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Old 09-15-05, 08:58 AM   #1
recursive
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I hit a cyclist in the bike lane yesterday.

I saw him coming up the wrong way on a one-way street in the bike lane. There was not enough room for two bikes, and I did not want to veer into traffic, so I maintained my course and just slowed down to <8mph. I assumed he'd get off the road since he was in the wrong. Well, we clipped handlebars. I was ready for it, and rolled through unaffected, but he ended up over the bars on the ground.

I stopped and turned around.

"Are you ok? I hope you are ok, but you were going the wrong way" I said.
"It's a bike lane. You can go either way." he said, looking very agitated.
"You're wrong. You can only go one way."
"No, you're wrong. You can go either way."
"You're right that it is a bike lane, and you can go this way, but not that way. I hope you're ok."

With that I left since the conversation was obviously leading nowhere and he seemed to be fine, and was more interested in his theory about bike lanes than any pain or injury. I actually shortened it, but you're not missing anything. Is there anything one can do in these cases to convince the other party of the law, other than just hitting him again next time I see him?

Sigh
This is one of the problems with bike lanes. They create confusion since they are a special class of lane. There would have been no doubt (I hope) if there had been no bike lane on the street.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:04 AM   #2
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Just out of curiosity, does the bike lane indicate that it's only one way? (that is, is there a bike lane on the other side of the street). I know some cities have dual-direction bike lanes (bad idea IMO). Some people are hard to convince of what the law is unless you get a cop or some other authority to prove it to them.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:09 AM   #3
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I don't believe there is a sign that specifically says the bike lane is one way. There is, however, a sign that says the street is one way, and the bike lane is part of the street, so I'll leave it to you whether that counts.

I have seen one of these 2-way bike lanes too, and it was quite clearly marked as such.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:13 AM   #4
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This was teken from a web site about Madison bike commuting.

Quote:
Always ride with traffic. Riding against traffic is unpredictable, especially to drivers at intersections, driveways or parking spaces. Bike lanes go one way only, in the same direction as adjacent traffic, unless otherwise signed.
http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/bch.html

So unless it was marked, I guess this guy should have been more careful.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:16 AM   #5
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Pretty much no one rides in BLs the wrong way on the high speed 45mph+ roads around here, but as soon as you get on residential streets and even more so around college campus where the roads are 25mph and very wide lanes where there are many more cyclists, it is a free for all as to which way to ride in the BL. Partly because of the chaos I have never once ridden in the BL in these areas and ride fully in the primary lane as it is much safer. Interestingly the 'authorities' have also noticed this problem in the campus area and put up red colored signs that say something like "WRONG WAY (bicycle symbol)" on the backs of the bike lane signs, but obviously no one pays attention.

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Old 09-15-05, 09:17 AM   #6
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two-way lanes in NYC, like the west side MUP bikes share w/ rollerbladers (and scofflaw pedestrians) and the Manhattan bridge path are marked by dividing lines. (tho' ocean pkwy's lane isn't. hmmm.)
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Old 09-15-05, 09:18 AM   #7
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I have seen many two-way bike lanes on one-way streets, but these have all had a dividing line going down the middle. If it is 2 way it should also be on the LH side of the road so the bike nearest to the motor traffic is going in the same direction. If this was intended to be one way, it should have had arrows painted on the surface to indicate so. If it was intended to be 2 way it should have been wide enough for 2 bikes & with centre marking. Write to your local traffic dept pointing out the dangers of their lane marking.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:18 AM   #8
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i always hate it when someone argues a point that is just dead wrong.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:35 AM   #9
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well besides using a large club (G) pointing out the arrows on the road?? throw him a bicycle law book? I hate doging idiots going the wrong way.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:39 AM   #10
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I am not in any way defending the other cyclist, but merely observing that he was probably frustrated that the one-way street was not configured to take him in his desired direction of travel. In this specific instance only, would it make sense to have a contraflow bike lane, perhaps on the other side of the street? Of course, if there are driveway cuts, intersections, and/or onstreet parking on both sides of the road, this is probably a very poor, dangerous idea which should be rejected.

I encounter a few wrong-way cyclists in my neighborhood. In one case, they are trying to avoid making two sequential left turns. In the other case, the street is a northbound 25mph residential one-way (Neptune Av. in Encinitas), fortunately without bikelane stripes. Most of the wrong-way (southbound) cyclists at least have the decency to use the west (rightmost to them) side of the roadway.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
I saw him coming up the wrong way on a one-way street in the bike lane. There was not enough room for two bikes, and I did not want to veer into traffic, so I maintained my course and just slowed down to <8mph. I assumed he'd get off the road since he was in the wrong. Well, we clipped handlebars. I was ready for it, and rolled through unaffected, but he ended up over the bars on the ground.

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Old 09-15-05, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
I am not in any way defending the other cyclist, but merely observing that he was probably frustrated that the one-way street was not configured to take him in his desired direction of travel. In this specific instance only, would it make sense to have a contraflow bike lane, perhaps on the other side of the street? Of course, if there are driveway cuts, intersections, and/or onstreet parking on both sides of the road, this is probably a very poor, dangerous idea which should be rejected.
In this case, he could have moved over one block in either direction and gone the way he wanted.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:56 AM   #13
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My usual avatar is the bike lane direction symbol here in Corona.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
I saw him coming up the wrong way on a one-way street in the bike lane. There was not enough room for two bikes, and I did not want to veer into traffic, so I maintained my course and just slowed down to <8mph. I assumed he'd get off the road since he was in the wrong. Well, we clipped handlebars. I was ready for it, and rolled through unaffected, but he ended up over the bars on the ground.
Cool. I hate wrong way cyclists. And when confronted about it, they always have rocks in their heads, so it shouldn't hurt when they land on it.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:57 AM   #15
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I just remembered a 'wrong way bike lane' story from this past weekend.
My wife and I were riding back to home in the BL, we approached an intersection, about 20yrds from it a family came round the corner in the BL the wrong way. Kid in front had a fishing rod across his back, nearly clipped my wife who swerved toward a parked car to miss the rod hanging to the side and while she didn't fall, she stopped abruptly. Then came mom and dad, as I passed dad I yelled 'your going the wrong way'. His reply in a taunting voice "oooh, what ya gonna do, call 911 on me'. I so wanted to turn around and deck him, but it wouldn't have gone over well with my wife who was back on the bike and we were on our way.

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Old 09-15-05, 10:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
....I assumed he'd get off the road since he was in the wrong.....
Better to protect yourself than assume the other guy will do it for you.

Wheter or not the other cyclists was legally in the wrong, since you both could see each other coming, you both should have been trying to avoid a collision. You slowed down, but did he do anything to slow down or avoid you? Was there anything more you could have done that wouldn't have put you at risk?

Even if you both had to stop and creep around each other, it sounds like the collision was avoidable.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:35 AM   #17
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I think you did the right thing. I am glad you weren't hurt and I guess i am glad that the other guy wasn't either. I find when I get in to an intractable argument, i point out signs, quote the rule, or I try to get the other to say where they saw that written, sometimes it helps.

I really hate wrong way riders, within or without BLs,and they take the inside then force me into traffic,, even though they can see what is coming at us.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive

Sigh
This is one of the problems with bike lanes. They create confusion since they are a special class of lane. There would have been no doubt (I hope) if there had been no bike lane on the street.
My only beef with your statement is it should say "this is one of the problems with some bike lanes". The lanes around here have arrows in them so it is pretty hard to argue the both ways point.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc_rider
Better to protect yourself than assume the other guy will do it for you.

Wheter or not the other cyclists was legally in the wrong, since you both could see each other coming, you both should have been trying to avoid a collision. You slowed down, but did he do anything to slow down or avoid you? Was there anything more you could have done that wouldn't have put you at risk?

Even if you both had to stop and creep around each other, it sounds like the collision was avoidable.
Absolutely, it was avoidable. I just didn't feel particularly like avoiding it. My goal was to avoid falling, and I did that by slowing down. If the other guy wants to run into me, I guess that's his choice. And it was his choice. I made eye contact before physical contact, and he knew I was coming. I'm not normally this agressive, but I don't feel like going too far out of my way to accomodate people who have no regard to following the rules. Almost a little bit of vigilante justice if you will. If I see the same situation again today, I'll handle it the same way.

He could have avoided it too, and should have. I felt confident I wouldn't go down, so my only concern would have been for him, and I wasn't particularly concerned about him since he apparently wasn't concerned about anyone else.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:24 AM   #20
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The people that go the wrong way on the bike lanes in my city aren't really "cyclists", they are usually teens on Huffy bikes or shady looking adults riding kids bikes or old rusted 10 speeds with a plastic bag in one hand. I've had to look for traffic and ride around them in the road. Doesn't make sense and it's not as safe for me, but these people won't ever get it. There is a bike painted inside the lane every several feet. You would think someone would stop and think and go "why is the painted bike upside down?" It's frustrating! I feel your pain!
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Old 09-15-05, 11:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
... "Are you ok? I hope you are ok, but you were going the wrong way" I said...
I think you did what you could. Here's a hint ... never tell anyone that they are going the wrong way. Rather tell them they are on the wrong side. He was going the right way just not in the right place on the road.
I meet riders like this all the time and my comment to them is "Wrong Side!".

The only BL I have the opportunity to ride in has lane markings with a bike, then the word "only", then an "arrow" (arrow is going with flow of traffic for that side of the roadway). Still find cyclists and pedestrians in the lane going against the flow. The odd thing is this road is very residential and has another perfectly fine BL in the opposite direction on the other side.

I have a few Florida DOT cycling brochures stuffed into my bike bag. If I every get into an "is to - is not" discussion, I'm ready to whip them out.

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Old 09-15-05, 11:48 AM   #22
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I think you did what you could. Here's a hint ... never tell anyone that they are going the wrong way. Rather tell them they are on the wrong side. He was going the right way just not in the right place on the road.
I meet riders like this all the time and my comment to them is "Wrong Side!".
Sounds like a good tip. In this case though, he would have been going the wrong way on the other side too, as it was a one way street.
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Old 09-15-05, 02:07 PM   #23
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This is one of the problems with bike lanes. They create confusion since they are a special class of lane. There would have been no doubt (I hope) if there had been no bike lane on the street.
Nonsense, there is no need to jump on the "blame the bike lane" bandwagon! A bike lane is a traffic lane and operates on the same rules as any other.
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Old 09-15-05, 02:30 PM   #24
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One way bike lanes here have signs pointed toward the wrong-wayers telling them they're going the wrong way.

When I ride the wrong way on a one-way street I use the sidewalk. Only one place I can think of where I do it, though.
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Old 09-15-05, 02:55 PM   #25
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Last week I was riding my fixed gear bike down a bike lane when a wrong way biker came straight at me. I managed to avoid them, but nearly got rewarded by being hit by a car pulling out, one I would have seen if I hadn't been dodging the wrong way rider.
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