[BVC-CHAT] Your input appreciated

robcopromo at verizon.net robcopromo at verizon.net
Mon Feb 9 10:41:55 CST 2009


I found this,on the web and thought that it might be relevant to the 
discussion.  I think that the word "practiable" is a key word 
here.  To me, practiable means in a safe, reasonable, practical 
manner and I think that the cyclist is the one to judge what is or is 
not safe.  I think that 3090 and many of the FM roads are less than 
fourteen feet.  I have not actually measured them but they don't seem 
to be that wide.

I think that section a.4.B makes it pretty clear that safety is 
paramount and that we can "impede" traffic if not doing so is not safe.


Sec. 551.103. Operation on Roadway.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a 
bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on 
the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or 
edge of the roadway, unless:
   (1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same 
direction;   (2) the person is preparing to turn left at an 
intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or   (3) a condition 
on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or 
moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the 
person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:
(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle 
lane adjacent to that lane; or
(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel 
side by side.

(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or 
more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left 
curb or edge of the roadway.

(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. 
Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single 
lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and 
reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more 
than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set 
aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.





At 09:23 AM 2/9/2009, you wrote:

>Greg Hercules wrote:
>>Forwarded for A&M Cycling listserv:
>>
>>Taken from the Texas Driver's Handbook:
>>"Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and 
>>reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway."
>>
>>When riding the planned Tunis-Roubaix race course today, Steve, 
>>Ian, and I were about a mile north of Col du Nomo on 3090.  Steve 
>>and I were side-by-side, and Ian was squeezed behind/between us in 
>>the stiff headwind.  There was some oncoming traffic, which 
>>prevented the few cars behind us from passing.  Once the oncoming 
>>cars had passed, the traffic behind us made it's way by.  The last 
>>vehicle (I think there were only three total) was a Sheriff's 
>>deputy.  He pulled in front of us, turned on his lights, and pulled 
>>off the road.  We pulled over, and he nearly doored Steve when we 
>>were approaching.  In my naivete, I thought that maybe this was the 
>>Corporal that I had talked to over the phone Wednesday, and he 
>>wanted to know if I was the Aggie he had talked to.  This was not the case.
>>
>>He straight-up told us that we were breaking the law by riding 
>>two-abreast.  In a slightly mis-quoted form of the law, he said 
>>that when there is no shoulder on the road we may not ride 
>>side-by-side, and must remain single file so as not to impede 
>>traffic.  I told him that this was not how I remembered the law, 
>>but I didn't have any source to back me up and simply agreed to 
>>comply with the Deputy.  He didn't ticket us, but threatened to.
>
>I've wondered about this too, for instance during Saturday's 
>Caldwell ride, where there was a nasty crosswind. Twice I found 
>myself working with two other riders. The natural thing to do was 
>"eschelon" (I think it's called), where in order to get a proper 
>draft a following rider had to be off to the side of the leading 
>rider (roughly with one's front wheel alongside their crank). This 
>meant that, even apart from the big lead group, a group of just 
>three stragglers were taking up the whole lane, and cars were having 
>to wait until there was a view a good ways ahead before passing.
>
>I can see how that could count as "impeding the normal and 
>reasonable flow of traffic."
>
>On the other hand, riding all by myself, say on Rock Prairie, I will 
>ride 3 or so feet out into the lane when there are cars approaching 
>from both behind and ahead and, in my judgment, the car approaching 
>from the rear should not attempt to pass because of how close the 
>one approach from ahead will be at the time the car from behind 
>overtakes me. As soon as the one coming from ahead passes, I 
>abruptly swerve over to the very edge of the road, hoping that's 
>understood as signaling "I think it's safe for you to pass now."
>
>I think of that as impeding the "normal" flow of traffic, reading 
>"normal" as what would have happened if there hadn't been a "slow 
>moving vehicle," and I think it's fair to say that a vehicle going 
>15-20 mph out there is not a "normal" vehicle. We riders of slow 
>moving vehicles have a right to use the road, however, and when I 
>obstruct passing in the way just described, what I'm doing is 
>forcing the driver overtaking me from behind to wait what I judge to 
>be a "reasonable" time before passing.
>
>So in a cross wind where you can't get a reasonable draft single 
>file, in a road race, or in a large group ride between rte 50 and 
>Caldwell, is it "unreasonable" to delay motorists by taking up the whole lane?
>
>Here's an argument for why it's more "reasonable" to bunch up and 
>fill the whole lane, at least when you're in a big group like the 
>Caldwell ride is. On the roads through Tunis to Caldwell, like on 
>Rock Prairie, it's just not safe (in my judgment) for an overtaking 
>car to be abreast of a bicyclist at the same time as a car is 
>passing in the opposite direction. So with the large Caldwell ride 
>group, it would delay a motorist longer to have to wait behind a 
>single file version of the group, since then they'd have to have an 
>even longer view ahead in order to be sure they could safely get 
>past everybody before an oncoming car arrived.
>
>Enough procrastination,
>
>--
>____________________________________________________________________
>|    |  |____      Gary Varner                                       |
>| ___|       |     Philosophy       "Fighting entropy since 1957"    |
>| \       .  |     Texas A&M                                         |
>|  \/\_     /      Director of Graduate Studies                      |
>|      \  /        (979) 845-8499, 845-0458 (FAX) g-varner at tamu.edu  |
>|       \(         Home page: http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~gary/      |
>|____________________________________________________________________|
>
>
>
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