Local cyclist Dwight was issued a traffic ticket while bicycling - for riding in the roadway! (Thanks to correspondent Bob T for bringing this to my attention.)
Dwight's version of what happened can be seen HERE, on the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance website.
Some background information:
Chinden Boulevard is a major arterial that tends to get congested during Rush Hour. Dwight says there was about 18 inches of pavement to the right of the fog stripe, which was covered with sand and debris. (Very typical for this time of year.) He was riding just barely to the left of the fog stripe... and the ticket states that he was 3 inches (!) into the roadway.
Dwight - I believe I speak correctly - is not only an experienced and dedicated transportation cyclist, but he also happens to be a certified cycling instructor for the League of American Bicyclists. (The people who gave us our Bronze Medal for being so bike-friendly!) If there's anybody who's more familiar with bicycle traffic laws than Dwight, I don't know who it is.
The Law (essentially identical to the law in most jurisdictions) states that cyclists must ride "as close as practicable" to the right side of the road. (Why don't the cops enforce the law on people who ride on the wrong side of the road?!!!)
So - who determines what is "as close as practicable"? It has to be the cyclist, no? If somebody else can make that determination, it rocks my world, that's for sure!
I once got honked at by a sheriff's deputy (from outside the county), who thought I was too far out into the roadway. Somewhat amusingly (in retrospect), I caught up with him, many miles down the road, and made a comment to him. My comment included the word "jackass" - I try not wax vulgar, but it seemed appropriate at the time. He ordered me, in his Big Cop Voice, to "Pull Over!" which I was happy to do. And we had a spirited discussion about bicycles in traffic. (I do not advocate being confrontational with law enforcement people. They provide a valuable service, and I rarely disagree with them. I want them to like me!)
Check out the link to Dwight's story. There are some interesting comments from people - claiming to be cyclists - with widely differing opinions on whether Dwight was correct in riding where he was riding. Or even if he should've been riding at all, on that road and at that time.
I fully expect that Dwight's ticket will be dismissed. Because where the law is vague, there's absolutely no way to declare that he was in violation of the law. I sure hope so!
Dwight himself has to decide how risky it is to ride on Chinden or any other road. If he's willing to accept the risk, the law is on his side. (As I see it.) He has the legal right to as much of the right-hand lane as he determines he needs for safe passage. Of course, as I've said before, it doesn't provide worlds of satisfaction to know that the other guy was wrong, if you're lying in a hospital bed or a coffin.
(I don't regularly get out on Chinden as far as Dwight was, but closer in, I often get a HUGE dose of smug satisfaction, when I can ride past long queues of zombies-in-cars during Chinden rush hour. That is one of the rewards of transportation cycling!)
Go git 'um, Dwight!