Police in Pacifica, California enforce a non-existent mandatory bike path law.
Sharp Park Road descends rapidly from Skyline Boulevard down to the Pacific Coast, with stunning views of the ocean below as you descend.
John Luk and his friends were descending into Pacifica at the 35 MPH speed limit in the right lane last weekend when Pacifica police pulled them over and ordered them to ride the wrong way against traffic in that “bike lane” on the other side of Sharp Park. Their direction of travel was forward (westbound) in the image, but the cop wanted them going the wrong direction in that crappy, narrow “lane”, which is more like a sidewalk. Luk tweeted:
Decending SharpPark, a PacificPD pulls us over, says we can’t go down b/c no bike lane. Told to use opposite side. Against flow of traffic.
California has a mandatory bike lane law, but bike lanes are marked with signs and a six inch white stripe in California. There’s no way the sidewalk along the eastbound lane of Sharp Park qualifies as a bike lane. There is no mandatory sidepath law in California.
Probably thousands of people cycle through Pacifica on a nice weekend, so I’m stunned the police seem so unaware of state law.
In similar situations, I’ve just done the passive aggressive thing by overtly submitting the police officer’s suggestions, but then going back to riding safely and correctly after he’s out of sight because, frankly, I’d like to just get on with the business of riding my bike.
What about you? When Officer Friendly tells you to ride against traffic on cracked, weedy sidewalk, how do you respond?