Nomorelies, you are correct that statute 49-639 does not relate directly to cycling. However, I have heard it used to argue that cyclists "impede traffic" in some scenarios while riding in urban areas. Since this statute only applies to a "two-lane highway outside an urban area where passing is unsafe" any arguement which applies this statute to cyclists riding in urban areas is invalid. You are correct that this statute does not specifically mention highways 21 and 55. However, those highways (among others) are by definition where this statute applies. I was only mentioning them as examples that are well known to most of us.
I'm glad that you mentioned 49-717 as this statute (properly interpreted) is the legal basis for riding in the manner described in my previous post. It states that cyclists must ride as close to the right as practicable, but it also lists a series of exceptions, one of which is "substandard width lanes". Elsewhere the statutes define a substandard width lane as "a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and motor vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane". For how this applies to streets such as Orchard see scote.transportation.org/Documents/Bike1Bi…
If you must ride on streets such as Orchard where the right lane is too narrow for a motor vehicle and bicycle to safely share the cyclist should not hug the curb. That only invites close passes like the one described in this article. Instead the cyclist should ride further out into the lane, such as between the right tire track and the center grease stripe. This is called "taking the lane" and is totally legal (in fact, it's recommended in "Idaho Bicycling Street Smarts", a publication funded by the ACHD and ITD). Riding further to the left makes it clear to traffic coming from behind that they must change lanes in order to pass (which is what they should be doing anyway). This is not "impeding traffic" as that law (Idaho Statute 49-639) only applies on roads such as Highways 21 and 55 where in many locations safe passing is not possible.
A helpful adage for cyclists is: The amount of room you give yourself on the right is the amount of room that you will be passed with on the left.
Find out at http://www.bicyclesafe.com/ why sidewalk riding and curb hugging are more dangerous than cycling on the road as part of traffic.
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