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And doesn't DC law also state that on lanes narrower than 11', that cyclists are allowed to take the middle of the lane when necessary?

At least he SHOULD have won on the merits.

All you really need for a defense is to show that the lane is not wide enough for a car and a bike to share.

width of car: 6'7" (2010 Chevy Suburban)
safe passing distance: 3'
width of cyclist: 2'
shy space from curb: 2'
total -- 13'7"

Even if the entire lane was free from hazards, this lane (at 10'10") is still almost 3 feet too narrow.

In 2008, I was cited in Arlington for failure to stay to the right. At my court appearance, the officer showed up, I presented facts regarding the narrowness of the lane, national highway standards that define what lanes are too narrow for cars to overtake bicycles, that I was keeping up with traffic in the 25 mph zone, and an explanation of the frequent need to overtake right turning autos on that stretch of road.

I was successful and the citation was dismissed.

I also have a weird similarity with the NW Branch case described above. My ticketing officer also engaged me in conversation while we were moving. She pulled along side in the adjacent lane and used the speaker function of her sirens to tell me to move over to the right. I ignored the very dangerous advice, and after after a couple blocks of me maintaining my lane position she pulled me over.

God, way too many fucking jackasses in this country. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

This is why I love your blog, washcycle! You are posting great stuff!

oboe: Good to have someone hear telling it like it is! ;-)

This harassment-style policing is really annoying and just adds to the general feeling of oppressiveness.

It is too bad that people are not compensated for having to take time off work and do all the research just to prove that the police was just bullying and abusing their authority.

Don't forget that law enforcement can (in many jurisdictions) get overtime for appearing in court. Thus, your loss is his/her gain.

I'm facing a similar situation. But in my case there was a local city court judge who just had road rage, but decided to get his cop buddies involved to give me a ticket. The best part is that the whole time he was behind me (and after he passed me) there was a red light in front of us that stayed red until after he stopped.

I'm convinced it would have been thrown out a long time ago if it wasn't a judge who called it in. I live in a small town and everyone knows everyone. And almost nobody rides a bike.

Everyone in the judicial system here (attorneys, D.A., judges obviously) is clueless of the laws. One of the cops on the scene had been trained as a bike cop and knew the law (even told the ticketing officer that I was in the right), but chose to ignore it since it was a judge that called it in. They wrote me a ticket for "Obstructing a Public Passage". It's a $120 ticket, and I've already spent $50 on just getting and indigent defender. Not to mention all the times I've had to sit in court until 3 in the afternoon, missing class and tests and generally turning my life upside down. All for nothing.

I was handcuffed and everything. That never made the police report, either (which, by the way, did not resemble reality in the least).

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