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I appreciated the inclusion of the "men's fashion no-no's"


I'm sorry I misssed the meeting and eagerly await a report.

I would say that the dispute boils down to this: are the lanes on MacArthur wide enough that a car can safely pass a single bicycle without leaving the lane? Everything boils down to that, and it's not something that is specified in Maryland law, so it's a matter where the police need to give guidance as to their interpretation. If the lane is wide enough to share, cyclists must ride single file and must keep to the right. If it is not wide enough, cyclists can ride two abreast and in the center of the lane. On a double-yellow Maryland law prohibits crossing the line, but not passing. Cyclists have no obligation to facilitate the illegal behavior of motorists.

Note that the three-foot law has no bearing on the determination of whether the lane is wide enough, as an exemption was written into it specifically precluding such an interpretation.

I seem to recall Derek being a roadie himself at one time.

Yes, Derek is a cyclist and has ridden with groups on MacArthur. He's a nice guy.
MacArthur lanes are not wide enough to share.
There's a small story in the Gazette about the meeting, too:

From the Gazette article:

At the forum, Montgomery County Police Officer Edward Trybus reviewed some of the laws regarding the use of vehicles, which include bicycles. Trybus said the operator of a vehicle is impeding traffic if he or she does not maintain the speed limit.


That irked me, too. There is no requirement in MD law that a cyclist must ride as fast as the speed limit (another reminder to the police--that's an UPPER limit, not lower limit). If the cyclist has room to share the lane, then he or she is supposed to ride as far right as is practicable and safe, so as to allow other traffic to pass. However, if there is not enough room to share the lane, a cyclist may take the lane and cannot be considered to be illegally "impeding traffic" by simply going at bicycle speeds.

Here's a link to a page that discusses what "impeding traffic" means and whether it can even apply to a bicycle. (It is Florida-specific, but probably is equally valid in MD.)


That is right Nancy.

I'm not sure if a big pack of riders -- what appears to be the topic -- staying in the right wheel track would really facilitate passing. It would probably be more helpful to stay in smaller groups with gaps such that cars/trucks can "hop" their way forward. It is what I've done with groups in the past.

The police are trying to educate the public, but who is going to educate the police? I find it disturbing that even the police don't seem to understand that the speed limit is an upper limit, rather than a lower limit.

"Trybus said the operator of a vehicle is impeding traffic if he or she does not maintain the speed limit."

ACPD officer told me that, once. Tried to educate him on the law, and he wasn't terribly interested. So I told him to give me a ticket and we'd let a judge teach him. He drove away.

Astonishingly that the police actually think the posted speed LIMIT represents the min. speed. In practice, it does since the police are too lazy to enforce speeding. Office Trybus needs to find a new line of work. And this is another example of why Montgomery County is the least cycle friendly in the region.

Next thing, you'll be saying there's no such thing as a "courtesy honk."

Since a car has to go in the oncoming traffic lane to pass a single cyclist, then cyclists may as well use the whole lane. Cops should just set up a bunch of speed cameras on MacArthur and this issue gets resolved since the cars will finally be forced to obey the speed limit and a pack of racers out on a group ride can easily hit 25mph.

A MNCPPC park police officer gave me the line about needing to ride the speed limit if I was in a lane too. And this was in a spot where if I rode on the shoulder I would soon encounter a "slip ramp" coming from another road - it was not safe to ride on the shoulder.

geez. seems the comments here and elsewhere ar EXACTLY WHAT I PREDICTED WOULD HAPPEN...

Transportation bigots -- even well intentioned, clearly caring but nevertheless morons like the Police -- can only be dealt with in the manner urged by Malcolm X: by any means necessary.

and plus 1:

and a big plus one to Peter Kohler: he gets it re MoCo...they are not hostile to bikes. They simply dont care about bikes; and will not and have not ever defended bicyclists on the roads.

OT, but I have to vent, having nearly been killed not once, but twice yesterday by motorists in Silver Spring.
FWIW, MoCoPD doesn't care about pedestrians, either. Why else is trying to cross a road in downtown Silver Spring - in a crosswalk, with the light in your favor - such a risky proposition? The number of cars running the red light at E/W Hwy onto Colesville Rd is staggering. The number of cars failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk is frightening. And yes, the number of pedestrians crossing against the light and not in a crosswalk is mind-blowing.

No, it isn't "OT". Most of the issues with road safety for everyone comes down to existing and reasonable laws and rules of the road simply not being enforced by the police be they transgressed by motorist, cyclist or pedestrian. If this is any example, why they don't even KNOW the laws they are supposed to be enforcing.

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