Sound Off

Sound Off: On streets with marked bike lanes (e.g. 15th, 19th) is it legal for two bicyclists to ride next to each other — one in the bike lane and one in the car lane? Or are they supposed to follow each other so that both are in the bike line?

Megan Gilliland, the city’s communications manager, said: According to state law, “Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.” On routes where a bike lane is marked, bicyclists should remain within the marked bike lane.


Jayhawker07 6 years ago

What about the new stencils they just put up and down Connecticut and Barker street. They are right in the middle of the road. No bike lines. Was this or does this have to do with government grant money? Who paid for that? Makes no sense to me. Bikes are riding all over Lawrence, that is a given.

Jayhawker07 6 years ago

So since there are no bike lines they can go two abreast or three on those streets?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane just like a car. People need to chill out a little. It takes less than ten to fifteen minutes to drive across Lawrence no matter where you are. You can wait on bicyclists for a moment or two. They are getting exercise and most of us are too fat. They are reducing our dependence on middle eastern oil. They aren't polluting because bikes don't have tailpipes.

paulveer 6 years ago

Your first sentence is incorrect. See below.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

When the speed limit isn't posted in Kansas, it is presumed to be 20 mph. Most bicyclists who are adults will ride in the 15 to 17 mph range. Since that won't impede traffic, they are entitled to use the entire lane. On higher speed roadways like highways or major arterials where the posted speed limit is 45 or higher, yes the bicyclist would be required to ride toward the right hand side except when turning left or on a one way street.

The bottom line is people in cars have a several thousand pound advantage in a collision. Most people are too impatient with bicyclists and need to chill out a little. The bicyclists won't make you late to wherever you are going, but cars can kill bicyclists. All I'm saying is execise caution and good judgement.

jesse499 6 years ago

I don't have a problem with most riders they obay the laws it's the few that go out of their way just to try to cause drivers a problem and you no who you are that gives the rest a bad name.

KS 6 years ago

When bicyclists obey the rules of the road, I will give them a little more respect. They run red lights, weave in an out of stopped traffic, etc. When they break the rules and then get hurt, they want to blame the automobile. They want their own special rules. Speak for yourself about being fat. A bicyclist can wait a monemt or two at a traffic light too. Don't tell me, as a bycylist, that you have not done that.

Tomato 6 years ago

I can honestly say that as a motorist OR a cyclist, I have never run red lights or weaved in and out of traffic. In either case, it would be both hazardous and illegal.

Additionally, it would put my life in jeopardy on a bike.

jesse499 6 years ago

And they wonder why people get pi$$ at them when some idot say things like this.

grimpeur 6 years ago

Here's the important thing: when passing, do so only when it is safe to do so and when you can leave 3 feet between you and a cyclist.

Keep this simple rule in mind and watch your problems disappear.

Paul Wilson 6 years ago

Then we're stuck behind a couple of inconsiderate men-in-tights as oncoming traffic keeps coming. Do the math. That's about 12' from the curb. No way to pass with 3' clearance. Single file or speed limit. Choose one. That should be the law.

Catalano 6 years ago

Are you okay with women in tights?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

Speed limit is not a minimum. It is a maximum. You need to chill out.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

I'm talking to pork ribs. I don't know why my comment was posted twice.

evilpenguin 6 years ago

I've been wondering about the markings on Conn. Street too. They don't make any sense at all. Even if they wanted to indicate that that street is suitable for cyclists, it still doesn't make sense. It's a busy, narrow street! Why not mark one of the other streets that are east of Conn. for the cyclists?

I am a cyclist and a driver and I avoid Conn. like the plague knowing that the road is too narrow to pass safely.

Topple 6 years ago

I ride my mountain bike around a lot and get dirty looks from other bikers pretty frequently. I don't know if it's the lack of spandex or my non-road bike, but I typically feel like Lawrence bikers are elitist snobs that think they're more important than anyone else on the road.

SirReal 6 years ago

I agree, some bicyclists are macho losers straight out of the frat house, don't mind them it's a waste of time, get on with your own thing and be safe.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

I think every one of these is written by a 4th grader living East of Iowa St.

SirReal 6 years ago

probably your illegitimate son you never knew about.

paulveer 6 years ago

On roads without bike lanes, state law say cyclists may ride no more than two abreast, not may always ride two abreast. State law also says that all slower moving vehicles must move to the right as much as safely possible when being overtaken by other vehicles. This means that bicyclists must ride single file when being overtaken. This is state law. Check KDOT.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

there truly are some incredibly obtuse things written on this website.

Go ahead and try using this defense in your criminal trial. Have fun in prison, 'er on probation, I forgot this was Lawrence.

paulveer 6 years ago

My reply was to give information, as requested by a previous poster, about state law. Completely germane. And I personally am very accommodating when it comes to bicyclists.

grimpeur 6 years ago

Jeebus. As infrequently as delays because of cyclists happen, it's amazing how the yowling begins as soon as some motorist has to brake.

If a couple of cyclists is the biggest delay you have because of other road users, you have a pretty good commute. Of course, cyclists cause almost zero congestion (or death and injury, or tax expense, or road wear) compared to motorists.

This complaint makes zero sense. Just zero.

Let me get this straight: two (or four, or ten) people riding side by side taking up half a lane (or less) is a major problem, but one person should never have to slow down, wait, or even pay attention to the road, and should get to take up the whole lane, just because he or she chooses to take a car everywhere?

That's not how it works, here or anywhere else in the US or the world.

When you throw in the 90% of the other drivers who are in single-occupancy cars, you see that cars are the source of congestion, safety, and road cost problems, not groups of cyclists who ride in the city or county. Yet nobody is talking about that. Instead, we hear made-up stories, exaggerations of delays caused by cyclists, imaginary safety crises created by pretend cyclists who are apparently terrorizing innocent motorists simply by being on the road, and how if we could just legislate that pair of cyclists off the road in front of me or somehow get everyone else out of my way, my (self-inflicted) traffic woes will all be gone. It's all crap.

So give it a rest, because anyone who really thinks unnecessary road users taking up more space than they need is a major problem knows that bikes are a negligible part of that problem.

Effin american motorists. Biggest buncha crybaby welfare queens I ever did see.

But I'll agree to allowing each person three feet of roadway, if that's what the group decides. In fact, I'm all for it. Thank you.

woodlingwho 6 years ago

Maybe the markings, on this so called dangerous, narrow road are for the drivers of cars. The signs say, listen buddy, heads up! there are bikes on the roads in this town and you need to pass them only when it is safe to do so, and when you can give 3 feet of clearance. It's not worth the extra minute or two to scare, wound, or kill a bicyclist. Have a nice day.

wood451 6 years ago

The sidewalk is free of cars.

akuna 6 years ago

but full of hazards, like pedestrians, children playing, horribly uneven sidewalks, cars backing out of driveways, cars at intersection not seeing bikes on sidewalks...

TimW 6 years ago

Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not vehicles.

Be they four-wheeled or two-wheeled, motorized or human powered.

That said, I don't follow my own advice...I'm not a "biker", I don't wear spandex bike suits and my bike cost $79 at WalMart, but I don't own a car, never learned to drive and rely on foot and bike for most of my getting around town. The city I lived in before Lawrence could (and would, they had pretty well-publicized bicycle enforcement days) ticket cyclists for riding on sidewalks, ignoring stop signs/lights, not signaling turns, etc. I never would have dreamed of putting my bike on the sidewalk until I moved to Lawrence, but it only took me a few weeks to realize that's really the only safe place in this town.

asixbury 6 years ago

In Lawrence, it is perfectly legal to ride on the sidewalks, except for downtown on Mass street.

asixbury 6 years ago

See my post above. It is still safer to ride on the sidewalks vs busy, congested roads in many areas of Lawrence.

Curtis Lange 6 years ago

Bicycles should be on the sidewalk when there are no bike lanes. That fact is clearly stated in the KDOT regulations. The only time they shouldn't be is in business districts.

average 6 years ago

Where? Really, where? Because I can't find it, and we'd be the only state in the nation where that was the case if it was. Obviously, I can't prove something doesn't exist, but since you're claiming it does, citation please...

grimpeur 6 years ago

100% wrong in every state in the union.\


littlexav 6 years ago

NO, no, no. Bicycles are traffic. They are road-legal, and most cities have speed limits on sidewalks for bikes (like 5 mph - which if you've ever actually ridden a bicycle you would know how freakin slow that is). So "no," bikes should not be on the sidewalk. Quite frankly, you're wrong.

Rick Aldrich 6 years ago

I'll share the streets with bikes. But only in town. What gives a group of 10,20 or more cyclist the right out of city limits to ride in a cluster/group hogging up a complete lane of 55ph traffic so they car ride at 11.5 mph? Average 160 lb. rider, 20 lb. bike vs 2,500 lb vehicle. Come on really.

John Kyle 6 years ago

So you'll run people down in the country? What a jerk.

snookums 6 years ago


average 6 years ago

"What gives a group of 10,20 or more cyclist the right out of city limits to ride"

State law.

DillonBarnes 6 years ago

Was almost involved in a major road accident east of town on N1500 RD a few years ago while passing some cyclists. It wasn't the cyclist fault, but I worry how close I got to some of them. I was heading east (driving a truck that weighed about 25 tons at the time) and went to pass a large group of cycles. A car on the north side of the road backed out of their driveway to head west without checking east traffic (where I was in the passing lane). I swerved the truck narrowly missing the car, and who knows how close I was to the bicycles. A second later and the person in that car would have easily been killed.

average 6 years ago

In what sense would this scenario have played out any differently had you been passing a slow car, tractor, or even mule team (legal, and I have seen once on old K-10)?

DillonBarnes 6 years ago

Never said it would, just telling a story.

See, " It wasn't the cyclist fault."

JackMcKee 6 years ago

11.5 mph? those are some slow cyclists. Most decent cyclists will average at least 19-20MPH

geoismeo 6 years ago

Do cyclists have to stop at stop signs? They don't think so.

Tomato 6 years ago

I've never run a stop sign on either my bike or in my car. It is dangerous and illegal in either case.

My car has nearly been hit, multiple times, by motorists that run stop signs. It is incredibly difficult to text or talk on a cell phone while on a bike, and yet drivers run stop signs all the time while not paying attention due to these activities.

I have never almost been hit by a cyclist at a stop sign (nor have I ever nearly hit one).

Kaw Pickinton 6 years ago

The sign says "Share the road" What don't you people get about that?

No wonder there are no Amish around here, you people would have killed them off decades ago as not to lift your fat foot off the gas.

I'm actually impressed that a good 99.5%+ of the drivers I see in town and around the county give people on bikes almost as much room as they would a deputy or trooper. Defiantly more space than LPD gets from a passing car. And when I see the other .5% I make my self a jam car and make their drive s.l.o.w.

I don't even own a bike

bd 6 years ago

Bicyclers , Please stay off HWY 56 it is narrow and dangerous , the upgraded speed limit at 60 mph makes it worse!

pagano 6 years ago

KSA 8-1590 (d) Wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.


progressive_thinker 6 years ago

A sidewalk is generally not a "usable path for bicycles". In general, sidewalks are not sufficient to safely accommodate both pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

If an area of sidewalk is also designated as a bike path, well then so be it. Otherwise, the cyclist is entitled to use the roadway.

asixbury 6 years ago

In Lawrence, there are walking paths also made for bikes that can take one almost any where in town you wish to go. Stay on these paths, and you are much safer. It is also legal to ride on the sidewalks in Lawrence, except on Mass.

progressive_thinker 6 years ago

Yes, there are a few cycling paths. No, they do not take one almost anywhere in town that one may wish to go.

The problem with bicycles using sidewalks is that there is another set of hazards which were previously noted in this string including pedestrians, children playing, poor maintenance, cars backing out of driveways, and negotiating intersections. Using the dedicated bike paths on weekends is especially troublesome given pedestrians with children, pets off leash, and other hazards.

People who drive cars need to understand that under most circumstances the cyclist has a right to be on the roadway, and that the motorist has an obligation to respect this right.

asixbury 6 years ago

I would agree. Especially with the bike paths and pets off leash; that drives me crazy! Why do people let their dogs run free? It is extremely rude and an invasion of other people's personal space when they run up on you. I have dogs, too, but mine do not like other dogs; they're very territorial. When a strange dog runs up on us, there is bound to be a fight.

I guess the hazards are pretty bad on the sidewalks in some areas of town. I mostly ride on the west side, on the dedicated paths, so I did not notice it as much.

jafs 6 years ago

And cyclists need to understand that they're required to follow the appropriate rules, and do so.

progressive_thinker 6 years ago

The courts have interpreted that the "usable path for bicycles" only applies if the path is specifically marked for bicycles. Otherwise, sidewalks are for pedestrians.

littlexav 6 years ago

Thank you. I get so mad at people who don't know the first thing about statutory construction (like, use a plain-reading meaning if the language is clear) post laws on here like they're lawyers. A "path for bicycles" is explicitly a "path" for "bicycles," NOT a "sidewalk." Sidewalks are dangerous for bikes; cars don't look there for traffic, pedestrians and uneven surfaces are a constant concern, and in many areas there is debris on the sidwalk or flora growing over/across the sidewalk. Bikes are traffic, and they have every right to be on the road!

average 6 years ago

As mentioned before, this does not apply to normal sidewalk. KSA8-1590 does, though, apply to a handful of specific locations in Lawrence:

Clinton Parkway from Iowa to the lake. 6th from Wakarusa to the SLT. Along the SLT. Kasold from 15th to 31st. and a few others (stretches of Peterson, 27th, etc).

While I'm sure there is always one yahoo, 99% of cyclists take those paths when they're available just out of self-preservation. If you want us off 'your roads', I guess we could spend a lot of money on more bike-designed paths.

progressive_thinker 6 years ago

I think that an argument can be made that a cyclist may use the roadway even in many of the areas that you mention.

The Kansas Supreme Court decision does not refer to sidewalks that may be marked as cycle routes; the decision left sidepath requirement in force only when the path in question is for the "exclusive" use of bicycles. That could be argued as the situation where there is a marked cycle lane [where there would not be any pedestrians], and a sidewalk as well.

As a practical matter, most cyclists [myself included] do use sidewalks designated as bike paths when it is safe and prudent to do so. What the motoring public has to get a grip on is that under most circumstances, bicycles have a right to be on the roadway.

We can only expect that the bicycling community will grow as gasoline becomes more and more expensive.

littlexav 6 years ago

Right, because "being in a hurry" is justification enough to trample someone else's rights.

progressive_thinker 6 years ago

So, you think that there are not people who use bicycles as their primary means of commuting to work, appointments, and the like?

Think again. And yes, they have every bit as much right to be on the roadway as a car. Get over it.

jafs 6 years ago

If cyclists are traveling slower than the prevailing traffic, they're supposed to move as far to the right as is practicable, according to state law.

I've looked it up, and spoken with people at both the DMV and the Highway Patrol about the issue.

So, if traffic is going about 30mph on a city street, cyclists should ride single file as far to the right as they can.

Topple 6 years ago

From my experience, that's generally what happens in Lawrence.

jafs 6 years ago

From mine, it happens sometimes, but not usually.

paulveer 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

progressive_thinker 6 years ago

Yes, that is what part of the law says.

The rest of the law says: "except under any of the following situations when: (1) Overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; (2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or (3) reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving bicycles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or narrow width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the roadway."

While it is true that cyclists generally have to stay to the right, motorists always have to be ready for a cyclist to encounter one of the many exceptions to the "cycle stay right" rule which may at any time make the cyclists use of the rest or the roadway very legitimate.

jafs 6 years ago

Could be.

But, most cyclists I see don't ride to the right, even when it's perfectly fine for them to do so.

melott 6 years ago

The law should be changed to make it illegal for cyclists to ride 2 abreast. Anywhere.

average 6 years ago

Would they at least be allowed to pass each other (thus momentarily two abreast in one lane)? Or would you rather they go into opposing traffic to do so?

SirReal 6 years ago

As a bicyclist, I ride on the street when I need to (when there is not a good fairly wide path or sidewalk to bike on). When I do ride on the road, I obey traffic laws although I don't stop at stop signs when there are no cars in any direction whatsoever etc. When in traffic I always obey all laws.

I have been almost run over by a drunk drive once, been driven past by angry speedy drivers more than once, been yelled at with aggressive force for no reason by guys in trucks, been chased by dogs etc. (If you let your dog run loose and it comes at me, it might get a knock in the head, I like my feet and don't want to be bitten, but I avoid loose dogs on purpose so don't freak out people).

Because I do not want to die, I always wear a helmet and take it upon myself to avoid the road and any potential hazard as much as I can. Not because I am trying to be a good citizen, but because it is DANGEROUS and oftentimes people don't care about bicyclists.

There are many good drivers out there in Lawrence who appreciate bicyclists, to you I say Kudos and thank you.

jafs 6 years ago

There are a lot of bad automobile drivers in Lawrence, no question.

But, there are also a lot of bad cyclists.

jafs 5 years, 12 months ago


In my experience, it is the vast majority of cyclists I see on the road who don't follow the rules they're supposed to follow.

And, they seem to have an attitude about it as well.

Bad auto drivers also suffer in accidents - not just cyclists.

And, it's certainly possible that somebody trying to avoid a cyclist swerving into their path without any warning may run into another car, causing injuries.

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