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Ticketed for riding through Walk signal

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Ticketed for riding through Walk signal

Old 06-16-23, 11:23 AM
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Pulled over for riding through Walk signal

Hi all,

I had asked in the Northeast threads and was told I may find better answers here. Sorry, if this is regional/city specific - I've put a link to the MA law below if it's helpful.

I was in Somerville, Massachusetts with a foot down waiting at a red light. The Walk sign came on for all crossings. After waiting for all the pedestrians to cross, I rode through the intersection, in the painted bike lane, in the remaining seconds before being pulled over on the other side. The officer issued me a written warning for "running a red light" and cited Massachusetts Ch. 85:11b. I was under the impression that after yielding to all pedestrians I was allowed to ride through. I explained this to the officer and he said I needed to dismount and walk my bicycle, if I wish to cross during the Walk signal. I can't find anything that says I need to dismount though. The officer was nice about it all, but I would like to have some clarification for the future. Thanks!

Massachusetts Chapter 85:11B
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Old 06-16-23, 12:17 PM
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I would suspect that Mass is like NY where a bike is considered a moving vehicle, must follow all vehicle laws, thus you ran a red light.
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Old 06-16-23, 12:28 PM
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Since laws vary from state and city, it would be best to ask your DMV what the law is. I've seen cyclist get ticketed in a local town for crossing before the pedestrian reached the sidewalk.
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Old 06-16-23, 12:35 PM
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You mention crossing the intersection -- against a red light -- in a "painted bike lane." Assuming that this lane is on/in the roadway, and not on the sidewalk, then unless local or state law exempts bicycles, or deems on-street painted bike lanes to be 'sidewalks,' you did the same thing as you would have done were you driving a car on the roadway: you ran a red light. The regulation you quoted and highlighted refers to operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, not on a roadway.
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Old 06-16-23, 12:36 PM
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I think that nice policeman needs to chill a little bit.
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Old 06-16-23, 12:45 PM
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get a lawyer & go fight it. Dont settle for a lesser citation either. BS laws need to be deleted.
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Old 06-16-23, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
I think that nice policeman needs to chill a little bit.
Seems the cop did chill, he issued a warning.
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Old 06-16-23, 01:21 PM
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Hate to say the cop was right, but it sounds like the cop was right. Walk signs apply on to those walking. If you're riding you have to obey the lights.
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Old 06-16-23, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
Hate to say the cop was right, but it sounds like the cop was right. Walk signs apply on to those walking. If you're riding you have to obey the lights.
I agree, it sounds like the cop was correct, based on everything I've heard about going thru a crosswalk on a bike.

However, this does bring a thought to mind....What about those crosswalks on MUPs that cross major roads?

I personally never use crosswalks, but on the other hand I've used them on the few times I've ridden on MUPs and I never got off the bike. However, if I ever did use a crosswalk in a city, I would dismount and walk the bike.




..
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Old 06-16-23, 03:02 PM
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those in wheelchairs better gain the ability to walk, if they dare to not be ticketed for rolling across within the confined walk space of a crosswalk.
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Old 06-16-23, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
get a lawyer & go fight it. Dont settle for a lesser citation either. BS laws need to be deleted.
Originally Posted by Troul
those in wheelchairs better gain the ability to walk, if they dare to not be ticketed for rolling across within the confined walk space of a crosswalk.
Having a bad day, are we? Or are you always this grumpy? I think there's a windmill somewhere that you could charge.

To the OP. I'm originally from MA, and rode for years there. Bicycles are considered vehicles and have rights to the road (except for limited access highways) and are subject to the same responsibilities as the driver of a motor vehicle. So yeah, you were in the wrong. It's just a warning, good to carry with you in case you run out of TP.
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Old 06-16-23, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
those in wheelchairs better gain the ability to walk, if they dare to not be ticketed for rolling across within the confined walk space of a crosswalk.
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Old 06-16-23, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
applying law to logic
It's black & white.
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Old 06-16-23, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Having a bad day, are we? Or are you always this grumpy? I think there's a windmill somewhere that you could charge.

To the OP. I'm originally from MA, and rode for years there. Bicycles are considered vehicles and have rights to the road (except for limited access highways) and are subject to the same responsibilities as the driver of a motor vehicle. So yeah, you were in the wrong. It's just a warning, good to carry with you in case you run out of TP.
Mann,I better figure out how to get my legs to propel me along at 45+ MPH so I don't break vehicle enforced laws.
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Old 06-16-23, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
I agree, it sounds like the cop was correct, based on everything I've heard about going thru a crosswalk on a bike.

However, this does bring a thought to mind....What about those crosswalks on MUPs that cross major roads?

I personally never use crosswalks, but on the other hand I've used them on the few times I've ridden on MUPs and I never got off the bike. However, if I ever did use a crosswalk in a city, I would dismount and walk the bike.


..
I would think generally allowable, although one of those things that could be situational. We have one in the city where there is no signal, but there are flashing lights on the crosswalk sign that trigger as you approach the crosswalk. I only rode through it once and didn't realize that at the time so I was bit surprised to see traffic stopping. But they did and I proceeded through without dismounting.

(I very infrequently encounter MUPs. This one crosses one road with a bridge and then comes down to ground level to crosswalk in question. I was using it just to try the bridge one time. Built by the same company that had one collapse in Miami a few years ago.)
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Old 06-16-23, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
get a lawyer & go fight it. Dont settle for a lesser citation either. BS laws need to be deleted.
How do you fight a warning? You aren't actually charged with anything.
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Old 06-16-23, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
applying law to logic
It's black & white.

Show me a state that treats wheelchairs as vehicles. You're just wrong.
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Old 06-17-23, 03:38 AM
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A law was broken, a WARNING was issued by the officer. What is the problem?
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Old 06-17-23, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by OMEN!
IlI was under the impression that after yielding to all pedestrians I was allowed to ride through. I explained this to the officer and he said I needed to dismount and walk my bicycle, if I wish to cross during the Walk signal
So, you crossed at red for vehicules but there was a “green” for the crosswalk?

You were (riding) in the roadway (not on the sidewalk/crosswalk). So, “car” rules apply.

If you were riding on the sidewalk and it was legal to do that (that isn’t universal), the pedestrian rules would have applied.

(When walking your bike, you are a pedestrian.)

==================================

The title for this thread should be:

Ticketed for riding through a red light


Last edited by njkayaker; 06-21-23 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 06-17-23, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
applying law to logic
It's black & white.
This is silly and wrong.

The OP was riding in the road (apparently). Not on the sidewalk.

If you are riding in the roadway, “car” rules apply.

This is “black and white” in the state traffic laws (which, clearly, are not anything you are familiar with).

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-17-23 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 06-17-23, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1
A law was broken, a WARNING was issued by the officer. What is the problem?
The “problem” is that the OP is interested in understanding what the law is.
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Old 06-17-23, 08:44 AM
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I think your best bet might be to ask these people there in Somerville. Here is a link to their page with info specific for Sommerville...

FAQs - Somerville Bicycle Committee.

At least I hope that's Somerville MA and not somewhere else. <grin> Cities can make their own bike laws too. So you have to be aware of those as well as state laws.

Cop's don't always know the correct interpretation of the laws. Especially when it comes to anything other than motor vehicles. So you should check and find out.

But don't use your knowledge to argue with a cop trying to give you a warning or a citation. Just smile and be polite. Then take it to the judge if you were cited, and/or the police chief and get it straight with them. Then let them explain it to the people they are in charge of. Arguing with a cop can lead to you getting cited for other things or worse even when you are right.

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Old 06-17-23, 11:42 AM
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For someone not "connected" or lacks community pull; It's no hidden secret that the general public doesn't like someone that rides in the streets or shares a pedestrian paved pathway in my local area. It'll be denied if blantly brought up, but the disregard for commonsense & such speaks volumes.
I'd rather ride across a busy street using the traffic signals than to unclip & walk that increases the chances of being another forgotten victim.
It's saddening to read the lack of logic at times, but I wouldn't say I expected less.
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Old 06-17-23, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
I agree, it sounds like the cop was correct, based on everything I've heard about going thru a crosswalk on a bike.

However, this does bring a thought to mind....What about those crosswalks on MUPs that cross major roads?

I personally never use crosswalks, but on the other hand I've used them on the few times I've ridden on MUPs and I never got off the bike. However, if I ever did use a crosswalk in a city, I would dismount and walk the bike.

..
I know I've heard a lot about walking a bike thru a crosswalk; however, like I said I never looked into it, because I don't use crosswalks.

But then I got curious...Florida law, in general, allows bikes in crosswalks, unless a local ordinance prohibits it. So I looked into Jacksonville and Atlantic Beach ordinances on bikes and surprised to see a bike can ride thru a crosswalk, of course using the same rules as a pedestrian and always yield to pedestrians.


https://coab.us/967/Bicycle-Safety




.
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Old 06-17-23, 01:17 PM
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Did the crosswalk signal use a pictogram... or text?





The older "Walk/Don't Walk" signals may be harder to argue. However, the pictograms would certainly be open to interpretation.

I think the point that has been mentioned earlier is the important aspect. If the cyclist was in the bike lane, then he was a road user, and should respond to traffic lights. If he was in the crosswalk, then he would be using the crosswalk signals (riding or walking).

Some off-street bike paths use crosswalk signals for both cyclists and pedestrians, so using that isn't bad.
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