I can't believe you people. You moan and groan about laws that might potentially go against motorcyclist and here's one that might be advantageous to motorcyclist and you still complain. It's potentially a step in the right direction that you can choose to take advantage of or not. Not one thing about the potential law says you must use the shoulder. You should be applauding the law with hopes that this one step would lead to more. Instead the very first comments is the sky is falling. One step at a time.:thumbsup: Will I use it? If and only if I have to but at least the option is there and I wouldn't have to worry about Johnny Law writing me up. But I would do it without the law too if I had to. No law stops me from anything. (hardly)
In my area(Md/DC/Va) the car drivers are crazy enough and have no knowledge of the rules of the road. If motorcycles start going by them on the shoulder they will chance using the shoulder themselves as a way to cut their commute time whether legal or not. The resentment for bikers will increase, the danger of cars jumping into the shoulder lane will increase, I have already seen people use the shoulder illegally as it is to get somewhere quicker. Personally I would not drive the shoulder or lane split even if it was legal here.
I didn't say the law shouldn't pass. I just said the shoulders are not ideal. Street sweepers do run through houston but it's such a big city that they probably only sweep any single stretch of road maybe 2 or 3 times a year.
I have, on occasion, used the shoulder when traffic has come to a standstill on the Interstate. Last summer, when traffic was stopped due to a major accident on one Interstate, I carefully rode at a very slow speed in the shoulder for approximately 3 miles. Didn't pick up any nails; no one opened their passenger door to block me (I was on the right shoulder), and when I reached the location of the accident I rejoined the slowly moving traffic and didn't get as much as a dirty glance from the police at the scene. The alternative for me would have meant sitting in broiling hot weather for possibly hours waiting for the road to clear up.
I personally think that this is a great idea. As has been stated, it would not require a motorcyclist to use the shoulder, but would allow one to do so legally. Until such a law passes here, I have no problem taking the risk of a ticket when faced with an unacceptable wait.
In NZ, if I remember correctly, the inside lane is the one nearest the kerb or the ditch. Up here it is the other way around.
The article did say the left lane. There are shoulders on that side of the road as well. But only usable on the divided roads like the freeways.
The North South I5 in Washington State, from about 25 miles North of Seattle, to several miles past Tacoma has become a parking lot. It is 14 lanes wide in some parts. Being able to do 20 mph on the left shoulder would be great. Being able to do 70 with the main flow of traffic would be better.
Bikes can use the High Occupancy lane in WA. They carved these out of the left hand shoulders in many places.
Often some folks go a bit slow in the HOV lanes, so you go back in to a regular lane to pass them.
When it is bumper to bumper and crawling, I think the cage drivers would be happy to get rid of the bikes. And I would be happy not having to crawl for 20 miles or more.
I wouldn't use the shoulder because that's where all the Harleys will be parked, wouldn't be near enough room to pass.:biggrin:
I don't care if the law is passed or not, but here, the shoulder is there for a reason, and that is to accommodate vehicles that are broken down to keep them out of the way of moving traffic and a way for emergency vehicles to get around traffic jams to get to a location where they are needed.
I think the shoulders are too full of debris, but if the DOT can keep those 'clear', then it might be good. I'm not sure, though, especially if you come up on someone 'stranded' in that shoulder, and nobody wants to let you back into the lane to get around them. I KNOW that would happen here in NM!
The DOT can't even afford to fix major potholes, how the heck could they afford to keep miles of shoulder debris free? It's cheaper to have them just sit in the shop and play cards than it is to have them out driving around.