The ins and outs of bike lane use

Dear Street Smarts, Q: There is something wrong with the item in the California Vehicle Code (section 21208 (a) that reads that bicyclists can exit bike lanes when they are) 'approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.' One does not have to leave the bike lane where a right turn is authorized, whether going right or straight. I think this should read "Approaching a place where a left turn is authorized." In this case, one does leave the bike lane to make a proper left turn. Could you find out if this is correct or if there is a mistake in the California Vehicle Code? Michael Lewis, Live Oak A: “This is not a mistake,” said Officer Sarah Jackson, spokeswoman for the CHP. “The reason for the provision to move out of the bike lane in preparation for a right turn is this: in some intersections, the right turn lane is to the right of the bicycle lane -- the bicycle lane would then run between the right lane which travels straight and the right lane which turns right," Jackson said. "In these kinds of intersections, it is lawful for the bicycle to move out of the bicycle lane if they give the proper signal first and wait until it is safe.”
This entry was posted in alternative transportation, bicycle education, Bicycling, bike lanes, bike path, bike safety, California Vehicle Code, CHP, cycling, Public safety and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The ins and outs of bike lane use

  1. Actually, the exception to the stay in the bike lane rule is, “approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.” This exception is much broader than “approaching and making a right turn.” A cyclist may want to leave the bike lane when approaching somewhere where a right turn is authorized in order to discourage right-turning vehicles from turning right in front of the cyclist or to avoid right turn conflicts with vehicles already ahead of the cyclist, as in this short video…

    This exception to the stay the bike lane rule doesn’t require the cyclist to make the right turn.

Leave a Reply