[*BCM*] Cyclists "shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth"

Tom Revay trevay at massbike.org
Mon May 8 11:35:59 EDT 2006

Turtle wrote:

>As I said, "bicyclists must follow all state trafic laws, blah, blah,
>blah, and SIGNS."  If there is a sign prohibiting bicycles on a limited
>access highway, then no, bikes aren't allowed there.   Otherwise, the
>road is open to bicycles.  Even Route 1 in Saugus.  Most cyclists won't
>want to ride on a road with motorists who are going well over the 55 mph
>speed limit, but they certianly have the legal right to do so.

I ride on the Providence Highway in Dedham pretty frequently.  This is a 4-to-6 lane divided surface road zoned for strip malls, big box stores, car dealerships, and every flavor of chain frypit known to These Here United States.   Yee-haw!

It's not so bad.  There are wide shoulders, and most lefts can be made turn-right-to-go-left jughandle-style.  The few that aren't have left-only turn lanes, and since motor vehicles tend to platoon into clumps as they lurch like the dry-heaves from red-light to red-light, it's not at all unusual to have a 200 foot gap between the speeding sedans.  That gives plenty of time to get into the left lane to make the turn.

In some places where limited-access highways have obliterated older roads through the same right-of-way -- typically in western states -- cyclists may ride on the highway.  Depending upon the frequency and conditions of approaches to the entrance and exit ramps in these places, this is or isn't so bad.  The stretches between exits might not make for pleasant riding, but they're usually graded, and the cyclist can ride well away from high-speed traffic.

In other places, "bicycle facilities" have been provided so that cyclists who previously rode on smooth surface roads throughout the year can now share narrow, hilly, winding paths with dogs, headphoned roller-bladers, little children, and other bipedal, quadripedal and wheeled flotsam, as traffic goes by on the nicely-graded adjacent Interstate.  A good example of this kind of path is detailed in John Allen's "Franconia Notch Bike Path Fiasco" page, at 


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