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Dear Mahatma: Can bicyclists ride in a pack and block the entire right lane of a two-lane road? I refer not to an organized event but to a group just out riding. I have experienced this on Kanis Road, and it appears to be dangerous to all traffic, including the bicyclists. -- Bob

Dear Bob: Little Rock is an extremely cool city, in part because it has a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. His name is John Landosky. We pitched this to him, and he responded in detail. He speaks only for the city of Little Rock, so we will toss in something from another source.

City ordinance, Landosky says, allows bicyclists to ride two abreast, but only two, in a street's travel lanes.

Bicyclists are also required by city ordinance to ride as near to the right-hand side of the road as is practicable, or as Landosky says, safely. And there are circumstances where a bicyclist is safer in the middle of the lane or even toward the left. Consider also the width of Kanis Road -- 10-foot travel lanes -- and the nature of the road, which has a double yellow line. There's not enough room for a vehicle to stay in the lane, give a bicyclist a three-foot berth as required by state law, and safely pass.

Such a circumstance can be stressful, Landosky says, because drivers want to go faster than bicyclists. But they have a responsibility to wait for an opportunity to safely pass. (Here at the Traffic Desk, we have been asked this question before regarding a bicyclist and a double yellow. Law enforcement has told us: What part of double yellow don't you understand?)

The other source is Sherwood District Judge Milas H. "Butch" Hale, into whom we recently bumped. Judge Hale happens to a bicyclist in addition to being a judge.

He quotes Arkansas Code Annotated 27-49-111, which gives to a bicyclist all the rights and duties of a vehicle driver, and which has been noted in this space only a bazillion times. He also quotes from Bicycle Safety in Arkansas, a publication of the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Says the guide: "You and a companion may ride side by side on the road, but only if you don't impede other traffic. Ride single file if traffic doesn't have enough room to pass you safely."

Hale says that while that statement isn't a law, it's great advice for bicyclists who want to have a nice, long riding career.

On a personal note, the last time we rode a bicycle was in the previous century. But we did peruse the safety guide and found it detailed and informative. It's easy to find online. We also see it's copyrighted 2013, and while we're not normally in the business of telling others what to do, has the time come for an update?

Vanity plate seen in Conway: LUV2WLK

Fjfellone@gmail.com

Metro on 08/03/2019

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Comments

  • Jfish
    August 3, 2019 at 6:19 a.m.

    Generalmac might have a stroke reading your response, all I can say is that most cyclists I know are fine southern folks.

  • MBAIV
    August 3, 2019 at 8:10 a.m.

    The key: "You and a companion may ride side by side on the road, but only if you don't impede other traffic. Ride single file if traffic doesn't have enough room to pass you safely."
    .
    But many riders don't seem to care about impeding other traffic. The motoring voters will rise up and get the laws changed to be much more restrictive if the riders don't do their part to coexist on the roads.

  • Skeptic1
    August 3, 2019 at 9:20 a.m.

    Anyone that lives in West Pulaski County has to deal with bicyclists blocking Highway 300 and creating hazards near daily.

  • GeneralMac
    August 3, 2019 at 9:29 a.m.

    Many states have laws that slow moving vehicles ( farm machinery etc) must have a big triangle shaped red reflective SMV ( Slow Moving Vehicle) sign on back.

    It is to help prevent rear end collisions

    Why are bicycles exempt ?

  • GeneralMac
    August 3, 2019 at 9:31 a.m.

    All bicyclists should be required to wear bright vests like highway workers.

    Who cares that they PREFER dark colored spandex ?

  • NoUserName
    August 3, 2019 at 5:25 p.m.

    1. For a city that is broke, LR does not need a full-time, full salaried BIKE coordinator. Come on...
    .
    2. A bicyclist, while perhaps legally permitted, would, on 2 lane Kanis, be considered an a$$hole.

  • Jfish
    August 3, 2019 at 7:19 p.m.

    You are right NUN, LR would be much better served by an obesity coordinator. Seriously though, if we can afford a full time security detail for the mayor, we can afford a bike and pedestrian coordinator.

  • wowy
    August 3, 2019 at 11:30 p.m.

    Could he keep those jackasses off Central in downtown Hot Springs?
    That street there on the famous Bathhouse Row is too narrow for bicycles and besides it really interferes with girl watching.
    Berlin is the best example I can think of to use as an example of how the bike paths should be done But yes they don’t have many hills.
    They have a bike path and a walk path side by side. You better watch out if you stagger into the bike path though.

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