Too narrow to share; and slow speed rules

Review of motorist slow speed rules

Slow-moving Construction vehicle impeding traffic.

— some vehicles are “slow by nature” (e.g. buses, heavy equipment, or most commonly a heavily loaded truck; especially up a grade, etc). Police seem to have no trouble understanding this is not an impeding violation… Continue reading “Too narrow to share; and slow speed rules”

Phx Police recommend officers be trained in bicycle law

More vindication to this story that began in January 2020 cyclists-stay-to-the-LEFT? where, if you will recall, the bicyclist was incorrectly ticketed with an AFRAP (As Far Right As Practicable, 28-815) violation, and found responsible at trial, and dismissed on appeal in February 2021. The facts of the case were plain and undisputed: the bicyclist’s alleged violation was for not being AFRAP while stopped at a red light. Continue reading “Phx Police recommend officers be trained in bicycle law”

Powers of local authorities


Cities in Arizona are granted the authority to further regulate the operation of bicycles within their jurisdiction.
This in general is bad for bicyclists.

Rules of the road are already, and best, defined for bicyclists in state law; the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS). Bicyclists riding in the road have the rights and duties (R&D) of the driver of any (any non-motorized) vehicle (§28-812), as well a few additional specific duties; the most remarkable probably being that they have a special duty to facilitate passing of faster traffic, but only under specific conditions, and only when safe… the so-called as-far-right-as-practicable (AFRAP, sometimes referred to as far-to-the-right, FTR, rule) law, 28-815A. Continue reading “Powers of local authorities”

Cyclists, stay to the … left?

Bicyclists are required under certain conditions to be “as far right as practicable”. Why would a cyclist be, or even want to be, to the left? It turns out there are many and various reasons why, and which are not only legal, but safer for the cyclist. Staying to the left can even be more convenient for other motorists, and improve traffic flow; with one such common situation described in detail here. Continue reading “Cyclists, stay to the … left?”

Left Cross Collision

Left-Cross collision. Graphic:

A Cross-type Bike-MV collision occurs when a bicyclist and motorist who are traveling in opposing directions collide while the motorist is making a turn. If both are traveling in proper direction, it would be a left cross; as illustrated between the blue vehicle and the bicyclist in the illustration. For a counter-flow bicyclist, a right-cross can occur.

(This in in contrast to to a hook collision, which involves a turning motorist and a same direction cyclist. ) Continue reading “Left Cross Collision”

Bicycle Laws in the United States-Past, Present, and Future

Bicycle Laws in the United States-Past, Present, and Future is an ambitious, scholarly article written by attorney Ken McLeod, who also happens to be a member of LAB’s s Legal Affairs Committee. And has written much of the content available on LAB’s site relating to laws and legal matters, e.g. bike-law-university and the paper is reflective of the information there, just perhaps in a more technical/scholarly format. Continue reading “Bicycle Laws in the United States-Past, Present, and Future”

Arizona’s FTR Law

Arizona, like the large majority of other states, as well as the UVC has a bicyclist-specific rule about “where to ride” laterally; enjoining bicyclists to ride toward the right edge, but with a wide variety of exceptions [The LAB says 42 states plus D.C. has some form of this rule also see bicycle-laws-in-the-united-states-past-present-and-future ] Continue reading “Arizona’s FTR Law”

Ride With Traffic

R5-1b (top) with R9-3cP plaque (bottom)
The most concise, least able to be misconstrued, message about which direction a bicyclist must operate, is “Ride With Traffic”, it’s the inscription on a R9-3cP plaque. But what is “with traffic”, or “the flow of traffic” or “the direction of traffic”? And why do we so often hear “ride right”, “bike right”, “Be a Roll Model: Ride on the Right” or some other clever-sounding catchphrase? Continue reading “Ride With Traffic”

Arizona does NOT have a mandatory Bike Lane Law

[this will be a catch-all for issues relating to legal requirement to use bike lanes (BLs). This was moved from the article explaining When must I ride my bicycle on the shoulder?, because it was muddying that issue unnecessarily; after all BLs are not shoulders and shoulders are not BLs. For all the details about shoulders, see that article; the short answer is their use is almost never required, that conclusion stems from the fact that shoulders are not part of the roadway.] Continue reading “Arizona does NOT have a mandatory Bike Lane Law”

Should Warner Road bike lane have a “Combined” Turn Lane?

A standard sign with placard, “legalizes” thru-bike usage.

it is a common occurrence — familiar to every bicyclist — where you can be riding along a perfectly nice bike lane only to have it disappear for various reasons.

Bike lanes are highly prized for making cycling “more comfortable”; so I think it’s safe to say disappearing bike lanes would be considered quite stressful, and an impediment to cycling for many cyclists.

Disappearing Bike Lane; Warner Rd at Hardy Dr, Tempe, AZ

I have, over the past year, had occasion to regularly ride along Warner Road in Tempe (this area is sometimes referred to as “south” Tempe. Here’s a map of the general vicinity) between I-10 (the city limit) and McClintock Drive; it’s about 3.5 miles. The road is very much an arterial road with two fast through lanes (45mph, if i recall correctly) plus a bike lane each way plus some sort of middle lane throughout (it’s usually a TWLTL; two way left turn lane; it becomes a left turn lane at major intersections). The difficulty is at every intersection where there is a right turn only lane, the bike lane is dropped ~ 250′ from the intersection. This dropping occurs asymmetrically at some, but not all, of the major intersections. It is most prominent westbound: the lane drops at McClintock, Rural, Kyrene, Hardy, and Priest Drive. That is FIVE TIMES in three miles! Continue reading “Should Warner Road bike lane have a “Combined” Turn Lane?”

Where to ride on the road

Assembled below for quick reference is a compendium of the consensus view of all traffic safety subject-matter experts about where to ride — this generally applies when riding straight ahead, and between intersections or other conflict zones. For why this is not only safest, but legal, see take-the-lane.

What the Experts Say…

Arizona Dept of Transportation

Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts is a short book based on bicycling traffic expert John Allen’s Bicycling Street Smarts; augmented with references to specific Arizona statutes, and published by the State of Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The full title is Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts: Riding Confidently, Legally and Safely, and is available online in its entirety. Continue reading “Where to ride on the road”

Take the lane

*** a third win, see Another Appellate win for bicyclists in Pima County. Here is the order. ***

Educated cyclists know that they not only can (legally), but should (for safety) occupy an entire lane when conditions dictate. One of these conditions is when the lane is too narrow to safely share side-by-side (skip down to definition #narrow).

Arizona law is quite strong and plain in this regard. Continue reading “Take the lane”