[UPDATE: FTR, this part of Fell has four lanes and is timed for about 25 MPH and posted for 30 MPH, IIRC. And I’ll just say I get all this static nowadays due to my (apparently) quite unpopular views on the Chris Bucchere case. (That’s an interesting piece by writer David Darlington, BTW.) I can’t tell if people are being sarcastic or not, so forgive me if I don’t reply anymore.]
[UPDATE II, Electric Boogaloo: So we have this from another out-of-towner: “SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane.” Well, yeah, the right to take the lane … at a wobbly 10 MPH during the evening rush hour. Dude should pick up the pace, IMO. Dude was riding slowly on purpose, IMO. Now if you want to talk about a “substandard” lane, you want to talk about the brand new, SFMTA-approved southbound stretch of Divisadero betwixt Geary and McAllister. This is quite an uphill stretch, so the universal bromide of “taking the lane” for seven city blocks doesn’t really work. What happens is that cyclists keep to the right and cars and buses sneak around. There used to be more room but the sainted SFMTA decided to put in a big old median. Did the SFMTA intend for cyclists to take the lane? If so, nobody ever does so on this uphill stretch.]
Here we go, heading west on Fell at night:
Click to expand
Now I say “without lights” because dude is indeed without lights, but you can get away with just one light under CA law just saying. Could have said without “a light” instead. Let’s see, what else – oh, jumping the green, thusly:
This is called running a red light:
And this is called “taking the lane.”
Which you shouldn’t do as it’s agin the law when you’re trucking (slightly) uphill on Fell at about 10 MPH.
Keep in mind that you should view the words “reasonably necessary” and “unsafe” OBJECTIVELY and not SUBJECTIVELY. So like, man, I feel safer riding in the middle of the lane at 10 MPH doesn’t cut it. Similarly, it was like necessary man for me to do what I did also doesn’t cut it. I suppose you don’t need a brake on your bike, because, like, “my legs are my brakes, man.” Like, I don’t need to use the safety on my assault rifle because “this [trigger finger] is my safety.” And, legally, man, I’m a citizen of Hawaii and its not “after sunset” in Hawaii right now, man, so you can’t give me a ticket, man. And on and on.
And keep in mind that it’s not the BICYCLISTS ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE law, it’s the bikes-should-keep-to-the-right-in-at-least-some-situations law.And actually, CVC 21202 takes rights away from cyclists, you dig? That’s why it’s an odd kind of “framing” to celebrate CVC 21202 when it’s CVC 21200 that gives rights to cyclists.
“Operation on Roadway
21202. (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.”