Share the Road, Take the Lane

A bicyclist also does not need to keep right if a lane is too narrow to let a bicycle and vehicle travel side-by-side, or if riding close to the edge of the roadway is unsafe because of parked vehicles, fixed or moving objects, animals, or road surface hazards. – Oregon Law (PDF – pg. 78)

Please respect a bicyclist’s right to take the lane.  Sometimes, there’s just not enough space and in that case, the cyclist always has the right of way.

2 thoughts on “Share the Road, Take the Lane

  1. A bicycle is by its very nature a “slow moving vehicle” and should be ridden in the right half of their lane. If a bike is in the right half of the lane it makes it MUCH safer and quicker for an overtaking car to pass. That is safer for everyone involved. A bicyclist who “takes the lane” by riding in the middle of the lane is creating a dangerous condition for themself and all those who need to pass. Come on — be sensible!

  2. Thanks for sounding in. I understand what you’re saying, D. Dean, we want to make sure, when it is safe, that cars are able to pass slower-moving bicycles. However, under most circumstances, particularly in urban settings, it is unsafe to ride so closely to the right. Many hazards are present that have a much greater impact on cyclists than auto drivers, such as opening car doors, gravel, and potholes that simply need to be avoided. It’s also important to make sure your sight-line visibility is maintained so cars can see you and you can see cars and pedestrians.

    I’m not promoting overexcessive taking over of car lanes, just the safe and necessary right to a full lane. All cyclists need one lane-width of space to safely navigate the streets we are pedaling on. This is why in many states, the law allows the use of the entire lane, as well as the ability to leave a designated bike lane to avoid obstacles.

    I appreciate your interest in focusing on safety. It’s the quicker part that ends up getting us all in trouble. I think the majority of cyclists ride as practicable to the right as possible, and have to take more of the lane to avoid obstacles and avoid the invitation for a car to share a small lane at the same time. The latter happens a lot and is often unsafe, especially in older cities like Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

Comments are closed.