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#3051405 - 07/01/13 11:30 AM Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder)
zzyzzx Online   content


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 3423
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
There is a section of an interstate near me (MD 32) where the shoulder is a designated bike path for about 2.2 miles. There is no barrier there or anything, the shoulder is painted with markings indicating that it is also a bike route, and signage directs cyclists to use it. The interstate route is pretty flat too. The alternate would be going through a hilly area, 3 miles longer, with no shoulders (but back roads), and if it's still there, the route passes smelly trash transfer station on a hot day.

Would you take the bike route on the interstate or take the back roads here?

If it matters, I did once already bike on a new highway right before it opened (MD 100). So the whole getting it off of my list of things to do once isn't an issue here. MD 32 will have some cars on it (but not many). As many times as I have driven past this place I have only seen someone on a bicycle once there.

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#3051411 - 07/01/13 11:36 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
DrDusty86 Offline


Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 1491
Loc: TX
Unless you want to be killed, NO!

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#3051437 - 07/01/13 11:59 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 38494
Loc: New Jersey
Md 32 is not an interstate. Bikes aren't allowed on interstates.

I've rode many of miles along us highways with fast traffic and dedicated sides, but it's never comfortable.

But no road is really safe for biking given cellphone, text, and other distractions.

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#3051440 - 07/01/13 12:01 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
NateDN10 Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 1638
Loc: Rochester, NY
I was going to say "absolutely not", because all interstates around here specifically prohibit pedestrians, cyclists and horses.

But if there's a designated bike lane and the traffic is light... I don't see why not. People ride bikes on 55mph country roads all the time.
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#3051442 - 07/01/13 12:01 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 8109
Loc: Boston, MA
Most roads are not even safe for motorcycles any longer.

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#3051510 - 07/01/13 12:55 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
racer12306 Online   content


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 2097
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Not with the way most MD drivers are.
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#3051513 - 07/01/13 12:58 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: JHZR2]
gnp Offline


Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 19
Loc: DFW
Actually, bicycles are allowed on I-25 in southern Colorado between Trinidad and Pueblo. There's hardly any vehicles on that stretch and is really flat and you can see for a long way. However, I've never seen a bicycle on there as there's hardly anything out there.

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#3051532 - 07/01/13 01:17 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
hemitom Offline


Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 799
Loc: canada
Death wish!!!!!!
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#3051560 - 07/01/13 01:53 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
bvance554 Offline


Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 1932
Loc: VA
I'd take the highway with a designated bike lane over back roads with no shoulder any day.

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#3051572 - 07/01/13 02:09 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 32162
Loc: Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
There is a section of an interstate near me (MD 32) where the shoulder is a designated bike path for about 2.2 miles. There is no barrier there or anything, the shoulder is painted with markings indicating that it is also a bike route, and signage directs cyclists to use it.

If it has a designated bike lane, then I would. As others mentioned, MD32 is not an interstate. It's a state highway.
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#3051581 - 07/01/13 02:18 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 8752
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
I used to take long training rides on Route 78 LONG BEFORE the federal highway dept. banned bicycles on interstates (very early '70s).
It generally had very wide shoulders, albeit full of trash, broken beer bottles, and 'road gators', but the only REAL problem was the yahoos playing Darrell Waltrip getting off the exit ramps. mad

I once rode from my town (Union, N.J.) all the way out to Phillipsburg, N.J. (and back), and even tried crossing the bridge into Easton, but they would not let me through the tolls. frown
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#3051591 - 07/01/13 02:29 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
RW1 Offline


Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 202
Loc: JBLM, WA
I fly back to Ft Meade pretty often so I'm familiar with that stretch of highway. I would rather take 32 than the side roads with no shoulders. That new stretch has pretty roomy shoulders so I would chance it...dressed in hunter orange...with flashing lights. Now if you were thinking of biking one of the "95" highways, then I would say you were definitely out of your mind.

People tend to speed on the side roads a bit too fast for visibility/conditions. That is everywhere.

I have to say that the most spectacular car accidents I have ever seen have been on I-295.

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#3051606 - 07/01/13 02:44 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 29712
Loc: ME
You generally can't have traffic lights, railroad grade crossings (or lanes) or bicycles on interstate highways.

Maybe this lane is an engineering trial that's technically seperate or something.

Sometimes the larger bridges that carry interstates have jersey barriers and a bike/ped lane.

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#3051682 - 07/01/13 03:47 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 9813
Loc: Upstate NY
I'd use the bike lane if it was in good shape. It's a state highway, not an interstate.
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#3051878 - 07/01/13 07:40 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
JetStar Offline


Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 1360
Loc: Flatlands of Indiana
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
The alternate would be going through a hilly area, 3 miles longer, with no shoulders (but back roads),



The chance of being seen is probably better on the flat. Cars / trucks cresting hills with no berm is is a disaster waiting to happen either for you or a head on colision to avoid hitting you.
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