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Old 08-11-05, 05:46 PM   #1
farkman
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So what would you do?

I was stopped at the corner of an intersection today, waiting for the red to turn green. Just before I got the green light a jacka@# in a Ford Escape stops over the crosswalk lane. I mean COMPLETELY over it, if I would have stayed between the lines of the lane I would be blocked by his vehicle. I see this time and time again on my commute to work but this was way overboard. I made the decision right then and there to teach this guy a lesson.

I began to cross the street and when I got to the front of his car it just so happens that his headlight got in the way of my foot . I continued on my way but I looked back a few seconds later to see what his course of action would be. It seems he was not impressed and made a right turn from the center lane to chase me. I slowed down quite a bit to see what he had to say about my performance. He finally caught up to me and yelled, which is understandable, "why the fu@# did you kick my truck" to which I replied "because you were completely over the crosswalk lane." So he sped up and pulled into a driveway about 30 meters a head and began to get out of his vehicle. Thanks to the great maneuverability of a bicycle I just turned around in the opposite direction. I looked back to see him reversing into the street very quickly to make another hopeless attempt at trying to catch me. I reached the intersection that I had just crossed and turned left and went about ten meters and stopped to see what he would do next. I guess by the time he reached the intersection there were too many cars and he was stuck. I turned around again and continued in my original direction taking a few side streets just to make sure he wasn't still following me.

How would have you handled this situation? Clearly the guy doesn't care about the safety of others, which is typical of SUV drivers, not all but a good majority. I could care less if I did cause damage to his vehicle, in fact I'd be happy if I did cause damage, I'm just so sick of these clueless people that keep putting my life and the lives of others in danger because they can't follow the rules of the road and stop behind a white line. I just wonder how much faster they're going to get to their destination by pulling a head a massive 5-10 feet.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:57 PM   #2
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I'm sure you will get plenty of posts telling you how foolish you were, but I say, YOU GO GUY.
Glad you gave him the slip and are safe.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:59 PM   #3
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Not sure how exactly blocked your way, but do understand that some folks just seem to think that they own the road... and can be a real PITA.

On the downside, now this guy probably feels justified in targeting cyclists... the next cycist may get a real surprise for no reason.
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Old 08-11-05, 06:21 PM   #4
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I let it go.
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Old 08-11-05, 06:21 PM   #5
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Were you riding your bike through a cross walk? I am not sure I get it.
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Old 08-11-05, 06:44 PM   #6
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Way to make an impression. You get to be cop, judge, jury, and executioner.

Why were you in the crosswalk?
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Old 08-11-05, 06:57 PM   #7
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I think beating up on his headlight was unfair, you should have just walked over the front of his truck, and if the guy followed you etc then beat his ass.
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Old 08-11-05, 07:32 PM   #8
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Today I was riding to work on a bike path that crosses several streets at crosswalks. There was a driver blocking one crosswalk (they seem to think those are the stop lines). This happens almost every day to me at least once on my commute.

I slowed down, dinged my bell, and pointed down at the crosswalk. The driver gave me a "Huh?" look, and then backed up a few inches. I smiled and waved, called out "Thank you!", and continued across. One more educated driver.

I must say that drivers don't always respond to this routine by backing up. But I don't get in any fights. Perhaps a few of the ones who are too proud to back up as a result of my polite reminder will nevertheless take note of the crosswalk the next time?

I understand your frustration, but perhaps a low-key approach would be more productive. It's certainly better for your peace of mind.
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Old 08-11-05, 07:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Boston Commuter
I slowed down, dinged my bell, and pointed down at the crosswalk. The driver gave me a "Huh?" look, and then backed up a few inches. I smiled and waved, called out "Thank you!", and continued across. One more educated driver.
This way makes the right impression. farkman - I'd sure hate to be the next cyclist in your town that guy sees!
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Old 08-11-05, 07:46 PM   #10
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Sorry for not explaining it better but I don't know the exact name of the lane. In my area there are three lines when you approach an intersection, one thick line and two thin lines. First, the thick line is where cars are supposed to stop behind when waiting at a red light. Then about 3 feet away from the thick line is a thin line which is the the most right a ped/cyclist should go when crossing the street. Another 5-6 feet from the first thin line is another thin line which is the most left a ped/cyclist should go. It looks like this.

Intersection on this side I < 5-6' > I < 3' > II Stopped cars on this side

The single (I) are the thin lines and the double (II) is the thick line. The guy was over the second thin line (closest to the intersection) in the center lane. Its not like I go over to his lane and block him so why does he come into my crossing lane and block me putting me into potential danger. People who are to his right and turning right can't see me because he is so far forward. The people turning right move up so far to check for traffic that I cannot even get back onto the sidewalk because it's being blocked. When someone starts to put me or other peds/cyclists in additional danger because they're too lazy/stupid/impatient to stop behind the appropriate line then I begin to take action, if you will.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:07 PM   #11
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Are you riding your "maneuverable" bicycle on the sidewalks, and crossing intersections at crosswalks?

The driver was wrong for stopping beyond the line, but ehhh.... look in the mirror.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:32 PM   #12
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bikepacker67

Actually the sidewalks here are dual purpose. One part is a regular sidewalk and right next to it is a smooth paved section for bikes. Even if the bike portion wasn't there I still have the right to ride on the sidewalk. And just past the intersection there is an uphill section where I don't feel completely comfortable going 20km/h on the road while cars pass within inches of me doing 60km/h. On the way to work though it's better because I can do it at about 45km/h and there is much less traffic.

So if you don't cross the road at intersection crosswalks then where do you cross the road, wherever you feel like? I mean where should I be crossing the road if it isn't at an intersection.

Let me make it clear that this occured at a four way intersection with lights for both cars and pedestrians (I had the crossing light at the time), not some crosswalk in the middle of the road with blinking lights and such. I don't know what kinds of systems you guys have in the States.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:35 PM   #13
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The driver gave me a "Huh?" look, and then backed up a few inches. I smiled and waved, called out "Thank you!", and continued across. One more educated driver.
I wouldn't count on it.......

Quote:
Sorry for not explaining it better
Oh, I think we get it....we're just not sure of the wisdom or riding on a sidewalk....
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Old 08-11-05, 09:07 PM   #14
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I don't see why you had to stay within the lines. I would just go around him. If there was some barrier to my left that put me in a squeeze between it and the car, then I'd probably do something passive-aggressive, like make a big deal about how difficult it is to squeeze by such an inconsiderate doofus, you know, kinda struggle a little bit more than its worth.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by farkman
bikepacker67

So if you don't cross the road at intersection crosswalks then where do you cross the road, wherever you feel like? I mean where should I be crossing the road if it isn't at an intersection.

Let me make it clear that this occured at a four way intersection with lights for both cars and pedestrians (I had the crossing light at the time), not some crosswalk in the middle of the road with blinking lights and such. I don't know what kinds of systems you guys have in the States.
You'll find that most of us ride on the road and we cross intersections with the rest of the traffic. I think in most states here in the U.S., if you are acting like a pedestrian by riding on the sidewalk and using the crosswalks, you are required to dismount and walk your bike across, like a pedestrian. Were you mounted on your bike when you kicked the guy's headlight?
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Old 08-11-05, 11:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by farkman
Actually the sidewalks here are dual purpose. One part is a regular sidewalk and right next to it is a smooth paved section for bikes. Even if the bike portion wasn't there I still have the right to ride on the sidewalk. And just past the intersection there is an uphill section where I don't feel completely comfortable going 20km/h on the road while cars pass within inches of me doing 60km/h. On the way to work though it's better because I can do it at about 45km/h and there is much less traffic.

So if you don't cross the road at intersection crosswalks then where do you cross the road, wherever you feel like? I mean where should I be crossing the road if it isn't at an intersection.

Let me make it clear that this occured at a four way intersection with lights for both cars and pedestrians (I had the crossing light at the time), not some crosswalk in the middle of the road with blinking lights and such. I don't know what kinds of systems you guys have in the States.
Hi Farkman,
Its safer to ride on the road than on the sidewalk. I'm familiar with Mississauga's glorified sidewalk bike paths, which have the same problems as the sidewalk (intersections!) so whenever I've ridden there I pick the road instead.

When bikes operate like any other vehicle, there is no need to use the crosswalks. When you want to turn left you get into the left turn lane. If you want to cross-cross to turn left because the traffic is too thick to merge safely, its best to get off and walk your bike through the crosswalk. It is my understanding that bikes are not allowed to bike in crosswalks (but that may be just in Toronto where adults also may not ride on the sidewalk)

That said, cars always do stupid things. Its best just to ignore these stupid things and go around them. Kicking cars will just kick their temper up a notch, and most stupid things drivers do is because they are impatient from being stuck in traffic
Tanya
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Old 08-12-05, 12:38 AM   #17
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to merge safely, its best to get off and walk your bike through the crosswalk. It is my understanding that bikes are not allowed to bike in crosswalks (but that may be just in Toronto where adults also may not ride on the sidewalk)
Just to follow up on my own post, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act forbids bikes from riding in the crosswalk except at signalized intersections. Which would mean technically (though nobody does) you would need to get off and walk your bike at all of the intersections with the sidewalk-bike-path and the road.

Section 144(29)
Riding in crosswalks prohibited

(29) No person shall ride a bicycle across a roadway within or along a crosswalk at an intersection or at a location other than an intersection which location is controlled by a traffic control signal system. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (29).
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Old 08-12-05, 02:18 AM   #18
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After reading farkman's subsequent posts, I believe we have these intersections as well. The intersecting cagers get better view of (car) traffic if they push their car all the way over the part of crossing where I am supposed to be riding. So that is what they frequently do, unless there's a constant flow of cyclists. In that case they seem to understand better that bike traffic is traffic as well.

I seldom go round the front of such cager. They may make a desperate last second attempt to get out of the way. They usually cannot reverse, because there's another car behind them. I sometimes ride full blast right to their window, stop, lean my elbows on handlebars and just stare them until they get their piece of scrap metal out of the way. Or ride full blast to their window, brake and go round the back, hitting car trunk audibly with my hand on the way.

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Old 08-12-05, 07:19 AM   #19
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So you kicked in the guys light when he couldn’t do anything about it, but you ran away from him when he confronted you. Hmmmmmmm
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Old 08-12-05, 08:16 AM   #20
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Bigmark

What do you mean that there was nothing he could do about it. He could have stopped where he was supposed to, not ten feet ahead blocking the crossing lane. Sorry, I'm not big like you and don't want to get in a fight but I'm not going to let these people, who don't know how to stop behind a line, get away putting other people in danger.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:36 AM   #21
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You are every bit as bad as a driver who wants to teach a cyclist a lesson (to stay off the roads) by buzzing him. You deliberately hit his vehicle, when it fact it wasn't even moving. It sounds like you were looking for trouble-- and your charaterization of SUV drivers is rather telling. I find your actions to be immature.

Why do you believe he "clearly doesn't care for the safety of others?"

Is your implication that you ALWAYS follow the letter of the law... always come to a complete stop... always put your foot down... never blow a light... always signal your turns?

I encounter much more serious and aggressive drivers' actions... I can't imagine wasting any energy trying to teach a driver such a lesson.

What gives you the right?

Frankly, it sounds like you ride on the sidewalk anyway... and should probably stay there.
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Old 08-12-05, 09:53 AM   #22
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It sounds to me like this whole thing could be solved by just riding on the road like cars do. Look the guy made an honest mistake and I can see why. Your rules of the road up there are confusing the hell out of me that’s for sure. You know in the States we have a right on red rule so drivers will come up as far as they can to look and see if they can turn right. This means going over a crosswalk, which normally works fine when you look and see no one walking but then when some bike rider comes whizzing down the sidewalk all hell ensues.

imo you blew your top. You shouldn’t have hit his car. The guy made a mistake and it certainly wasn’t life threatening I'm sure your capable of making mistakes too.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
You are every bit as bad as a driver who wants to teach a cyclist a lesson (to stay off the roads) by buzzing him. You deliberately hit his vehicle, when it fact it wasn't even moving. It sounds like you were looking for trouble-- and your charaterization of SUV drivers is rather telling. I find your actions to be immature.

Why do you believe he "clearly doesn't care for the safety of others?"

Is your implication that you ALWAYS follow the letter of the law... always come to a complete stop... always put your foot down... never blow a light... always signal your turns?

I encounter much more serious and aggressive drivers' actions... I can't imagine wasting any energy trying to teach a driver such a lesson.

What gives you the right?

Frankly, it sounds like you ride on the sidewalk anyway... and should probably stay there.
I was trying to think of the best way to answer him, but I think that you said it best. I encounter terrible drivers everyday, while in my car and on my bicyle. Should I go up to every car that pulls out in front of mine in traffic and kick their vehicle and "teach them a lesson". If I am shopping in the grocery store, and some thoughtless rude woman in haircurlers pushes her cart in front of mine at the check out line, do I walk up to her cart and kick it, to teach her a "lesson"?
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Old 08-12-05, 10:03 AM   #24
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Filtersweep

I don't care if cars are on the road, without cars we probably wouldn't even have roads, but this guy stopped so far ahead that he was maybe 3-4 feet from the the cars driving in the intersection. Is not obvious that he doesn't care about the safety of others. What if there was a lady with a baby crossing the street and this guy was stopped the same way. You'd probably be angry at the driver if this happened to someone you know.

Sure I don't always follow every single letter of the law. There are times when doing so might get me injured. I'm quite sure you don't follow the laws to the letter all the time either.

If you encounter situations worse than this and don't care that's your problem, but I care whether I or any other pedestrian/cyclist gets hit because someone fails to stop where they're supposed to.

The only reason why I was on the sidewalk to begin with is because 50 meters before the intersection the road splits into two lanes. The original lane becomes the left lane and a new right lane begins. With all the traffic there some people go to this new lane but have to pull way over to the curb to pass the others cars on the left. This leaves me about 6 inches between their car and the curb, not quite enough for me to pass. I have no choice but to stop or go onto the sidewalk. I chose to go onto the sidewalk and in doing so have committed a serious crime in your eyes.

By the way, the laws for bikes in my city state that a bicycle is allowed to cross at an intersection with lights and pedestrian signals. I ride on the road 98% of the time but I will make exceptions when I don't feel comfortable riding on the road and no one is on the sidewalk.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:19 AM   #25
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This, is the exact reason I have no respect for anyone who pulls over the crosswalk.. I probably wouldn't have been as nice as you were.. Then I'd proceed to laugh at him as he patheticly tried to chase a BIKER.. a BIKE can go down a 2ft wide alley.. A car can't
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