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Old 12-02-02, 07:11 PM   #1
Spire
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Part 3 --- How to handle major 4 way intersections.

Making a right turn or going strait at a 4 way automobile intersection is easy. You simply make the turn or go strait and take the lane, should that be necessary (only necessary in circumstances where an automobile might try to squeeze past or has might right hook the cyclist).

However, making a left turn is more complicated. There are two approches to making the turn, the right hook form and the normal left turn from the left turn lane.

First, the right hook is the longer and more inconvienient way of performing the turn. It involves the cylist making a right hand turn (or at least going to the far side of the intersection) and then waiting for the light to change to give green to the perpendicular direction and then proceeding straight.

Second, merging over the left turn lane and making a left turn automobile-style. If not done correctly or under the wrong circumstances, this can be quite dangerous (as with any manouver requiring crossing autombile lanes). Generally it is best to wait for all lanes to clear and then cross completely, especially when the traffic on the road is considerably faster (when there is not a sufficient gap, the right hook method should be employed). If the speed of traffic is only marginally faster or slower than the speed of the cyclist, then a multi-part merge is possible, where the cyclist can move over one lane at a time until he has arrived at the left turn lane, at which point he can proceed with motor traffic from the left turn lane. It is advisable to take the lane when making a left hand turn from the left turn lane. When there is more than one left turn lane, the rightmost of them should be taken.
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Old 12-02-02, 09:15 PM   #2
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Best thing to do is to watch the traffic carefully, then when the opportunity arises, take the lane. This is something I do all the time. Another thing I've been known to do on occasions (where the traffic simply makes it impossible to take the lane) is to make a left turn, go about 100 metres or so down that road, make a U-turn, before proceeding straight through, giving me the right turn that I wanted in the first place (for those in the US, reverse the lefts and rights in the previous paragraph).
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Old 12-03-02, 10:35 AM   #3
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I thought a right hook was when a car did a pass and turned right in front of a cyclist?

But your describe it as a method of turning left or taking a perpendicular street....?

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Old 12-03-02, 10:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
I thought a right hook was when a car did a pass and turned right in front of a cyclist?

But your describe it as a method of turning left or taking a perpendicular street....?
What you say is correct, I did not realise that when I generated the name for the manoever. I suppose there is ambiguety there.
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Old 12-03-02, 11:04 AM   #5
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Yeah could be a tad confusing. I sit on a few bicycle comittees where I live and 2 of the ways we have devised of taking a left turn is to cross the lane as you suggest, to the proper position on the road.

The other is a pedestrian turn - get off and cross 2x.

The right turn then a U turn I guess is another. Would a U turn be safe/legal? Just wondering....


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Old 12-03-02, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
The right turn then a U turn I guess is another. Would a U turn be safe/legal? Just wondering....
I guess there are regional differences, but it's definitely legal here in Queensland.
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Old 12-03-02, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
The right turn then a U turn I guess is another. Would a U turn be safe/legal?
For a left turn from a major multilane road onto a minor two-lane road, such a maneuver might indeed work, but why not just ride straight across the intersection, stop, rotate the bike 90 degrees to the left, then ride straight ahead, in normal two-part-turn fashion?
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Old 12-04-02, 05:46 AM   #8
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For a left turn from a major multilane road onto a minor two-lane road, such a maneuver might indeed work, but why not just ride straight across the intersection, stop, rotate the bike 90 degrees to the left, then ride straight ahead, in normal two-part-turn fashion?

Yup that's another way of l;eft turning so:
1) merge left and turn left
2) pedestrian cross
3) turn right and make a U turn when deemed safe (not sure I like this one)
4) ride through intersection, stop, turn bike 90 to the left then ride ahead

I guess anyone of these would depend on the situation and knowing which one to use. THAT's why I keep harping on our Bike Ways Task force with the city government that education for cyclists is MOST important, NOT bike lanes. But they want physical evidence that they are doing something....

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Old 12-06-02, 08:34 AM   #9
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How to make a left turn is one of the great questions of cycling on an urban roads. How I do it depends on the situation as well as on my mood.
Quote:
Originally posted by digger
1) merge left and turn left
2) pedestrian cross
3) turn right and make a U turn...
4) ride through intersection, stop, turn bike 90 degrees
Another option:
5) Go straight, make a U-turn and then turn right.

I've been known to use all of these.

My preference would be option 1 although it sometimes puts you in a high-speed lane and requires you to merge right after the turn.

Option 4 (go straight, turn bike, go straight) sometimes puts you in a position to be right-hooked by a turning vehicle.

Another option would be to avoid a particular intersection entirely: cut through a side street, go down an alley, choose another route entirely, etc.

If I'm familar with an intersection I've probably developed a strategy for dealing with it - possibly a strategy unique to that particular intersection.
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Old 12-06-02, 03:03 PM   #10
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When making a left turn (U.S.) on a two-lane road, I look back, signal, look back again, and if safe, I move to the center of the lane. I signal again to announce my turn. Sometimes I repeat my signal if a newcomer needs to know what I'm doing.

When making a left turn on a multiple-lane road, I do the same thing as above, except I that I must cross more lanes to do so.
Usually in this situation, there is a left-turn lane, where I take up position prior to turning.

If I want to avoid a bad intersection, I might plot a detour around it on some side street.
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