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#1 2010-11-17 17:28:53

Moocowherc
Member
Registered: 2010-11-17
Posts: 3

Are bike lanes protected throughout ALL Texas?

Hey guys,
 
   I'm trying to find out if ALL bike lanes across Texas are protected from motor vehicle encroachment. We're having issues here at College Station with Transportation Services (Bus system at Texas A&M) driving in bike lanes at intersections and to take right-hand turns. Of course, this is dangerous and I thought it was illegal. However, I am having difficulty actually citing the law that says motor vehicles cannot drive in this lane. I saw the traffic laws posted on this website for Austin but nothing in regards to an official state law. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thoughts? A link? A citation of Texas State Law?
Thanks guys!

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#2 2010-11-17 21:38:24

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Are bike lanes protected throughout ALL Texas?

If I recall correctly, Texas law doesn't have bike lanes -- they're added and regulated by local laws.  (Texas law does occasionally mention lanes and roads dedicated to bicycles, but only in the context of certain laws.)  So you'd have to look at the College Station ordinances/laws and find the laws there.

http://code.cstx.gov/Browse.aspx?dbid=1 would seem to start their ordinances and you can browse through them.  It seems to suck, as such things often do.  Search is useless.

http://code.cstx.gov/ElectronicFile.asp … 011&dbid=1 seems to be the relevant part of the law, but it doesn't seem to say that one cannot drive in a bike lane.  Perhaps there's more somewhere else?

I should also mention that merging into a bike lane before turning right is pretty much standard practice, and I doubt it's illegal even in Austin.  You're supposed to be in the right-most lane when you turn right, and that would be the bike lane.  Failure to do this can lead to right hooks.

Also, perhaps in an attempt to avoid this situation entirely, bike lanes often disappear around intersections, forcing the cyclist to merge into the main traffic lane, which is arguably the safest place to be when going through an intersection.

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#3 2010-11-18 00:22:49

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Are bike lanes protected throughout ALL Texas?

Motor vehicles making right turns: You can view an animation of Oregon law vs. California law here: http://www.sfbike.org/?bikelane_right_turns
From what I can interpret, Texas has a California-style law in this regard.

I also agree with Doug above, that I'd rather have a car merge with the bike lane before making a turn than turning across the bike lane.  The merge maneuver is easier to predict than the turn across the lane, at least in my experience.

(If I can find some time later, I'll look a little into your original question, Moocowherc.)

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#4 2010-12-02 10:32:49

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Are bike lanes protected throughout ALL Texas?

Capital Metro bus drivers are actually told to go into the bike lane to make stops - theory being it's safer for cyclists and passengers if cyclists don't try to pass a loading/unloading bus on the same side the passengers are getting on/off.

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