Dec 9, 2014

Another One Splits Lanes and We Still Can’t

In Road and Track on-line, Chris Cantle wrote about his California experiences splitting lanes, “Lane splitting will change your life, not end it.” He writes, “It's good for everyone: For those comfortable in their cars, the lane splitting motorcycle cruising past is one less vehicle between the front bumper and their destination. You can fit two motorcycles in the footprint of one small car. It's easy math. For the rider, the reward is being nearly impervious to congestion. My fellow lane-splitting riders in Los Angeles and San Francisco will back this up, as they regularly and safely trim hours off of long distance commutes.”

I agree. I miss lane splitting a lot and constantly have to squash the inclination to filter to the front of a line of cars while we’re all waiting for a light to change. It is, in fact, almost the only thing I miss about California. The article uses a UC Berkeley study to remind us “We've long suspected that riding between cars was safer than rolling along in a column at the mercy of the fickle attention span of commuting traffic—that's inherently unsafe, from the perspective of a rider boxed in by heavy, potentially deadly cars and trucks. I'd take my chances clipping a rearview mirror because of my lack of skill over being rear-ended because of someone else's lack of caffeine any day.” If anyone really represented regular motorcyclists, like ABATE or the AMA or RTWD, the big issue would be lane splitting not bullshitting NHTSA about helmet laws or pampering hillbilly sheet metal workers by claiming that loud pipes are anything but noise makers loved by unloved overage brats whose mommies didn’t breast feed.


  1. Having recently had to filter continuously for over 7 miles of the 10 miles that make up my journey to work recently, I simply can't imagine such behavior being illegal.

  2. Sitting behind a line of stopped cars with a giant space available between cars that could be used is insanely frustrating.

  3. Here in Ireland filtering (lane splitting) is legal, and saves me about an hour a day on my commute. Add to that free covered parking in the basement of my office block instead ofa mile and a half walk each way from a dark and dodgy car park, and I'll take the bike any day!

    I hope you get filtering legalised.

  4. Makes sense. When I lived in California, I managed a small manufacturing company and went to school, nights, part-time for 7 years and full-time for 2 years. My commute from work to Long Beach would have been impossible to predict without lane-splitting on PCH. A 45-minute-to-2-hour commute turned into a consistent 30 minutes thanks to my ability to keep moving regardless of traffic.

    Back then, California pollution and noise regulations prohibited loud, non-stock exhausts and CSULB and other state colleges allowed small motorcycles to park anywhere bicycles parked. I could, often, ride right up to my classroom door, secure the bike to a rack or light pole, and carry my gear into the classroom without much hassle. Now that the goons have defeated noise and pollution controls in CA, bikes park with the cages.


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