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Old 10-19-2012, 08:01 AM   #713
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Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Above ground
Oddometer: 1,379
Yes, the Google Map is set on walking (though I think I was on my bike at the time). But make no mistake--several pedestrians were getting where they needed to go far faster than I was. Lanesplitting laws in the US are easy: you can only do it in CA. I've done it in other states, but the problem is if you get in an accident (which is highly possible, considering cars--even in CA--will intentionally cut you off or open their door in front of you. A buddy of mine (whom you will meet in VA) had a friend who was lanesplitting on the Bay Bridge outside SF. Two dudes in a cage thought it'd be funny to fuck with him and opened their door, causing him to crash. The dude got up, went over to their car and beat the shit out of them both. Lesson: you never know if that guy on the bike is a Navy Seal or not. ;) (In this case he was.)

Anyhow--as long as your speed on the bike is no more than 15% of the speed of traffic while splitting, any fault or injury resulting from an accident will be the fault of the driver (in CA). In the rest of the states I've found that people react with far more hostility than they do in LA (where 1 in 10 cars will actually pull over to give you more space).

Here's what NY traffic is like, though (this isn't me)--and note, not all cops are as nice as this guy, but I found the cops who saw me lanesplit in NY didn't care at all:

Riding on the sidewalk in NY

MeinMotorrad--to further answer your question, other than lanesplitting, the laws in the US are all fairly uniform. A few minor differences/things you have to watch out for while going from state to state:

Street signs (the kind identifying the street you're on) are absent in a lot of states, making either GPS or getting lost mandatory.

In areas where it snows a lot (plows), there are often no white lines signifying a stop sign. While in PA (not on this trip) I found myself blowing through (or almost blowing through) stop signs. They have lots of trees that are not cut back, so the stop signs are nearly invisible, unlike the Western US where a stop sign is accompanied by lines signifying an intersection (and usually a big "STOP" painted on the ground). I quickly learned to be more vigilant while approaching stop signs.

In NY in some counties you can't make a right on a red. This was true in Montreal, too, and it simply makes no sense other than for petrol companies who benefit from lots of cars stopped idling for no reason. In all the rest of the states you can make a right on a red after stopping.

Radar Detectors: State by state. Most states allow them.
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AntiHero screwed with this post 10-19-2012 at 08:13 AM
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