In 2013 Indiana was ranked 37 among bicycle friendly states by the league of American Bicyclists.
The Criteria for this ranking can be found at the following link Bike League of America Friendly State Attributes
In particular what I am dealing with today is legislation and enforcement. A major part of that is the legislation and how Indiana compares to other states in this matter.
The NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety administration) Says that,
"Bicycles on the roadway are, by law, vehicles with the same rights, and responsibilities as motorized vehicles."
Let's see how states above Indiana on the list rank on this aspect.
|Much better, safer and more clearly |
Stated than "Share the Road"
Riding on the Road - When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver (RCW 46.61.755).
I will call the following Full lane states
The following states on the list pretty much mirror Washington's laws- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maryland, Utah, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Texas, North Dakota and Indiana .
I know there has been a lot of hoopla about needing more bike lanes and bike paths to make Indiana more bike friendly but legislation is Better than Bike Lanes, after all great cycling laws do not need to be repainted every few years and if enforced are more effective in my opinion.
The problem seems to be with people who are ignorant of what the laws and rules of the road really are. We seem to have people on a regular basis who want to instruct us that we need to ride single file on the road. Not in Indiana, we are able to ride 2 abreast just like motorcycles do.
Lane use restrictions; riding two abreast
Sec. 6. A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway may not ride more
than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for
the exclusive use of bicycles.
It also forces motor vehicles to use another lane to pass, instead of tempting them to share the lane and squeeze past cyclists, throwing caution to the wind and passing despite double yellow lines, blind corners or approaching the top of a hill.
The whole reason the double yellow exists is because either
#1 visibility is limited or
#2 there is access from side roads that may make passing dangerous
My belief is that education of both motorists and cyclists will make Indiana a more bicycle friendly state in a couple of important ways.
First of all motorists will be less hostile to cyclists on the road and informed motorists are a lot less likely to hang out on the wrong side of a double yellow line (i.e. no passing zone) so they can yell, "Don't you FN people realize that there are cars out here!" - "You need to be on the sidewalk." - "You need to ride those FN bikes single file, so I can pass." - the last meaning so that I can squeeze by while faced with oncoming traffic. The people that do this would certainly not be classified as "Bicycle Friendly Hoosiers" But they are mad because they just don't know any better,,,,, at least that is my thought :) in all fairness, this is really the minority of the drivers out there, but they are unfortunately the ones that stick out, just like cyclists.
Second, if cyclists them selves are more aware of and more compliant with the law, they will be more likely to use the roadways properly. In my neighborhood, I see lots of people riding bikes the wrong way on 2 way streets, using the sidewalks and the road interchangeably, not signaling anything and generally behaving in an unpredictable manner. Last night, we had a cyclist pass us and then blow the 2 way stop sign that we were slowing for at a busy intersection. He didn't just roll through, he went full speed and I couldn't tell that he even looked for traffic. This sort of behavior does not breed "Bicycle friendly behavior from motorists"
|Double Yellow means no passing, |
even if you can squeeze by
You can learn more and ask questions about Indiana Bicycle law at a great web site provided by Caress Law Group at the following link indianabicyclelaw.com/
See you on the Road!
The care and feeding of your hydration system
what to look for in cycling gloves
How to tell if your bike fits