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Road Closed Ahead- what to do?

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Road Closed Ahead- what to do?

Old 04-24-19, 02:44 PM
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epnnf
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Road Closed Ahead- what to do?

I turned of to a road that sign said 'road closed'. No big deal, I've ridden thru there several times the last few weeks- an intersection, 1/2mile ahead washed out & they were fixin it. So bout 1/4 mile in, some unrelated construction guys were working ie standing around doin nothin. One guy said if I was caught going thru road closed they would fine me $250 & confiscate my bike. I rode ahead, walked thru construction site, & finished my ride; nothing happened. Is what the guy said true? Could they, & why would they, confiscate my bike? What's wrong w/walking thru a construction site? Bout walking around it?
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Old 04-24-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
I turned of to a road that sign said 'road closed'. No big deal, I've ridden thru there several times the last few weeks- an intersection, 1/2mile ahead washed out & they were fixin it. So bout 1/4 mile in, some unrelated construction guys were working ie standing around doin nothin. One guy said if I was caught going thru road closed they would fine me $250 & confiscate my bike. I rode ahead, walked thru construction site, & finished my ride; nothing happened. Is what the guy said true? Could they, & why would they, confiscate my bike? What's wrong w/walking thru a construction site? Bout walking around it?
I've never heard of a law allowing confiscation of a bicycle as punishment for failing to obey a traffic sign. Sounds like BS to me, but you should probably check your local laws. I assume that you could be subject to a fine if you ride on a closed road.

There are many roads around me that are periodically closed. Most of the time it is OK to ride a bike through (e.g. Harriman park, which closes some roads between Nov. 1 and April because they don't clear the snow), sometimes it's not OK (roads closed due to some event or accident, cops make you go around), sometimes you can get through but it isn't smart (playing with moving construction equipment, potential rock falls, etc.).

----------
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Old 04-24-19, 08:12 PM
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Nobody ever would confiscate a bicycle for an operating or equipment violation... ...or would they?

OP, if you really want to know the answer to your question, consult a local lawyer. Free legal internut advice is worth every penny.

Anyhow, this varies so much by jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions there are construction zone laws doubling or tripling operating fines etc.... Other jurisdictions consider road closed signs as equivalent to officer instructions. Other jurisdictions treat them as no different than any other lawful traffic device. While other jurisdictions treat them as fair notice (proceed at own risk). While other jurisdictions... (Plus combinations of the above.)

Again, ask a lawyer.

I live in a police detail state, so there is always an officer to ask in such situations. They might not know "the" answer, but the answer they give is "the" answer at that time and place. On one road closure several different officers just waved me through the road closed sign, one joking "just don't ride into the holes." (A half-mile detour for a few hundred yard construction zone.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 04-24-19 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-25-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
I turned of to a road that sign said 'road closed'. No big deal, I've ridden thru there several times the last few weeks- an intersection, 1/2mile ahead washed out & they were fixin it. So bout 1/4 mile in, some unrelated construction guys were working ie standing around doin nothin. One guy said if I was caught going thru road closed they would fine me $250 & confiscate my bike. I rode ahead, walked thru construction site, & finished my ride; nothing happened. Is what the guy said true? Could they, & why would they, confiscate my bike? What's wrong w/walking thru a construction site? Bout walking around it?
Walking through a construction site is taking a chance in getting injured, especially if heavy equipment is operating in the area, and be ready to pay a price if you inadvertently cause an incident, whether you're the victim or not.
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Old 04-25-19, 08:21 AM
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They'll only confiscate my bike from my cold dead hands.
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Old 04-26-19, 04:51 AM
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While on my cycling tour of the east coast (back in '93), I rode on the Colonial Parkway, near Williamsburg, Va when it was closed for construction. I probably could have been ticketed, but all I got were strange looks by construction crews.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:58 AM
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In my experience, it depends on why the road was closed. Sometimes, it's an obstacle that isn't particularly relevant to bikes, sometimes it's a general hazard to anyone who would pass through. Most times, the on-scene cops seem pretty willing to let bikes go through in the former situation. If there's no cops there, use your discretion.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:32 PM
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Why would they fine you? As a deterrent to you and others. The fear is that someone will ignore the signs, injure himself and then sue, claiming something like "Cyclists ignore road closed signs all the time. In this case, there was a latent danger at the construction site so you should have put up a fence to protect me." The settlement is paid for with your tax dollars and then you complain about high taxes.

As suggested above, use discretion. I was touring across PA back in 2013. Ignored a bridge out/detour sign, hoping that the bridge would be crossable by bike, as they sometimes are. Got to the construction site as the crew was removing the final girder. The crew said I could walk across the stream once the girder had been cleared. That was nice of them because the detour was really circuitous and hilly. They were quite amazed when I took off my cycling shoes, put on my sandals and crossed the stream while keeping my fully-loaded bike out of the water. I almost felt like they were expecting me to fall into the water.

Had a similar experience years before during a group day ride. A bridge was totally gone. Detour would have added maybe 5 miles to an already hard ride. It had recently started raining, and we were right on the edge of our planned food/water stop. We all walked across the creek, which was actually warmer than the chilly rain falling.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:40 PM
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Maybe if it had the yellow plastic tape, printed 'Police Line, Do Not Cross' and you do, in spite of that warning,

then you may have problems..
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Old 04-26-19, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe if it had the yellow plastic tape, printed 'Police Line, Do Not Cross' and you do, in spite of that warning,

then you may have problems..
It gets interesting when the cops put up road closed signs but not the crime scene tape, and it is a crime scene. Had a friend rode through a road closed sign, and it was closed because somebody had found a body about 40 yards of the road.The cops were investigating the scene, but it was far enough of the road that they didn't put up crime scene tape. Still got mad at him and had him turn around and get escorted out.
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Old 04-27-19, 02:15 AM
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I run into Road Closed situations occasionally, as do all of us who ride on the roads. If it's on my morning commute I'm normally there well before the road crews arrive so can usually just ride through. If the work's ongoing when I get to it, I'll just stop and talk to one of the guys by the barriers - nine times out of ten they'll let me though, but if they won't I always assume there's a good reason and turn around. Just riding straight past the barrier without stopping is always going to put people's backs up.
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Old 04-29-19, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe if it had the yellow plastic tape, printed 'Police Line, Do Not Cross' and you do, in spite of that warning,

then you may have problems..
Did that about 10 years ago... yellow tape, orange cones, police car present... red lights flashing... Intersection ahead was flooded. They stopped all motor traffic at the intersection just before the flooded one, and either you turned, or went back.

I was going to work, which was about mid block down, past the yellow tape. Rode my bike right past the cop... not even a sideways glance.

The "barrier" was only to motorists, who apparently were too foolish to judge that they should not enter a flooded road, and had to be rescued.

Apparently, humans on foot or bike are smarter than humans in vehicles.
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Old 04-30-19, 11:03 AM
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so, you were 'threatened' with a fine and a bike 'confiscation' ? by whom, a construction worker ? someone with ZERO authority over anything, and you got worried about that ? could "they" ? would "they" ? HA ! let "them" try, and see how that turns out ....
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Old 05-01-19, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
so, you were 'threatened' with a fine and a bike 'confiscation' ? by whom, a construction worker ? someone with ZERO authority over anything, and you got worried about that ? could "they" ? would "they" ? HA ! let "them" try, and see how that turns out ....
Uhh, without the silly taunt, that's basically what OP did.

Now, if it were a cop saying it was impassable by bike, and you went on anyway, I think in most jurisdictions, the cop could arrest you and impound the "vehicle" just as if it were a car.
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Old 05-04-19, 08:35 AM
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Lawriter - ORC - 4511.71 Prohibition against driving upon closed highway.
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Old 05-04-19, 08:45 AM
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On my jobsites we'd probably let you through depending on what was actually happening at the time. I've often ridden through them, like when they paved the road in front of my house. Never had an issue. Of course it doesn't hurt I usually know the players in the game.

Here's the reasons we close roads. All the signs and barrels in the world don't stop stupid.
The white car when it went in was literally 15' in front of the concrete truck.

With the black car there was a guy inside that trench box. We couldn't believe that he got the front wheels across.

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Old 05-04-19, 09:55 AM
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1988 , On a bike tour, while riding the Rhine river levee/embankment East side of the river ,
traveling North from Basel CH,

A West German, NATO US made M1 Battle tank blocked the Levee top road ,
so, obviously, I had to go around it ..

Was quite a pleasant quiet ride until then, I'd started that morning in Bern CH..






....
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Old 05-04-19, 01:05 PM
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I have biked through my share of Road Closed/Bridge Out signs/barricades. I tend to avoid them if workers are present but if I can squeeze past on one side or the other I might do it anyway. No one has ever said a word so far. So I must be doing it right.
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Old 05-04-19, 01:43 PM
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If there is a construction worker, talk to them. They'll tell you to go away or not.

I've ridden past closures many times.
  • McKenzie Pass, HWY 242, closed in winter. Generally open to pedestrians and cyclists (although nothing really says that). I've been "seen" during closures, and everyone just waves. Enter at your own risk.
    .
  • Franklin Blvd, Glenwood. Limited alternatives, adding a few miles to one's ride. Freeway? Construction workers just waved me through. I stayed way to the side, and slow, especially around anything actually moving. Waited until I was "seen". I did find a route that would only add about 2 miles that missed most of it, that I would use on occasion. As they moved the construction zone, the bypass became more feasible.
    .
  • Vermont Rd, Portland. I was tired at the end of a long ride. I could have gone a different route, but I thought the signs said the construction was beyond where I was riding, but apparently they moved the closure without updating their signs. I think they had someone "escort" me past the construction vehicles. I avoided that section of the road later.
    .
  • Somewhere on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, I had to follow a pilot vehicle through fresh chipseal. I could have bypassed it, but I didn't realize how bad it was.
There are places with no active construction that I'll cut behind the cones, and ride in essentially a protected lane.

If a sidewalk appears to be clear, sometimes I'll hop onto the sidewalk, especially if the choice is one lane flagged with no passing vs a sidewalk.

I do like to pull forward and talk to the flaggers, and wave to them at both ends.
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Old 05-06-19, 09:13 AM
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I was out riding yesterday and found this.

Ok, early Sunday morning, not a soul in sight.

You can barely see in the background a short bike path cut-through that I was heading towards.

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Old 05-08-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
Could they, & why would they, confiscate my bike?
It probably isn't a good idea to ride through a construction area but construction workers have no authority to confiscate anyone's property or fine anyone.

They would have to take the bike out of my hands and I would call the police for theft. The same is true of "fines." They only way a construction crew would get money from me is if they took it by force which is robbery.

Police are another story. They have authority to prevent you from entering and can arrest you for failing to obey a lawful order.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 05-08-19 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 05-08-19, 03:52 PM
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My general assumption is that you are either a road vehicle or a two-wheeled pedestrian. If you are a road vehicle you follow road signs. If you are a wheeled pedestrian signs are more optional but you should be on the sidewalk peddling at walking speeds. The most dangerous times are when you are either transitioning from one to the other (say the MUP is also a sidewalk that ends suddenly dumping you on the road) or when you are acting like a pedestrian in the road or biking fast down a sidewalk.

If you are in the road and it says "road closed" then to you, its closed.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyhJ69mD7xI

I was out riding yesterday and found this.

Ok, early Sunday morning, not a soul in sight.

You can barely see in the background a short bike path cut-through that I was heading towards.

"In General" "to thru traffic" means that it is open to local traffic, ie residents who live there or need that road to access their road. You can see that was added to the road closed sign. Reality is, contractors put up whatever sign is handy at the time, no matter what the traffic control plan that was approves says.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:19 AM
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I find road crews to be pretty cool to cyclists. I always get nice comments and waves going through construction zones.

It depends what is happening too though.
Last July coming South out of Fernie B.C. on the Crowsnest Highway, the road was blocked from a tree striking and killing a motorcyclist. The RCMP was on scene and blocked the road. Even though the road was completely clear, there was no way that they would let us through. I eventually asked one of the mounties if they had a problem with us cutting down the hillside through the brush out to the river and coming up on the other side of the wreck. They told us toknock ourselves out. We were on our mountain bikes so it was not a big deal.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:41 AM
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To me what is worse is Construction Ahead, Closed to Cyclists. It means there will be no reasonable detour because 99.5% of the traffic is good to proceed. But there's no plan in place for cyclists. In the particular case I am thinking of now the only viable alternate route added fifteen miles.

The other awful scenario us when a construction zone on a busy road narrows to a single lane with no room for cars to pass cyclists at safe distances. So you have the choice of taking the lane holding everyone up for a half mile or getting buzzed by everyone who doesn't know that ten inches isn't a safe distance. Either option puts the cyclist at great risk, particularly when there are no nearby alternate routes.
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