Posts Tagged ‘California Vehicle Code’

Reverse Dooring Narrowly Averted on Busy Market Street – Drivers Need to Pull Over to Let Passengers Out

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Generally speaking, people inside cars are held at fault when they open up doors without checking and harm results

The DMV calls this rule “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…”

Which is fine, but moving traffic can come by both sides of a parked car. See?

Another Market Street dooring narrowly averted – the cyclist in front almost collided with the right rear passenger door when it flew open expectantly:

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So I don’t know, I think I’d tell my passengers to look out before I dropped them off for them to drop their money at our shopping malls.

And I’d pull all the way over to minimize this concern in the first place.

Anyway, the next time this law gets rewritten, let’s write it more better…

The Reverse Dooring of Cyclists on Market Street – Here’s an Example

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Here’s an example of what I was talking about in the comments section here:

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IMO, any cyclists who get into collisions on Market Street as seen above would be held not at fault, but the law’s a tiny bit ambiguous on this one.

This is not the typical dooring situation that was on the minds of the people who drafted CA’s dooring law back in the 1960’s, anyway.

Personally, I’d have the van’s right-side tires hugging the curb before I let anyone open the door on the right side, but maybe that’s just me.

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

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

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.

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

Did Sausalito Install Bicycle Signs That Contradict the California Vehicle Code?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The answer is no. But check out this issue over at the StreetsBlog SF, where advocacy meets journalism, and decide for yourself.

Now, did Sausalito install signs that advance someone’s interpretation of the California Vehicle Code?

Yes, yes it did.

The view from the bike path on the main drag of tiny Sausalito right outside all the ice cream shops downtown. (Nature is never too far away in Marin, even in the cities)


Now, is it illegal for Sausalito to put up fishy-looking signs wherever it wants? No se, don’t know.
(People put up official-looking signs all over in San Francisco, check out Sixth and Market for some examples if you want. Mostly, these signs get ignored, mostly.)

Now, if I had to sum up CVC 21202 in four words, it’d be, “Bikes to the right.” Of course there are exceptions to this rule, check it:


(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.”
You don’t need to be a lawyer to have an opinion on this relatively simple issue. (Of course there are other code sections that can be contradictory – the CVC can be kind of a mess, but oh well.)
Anyway, the Powers That Be are looking into all the new Single File In Bike Lane signs up north – let’s look forward to another report about how this develops.
Stay safe!

Bikes, Car Doors and California Law – An Incident at the Juicy Couture

Monday, August 24th, 2009

I gotta tell you I don’t know a whit about the Yelp-rated Juicy Couture store at 865 Market Street. What I do know is that its manifest succulence makes it a magnet for tourists like these folks with the  white Subaru wagon from the east bay. Since Juicy has an address on Market, drivers are apt to stop right out front to drop off passengers. But the problem with that is that it blocks half of the inbound lanes.

And sometimes you get “doorings,” detailed below.

After the creating the recent “Incident at Juicy Couture,” these east bay tourists moved along to a parking cutout in front of the the bebe reserved for commercial vehicles. That’s one way to do it:

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The thing is that these days, lots of people are riding bikes on Market Street. Back in the day, there used to be more bike messengers, but now it’s mostly people commuting to work in the Financh and the SoMA. So, when you open your car door you need to make sure that you’re not going to “door” a cyclist that’s zipping by your vehicle.

Does California have a special law covering this issue? Of course. The DMV calls it “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…”

What that means is that it’s almost impossible to door a cyclist without it being your fault. Typically, a dooring results from the driver trying to exit a parked vehicle. But the driver in the Subie above didn’t get out of the car. In this case the driver left some room, maybe two or three feet, between the right side of the wagon and the curb. That left enough space for a cyclist to come through and then get surprised when a passenger on the right side opened a door to exit.

The author of California Vehicle Code Section 22517 seems not to have anticipated  the possibility of “moving traffic” flowing past both sides of a parked vehicle, but any injuries to the cyclist would almost certainly be the fault of the passenger or the driver (depending on the circumstances).

Now in other states, things might be different – O.K. fine. (Actually, in other states, they say things like, “My Door Almost Got ‘Biked.'”

But in California, you need to take extra care before opening your car door. Just saying.

8-Bit Mario Mushrooms Add Color to Otherwise Grey Sunset District

Friday, August 14th, 2009

See what I mean?

Hanging Mario mushrooms about your vehicle is a good and inexpensive way to get pulled over for driving with obstructed windows. Everyone should be aware of California Vehicle Code 26708, Material Obstructing or Reducing Driver’s View. (It’s tough. Tough but fair.) Learn it, know it, live it.

As seen in the Sunset District. Click  on photo to Power Up:

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To save Princess Toadstool, Mario conquers the eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom by going to the castle in each to defeat a minion of King Koopa. To reach each castle, Mario battles through three “sub-worlds” by defeating or avoiding King Koopa’s henchmen. If Mario successfully fights his way through the castle and defeats the minion, a Mushroom Retaineris freed. Inside the eighth castle, Mario has a final fight with King Koopa and frees Princess Toadstool.

Don’t stop believing.