All posts by ArizonaBikeLaw

Is a Bikelane part of the Roadway?

Is a bike lane part of the roadway?

Briefly, the accepted answer in Arizona as well as everywhere in the United States except OR, is simply ‘yes‘. What follows is a possibly interesting counter-point…

Borromeo V. Shea ( to read full case, search, supreme court decisions fo: Borromeo v. Shea) affirmed that the bike lane was indeed part of the roadway in the State of Washington. Washington’s definition of roadway is virtually identical to Arizona:

(WA) RCW 46.04.500 “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder even though such sidewalk or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles.

(AZ) §28-601(21) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder…

The definition of vehicle, though, is completely different — in WA bikes are explicitly defined as vehicles, and in AZ they are explicitly excluded from being vehicles:

(Wash) RCW 46.04.670 “Vehicle” includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles

(AZ) §28-101 “Vehicle” means a device in, on or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, excluding devices moved by human power…

The Washington Supreme Court reasoned from the plain meaning of their statutes that bike lanes are part of the roadway.

So, what about Arizona?

In Arizona, on the other hand, bicycles are clearly not vehicles and so bike lanes are clearly not “designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel” — vehicles are banned from them! [§28-815(D) ]. Thus the “plain meaning” of Arizona’s statutes indicate that bike lanes are not part of the roadway.

However, case law from the Arizona Court of Appeals found in Rosenthal v. County of Pima (local copy) that a bicyclist in a bike lane was required to follow the rules of the road (in this case, required to ride in the direction of traffic). The case seems pretty straightforward. I note that the definition of “roadway” or “vehicle” doesn’t even appear in the opinion (perhaps that is a shortcoming of the case as brought?):

(appellee’s argument that, which the trial judge agreed with) those who ride in bike paths, because they are not roadways, are not (subject to the rules of the road). The argument both defies logic and is contrary to the express statutory language of A.R.S. §§ 28-728 and 28-811.

164 Ariz. 98; 791 P.2d 365; 1990 Ariz. App.Rosenthal v. County of Pima (link to opinon on Leagle)

The twist here is that since the bicyclist was a minor, the  applicability statute cited was §28-811 , and §28-812 was not considered (also see Applicability Statutes – why are there two?). Confusingly, both say when and which statutes apply to bicyclists; 811 says that “this chapter [chapter 3 – Traffic and Vehicle Regulation] applies to a bicycle when it is operated on a highway or on a path“, whereas 812 says the rules, chapters 3, 4 and 5, apply to a “person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder” [this confusion is explained in applicability-statutes-why-are-there-two; and seems settled based on a 2013 Court of Appeals decision Arizona v. Baggett]

In any event, Rosenthal doesn’t shed any light on whether or not a bikelane is part of the roadway. Thus the “plain meaning” of Arizona’s statutes stands: bike lanes are not part of the roadway. This is not in conflict with Rosenthal, it just means that the appellee’s argument was mis-constructed from the beginning. They were apparently counting solely on 28-811, overlooking (presumably because it wasn’t helpful to the case) 28-812 entirely.

Would the outcome have been different had the cyclist not been a minor? I would think not — since the rider was definitely either “on a roadway” or “adjoining a roadway”, then 28-728 would definitely be applicable. Or another way to say it, is that it still wouldn’t matter whether or not a bike lane is or is not part of the roadway.

Tucson Bike Lane

This occurs to me later: Tucson had almost no bike lanes [as of the time this was written, in 2007. It seems it may have changed in the meantime]. They are often incorrectly called bike lanes; they are also referred to under various made-up terms like “bike shoulder”. But they are not bike lanes.

Would this matter to the case at hand? The opinion refers to a couple of times “bike lane” and other times as a “path”. But again, this doesn’t seem to have made a difference. It’s just sloppy terminology. Most likely, the collision occurred on a SHOULDER.

US CO2 Emissions down 8%?

Lies? Statistical manipulations? US CO2 emissions (which comes primarily from fossil fuel use) down 8%? — I don’t think so! Just the usual WSJ editorial spin.

Take your pick. Under the vaunted Kyoto, from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000. … Meanwhile, in the U.S., under the president’s oh-so-unserious plan, U.S. emissions from 2000 to 2004 were eight percentage points lower than in the prior period.

— Wall Street Journal column, June 8, 2007, Bush 1, Greens 0, by WSJ editorial board member Kimberley A. Strassel

[UPDATE: reference to data for CO2 emissions from the EPA, US Emissions Inventory 2006. 1995 was 5325 and 2004 was 5988 in metric tons. That’s a 12% increase. The inventory lists every year from 1990 to 2004 there is no way shape or form that there was any 8% decrease]

According to EIA (Table 1-3 Annual Energy Review) fossil fuel consumption was ever-increasing from 77.49 quads (quadrillion Btu’s) in 1995 to 86.23 in 2004. That is an increase of ~12%. That doesn’t account for differences in a particular fuel’s carbon content, but a casual glance at Table 1-3 shows that natural gas (the least carbon intensive of the fossil fuels) use was flat, while both coal and petroleum useage were up more.

A more recent editorial (An Inconvenient Reduction, December 3, 2007) said “The Bush Administration announced last week that U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide fell by 1.8% from 2005 to 2006” (and GHGs overall were down somewhat less at 1.5% reduction). This is supposed to mean that a policy of doing nothing is superior to doing something. They go on to point out that for the period 2000 to 2005 U.S. carbon emissions were UP 2.5% vs. the EU-15 at 3.8%

I wonder what the per-capita emissions for EU vs US are? Since they (the WSJ editors) don’t want to talk about it, I’m guessing that EU is significantly below US. [UPDATE: yes, it is. At least a casual glance at the list broken down country-by-country. The large European countries all run something like 1/2(!) US’s emissions. The GDP-efficiency list is much the same story which is to say the United State’s economy is twice as energy consuming (CO2 emitting) per dollar of output.]

DUI Interlock

[update: the legislative session ended and the repeal was not enacted. In other words, the interlock will be required for all DUI offenders. Rep. John Kavanagh had a lengthy letter advocating repeal in the Tucson Citzen]

Earlier in this legislative season, AZ lawmakers passed and the governor signed a bill that requires a DUI ignition interlock device be installed for any DUI conviction. Previously interlocks were required only on repeat DUI offenders, or extreme-DUI convictions. A new bill/amendment has been introduced which would reverse the interlocks for first-time offenders. (it would be unusual to pass and rescind a law in the same legislative session)

There seems to be endless legislative fiddling with DUI penalties.

Continue reading DUI Interlock

Nettop Motherboard

(actual date Mar 14, 2009)

After my disappointment with the Amazon and the MSI Wind Nettop, I instead went with an Intel D945GCLF2 retail motherboard.

Newegg $86 w/shipping.

There are a bunch of reasons why this board works out to be cheaper than the MSI Wind: it uses standard i/o like ps2 keyboard connectors (i don’t have a spare usb keyboard), it has a parallel IDE connector (i have old, extra dvd burners and hard drives), it uses desktop ddr2 memory instead of so-dimm (i have extra of that, too). And it has a pci slot.

Power / Power Consumption

This mobo requires a standard ATX-style 24 pin (20 is ok too, just leaves the upper 4 pins open) plus a 4-pin 12V plug.

The neatest solution for power would be PicoPSU, a fan-less atx-style dc-dc converter. sells them, e.g. a 60W bundle (includes the 12V dc “brick”) for $55. But I’m too cheap for that 🙂

In the meantime, I powered it with an extra, old atx power supply I have laying around. One that is already quiet, and relatively low-power.

ULtimately, at 36 Watts idling and 4W standby in windows is pretty good — though markedly higher than the MSI Wind Nettop which used only 24W/<1W.


I couldn’t figure out what version I had, so I ran the latest from intel, version 0150 and I chose to do the windows version. I worked fine but was scarey, because the whole thing just goes dark for awhile. (though at some point when it rebooted it said checksum was invalid, and hit a key to continue).


The reviews were quite good, though a common complaint being the northbridge cooler fan (there is no cpu fan) is too noisy, a good replacement was suggested to be this $4 one: Scythe SY124010L which i probably would have ordered but was out of stock.

As promised, the northbridge cooler is pretty noisey. I tried it at 7 volts, and that was better.The color code for the cooler is white/red/black : tach/+12V/Gnd.

Speedfan sees two fans, the cooler fan jack (the 3 pin that is closer to the cpu; the motherboard says “MCH Fan”) is called Fan1 and the rear fan jack (motherboard says “sys fan”) is Fan0. The cooler fan runs at ~4400 rpm by default.

The bios has fan speed control — but here’s the catch; only “sys fan” is controlled. So I plugged the cooler into the sys fan jack, and set it to “not smart” and 50% PWM. Now it runs at 3500rpm and is pretty quiet (somewhat quieter than at 7 volts). I’ve seen some reports that say their fans won’t run at this speed, but mine seems fine.

There is much talk about the fan, see e.g. on silentpcreview. This guy is selling a Pabst 40mm fan on ebay. In any event it apparently is a standard 40mm x 10mm thick fan. And even 50%PWM or 7V is plenty to keep it cool. This guy did some heat sink mods.


Getting it booted up from usb flash drive, dvd, or hard drive was no trouble at all.

I loaded up XP Home, SP3 using an IDE DVD-ROM and a SATA notebook hard drive.That went uneventfully. At completion, many features were not working: graphics, audio, ethernet.

I ran the supplied on CD drivers install (which took a long time — 15 minutes?), and as far as i could tell everything worked great.

Windows 7 Beta

I had no luck loading the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000, 32-bit). The first phase; file copy and whatnot runs fine but once it reboots i just get the cool splash-screen and then a BSOD. I guess I could try the 64-bit, but i don’t have it downloaded. This guy says it runs fine.

MSI Wind Nettop

I bought one of the newer MSI Wind Nettop from Amazon, their description at the time said:

MSI Wind Nettop 100 Desktop PC (1.6 GHz Intel Atom  Dual Core N330 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, Barebone) Black. The price was $178 free ship which seemed pretty good.

It came in early March 2009 — despite it being on backorder, and despite amazon’s projected delivery of 3/31.

Anyway, it was a typo on Amazon’s part; it doesn’t really have Ram, or a hard drive — so I sent it back. Here is the same item at Newegg.

I can’t exactly find it on the MSI website, but this one is pretty close. The one i got definitely had the N330 Atom, though.

So while i had it, i put in a 512mb so-dimm (it only has one mem slot) and an extra 2.5″ sata hard drive. I tried out both Ubuntu live cd, and Windows XP sp3.

The only peculiarities were 1) the front sd slot isn’t available for booting (bios limitation? Which is weird, because i can boot from the sd slot in my msi wind netbook), and 2) Installstion of XP from cd booted fine from a usb dvd-rom drive, but then hung — I had to rustle up a sata drive to boot from. The sd slot wasn’t accessible to windows until i loaded the included cd of drivers.

The unit drew ~ 24 Watts running windows. Which is great.


MSI claims that this pc is “Ultra Quiet” and “offers a true noise-free comfort even during heavy game playing or intensive computing applications“. This is not true.

The only source of noise is a 50mm(?) case fan which is controlled by the motherboard. The bios seems to have no settings for this. It only reports the fan speed. The CPU and chipset are covered by a machined aluminum heat sink.

It starts up with a brief roar, then settles down into what could be fairly described as nearly inaudible. Unfortunately the slightest activity (e.g. opening up a tab in firefox) causes the fan to speed up and become quite loud — for a minimum of a couple of minutes. then if it’s idling, the fan will revert back to nearly inaudible. It’s pretty annoying.

One ray of hope: the latest bios, 1.7 said “Fine Tune Smart Fan”. My hopes were quickly dashed when it turned out my machine already had the latest 🙁

MSI Wind: Ubuntu

(late 2008 timeframe?) I’m running ubuntu 8.10 booted off a live CD and then System/Administration/”Create a USB startup disk” on a usb flashdrive. I let it do it’s casper thing so that changes are sticky — using 256M for the casper file. I saved a copy of the casper file so that i don’t have to re-create the flash drive. From time to time (i guess) the filesystem runs out of space and bad things happen, in that case just restore the saved casper file. Continue reading MSI Wind: Ubuntu


(note the date is actually eight years hence. 2008)I located the file MSIWindowsox86.iso, and had trouble getting the installer to do much of anything. It just barely started and then it gets stuck saying “waiting for root device” or something. The problem was the usb to ide dongle I was using to connect an old DVD drive (actually, I’m not sure which one was the problem — but it was one or the other!). Anyway I got a cheapo usb to sata dongle off of ebay and connected that to my newer Liteon DVD SATA and the installer booted up and worked perfectly. But I couldn’t get it to boot off the hard drive.Apparently osx has to boot from a primary (not extended) partition. This is becoming problematic because I have 3 primaries already used up: one for recovery, one for Win XP and one for extra space (which I shrunk with ubuntu gparted to make room). So now i’m using my last primary partition for OSX (type 0xAF).Actually after the install it STILL wouldn’t boot — the installer sets the boot flag on the osx partion. the error is “HFS+ partition error”.What does work is copying the /usr/standalone/i386/chain0 file (this can be done in ubuntu, it can mount the HFS partition) to the root of the windows partition and adding a line in boot.ini, i.e. “c:\chain0=”whatever”.Once booted up, i was pleasantly suprised to see the webcam and audio just worked.What doesn’t work is wireless or even ethernet :-)Wireless can be enabled by getting the driver for 10.5 from ralink’s taiwanese site. It is a little ugly but it works. The only bug seems to be the radio defaults to off, so you must use the ralink applet to toggle the radio to get it on. this must be done each and every time the computer comes up either from fresh boot, or even from standby.Trouble with the ethernet can be fixed by messing around with the speed/auto sensing. Again, it is messed up either from fresh boot or standby.

Burn capacity

“Playo” DVD-R, when blank Nero disc info says 4,489MB available. Here is detailed info from imgburn:

Free Sectors: 2,298,496
Free Space: 4,707,319,808 bytes
Free Time: 510:48:46 (MM:SS:FF)
Supported Write Speeds: 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 18x
Pre-recorded Information:
Manufacturer ID: MCC 03RG20
Physical Format Information (Last Recorded):
Disc ID: 0@P-!-00
Book Type: DVD-R
Part Version: 5
Disc Size: 120mm
Maximum Read Rate: Not Specified
Number of Layers: 1
Track Path: Parallel Track Path (PTP)
Linear Density: 0.267 um/bit
Track Density: 0.74 um/track
First Physical Sector of Data Area: 196,608
Last Physical Sector of Data Area: 2,495,103
Last Physical Sector in Layer 0: 0