Author Topic: Removing Bike lanes in Placentia, CA  (Read 9965 times)

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Offline aggie

Removing Bike lanes in Placentia, CA
« on: September 26, 2009, 09:24:17 pm »
If you need an example of car-centric thinking look no further than Placentia, CA.  They removed the bike lanes near two intersections so that they could install left hand turn lanes.  They say it was done to comply with the county's master traffic plan.  The removal creates a definite hazard for cyclists on these heavily traveled intersections.  One intersection is about two hundred yards from an elementary school.  (The safe routes to school program is for naught.)  The city did place signs near the intersection that say share the road with a bicycle emblem (their first).  Instead of creating an environment conducive to people riding their bikes they make it more of a hassle.

At this particular intersection I was cut off by one driver after they were able to pass.  Before that this driver repeatedly honked their horn.  Imagine my surprise when I called the Placentia police department to report an aggressive driver.  I was told that it wasn't against the law to cut off a cyclist or to repeatedly honk the horn.  I was told they only way the police would take a report was if I was struck by the car. 
I was also informed by the city that bike lanes were a privilege and not a right and that state law only requires that bicycles be "considered" when planning a project.  It is not mandatory to include bicycle lanes on new construction. 

This is yet another example of Southern California being in love with cars and inhibiting people from using alternative transportation.

Offline whittierider

Re: Removing Bike lanes in Placentia, CA
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 03:29:44 am »
I was told that it wasn't against the law to cut off a cyclist

I hate it when police don't know the law they're supposed to be enforcing!!  I was stopped by a pair of officers in a car once for using the left-turn lane on my bike.  I had to tell them the law.  I suppose the fact that I knew what I was talking about embarrassed them, and they didn't cite me.  Later I saw their sergeant who was a personal friend and told him about the incident.  I don't know if he mentioned it in briefing the next moring, but they never gave me static about it again.

California Vehicle Code sections below:

Overtake and Pass to Left

21750.  The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated.

I think the cutting-off would have its own section, possibly under "unsafe lane change," but I can't find it.

or to repeatedly honk the horn.
Use of Horns

27001.  (a) The driver of a motor vehicle when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation shall give audible warning with his horn.

(b) The horn shall not otherwise be used, except as a theft alarm system which operates as specified in Article 13 (commencing with Section 28085) of this chapter.

I would add however that with a glasses mirror you can see all of these coming and stop them before they happen, usually by motioning to the driver behind (I put my left hand down and kind of shake it, meaning "Don't pass now," and then move to the left of the lane and motion them on by on the right.  Section 21202 and 21208 say you must ride as close to the right as practicable (not as possible, because that's often unsafe), and then they give five exceptions when you can move farther left:
  • to avoid debris and obstacles
  • to avoid the right-turn lane if you're not going to turn right
  • to use the left-turn lane if you're going to turn left
  • to pass other vehicles (yes! -- but use this one with extreme caution, because if they decide to speed up before you can get over, you'll be out in the middle with faster-moving cars on both sides, and unable to get over!) and
  • to take the lane if it's not wide enough for vehicles to safely pass within the same lane.