During Wednesday Night Worlds last night, the group was stopped by a police officer. We were warned that what we were doing, riding in a rotating double paceline, was illegal and that we needed to ride single file in the state of Nebraska. Needless to say, all of us were pretty surprised by this information and most of us simply assumed that the officer, while very polite, was on a bit of a power trip.
He caught up with us again in Ft. Calhoun and showed us the specific statute that stated that cyclists must ride single file on Nebraska highways. I made sure to write down the statute number as read from the officer so I could look it up myself later. Despite getting the number written down with two digits transposed (I swear I wrote it down as he said since I read it back to him to confirm, but no matter), I found the statute and figured I would share my findings here.
Nebraska Statute 60-6,317 does state that any cyclist riding on a Nebraska highway must ride in single file.
60-6,317. Bicycles on roadways and bicycle paths; general rules; regulation by local authority.(1) Any person who operates a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under conditions then existing shall ride as near to the right-hand curb or right-hand edge of the roadway as practicable except when:Now, as Randleman argued, the roads we ride on aren't considered to be highways, right? The officer told us that ALL public roads in the Nebraska are considered highways. Most of us thought that answer was wrong, but again, I had to find out for myself. Cue up Nebraska Statute 60-322:
(a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(b) Preparing for a left turn onto a private road or driveway or at an intersection;
(c) Reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or right-hand edge of the roadway, including fixed or moving objects, stopped or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards;
(d) Riding upon a lane of substandard width which is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane; or
(e) Lawfully operating a bicycle on the paved shoulders of a highway included in the state highway system as provided in section 60-6,142.
Any person who operates a bicycle upon a roadway with a posted speed limit of thirty-five miles per hour or less on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement and which has two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left-hand curb or left-hand edge of the roadway as practicable. Whenever a person operating a bicycle leaves the roadway to ride on the paved shoulder or leaves the paved shoulder to enter the roadway, the person shall clearly signal his or her intention and yield the right-of-way to all other vehicles.
(2) Any person who operates a bicycle upon a highway shall not ride more than single file except on paths or parts of highways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
(3) Except as provided in section 60-6,142, whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a highway, a person operating a bicycle shall use such path and shall not use such highway.
(4) A local authority may by ordinance further regulate the operation of bicycles and may provide for the registration and inspection of bicycles.
Source:Laws 1973, LB 45, § 90; R.S.1943, (1988), § 39-690; Laws 1993, LB 370, § 413; Laws 1993, LB 575, § 20.
60-332. Highway, defined.Highway means the entire width between the boundary limits of any street, road, avenue, boulevard, or way which is publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.By that definition, it certainly seems as though the officer was telling us the truth.
Source:Laws 2005, LB 274, § 32.
So, it seems as though riding two-up on Nebraska roads is strictly illegal. Am I missing something?
Also, did anyone notice item 3 in 60-6,317? We're required to stay off the roads if a "usable path" is provided next to a street? I declare right now that I deem all sidewalks to not be usable paths! :)