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Old 07-11-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
GogglesPaizano
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Is it ok to veer out of a marked lane to avoid a car or two?

Hey all,

New to the bay area but I've been on two wheels for about 18 years on and off. I sold my last bike a few years ago, but since having moved to the bay area and dealing with traffic from Tracy to Fremont, seeing all the bikes passing me by got me itching for another one. I usually avoid the highways on my way in and home and take the back roads. I'd regularly see bikes driving up my right side while I was in standstill traffic waiting forever to get to a stop sign or red light. It didn't take much convincing after that to get back on a bike

Anyway, I've scoured all of the lane splitting/sharing/filtering discussions and haven't been able to come up with an answer to what I'm wondering. When I finally got on my bike an started to tackle the traffic on my way home, I realized that not everyone was so kind to leave room on the side for a bike. Some moved over to give you space an others you could see blocking you out a ways ahead (priuses are the worst for some reason). I do my best to stay in the lane, but there's always a car or two or three that just doesn't want to play ball. I know it's technically "illegal" to leave the lane and pass on the outside, but I don't see any of the other riders stopped behind a car when there isn't room, they just cut into the bike lane real quick, or on the shoulder after making sure it's safe to do so.

On the rare occasion, I'll see some other rider sitting in a mile of standstill traffic because he doesn't want to even consider getting outside the fog line.

Just a bit of added info on this as well...I'm rarely doing more than 10mph over traffic even at a standstill. It's one lane in each direction and I make sure to stop at all cross streets just to be sure nobody is turning into them although the roads I take don't usually have any (Tesla Rd, 84, etc.) I'm only doing this when traffic is not moving and not when it's just slow.

So, the question is, what's the consensus? What is everyone doing? Are they weaving out of the fog line to get around those few cars that are making it difficult or are you sitting in the mile long line at the stopsign because, by gosh, it's the law and that's that?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:12 PM   #2
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It is legal to change lanes to pass other vehicles.

It is illegal to leave the road surface (shoulder of the road) to pass another vehicle.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "bike lane". Bicycle Lanes are only for bicycles and it is illegal for motorcycles to use. Motorcycles do not have a special lane.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:24 PM   #3
GogglesPaizano
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It is legal to change lanes to pass other vehicles.

It is illegal to leave the road surface (shoulder of the road) to pass another vehicle.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "bike lane". Bicycle Lanes are only for bicycles and it is illegal for motorcycles to use. Motorcycles do not have a special lane.
Thanks. I'm referring to the bicycle lane and the shoulder of the roadway. I'm aware of what's legal and illegal in this case per the letter of the law. I'm just curious as to how other riders are dealing with these situations. Is it illegal, yes, I realize that. So is going over the speed limit. The question I guess is whether or not it's completely frowned upon by most riders here to even consider going outside the fog line to pass a stopped car or two in non-moving traffic, or if it's one of those unspoken things that everyone does if it's safe to do so.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:44 PM   #4
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Using the shoulder is not safe. Cars don't expect anyone to be there and thats where all the debris is. It's not worth it for a couple of car lengths. Have patience grasshopper, your space will come.
Using the bike lane is a no no.
Do other riders transgress these rules? Sure but do you want to be "one of them"?
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:48 PM   #5
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+1 Agree with the sentiments already stated
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:30 PM   #6
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Pass on the left, not the right.

Leaving Laguna Seca on Sunday, in moderately heavy traffic, I was driving a 31ft RV. As a rider, I was courteous and gave room to bikes as needed.

At one point, I heard bikes (rev-bombing Harleys) approaching, but could not see them behind or in front. While I was still trying to find them, they appeared on my right, bombing along the shoulder.

Fecking idiots. They were utterly blind to what was going on ahead and in the approaching traffic - there's just no way they could see around me. If I or anyone else needed to pull over or take avoiding action, we would have moved to the shoulder and crushed those bikes. Somehow they would have thought we were at fault.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:20 AM   #7
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Not a lawyer/not law knowledgeable. If I get a ticket, so be it.

But you damn sure if it's a life-threatening situation & I'm about to get creamed by some idiot, I will swerve anywhere I must to avoid contact.

Save your life, swerve. No other reasoning.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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Yeah I don't think it's legal but if you have to do it to avoid an accident (more like an incident at this point) it's fine, I think a police officer would understand.
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:03 PM   #9
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If I get a ticket for dodging into the shoulder or median to avoid an accident, two things are true:

1. That cop had a bad day. I just can't imagine most officers issuing a summons for that.
2. I'll fight it. If I lose, I'll pay it, happy that I'm still alive to pay it.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:27 PM   #10
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Not a lawyer/not law knowledgeable. If I get a ticket, so be it.

But you damn sure if it's a life-threatening situation & I'm about to get creamed by some idiot, I will swerve anywhere I must to avoid contact.

Save your life, swerve. No other reasoning.
This. Whatever it takes to stay alive in the emergency situation.
Just to make up some time on others expect a performance award.
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