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Thread: Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Surprise, Arizona, United States
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    Questions

    While riding to the gym and store today I saw a few other bicyclists and thought of some questions that I have been curious about for a long time. When I was growing up in Virginia, and to some extent out here, we were always told to dismount our bikes and walk them across marked crosswalks at intersections with stoplights. Now I see cyclists in the left turn lane along with car traffic which really confuses me. Is there a law one way or the other?? Also I learned that when the light for your direction was green you walked your bike across. Here some of the walk/don't walk signals do not change with the lights. Again I am not sure if there is a law about this, anyone know??

    Lastly back east we were told to ride against traffic, the reason being if someone was swerving (drunk, falling asleep, losing control) you would see them coming at you. Here people are told to ride with traffic. I know it is my responsibility to make sure people turning onto streets see me, so I am confused as to why here people are to ride with traffic. Anyone know??

    Thanks for any answers.
    Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Re: Questions

    In AZ, bicycles are treated the same as motor vehicles for the purposes of right-of-way and traffic flow. That means you should be riding in the street (as close to the curb as possible) or in the bike lane if there is one. The left turn lane is a legally acceptable (though, in my opinion, unintelligent) place for a cyclist. I prefer to cross/turn from a crosswalk. You should ride with the flow of traffic. You must also yield right-of-way to both pedestrians AND motor vehicles. You do not need to dismount to cross the street. Also, you have to have front and rear facing lights and (I believe) reflectors for riding at night.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Re: Questions

    Um, I don't know what part of Virginia you grew up in, but I lived in Richmond for 20 years (from 1980 to 2000) and people rode their bikes with traffic. That's pretty common in all the states I lived in. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are a different animal, and are generally told to walk against traffic. In general, bicycles are treated like vehicles which means they have the same rights to lanes and must obey all traffic laws (and ride in the same direction as other vehicular traffic). This is the case in Arizona, and I must say, Arizona is a much more bicycle friendly state than Virginia, with miles and miles of dedicated bicycle lanes.

    There is a reason the green lights at intersections and pedestrian crossing signals don't always match up. It happens when oncoming traffic has either a solid green light or left turn green arrow allowing them to turn across the intersection and pedestrian walkway. When the oncoming side of traffic receives a red light, preventing left turns into the crosswalk, you will get the go ahead to cross the street.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
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    Re: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    In AZ, bicycles are treated the same as motor vehicles for the purposes of right-of-way and traffic flow. That means you should be riding in the street (as close to the curb as possible) or in the bike lane if there is one. The left turn lane is a legally acceptable (though, in my opinion, unintelligent) place for a cyclist. I prefer to cross/turn from a crosswalk. You should ride with the flow of traffic. You must also yield right-of-way to both pedestrians AND motor vehicles. You do not need to dismount to cross the street. Also, you have to have front and rear facing lights and (I believe) reflectors for riding at night.

    Cool, thanks for the info!!
    Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Surprise, Arizona, United States
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    Re: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RussL View Post
    Um, I don't know what part of Virginia you grew up in, but I lived in Richmond for 20 years (from 1980 to 2000) and people rode their bikes with traffic. That's pretty common in all the states I lived in. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are a different animal, and are generally told to walk against traffic. In general, bicycles are treated like vehicles which means they have the same rights to lanes and must obey all traffic laws (and ride in the same direction as other vehicular traffic). This is the case in Arizona, and I must say, Arizona is a much more bicycle friendly state than Virginia, with miles and miles of dedicated bicycle lanes.

    There is a reason the green lights at intersections and pedestrian crossing signals don't always match up. It happens when oncoming traffic has either a solid green light or left turn green arrow allowing them to turn across the intersection and pedestrian walkway. When the oncoming side of traffic receives a red light, preventing left turns into the crosswalk, you will get the go ahead to cross the street.
    Okie doke, thanks for the answers!! I grew up in the Fairfax area, you are definitely right about Arizona being more bike friendly.
    Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

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