Authority to Block Bike Lane

Question

Ashley asked: Today I was riding my bicycle in the bike lane down a busy, one way street. The street consists of two lanes and one bike lane. Police had blocked off the lane nearest to the bike lane with a cone and were doing some sort of survey work (I think). However, the bike lane was not blocked, so I slowed down but continued to ride as there was nothing happening in the actual bike lane and it seemed safer than funneling into traffic. The police were not happy and told me they had, “blocked off the road for a reason”. I apologized and got out of the way. While I do understand cyclists must follow all traffic laws just as a car would, I’m confused about whether I was in the wrong or not? It seems to me they could have indicated that the bike lane was closed too?

Answer

It is difficult to tell if any specific laws apply.  There is not enough information to make a determination about the situation.

In an ideal world, we could stop and ask the officer to explain the circumstances and any laws that apply and whether the bike lane is really closed if a cone is in the roadway.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to establish a constructive dialogue since officers are not usually very receptive if they feel their authority is being questioned.

Your other option is to ask that a supervisor be requested to discuss the orders given by the original officer.

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