correctly? She is riding on the highway? Even on the shoulder would be insane. No other route available? I find that really hard to believe. I can see why she would be ticketed and is a hazard to everyone, especially herself by riding on the highway.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
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    Some highways are perfectly legal for a bike to be on...specifically rural area's where the only access to properties is via the highway.
    There's a section of 4 lane divided highway that I could ride on for part of my commute.
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  4. #4
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    Hard to say. I think "highway" is sometimes used for roads other than high speed multi-lane freeways. You may remember the story about the person on Rt. 9 in Massachusetts who got ticketed because they took the lane since the shoulder was littered with debris? That's a highway (which I can see from my window at work all day) and there's no way in hell I'd ride on it, but it's legal to ride on.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2987...GQ!2e0!6m1!1e1

  5. #5
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    Without being on the road, it's hard to say whether or not I'd ride it. Many of the roads in KY are narrow, winding, and lack shoulders. It's quite possible a better alternative is not available. It seems to me that she is riding within the law.

  6. #6
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    G*d forbid they actually come up with a solution, like actually making the shoulder ride-able, instead of penalizing the cyclist for being in the way or forcing her into traffic.

  7. #7
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    Without seeing the actual conditions of the area, I think this is case of a totally wacko vehicular cyclist. I would never take the lane of any highway if there is a shoulder, potholes or not. According to one source the speed limit US 27 is 55 mph, meaning most cars would be going at least 65 mph, in the "slow lane" they actually just might be going the limit of 55:
    Off the record: Would minimum speed limit improve U.S. 27 safety? - Central Kentucky News

  8. #8
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    Shoulder condition is absolutely key. When I lived in Texas, if you wanted to do road rides out into the country, you had NO CHOICE but to ride on roads with 70-75mph speed limits. NO CHOICE AT ALL. In Texas, most rural county roads have speed limits that high.

    It was also a thing there for people driving slow to move right into the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass. So even if you rode in the shoulder (if there was one), you were not "out of traffic". On the plus side, with people driving in the shoulder, debris was kept WAY down compared to what I see in Indiana. But even still, unless it's posted otherwise here (like in a controlled access "freeway" sort of situation), riding a bike on a 55mph "highway" is NOT illegal. It's not for me, but I don't begrudge anyone else for doing so.

    People on bikes deserve a place to ride and they deserve access to corridors they need to use to get to work, school, to the store, or whatever. Especially in the absence of other public transit. Last I checked, owning/driving a car was not a requirement.

  9. #9
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    Here is a video of a portion of the commute: 189.300 - YouTube. It's hard to say the rider is being reckless from watching that video.

  10. #10
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    HAHA! Thanks for posting that video, s0ckeyeus, it really shows how crazy vehicular cycling weirdos are! I love how she stops at random points to pick up glass from the shoulder! I am sure it is much safer to take a lane on that high speed road, rather than risk the super dangerous glass shard or two on the shoulder...

    Normally in a theoretical sense, I am against the police and the existence of highly formalized legal systems, but in this case, they are actually protecting this dumb woman from herself. I am pretty sure if there was a back facing camera the picture would be different, but not according to this wacko vehicular cyclists nutty woman, in another video she writes in the description:
    Quote Originally Posted by Cherokee Schill
    I have never been hit from behind. Why? Because drivers are taught to not hit what is in front of them. As long as you are visible you are good.
    Here is the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3uVapvfcTE

  11. #11
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    RoyFokker, do you even own a bike?

  12. #12
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    The more pertinent question is
    Do I and the people who post here own a car?

    And for me the answer is, no, I don't and if it is up to me I never will. I will avoid living or picking a job where I am forced to have a car. And I just laugh at the people who buy the crap of the best friend automobile lobbyists, the crank, John Forester, who barely cycles himself, when on the contrary it is quite common for Dutch people of his age to cycle.

    If you think that video she posted proved a dangerous enough shoulder to legitimize her claims that she had to take a lane amongst likely 40+ mph cars to avoid minuscule amounts of glass and debris, you are not the type a serious debate can be had with.

  13. #13
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    Roy
    You sound way more like Lynn Kyle

    Everybody gets that you don't like to ride your bike on the road and that you'd rather live in The Netherlands.

    Cycling in the USA will never be on par with cycling anywhere in Europe. It's like comparing apples to steak....not even the same food group.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    ...you are not the type a serious debate can be had with.
    I think you fail to grasp the point of a debate. You are supposed to actually consider the point of whoever it is you are debating. It is very clear that you are not doing that. Frankly, I think you are no less of a wacko than the vehicular cyclists you lambast.

    I am not convinced that Roy owns a bike, either.

  15. #15
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    It is amusing to read the nonsense responses, off-topic, ad-hominem attacks of the motorists pretending to be cyclists when they feel like it. It seems when someone champions the interests of the bicycle and points out hypocrisy alot of Sunday cyclists get angry, I wonder why? (I know why.)

    On-topic: her Youtube channel is a show-case of vehicular cycling nuttiness:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Cherokeelee172/videos
    It is funny to think she is trying to post examples of vehicular cycling advocacy on her channel, but the courts for her own good, made an example out of her! I only wish John Forester(motor vehicle lobbyist fighting against cycling infrastructure and sympathetic laws) would receive the same treatment in court, instead of being consulted as some sort of false cycling expert.

  16. #16
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    You're quite the internet tough guy, aren't you?

  17. #17
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    How is it a "tough guy" to point out the obvious? Most of what passes for a cyclist even on this forum, are people who are car dependent. Thus to promote the bicycle would be against their own transportation interests. Just because I don't like posting off-topic nonsense, is no reason to hate.

    Here are two video of this crazy vehicular cyclist girl from the rear! They are shocking to say the least:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MZ6JhI-vh0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgfBI8F-xx4
    She was/is a few years or months removed from being a deadly statistic if she continues.

  18. #18
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    That woman is endangering not only herself but other motorists. I am all for biking on the street, but the road that she is riding on has an ample paved shoulder and she really should be using it.

    And what is this whole car dependent argument? So you are not a cyclist if you own a car? That kind of logic equates to you are not a swimmer since you walk.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Most of what passes for a cyclist even on this forum, are people who are car dependent.
    You can be a cyclist and still drive. You can be a pianist and still play the guitar. You can be a historian still use math. These things aren't mutually exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Thus to promote the bicycle would be against their own transportation interests.
    We're not asking for bikes to completely replace cars. We want to live in a world where cars and bikes can co-exist harmoniously. I still want to be able to drive to my mother's house 50 miles away or my sister's house 60 miles away, but I also want to be able to bike to work 10 miles away without risking death or serious injury. I just ask that drivers be more courteous and there be more bike lanes and multi-use paths. I'm not asking for roads to be taken away from cars and given to cyclists.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    The more pertinent question is
    Do I and the people who post here own a car?

    And for me the answer is, no, I don't and if it is up to me I never will. I will avoid living or picking a job where I am forced to have a car. And I just laugh at the people who buy the crap of the best friend automobile lobbyists, the crank, John Forester, who barely cycles himself, when on the contrary it is quite common for Dutch people of his age to cycle.

    If you think that video she posted proved a dangerous enough shoulder to legitimize her claims that she had to take a lane amongst likely 40+ mph cars to avoid minuscule amounts of glass and debris, you are not the type a serious debate can be had with.
    My wife and I own one car between the two of us, not that it matters much to the discussion. The law doesn't hinge on whether or not a person owns a car. If I want to ride a stretch of road to get to work, even if it's a stretch another person might not feel comfortable riding, I should be able to do so as long as I am within the law. KY law does not specify that a cyclist must use the shoulder, just that cyclists must stay as far to the right in their lane as practicable.

    I don't usually ride the shoulder, partly because there aren't many shoulders around here, but also because frequently give way to turning lanes and intersections that can lead to awkward situations easily avoided by taking the lane. Just because a person is perceived as a nuisance doesn't mean they should be ticketed.

    There is a road here that is frequented by roadies. It has no shoulder and is only two lanes. As inconvenient as these cyclists might be, I don't think they should be ticketed for cycling within the law. I wouldn't ride that road, but it doesn't mean they should be harassed for doing so (heaven forbid, the city actually expanding the roadway to accommodate cyclists on one of the few viable routes out of town).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Most of what passes for a cyclist even on this forum, are people who are car dependent. Thus to promote the bicycle would be against their own transportation interests. Just because I don't like posting off-topic nonsense, is no reason to hate.
    That has to be one of the most ignorant posts I have read on this forum. Please, oh wise one, tell us more of your uninformed opinions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    ad-hominem attacks of the motorists pretending to be cyclists when they feel like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Most of what passes for a cyclist even on this forum, are people who are car dependent. Thus to promote the bicycle would be against their own transportation interests.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Just because I don't like posting off-topic nonsense, is no reason to hate.
    He who has butter on his head, should stay out of the sun.

  23. #23
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    While driving through Nebraska to Moab, there were signs on I80 that cyclists are to use the shoulder. We all thought it was crazy to ride on the interstate with vehicles zooming by at 80mph.

  24. #24
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    Sounds like she's got a death wish. She'd rather get hit by a car going 70MPH than hit a few pot holes on her commute? She'd rather avoid a few punctured tires, but possibly get smeared across the highway by a semi? USE YOUR BRAIN! Your "right to the road" doesn't make you a car.

  25. #25
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    ^ I have to agree with this. Just because you "legally" can, doesn't mean that you should. That road looks OK if you are on the shoulder, but to take a lane is almost suicidal.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  26. #26
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    Just because a road is called a highway does not automatically make it more dangerous for cyclist.
    There are plenty of highways around that are no different than any other 2 lane roads. They are only designated Highway because they connect 2 or more towns and/or cross county lines.

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    Having watched the video, I don't envy the commute. Most of the shoulder looked rideable to me, none of it looked like fun. That said, I don't see where she is holding up traffic, less visible than any other vehicle, or otherwise outside of her rights as she rides to the right in the right lane.

    I happily ride a number of "highways" with 55mph speed limits around here. Our country roads are often safer (or at least feel that way) than some of the 35 mph roads around the small cities. I would not ride the road she rides and I wish she didn't feel compelled to do so. I go 6 miles out of my way to avoid riding roads like that, but then, I ride because I can/ when it suits me.

    Are there any legal precedents in the complete roads or other federal projects which might allow countersuit for shoulder maintenance or MUP building?

  28. #28

  29. #29
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    This case reminds me of an incident last week. I was driving in a 35 mph zone to my park-n-pedal lot, and saw another bikecommuter I know on the side of the road. So I slowed, signaled, and pulled over to see if he needed a lift, pump, or tool. As I did so, the car behind me blared the horn and screamed by. The cyclist said, I guess they hate cyclists even when they're in a car. But if drivers were not in the habit of tailgaiting and speeding, or distracted by whatever, they would not be so surprised and upset by a slowing car or someone on a bike. Perhaps the driver behind me felt he did not have adequate reaction time, but that was his own fault.

    People would not be calling the cyclist in this case suicidal if drivers were driving the speed limit and allowing adequate space between vehicles to see and respond to unexpected incidents. We need a re-set on this. Is a sane following distance really such an imposition?

  30. #30
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    Sometimes, I feel like country highways can be safer (my experience in Missouri, limited) but it depends on the road conditions. On a road like that I'd be on the shoulder. I'd ride the shoulder until there was some dangerous debris. I'd also have a mirror, so I'd know if I could take the lane or if I had to stop.

    I don't know how you all feel about that, but that's just what I'd do. I'm open to criticism. I don't have any desire to be road pizza. There are road I refuse to ride on here. I'll go way out of my way to not do it. It would be far too dangerous.

    And please stop feeding Royfukker's trolling. I get it, he's really ticking a lot of us off. He's having fun here doing that. Don't let him.

  31. #31
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    Re: Bunch of BS here

    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Sometimes, I feel like country highways can be safer (my experience in Missouri, limited) but it depends on the road conditions. On a road like that I'd be on the shoulder. I'd ride the shoulder until there was some dangerous debris. I'd also have a mirror, so I'd know if I could take the lane or if I had to stop.

    I don't know how you all feel about that, but that's just what I'd do. I'm open to criticism. I don't have any desire to be road pizza. There are road I refuse to ride on here. I'll go way out of my way to not do it. It would be far too dangerous.

    And please stop feeding Royfukker's trolling. I get it, he's really ticking a lot of us off. He's having fun here doing that. Don't let him.
    Sounds reasonable enough

  32. #32
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    I pretty much follow ND's comments and have for decades. I have a lot of roads I don't ride either from a car reconnaissance or after riding it once. I see from the pictures of the route she rides that there are spots with no shoulder, spots with what looks like 18" or so, and others with wider more rideable shoulder. Wisconsin law says the cyclist can up to 3' from the curb or road edge and a 3' minimum clearance must be given passing a cyclist. While that does not have the weight of law elsewhere, it does stand as a reasonable allowance made into law. So riding the fog line in the narrow shoulder areas especially if a car can get by with the 3 foot allowance in the lane, seems reasonable. Taking the lane where there is no shoulder and the lane is too narrow for safe passing, riding the fog line, or the shoulder as dictated seems safe enough. Her complaint about the semis passing her too close when she is on the shoulder may be where the shoulder was too narrow.

    I also don't get all the concern about "driver safety" cited by the arresting officer in her case. If they hit her, she has almost all the injury. If they do some dumb move into a car to their left that is just plain dumb driving and since when do we protect that? I suppose it ruins their day and makes them late for work. OTOH it is her life in the balance. It is as it they think that is forfeit as soon as she rides the road. For some roads that may be the case.

  33. #33
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    Someone in the comments brought up a good point: why is this a big deal in Jessamine County and not in Fayette county? She was riding through both counties, and Lexington (Fayette) is a lot busier than Nicholasville (Jessamine). The wanton endangerment charge is bogus unless she was doing something crazy on the road. I would like to see video of the exchange between her and the cops.

    The trouble I have with this whole thing is there is no law stating a cyclist must use the shoulder when it is available and practical to use, unlike the law concerning bike lanes. Bicycles are permitted to use the shoulder but are not required to do so (as far as I can tell). The law stating that bikes must stay as far right as practicable leaves a lot open to interpretation, but this law seems to apply to the roadway itself and not the shoulder. As most of us know, taking the lane is almost always safer than hugging the white line. If I were riding this road, I would ride near the middle of the lane too (usually I shoot for the right tire prints on the road).

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Sometimes, I feel like country highways can be safer (my experience in Missouri, limited) but it depends on the road conditions. On a road like that I'd be on the shoulder. I'd ride the shoulder until there was some dangerous debris. I'd also have a mirror, so I'd know if I could take the lane or if I had to stop.
    Seems reasonable to me too. One potential problem is if traffic is moving quickly, it may be difficult to get back into the lane. On my old commute, I could have ridden on the shoulder, but I would have had to enter traffic again as soon as the shoulder disappeared into a turning lane. This move was more dangerous than just staying on the road the whole time. I was hardly an impediment to traffic. If anything, traffic was holding me up, but cars still got huffy with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I would have had to enter traffic again as soon as the shoulder disappeared into a turning lane.
    Disappearing shoulders tend to turn into sore shoulders

  36. #36
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    ^ I use the right turn lane instead of the shoulder all the time. Drivers on the cross street do not see you if you are on on the shoulder and last minute right hooks are an issue if you don't place your bike in front. I take the center of the lane, as encouraging anyone turning right to pass before their turn is silly. They can wait a few seconds to let me clear.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    ^ I use the right turn lane instead of the shoulder all the time. Drivers on the cross street do not see you if you are on on the shoulder and last minute right hooks are an issue if you don't place your bike in front. I take the center of the lane, as encouraging anyone turning right to pass before their turn is silly. They can wait a few seconds to let me clear.
    Do you have any problems with cars wanting to merge into you?

    In my particular situation, the shoulder went to a turning lane and just disappeared afterward. Now I don't even have to worry about it because the shoulder was extended and converted into an MUP. Still, if I can, I like to get into the appropriate lane with traffic. That way if a light turns red, I'm not standing in the middle of the turning lane waiting for the light to change.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    Do you have any problems with cars wanting to merge into you?
    This is on a 2 lane 55 mph posted road with 8' shoulders. They have let the right turn arrows fade and are not repainting them. Passing on the right with care when there is room is legal in Indiana. So they are allowing the right turn lanes to be dual purpose. The crossroads are stops. Mix of T and through intersections.

    For the most part, these are long turn lanes. I have had two overtake me and move in front but both had lots of room and I did not need slow at all. Most fall in behind.

    On city streets, I take the through lane. Few lanes are wide enough for a cyclist and a car even if you hugged he curb or shoulder.


    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    In my particular situation, the shoulder went to a turning lane and just disappeared afterward. Now I don't even have to worry about it because the shoulder was extended and converted into an MUP. Still, if I can, I like to get into the appropriate lane with traffic. That way if a light turns red, I'm not standing in the middle of the turning lane waiting for the light to change.
    Traffic lights screw that up. So I don't use the right lane then. In Ottawa, Ontario the signage on some streets is that busses and bikes can use the lane straight though, but cars can only use it as a turn lane. Looked workable but I don;t know what it is like riding in a herd of busses (I have my biases about that though).

  39. #39
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    Word. Riding in cities can be complicated, especially if the infrastructure is not conducive to cycling. We have major roads with bike lanes that disappear all of the sudden. I'm not sure what they expect cyclists to do. Luckily our downtown area is starting to get a little more progressive and installing huge bike lanes. Our current mayor seems to be pro-cycling. The suburbs seem to be behind still.

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