re: Portland’s nekked bike ride and video posted.
It’s a video from “Hulu”. All the naughty bits are blurred out. I had no idea it was a Playboy thing, or if it is actually. Said it was from “The Show”? There are more naked guys in it then females. The reporter is female. It has no prurient angle at all.
It’s the best reportage I’ve seen on an important bike activism event. The one posted on this board about NYC’s naked bike ride was poorly shot and badly reported. There is nothing salacious nor provocative to this PG rated video.
It’s about Portland’s biking culture and a specific event, and contains the best footage I’ve seen of that event. There are tall bikes, there are well lighted bikes, there are people of every shape and size. Bike saddles are disinfected before riding, as I hope was done at the try-a-bike event.
I’ll ride naked through the streets of Pgh before issuing an apology.
Fully expect I’m just feeding the troll, but what the heck.
I had no idea it was a Playboy thing, or if it is actually. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Jean_Underwood#Modeling
It has no prurient angle at all. Yea, except the strip tease, closeup boob shot, panties flying.
Bike saddles are disinfected before riding, as I hope was done at the try-a-bike event. We also disinfected the picnic tables and grass before people sat on them, just to be safe.
McCrea: Funny, you made the time and inclination to post this opinion, but now have neither the time nor inclination to even consider if you advanced bad advice?
“I am very confident that the first part of the sentence applies where there are two or more parallel lanes of traffic in the same directon, while the second half applies where there is one lane. Your interpretation is not one that I would feel comfortable arguing in a court of law. I base this opinion on my relevant experiences: 3 years of law school, a PA law license, 2 years clerking for a federal judge, and five years practicing mostly complex civil litigation at one of the city’s largest law firms. I am sure that your reading comprehension is quite good, and I agree with some of your other points expressed here, but your interpretation of this statute is mistaken and I feel compelled to offer my own view, particularly where it bears upon other cyclists’ safety and understanding of the law.”
What? Now you don’t have the time or inclination to care about “…cyclists’ safety and understanding of the law”?
dwillen: Look, I want to discuss 3505(c) and 3301(b) and the proposed 4′ passing law.
I posted the video of Portland’s nekked bike ride with the caveat “Apropos of nothing. Headache relief, perhaps?” Private parts are totally blurred. You saw boobs? I watched the bikes and the scenery and many free spirited people.
Your wiki link suggests even women’s study groups have no problem with her Playmate status, or maybe you didn’t bother to read your own link? “On June 7, 2007, a group of Oregon State University women’s studies students created a poster celebrating Underwood’s selection as Playboy’s 2007 Playmate of the Year…”
You want to discuss your lengthy analysis of the laws, but you yourself derailed your own thread when you posted the link and further defended your position when when someone took offense.
Objectification of women (or anybody) affects more than those directly participating.
Many women participate in their own objectification, so a group of women saying they’re okay with it doesn’t make it any less morally problematic any more so than women objectifying other women (like the reporter)
PeTA tries the same crap with their objectification of women by saying “PeTA is run by a woman, they consented and they think it’s liberating”
Back on the topic at hand, I’m with bjanaszek
I don’t see this law having any meaningful effect on my life. Three feet, four feet, whatever. We’ve had people mown down with zero feet of passing and what’s being addressed about that?
Cops don’t enforce the traffic laws we have. Am I going to have to try and remember every person’s license plate that passes less than four feet of me and report to the police? I just don’t see this coming in handy except in rare instances. In those situations, like the one with the guy honking at the lady crossing the street and getting agro with a board member, there were already laws in place to deal with it.
If there isn’t a culture of safe driving, laws (especially obscure bicyle laws) are meaningless. Somebody blazing through the street isn’t going to say “Oh damn, there’s a jerk on a bicycle coming up, I better pass with greater than four feet because I don’t want to be in violation of 3301(b)!”
To be clear, nothing I’ve said amounts to bona fide legal advice. I’ve simply offered a bit of my personal view on what a law means to cyclists. I do care a great deal about cyclists’ safety and understanding of the law. I post my thoughts when I have something relevant to say. I don’t need to be heckled for it. If anyone has anything to say to me, please send a private message as I’ve offered all I care to on this issue.
Pierce, if you’re struck and maimed, (and I truly hope that never happens to you – it sucks), and the person who did so goes unpunished because the Judge or pompous lawyer thinks they know the law means you should have been riding in the gutter on that one lane one direction road, then I think you’ll care about the law? If you have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills because the insurance company says you were not “legal” in your riding practice, then I think you’ll care about the law? If you can’t sue to recover because every attorney says the consensus about 3505(c) is that “…the first part of the sentence applies where there are two or more parallel lanes of traffic in the same direction, while the second half applies where there is one lane…”, then I think you might care about the law?
Bike culture filters up, bike culture trickles down. Changing the same sex marriage laws or giving women the legal right to vote, or the Civil Rights Act, all made a difference eventually. Laws are not inconsequential. Grassroots changes in people’s perceptions are not insignificant. Whatever works?
(Caveat: I use “you” to make a point. I do not mean you any harm nor wish any harm to befall you or anyone or any critter for that matter. Well, I don’t abide ticks, or fleas or mosquitoes or flies. I’m not crazy about grain moths either.)
To my knowledge, which granted, is limited, the question up to this point has not been whether or not a cyclist being on the road is legal or illegal, the question has been whether or not striking a person on the road and killing them is illegal. So far, it has not been.
Making us more? legal on the road in no way makes killing us on the road any less legal. I think they’re seperate issues
So far, DA’s aren’t touching stuff unless there is a clear intent to kill or gross, gross, gross neglience. (Like somebody driving with a blindfold on for fun). As long as it can be considered an “accident” they’re not going to go after somebody.
@pierce … the question has been whether or not striking a person on the road and killing them is illegal…
To mean this goes way beyond jsut cycling. All manner of car (or abominally large SUV) fatalities are not treated teh way other preventable fatalities in our society are.
For example in today’s PG, a woman hit a building and injured a mother and infant. Na charges are expected to be filed.
Maybe we need a “no running into buildings” law too?
I have zero hope as long as stupidity like this prevails. “I meant to hit the brake pedal” should be a confession – not an excuse. Same with “I was playing wth my flip flop”, “the sun was in my eyes”, etc.
Whoa, slow down dudes (and dudettes), you’re driving too close to home. A few years back I owned two buildings. The day I was moving into one, after extensive renovation by my hand, two hours after I went to my apt. to catch a little sleep before the moving van arrived, a 78 year old woman driving an ’87 Pontiac(?) 2000 hit a curb, went airborne and drove through one and impacted the other at what the police officer who witnessed it estimated was 100 mph. Elderly Acceleration Syndrome (EAS) was credited; she hit the gas when she started to slide on the ice rather then the brake. It was the end of January. Thankfully after 3 months in ICU she pulled through and is doing fine. Insurance company is still withholding payment as I “owned the building(s) for too short a time”. Yeah, yeah, “don’t talk of active lawsuits on this board”, whatever; it’s all public record. Both buildings collapsed promptly. If I had been there I’d be dead. Big hole did make moving easier though I changed direction and moved things out instead of in. No charges were filed. My fault really; I should never have painted the huge tunnel on the side of that building. I could get in and out, but not the coyote.
Steven: I’m going to curb the “furthermore” redundancy argument. In fact, I’m starting from scratch.
I’ve given ieverhart’s comments some thought, and think we should be addressing 3505(c) first and foremost, and 3301(b) as it relates.
3505(c) adds “unless it is unsafe to do so” quite explicitly to the clause “(relating to driving on right side of roadway)”. It doesn’t apply it to the part after the “or”: “…as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…” You maintain it applies to both. I don’t see how that can be with the language of 3505(c). Enlighten me?
So with that caveat added (only to the first part), 3301(b) now reads for cyclists:
“[3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic (unless it is unsafe to do so), or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…”
Can I prove 3505(c)’s second instruction was not intended to ever apply to bicycles? Don’t think so. In fact, it may apply when occupying a full lane “is unsafe to do so”. Consider this example, and remember this is a “rule of the road”, an instruction sheet for how to pilot a vehicle on a Commonwealth roadway.
To the troll’s way of thinking, “upon all roadways” (4 or 1 lane, it doesn’t matter), the (slow moving cycling) troll (SMCT) is riding along evilly in the center of the far right lane, objectifying and heckling everyone. If it becomes “unsafe to do so” then the SMCT is instructed to move “…as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…” [Aside: here’s where the problem with applying the “unless it is unsafe to do so” to both clauses. If applied to the second clause, the cyclist who then finds the curb unsafe can move to the far left, or anywhere really. When I wrote that the phrase “unless it is unsafe to do so” was included as a political bone thrown to advocates of the “far right rule” this is what I think they meant to avoid. Having it only on the first part means the cyclist is constrained to the curb if occupying a full lane “is unsafe”, creating a “far right rule” in fact. Having it apply to the first and second means a cyclist can go wherever the cyclist feels safe, or wherever is safe for traffic, whatever. And though I like that option, it’s legally silly and renders the “rule” essentially meaningless.]
Amended and tailored to the cyclist by 3505(c), with this troll’s revised read, 3301(b) makes sense. What is practicable doesn’t enter into it until “unless it is unsafe to do so” is defined and the SMCT is forced to avail itself of the second option. Now the question is, “what does “unless it is unsafe to do so” mean”? This troll don’t know, and lacking a sweeping knowledge of Commonwealth case law, and finding no definition or guidance in Title 75, thinks it vague and meaningless. (Little help here, ieverhart?) Just this troll’s opinion.
We are comparing two different and discreet theories of interpretation of that rule, “the troll’s” and McCrea’s/the current thinking(?). (Unless you have another?) How does 3505(c) read with the latter take?
“[3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic (unless it is unsafe to do so)(when there are two or more lanes moving in the same direction), or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway (unless it is unsafe to do so)(when there is only one lane)…”
First off, you have to add extra words to get to McCrea’s meaning, and that’s frowned upon. Second, it’s self contradictory in that it begins with “upon all roadways” then changes its mind. Third, it does not provide clear instruction to the cyclist (as noted above). Fourth, cyclists are constrained as near as is practicable to the curb capriciously by words not found in the law when there is a single lane. Fifth, no instruction is provided for the cyclist traveling in an “unsafe” two lane one direction option as the “close as practicable option only applies to one lane situations! What is the “unsafe” cyclist to do? There may be more? I’m stopping now.
I think 3301(b) was intended to apply to wide vehicles. When ieverhart reminded me of the specific overriding the general it became clear 3301(b) as modified and qualified by 3305(c) means something specifically to pedalcyclists and something else to motor vehicles and likely something else to Mr. Ed, and that that’s okay, so this interpretation begged. So thanks, ieverhart for that, and steven and Lyle (and others though not McCrea) for encouragement, playing along and pushing this discussion forward. (Guess the aftereffects of my road rage experience(s) (as a victim) are wearing off and my brain’s working again?)
I still think the current thinking can and should be successfully challenged (for constraining cyclists to the curb in single lane situations), and that “unless it is unsafe to do so” merits clarification or removal.
Now for the fun bit: suppose there is a 14.5′ wide pedal powered properly licensed implement of naked goat husbandry driven by an evil naked troll…
3505(c) adds “unless it is unsafe to do so” quite explicitly to the clause “(relating to driving on right side of roadway)”.
No, I think you’re misinterpreting that. It adds “unless it is unsafe to do so” to the provisions of section 3301(b). It also (parenthetically) mentions that the subject of section 3301 is “driving on right side of roadway” (that being the title of that section).
It’s not adding “unless it is unsafe to do so” to the parenthesized section title, but to the entirety of section 3301(b).
The reason the text “(relating to driving on right side of roadway)” appears there is to remind the reader what section 3301 is about. The meaning of 3305(c) would not change if you deleted that reminder. You can find similar reminders (parenthesized section titles) throughout Title 75.
For a good example of this, look at section 3306. 3306(a) provides a general rule, and 3306(b) says “(b) Application of section.–This section does not apply under the conditions described in section 3301(a)(2),(3),(4) and (5) (relating to driving on right side of roadway).” This is saying that 3306’s general rule doesn’t apply under the 2nd through 5th of 3301(a)’s exceptions. But it does apply under the first of 3301(a)’s exceptions. It quotes 3301’s overall section title, even though it’s referring to only specific enumerated parts of the section.
So when 3505(c) says “driving on right side of roadway”, it’s not in any way talking about driving particularly close to the curb on the right. It’s referring to the section title of a section which we can broadly summarize as “here in America we drive on the right, not the left”. That’s the only meaning of “right side” in the phrase “driving on right side of roadway” in 3505(c).
Aside: here’s where the problem with applying the “unless it is unsafe to do so” to both clauses. If applied to the second clause, the cyclist who then finds the curb unsafe can move to the far left, or anywhere really.
Yes, he can if it would be unsafe to do otherwise, and no other rule (for instance, those in sections 3306 or 3307) prevents it.
But that’s not a problem. It’s a perfectly reasonable way for the rules to work.
Having it apply to the first and second means a cyclist can go wherever the cyclist feels safe, or wherever is safe for traffic, whatever.
No, 3305(c) means the cyclist can ignore 3301(b) (and only 3301(b)) if complying would be unsafe. Not anywhere he wants, since other rules limit that. And not based merely on his feeling.
The law doesn’t make him the final arbiter of where it’s safe (though cyclists sometimes claim this). The law says he can ignore 3301(b) only if complying would be unsafe. If a cyclist is charged with a violation, he’s free to argue that following 3301(b) would have been unsafe. And a judge or jury is free to decide he’s wrong, and it would have been safe for him to follow 3301(b).
Maybe it would be nice if the cyclist had all the power, and could merely declare that whatever he did was for safety, and those magic words would make any charges go away. But the law doesn’t say that. It provides a standard of “unsafe” that a judge or jury would have to interpret and evaluate, the same as they have to interpret other words like “reasonable” and “prudent”.
We are comparing two different and discreet theories of interpretation of that rule, “the troll’s” and McCrea’s/the current thinking(?). (Unless you have another?)
I guess I do. I don’t see any support in the text for Jacob McCrea’s interpretation. As I understand it, he’s said that the first part of 3301(b) applies when there are multiple lanes, and the second part when there’s a single lane.
I think his argument is that the text refers to “right-hand lane”, and that only makes sense if there’s more than one lane, so therefore it must only apply in such cases. But if you interpret the text that way, just look at 3331(b): “Left turn.–The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle.” If the first part of 3301(b) only applies when there are multiple lanes, wouldn’t 3331(b) also? That would mean it would be illegal to turn left unless there’s more than one lane in your direction, obviously not what they intended. So neither section should be interpreted that way.
My interpretation of 3301(b) is that slow vehicles must either be driven in the rightmost available lane, or in the alternative, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb (with the various exceptions noted in the law). Doing either one complies with the law.
* As you argued, sufficiently wide vehicles physically cannot comply with the first part. So the only way to legally operate them is in compliance with the second part.
* Slow vehicles, whether cars, bikes or buggies, can comply with this section if they follow either part, since the text says “or”, and doesn’t put any further restrictions on which part applies when. So it’s sufficient if they are driven in the right hand lane. This subsection doesn’t require them to keep to the right within that lane. They can if they want to.
* If there’s only one available lane in your direction, then that lane is the “right-hand lane”. The intent would be clearer if it said “rightmost”, which is what it means, but there’s no other interpretation that makes sense. (Literally, “right-hand lane” means a lane “on or toward the right side of a person or thing”, so if there are seven lanes in your direction, three of them would be right-hand lanes. Clearly it doesn’t mean that, and the closest plausible meaning for “right-hand lane” that makes the seven-lane example come out as expected, with one lane, is “rightmost lane”.)
* A cyclist has an additional option, due to 3305(c). If it’s unsafe to ride in the rightmost lane, she can ride in another one, as long as it doesn’t violate any other sections. (“Unsafe” is a call she must make, but it can be second-guessed by a judge or jury. This is just like how a motorist has to interpret section 3310’s “reasonable and prudent” standard on following too closely. She can’t just declare that whatever distance she picked was reasonable. A judge or jury gets to second-guess her call in the same way.)
Now, if there are court decisions that have interpreted this section in the way Jacob suggests, I guess that settles it (pending further, better, decisions). I’m not in a position to know that. Nor do I know for sure which of the various interpretations is the “current thinking” in legal circles, or in cyclist circles, or any other circles, only what I think the most direct reading of the text is.
I think you and I agree that the law doesn’t require cyclists to keep to the right within the rightmost usable lane. We disagree about the reason why though.
Well, heck, steven, think you’re right that I misapplied the “unless it is unsafe to do so.” One could throw it at the front of 3301(b) and it would stick like this:
“[3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Unless it is unsafe to do so, upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…”
And I’m back to my original interpretation. Great! Only reason a slow moving cycling naked troll would be compelled to travel “as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…” is when the SMCNT is pedaling that 14.5′ foot wide properly permitted implement of goat husbandry.
As I accept how the “unless it is unsafe to do so” admonition is to be applied, I don’t think we actually have any disagreements on the why? Don’t want to put words in your mouth.
As to “unsafe…”, that is indeed a judgement call first reviewed by an Officer of the Court, then a Hearing Examiner and then a Trier of Fact and then on up the line, or however it goes. Did not mean to and don’t think I did imply anything else. Title 75 has no definition for “unsafe…”, and I don’t know of pertinent case law in the Commonwealth for that standard.
I quoted McCrea’s text above from the “new-fixed-bike-lanes-on-beechwood” thread, and I think it’s pretty straightforward, and wrong. Lyle wrote in the same thread “…I think that the referenced statute (3301(b) and/or3505(c)) means multiple lanes moving in the same direction, because (a) that’s what most people think it means and afaik there’s no case law or other legislation that indicates the contrary and (b) because if it doesn’t then 3301a is redundant.” They both suggest this is the “right” interpretation and popular opinion. (In all fairness, Lyle did “skim” my original “wide things” argument in this thread and may have reconsidered?)
However, you are wrong when you write “I think you and I agree that the law doesn’t require cyclists to keep to the right within the rightmost usable lane.” Way wrong. Consider the slow moving cycling naked troll legally driving a 14.5′ wide implement of goat husbandry on a roadway with a 10′ wide single direction lane. 3505(c)/3301(b) requires the SMCNT travel “as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…” Well, unless it is unsafe to do so?
Consider the slow moving cycling naked trolls, they toil not, neither do they spin…how then do they ride about?
I adore the definition of pedalcycle in Title 75: “”Pedalcycle.” A vehicle propelled solely by human-powered pedals. The term does not mean a three-wheeled human-powered pedal-driven vehicle with a main driving wheel 20 inches in diameter or under and primarily designed for children six years of age or younger.” In other words, anything but a “Big Wheel”? Had the writer just watched “The Shining”?
I happily accept your correction on the matter of cycles too wide to fit in a single lane. So I think we now agree.
Now to convince the rest of the planet.
I see that the text for the proposed revisions to Title 75 fails to address one point in the current law that could really do with more clarity. “…shall be driven in the right-hand lane …” should say “rightmost” instead of “right-hand”, to make it sensible when there are four or more lanes, and unambiguous when there’s just one. It’s passed the House, and currently in a Senate committee. I guess it’s too late to change the bill now?
No, not too late until the Governor signs it. The LA (Legislative Assistant) to the Committee handling the bill in the Senate would be one person to approach/email, and your local State senator as well.
Need to take a few days off from this, let it ferment, do some more research, and read up on this proposed bill too. I’ve left a few points and comments you’ve made dangling, and will attend to them on return. Intend to rework the brief, and run it by an old friend who recently retired from 20+ years as head clerk for a state Supreme Court, then repost if there is interest?
If I want or need to use any of your ideas or text I’ll ask your permission first? Fair enough?
Thanks for the feedback and discussion.
Feel free to use my ideas and/or text.
But don’t go blaming me if some judge finds them unconvincing.
I’d be interested to see your next version.
Thanks for your suggestion on HB 170. Do you know how I’d find out who’s the legislative assistant for the State Senate’s Transportation committee? I didn’t see that info on the committee’s page.
The 4ft passing law is a bad idea. Its people that aren’t obeying existing laws that cause accidents. I don’t have any problem riding over to the right as far as I’m able, and I can’t even remember my last negative interaction from a motorist. If you put a 4ft passing law into effect it would result in traffic gridlock …soon to be followed by a law restricting the bicyclers freedom to ride on the roads.
@boazo: You’re assuming people are going to follow the law, and that it will be enforced. That’s a bit of leap, IMHO. People don’t follow posted speed limits, or traffic signals, so how do you expect them to follow a law that isn’t posted.
I like the idea of clarifying the vehicle code to allow that users who aren’t maintaining prevailing speeds still have a right to use the road, though.
BTW, IANAL(awyer|egislator), so how are changes to the vehicle code disseminated to the driving public?
so how are changes to the vehicle code disseminated to the driving public?
Oh, their knowledge of applicable changes is checked whenever they retest to renew…their……license………never mind.
It still a bad idea to put the 4ft passing law on the books — it opens the door to legislation that would restrict or ban bikes from roads. There is alot more motorists than cyclists. The motorist could say : “if its unsafe, they shoudn’t be allowed on roads . period.” The law makes it seem like its more unsafe than it really is.
I don’t like the 4 ft passing law For a bunch of reasons.
To me, except at the hightest speeds, 30 inches seems enough.
When a car passes a car on a multilane street, there is often less than 4 ft between them. Doesn’t seem unsafe. (And plenty of car behavior seems *and is* unsafe.)
I would never consider stopping rather than passing a car with considerably less than 4 ft between me and the car. It’s hard to imagine the law not going both ways.
Boazo’s concern seems good to me, too.
I’m totally going to pull a contrarian/split personality thing here, I apologize.
boazo – the motorists could say that it’s unsafe and use the law as proof. they could also say “it’s legal to speed 10mph over the limit” and “driving and texting is only a bad idea for some people, I do just fine at it”. They can also all be wrong. I’m pretty sure if/when that law passes, it will be noticed and lauded by some cyclists and nobody else will blink. I’m fairly certain it won’t be used to press charges even when cyclists are struck, since clearly the cars weren’t “passing” the now dead cyclist, they were “hitting” him/her. Maybe this is more cynicism, but I don’t see it making a single iota of difference other than feeding some (accurate) righteousness.
Mick – have you ever seen a motorist who has an accurate understanding of the size of their vehicle and relative locations of its bumpers/exterior? Ever? For some, 4′ will end up being 15′. For others, 4′ will end up being 30″. The only thing it definitely isn’t is 0″, or whatever the officer thinks it isn’t. Which could be anything (or nothing). Remember, practically speaking when it comes to the law, it isn’t reality that matters, it’s perception. And sometimes it’s not even perception. I’m sorry, I think some people call it “interpretation” (which never goes both ways).
I’m really not in the foul mood that I appear to be in, I’m not sure what’s wrong with me these days, I apologize. Not enough biking, definitely.
I would never consider stopping rather than passing a car with considerably less than 4 ft between me and the car. It’s hard to imagine the law not going both ways.
when the results of a collision are symmetric, the laws can be symmetric.
@hiddenvariable when the results of a collision are symmetric, the laws can be symmetric.
Laws tend towards symmetry.
“The majestic equality of the laws, which forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
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