Portland Confrontation

Background Reading



Excerpts from sections on riding to the right and passing a cyclist in the Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Law:

A PERSON OPERATING a bicycle or roller skis upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time and place shall operate on the right portion of the way as far as practicable except when it is unsafe to do so as determined by the bicyclist or roller skier or:

  • When overtaking and passing another roller skier, bicycle or other vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
  • When preparing for or making a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
  • When proceeding straight in a place where right turns are permitted;
  • When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, roller skiers, pedestrians, animals, broken pavement, glass, sand, puddles, ice, surface hazards or opening doors from parallel-parked vehicles, or a lane of substandard width that makes it unsafe to continue along the right portion of the way. FOR PURPOSES of this paragraph, “lane of substandard width” means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or roller skier and a vehicle to travel safely side by side in the lane.

A PERSON RIDING a bicycle or scooter or operating roller skis on a way has the rights and is subject to the duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle.

AN OPERATOR of a motor vehicle that is passing a bicycle or roller skier proceeding in the same direction shall exercise due care by leaving a distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle or roller skier of not less than 3 feet while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle or roller skier. A motor vehicle operator may pass a bicycle or roller skier traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

THE COLLISION of a motor vehicle with a person operating a bicycle or roller skis is … evidence of a violation of this subsection.

For more information about the rationale behind cycling behavior, go to:



Another tempest in a teapot is brewing on the West Coast.