Can a cyclist ride in a lane full of parked cars, past traffic stopped in a lane to the left?

  • Yes, if there is room in that lane for both the parked cars and the cyclist
  • However, the cyclist must take extra care once past the parked cars

In Jang v. Fisher the cyclist was riding in the curb lane, beside a line of parked cars.  The cars in the lane to his left had come to a stop for a red light, and he rode past them.  The line of parked cars stopped a short distance from the intersection.  As the cyclist rode by the last parked car a car changed lanes into the curb lane.  The car and bike collided.

The Court of Appeal said that the cyclist had done nothing wrong by riding in the curb lane, as the curb lane was wide enough that there was ample room for the cyclist.  However, the cyclist and motorist were still equally at fault.

The motorist was at fault for failing to look prior to changing lanes.  The cyclist was at fault for failing to ride slowly enough that he would have been able to stop if a car suddenly changed into his lane.  This decision shows the bias that the courts have against cyclists.  In a case involving two cars, it is unlikely that a court would find a driver at fault for not driving slowly enough to avoid being hit when another car changes lanes without looking.

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Read the case:  Jang v. Fisher