[Talk-us] Bike route relation issues

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Mon Jan 12 19:31:34 UTC 2015

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 1:05 PM, Richard Welty <rwelty at averillpark.net>

> in fact, here in NYS there is a class of trunk-ish roads
> called Urban Expressways where bikes and pedestrians
> are forbidden; sometimes it's posted but sometimes it's
> not.

Having commuted by freeway by bicycle in a number of places where the
practice is allowed, nobody's saying it's pleasant (heck, often the
alternative route is worse, like the cycleway that hovers on the top of the
sound wall of Interstate 84 near the Portland/Gresham line, mostly because
the freeways get swept and animals must be in a vehicle there, and there's
not only shoulders, but plenty of room to get around pedestrians, which
just isn't the case on the I 84 Cycleway.  You're often riding with a chain
link fence keeping you from wiping out onto the freeway ~10 feet below on
one side and a ~15 foot high concrete wall looking like something out of
Half Life 2's Combine architecture on the other for miles at a stretch).

> they're unpleasant roads to bike on or walk on anyway,
> but for bicycle commuters, sometimes they're the only
> route. Washington Avenue Extension in Albany is a good
> example. it's not explicitly posted so most don't know they
> shouldn't bike or walk on it, but it's the only access to a
> bunch of office buildings.

Oklahoma is notorious with this, and we're getting a lot more people over
time that don't even know the rules about it here.  Though, it's kind of a
dirty trick:  Bicycles are allowed on any highway anywhere in the state
that does not have a minimum speed limit unless otherwise posted (ie, I
don't know of any place this is the case, but the law explicitly codifies
an exception for designated bicycle routes with a minimum speed limit;
routes that don't have a minimum speed limit may ban bicycles for
legitimate safety reasons (and not "because it's inconvenient to pass",
because then you'd have to ban equestrian and agricultural traffic as well
for the same reason)).  However, they also expect you to be psychic:
 Minimum speeds are typically not posted until after you're already on the
road and committed, and entry ramps (save for the Oklahoma Turnpike
Authority operated highways (all ten, and soon to be eight, of them))
typically lack signage informing people of banned modes.  So, the first
sign that you aren't supposed to be there on a bicycle is probably passing
"Speed Limit 65 Minimum 40" signage...half a mile or more after you entered
the road and committed to it, assuming you don't have map data aware of
this restriction and/or you're navigating off personal knowledge.
Sometimes this will happen on a rural surface expressway...a mile after you
passed the last intersection, without so much as a "minimum speed ahead"
warning.  And that's only if you're enough of a road geek to actually know
this in the first place.  End result: You'll probably pass three or four
cyclists a month on urban freeways in Oklahoma, even as a casual car

TL;DR: I spent a paragraph going over an annoyingly inobvious modal ban
that drives me batshit insane trying to find it here.
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