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June 20, 2014

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I will also add that cyclists have to leave 3 feet between them and parked cars, for their safety as well as those who may be getting out of cars, and if there are multiple cars parked along a road it is safer to ride in a straight line at that 3 foot distance than it is to swerve in and out of the parked vehicles so that cars can see them easier. Also, although 4-way stops seem to be a difficult concept for motorists to grasp in general anyway, if a bike is in the road at a 4 way stop, they should act and be treated the same as a car would.

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Holding the right arm straight out to turn right is also OK. (169.19, subd.8) http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/pdfs/MN-BIKE-LAW-CARD.pdf

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Just an FYI – Minnesota does have a "red light exemption" law for bicycles, PROVIDED that the bicyclist come to a complete stop, determine by looking that it is safe to cross, and proceed if there are no vehicles or people are close enough to cause an immediate hazard. The idea is that while cars can set off the magnetic detectors in the road to trigger a light change, bicycles cannot. Thus, bicycles are allowed to proceed through a red light if they take the steps listed above.

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I think some bicyclists need to be reminded that it's against Minnesota state law to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in the business district of a city. I've heard some bicyclists say that it's not safe for them to ride in the street. Those folks need to be reminded that there are more than two choices. Yes, they can ride in the street even though they think they're putting themselves at risk, or they could choose to ride on the sidewalk and put pedestrians at risk and operate illegally, OR just *walk* the bike on the sidewalk and everyone's safe and legal.

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Just to clarify for Bob, Minnesota statute 169.222, Subd. 4(d) states "No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district unless permitted by local authorities. Local authorities may prohibit the operation of bicycles on any sidewalk or crosswalk under their jurisdiction." So your statement is not entirely correct everywhere in Minnesota. However, I do not believe that Rochester has an ordinance permitting bicycles on business district sidewalks so you are likely correct for the Rochester business district.

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Motorists are frequently reminded that bicyclists have the same right to the roads as motorists. That means they also are subject to the same rules of the road – no riding between cars that are moving slower than the cyclist would like and STOPPING at stop signs and red lights. I would feel horrible if I hit a cyclist because he or she cruised through a light!

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Motorists are frequently reminded that bicyclists have the same right to the roads as motorists. That means they also are subject to the same rules of the road – no riding between cars that are moving slower than the cyclist would like and STOPPING at stop signs and red lights. I would feel horrible if I hit a cyclist because he or she cruised through a light!

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Most places in Rochester do not have dedicated bike lane, not like in other cities. It puts cyclist in danger while having to share the road with vehicles, esp. in the evening. Bike-to-work is just such a luxury idea in this city, especially in downtown area.

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I think Jeffrey meant to say that Rochester PROHIBITS bikes on sidewalks in the downtown area, which is true, and I understand the police plan to enforce more strictly due to recent complaints from/collisions with pedestrians.

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I think it's a bit odd that "bicycles are legal vehicles on Minnesota roads and they share the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles" but they are to "Ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway." Either they have the same rights or they don't.

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Do bikes need to maintain the minimal speed on a road?

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"bicycles are legal vehicles on Minnesota roads and they share the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles" This is clearly a mis-statement, eventhough it may be the letter of the law. If I impede traffic driving 10 mph down a highway in my car I can be pulled over by law enforcement because I am a danger to others on the roadway. Yet not true for a bike. So when I come over a knoll in the road going 55 mph and meet a car coming my direction and there are 2 bikes riding shoulder to shoulder in my lane how is that safe? As the story indicated bikes should not impede traffic, but all the avid bicyclists that I talk to always claim "it is our right as taxpayers to ride on the road". I don't argue that it is a right, I argue it is not safe to ride on all roadways in MN. Use some common sense and judgement when choosing to ride on County Roads and Highways and be alert (both bikes and cars).

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Matthew – Actually I meant to say "Local authorities may permit bicyclists to ride on sidewalk in business districts…" and since Rochester doesn't have such an ordinance permitting the practice that it is prohibitted.

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Sorry, I should have attirbuted the prohibit / permit correction to William, not Matthew.

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I just want to remind everyone that these bicycle "laws" are never enforced until an accident occurs. At least not in Rochester. Can anyone out there disprove this?

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