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Old 09-24-06, 03:15 PM   #1
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Observations of daytime, static-lane positioning

Inspired by mechBgon's thread, I offer my own daytime, static-lane positioned photos.

Here I am riding my bike in a typical bike lane. Probably about half of all motorists moved over at least as far as this person did:



Of those who did not move over, I couldn't seem to work up much alarm over it. Someone please tell me why I should be afraid.



The purpose of my bike ride was to go get some batteries. I loaded up my water and set off to the shopping center about 10 miles away. Naturally, I used the excellent bicycle facilities in my community. Here's a picture of the Obern trail. Note the solar-powered light and the sign indicating the name of my route and the number of miles to several points ahead. Bike paths are NOT a menace to cycling and they ARE very effective means of bicycle transportation.



Another feature of adequate bike facilities is the ease of crossing the freeway they provide. I would much rather cross the freeway like this--under it--than over one of these hellish overpasses you see in many places. Take note also that it's really hard to get run over by a car under these circumstances. And the hoards of other users? What other users? Sunday afternoon on a perfect sunny day and I'm not experiencing any congestion on the bike path.



What's so special about this traffic signal? Well, here I am, right biased and all alone and right after I took this picture the signal changed just for me.


I'm still finding it really difficult to get all worked up about my supposed invisibility waaay way over here in the bike lane. Who knows why all these people keep passing me like this guy? Maybe they see me or maybe there's debris in their lane. Who really knows?



Here's the trailer park near where the 12 year old boy was killed riding his bike to school. Note the deterioration of the bike lane here, with all these cars parked on the side of the road. Some of them have their rear ends halfway into the bike lane. It is not bike lanes that are evil it is bad bike lanes that are evil and right here the bike lane is bad.



Here's the memorial to Jake, the 12 year old boy. Note the bad bike lane conditions. He would have had to be left-biased in the bike lane or completely outside it.



Here's the view from trike height. If the photo would have been better you might see how much dirt is in his wheel wells. Anyway, despite this being a rather narrow, busy street it still has a bike lane and people are still trying to ride as far away from me as they can.



What does any of this prove? Maybe nothing. Maybe it simply provides some evidence that people can see you in the bike lane.

For daytime visibility, I have a reflective triangle on the back and an orange flag and wear a lime high-vis vest. Perhaps my pictures prove that daytime visibility gear does a good job of making cyclists visible in the day time.

Perhaps motorists only pull out farther for me than for most of you because my bike is so unusual. I also carve a wider profile from straight on than upright bikes. But I'm much lower, too. So maybe my pictures are just evidence that being unusual helps provide visibility. In any case, I certainly wasn't invisible in my static, right-biased position.

I hope that I've provided some visual evidence to refute some of the theoretical nonsense bandied about around here.

Last edited by sbhikes; 09-24-06 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-24-06, 03:53 PM   #2
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NICE, wow, trikes are an awesome platform for on-the-roll photography. That's my general experience too, when I ride in a bikes-only lane I have plenty of space. It's still smart to watch for potential right-hooks, but that holds true whenever I'm not taking the whole lane. LOL, I recall an incident last year when a driver passed me while I was in the bike lane, was a safe distance ahead, but didn't want to make her right turn for fear of right-hooking me. She stopped. The cars behind her stopped. *I* stopped in the bike lane, and waved go on, you're fine and she completed her turn. +1 for HID headlights.

I like how they put a center marker on the MUP... do people generally abide by it? Oh, and was this done with creamy or crunchy?

Last edited by mechBgon; 09-24-06 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-24-06, 03:59 PM   #3
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Interesting. What time of day were the above pictures taken as opposed to when the 12-year old was hit? I usually have no problem being seen when the sun is high in the sky. It's near sunrise and sunset when drivers have the sun in their eyes when people get too close to me.

Another thing, Did you have a peanut butter sandwich with you? Creamy or crunchy?
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Old 09-24-06, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mechBgon
NICE, Oh, and was this done with creamy or crunchy?
Neither, a lighthouse light.
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Old 09-24-06, 04:16 PM   #5
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(edited my first post to get those pics working )
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Old 09-24-06, 04:51 PM   #6
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How did you get the pictures to work? I couldn't do it. At least you can see them now.

To answer the questions I was riding at about 1pm and the little boy was riding at about 8am due east into the sun.

And yes, the trike is a great photography platform. I actually mounted my camera with a tiny, strap-on monopod and took the photos while moving. That's why they are kinda crooked and blurry.

And I didn't have a peanut butter sandwich. If I would have, it wouldn't have mattered whether it was cruncy or creamy, only that it was either a) all natural, unsalted peanut butter or b) almond butter.

I did have a Clif bar, but it wasn't peanut butter. It was black cherry almond.
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Old 09-24-06, 04:59 PM   #7
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Oh, and P.S. yes the lane markings on the bike path are obeyed. This is a BIKE path. Also known as a bikeway. As you can see there are street signs indicating destinations and milages. The purpose of this bikeway is to move bike traffic. Therefore, following the norm in the US, you ride in the right lane.

It was a quiet day on the bike path. I only saw a few walkers, and most of them did not walk on the bikeway. It is not a recreational facility. Its primary purpose is as a highway for bicycle traffic going to UCSB, but as you can see, there are other connecting bikeways and I was able to get all the way from my house to the shopping center using these bikeways and residential streets, making for a very pleasant, enjoyable and SAFE utilitarian ride.
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Old 09-24-06, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
How did you get the pictures to work? I couldn't do it. At least you can see them now.
I converted them to .jpg format and uploaded them to the space that BF member tsl is letting me use If you want, just hit Reply With Quote to my next post below, and then copy the contents of the window, and paste it into your original post and remove the {QUOTE** tags. Or change your links to use the IMG tag and the URLs I used.

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Old 09-24-06, 05:05 PM   #9
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.

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Old 09-24-06, 05:37 PM   #10
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Thanks mech! You can delete your post and I guess your quoted one above, too!
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Old 09-24-06, 05:41 PM   #11
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Done and done That's cool how it's actually a bicycle highway there, that goes to useful places instead of just wherever they could find room.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:00 PM   #12
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I have no experience with these bike lanes, but looks okay to me. I would not feel invisible, but I would worry about right hooks from people using poor judgement and left turners not looking beyond oncoming motor vehicle lanes. Valid concerns? I'd have to defer to regular users.
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Old 09-24-06, 10:42 PM   #13
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Nice work. Thank you.

However, even if you could prove 95% of the drivers approaching you from behind are cognitively aware of your presence, what about the 5% (or whatever it is... I personally believe it is often probably close to 50%) that is not? As we've seen all too many times (see the bike lane deaths thread), it takes only one of those to decide, mistakenly thinking the road ahead is clear, to attend to a distraction at just the wrong time, and inadvertently drift across the bike lane stripe...
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Old 09-24-06, 10:58 PM   #14
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Yeah Diane, how often are you getting run over by those drifting ones?

()

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Old 09-25-06, 01:59 AM   #15
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Nice work. Thank you.

However, even if you could prove 95% of the drivers approaching you from behind are cognitively aware of your presence, what about the 5% (or whatever it is... I personally believe it is often probably close to 50%) that is not? As we've seen all too many times (see the bike lane deaths thread), it takes only one of those to decide, mistakenly thinking the road ahead is clear, to attend to a distraction at just the wrong time, and inadvertently drift across the bike lane stripe...
What about the drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, what about those that are unlicensed becaus ethey're either incompetent or criminal but still drive? The point is that they are just as likely to hit you irrespective of their cognitive awareness of your presence. Lots of 'what ifs' there, that's why segregated bicycle highways just like the fine example Diane showed us are the best answer, with segregated bike lanes being the next best thing.
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Old 09-25-06, 06:41 AM   #16
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Maybe they are just scared of you.
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Old 09-25-06, 07:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Oh, and P.S. yes the lane markings on the bike path are obeyed. This is a BIKE path. Also known as a bikeway. As you can see there are street signs indicating destinations and milages. The purpose of this bikeway is to move bike traffic. Therefore, following the norm in the US, you ride in the right lane.

It was a quiet day on the bike path. I only saw a few walkers, and most of them did not walk on the bikeway. It is not a recreational facility. Its primary purpose is as a highway for bicycle traffic going to UCSB, but as you can see, there are other connecting bikeways and I was able to get all the way from my house to the shopping center using these bikeways and residential streets, making for a very pleasant, enjoyable and SAFE utilitarian ride.
Whats the average car traffic speed (not the speed limit) on the roads with bike paths? Looks to me like its safe ride exclusively on the bike paths, except at intersections, where I would take the lane or move to the left of the lane to let right-turning cars go by.
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Old 09-25-06, 08:02 AM   #18
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Most of these pictures featuring bike lanes or wide paved shoulders are of major roads with wide pavement and few intersections or driveways. These roads have few intersection issues and so there is little reason to operate closer to the stream of motor traffic from a traffic safety perspective. The only reason I sometimes operate in the travel lane on such roads between intersections is when the shoulder is full of debris.

Roads with lots of junction traffic, or narrow pavement, are where I find it most useful to operate farther left purely for traffic safety.

The bottom pictures of the debris-filled bike lane next to parked cars is the type of situation where I most dislike the bike-lane pavement markings, because they marginalize the cyclists who stay farther left for safety, which is clearly important here due to sand, door hazards, and sight line issues.
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Old 09-25-06, 08:10 AM   #19
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There are not many intersections with streets on that bike path. I don't see how you can "take the lane" at an intersection with the bike path. You are on the bike path!

If you mean the bike lanes, take another look and tell me how many of those photos show any place where there is an intersection? For the most part, I rode up against a fence for miles at a time. Nobody was turning anywhere. The speed limit was 35-45.

The last picture is of the downtown area where there is shopping on both sides of the street and lots of intersections and driveways, and lots of traffic. 35 mph. I still did not take the lane. I don't see the practice as having much use to me. Sorry. I even saw another trike on the other side of the street right after I took the picture and he wasn't taking the lane either. Neither were any of the dozens of other cyclists I saw that day. I never see anybody taking the lane. If a practice has no practitioners then perhaps people just don't see any value in it.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:47 AM   #20
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What did you do about the sandy bike lane next to the memorial? Did you take the lane there or ride through the debris?
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Old 09-25-06, 11:15 AM   #21
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A couple of observations and questions.

First off, maybe it is just semantics, but I don't see any Bike Lanes. I see alot of pictures of a shoulder though. IMO a shoulder with a bicycle painted on it is still a shoulder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shbikes
Someone please tell me why I should be afraid.
I don't know if anyone is saying you should. But the more apt question would be

"If, depending on traffic etc, I wanted to take the lane, why should I be lambasted for it?"

You are darn lucky in that area. Dedicated Bike paths? Nice. The best we have out here are MUP which quite frankly I find more dangerous than the road.

Another thought. And a reason I often take the lane where I live (maybe I will try and take a camera sometime this week). On a trike you are infinitely more stable than a bicycle (maybe we should all get trikes). So some debris, such as sand in the shoulder should not prove a major hazard to you. But when I am moving along, especially on a downhill at speeds nearing 30mph, I don't want to be surprised with a sandy shoulder etc. Since the road is generally swept clean better than the shoulder I will take the lane when I can in these situations.

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Old 09-25-06, 12:04 PM   #22
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In my area it's the autos themselves that do most of the de facto lane sweeping. I've found the city street department is surprisingly responsive, however... you might drop an email to them and say "hey, the bike lane has gravel on it, could you send a sweeper?"
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Old 09-25-06, 12:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet head
However, even if you could prove 95% of the drivers approaching you from behind are cognitively aware of your presence, what about the 5% (or whatever it is... I personally believe it is often probably close to 50%) that is not? As we've seen all too many times (see the bike lane deaths thread), it takes only one of those to decide, mistakenly thinking the road ahead is clear, to attend to a distraction at just the wrong time, and inadvertently drift across the bike lane stripe...
What about the drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, what about those that are unlicensed because they're either incompetent or criminal but still drive?
They are probably more likely to fall into the group of drivers who are not cognitively aware of a cyclist up ahead in the bike lane.

Quote:
The point is that they are just as likely to hit you irrespective of their cognitive awareness of your presence.
That's nonsense. Do you have any idea the meaning of "just as likely", or the carnage we would we have if these drivers truly were anywhere near "just as likely to hit you irrespective of their cognitive awareness of your presence."?


Quote:
Lots of 'what ifs' there,
Where?

Quote:
that's why segregated bicycle highways just like the fine example Diane showed us are the best answer,
Segregated "bicycle highways" are the best answer to what? How to avoid bike crashes? Perhaps where they can actually be built on a separate plane from highways used by motor vehicles, like the one in Diane's picture, but it is practically impossible to do that in most places.

Quote:
with segregated bike lanes being the next best thing.
Since segregated bike lanes don't even separate cyclists from same-direction traffic (anyone can drift across a painted stripe), and the main cause of bike crashes are crossing movements anyway, for which bike lanes provide no protection whatsoever, and arguably increase risk because they encourage cyclists to ride where many motorists are not paying attention, I don't see how bike lanes are even related to bike highways, much less are "the next best thing".

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Old 09-25-06, 02:54 PM   #24
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I rode through the debris. I have a trike. I don't have to worry about sand. I was taking pictures and stopping.
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Old 09-25-06, 02:56 PM   #25
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As far as the sand being on that road, that was the only debris-filled spot on my whole ride.
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