Tool Time: Sanctimonious Cyclist Misinterprets the California Vehicle Code, as Many Have Before Him

This wasn’t a temporary thing or nothing, this is just the way this guy rolls – like right down the center of the lane, block after block.

A fairly wide lane, IMO. A lot wider than what they’re giving you these days on the new and so-called “improved”* DivCo (Divisidero Corridor, srsly) where cyclists “take the lane” whether they want to or not, whether they’re in the door-zone or not.

Oh well.

Click to expand

*”Improved” in this case means widening the useless median and narrowing the slow lanes. Oh well.

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6 Responses to “Tool Time: Sanctimonious Cyclist Misinterprets the California Vehicle Code, as Many Have Before Him”

  1. anon says:

    Although the cyclist is pretty far over, once you are “doored” (someone swings their door open, causing the cyclist to smash into it) it feels safer to be well out of the way of car doors.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Fair enough.

    I’ve been doored. And I’ve been passenger-doored as well. (Don’t understand all the legalities of who’s at fault when a cyclist hits a passenger door in CA, oh well. Certainly ambiguous the way the law is written.)

    Try riding the new DivCo sometime, if you wish.

    Anyway, what I’m describing above violates the CVC, IMO…

  3. basho says:

    What’s the difference between doored and passenger-doored? Do you mean the driver door vs the other 3? Or left side vs right side?

    Anyway, I’m not going to look it up and cite the specific legal code, but as I understand it, occupants of a car (passenger or otherwise) must ensure that the roadway is clear and that it is safe before opening car doors. So there’s no ambiguity about who’s at fault when a cyclist is doored (passenger or otherwise).

    As for taking the lane, yes the law is ambiguous, stating that cyclists must stay as far right as reasonably possibly as conditions allow, or words to that effect. In the photo above, sure he could be a couple more feet over, but it doesn’t look like he’s causing a traffic jam. Anymore than the double parked cars that are inevitable every couple of blocks.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    Left vs. right side.

    SO you don’t have the time to google it but you do have the time to correct me? O.K.

    The ambiguity is “the side available to moving traffic.”

    This bit here http://www.carinsurance.com/kb/content61152.aspx refers to “the traffic side,” which sort of assumes that both sides can’t be “traffic sides,” it seems.

    Agree that the typical dooring case is not the cyclist’s fault by definition in CA.

    The standard is not whether or he’s causing a traffic jam. He’s lollygagging in the middle of a fairly wide lane is what he’s doing.

    Double parking is against the CVC as well of course…

    “V C Section 22517 Opening and Closing Doors
    Opening and Closing Doors
    22517. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

    Amended Ch. 162, Stats. 1963. Effective September 20, 1963.

  5. basho says:

    Right side of car, okay. That can be a real issue, since those passengers are maybe less likely to look for bikes, especially when they’re trying to quickly hop out of a car that’s stopped a light or stop sign. But since bikes are allowed to ride between the car lane and parked cars (even when there isn’t a striped bike lane), wouldn’t that constitute “moving traffic?” Probably the vehicle code you cite means to allow leaving your door open to the sidewalk when parked at the curb.

  6. sfcitizen says:

    Agree about the intent of the law, originally written back in the 1960′s. Agree that bikes are traffic.

    Where this happens a lot is on inbound Market near bus stops. The speed limit is 10mph when buses are parked in the next lane, I think.