Bicycle lanes are something of a double-edged sword in certain circumstances. Study after study has shown that the presence of bicycle lanes has a positive effect on overall cycling. However, some will argue that traditional bike lane placement – especially on city streets – comes with its own problems. Usually, bike lanes are placed in the exact spot where drivers would get out of their cars when parallel parking next to the curb – the “door zone.” Bike lanes can also put cyclists in conflict with motorists that are making right hand turns at stop lights.
One of the less obvious conflicts, however, are laws that are often referred to as “Mandatory Use Laws.” California has just such a law on the books in the form of CVC 21208: