What’s wrong with this picture? Hint: it’s the sign.
The sign is on the descent of Page Mill Road just uphill from Moody Road. There’s nothing wrong with the top part of the sign, warning cyclists that the hill steepens ahead. At 10%+ grade on a narrow road with tight turns, it’s a problem area for less skilled cyclists. The problem is the “keep right” at the bottom. It’s unsafe advice and not consistent with the California Vehicle Code.
The CVC 21202 states: “Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.”
Take a look at the width of this lane. It’s clearly not wide enough for a “bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.” So the sign is clearly inconsistent with CVC 21202. Furthermore, on a steep descent with tight corners like Page Mill, many cyclists, like my friends and I do not “operate our bicycles at less than the normal speed of traffic.” In fact, we sometimes ride faster. Then there’s passing another bike, making left or right turns–all legitimate reasons to not keep right regardless of lane width.
But the most dangerous aspect of these signs is that they not only encourage cyclists to hug the edge of the pavement on a technical descent, increasing their chance of running off it, but they also send drivers the wrong message that cyclists don’t have the right to use the full lane, a right granted per CVC 21202.
I suggest that the transportation official replace the “bicycle keep right” signs with signs with more “vehicle neutral” language, or simply post “may use full lane” signs that reflect what cyclists are truly entitled to.
Are there bicycle-related road signs in your area that are inconsistent with your rights as a cyclist?