Cyclists Riding Two Abreast (More)
In reference to the substandard-width lane: As you know, I work on A1A which is a substandard-width lane roadway. The speed limit is 35 miles per hour and there is a no passing zone. If a bike rider was riding single or double and not maintaining the normal flow of traffic would this be a violation?
It appears that we have crossed messages and you haven’t seen the previous post about bicyclists riding abreast and impeding traffic. I believe that answers most of the question, but I will add the following:
There doesn’t seem to be any question about the single cyclist taking the lane in a substandard-width lane. The statute is quite clear that in that case the cyclist is not required to keep right, even if other traffic is impeded.
If two cyclists are impeding traffic while riding abreast in a wide outside lane (14 feet minimum width), it is a violation and they should keep right and single up.
Now imagine a single cyclist taking the lane in a narrow lane and a second cyclist riding ten feet behind or ten feet ahead, but not exactly abreast, or one behind the other. They are not riding abreast, and may be legally impeding traffic. If they move alongside each other they are now riding abreast, and impeding traffic exactly as they were before. If the phrase in the statute is taken out of context, and the intent of the statute is not considered, some might conclude that a violation has occurred. Common sense would dictate otherwise.
Two cyclists riding abreast in a narrow lane are impeding traffic, but no more than the single cyclist taking the lane.
This is an example of the statutes being written without clearly considering and accounting for all possible circumstances. I believe this is one that needs to be clarified.
Writing citations that are based on such a tenuous interpretation of one phrase the statute and disregarding the intent of the statute would not seem to be an effective use of an officer’s valuable time. There are plenty of opportunities to cite illegal acts that might result in cyclists and motorists being endangered. Illegal passing on narrow roadways is one of the most common and most dangerous violations.