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Thread: College area

  1. #1
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    College area

    I'll start off saying that tonight was the 2nd time I've had my bike hit by a car this semester..

    I live about 5 blocks off my campus and so its easy for me to commute to class/work on my bike. The roads are setup decently with bike paths although no driver ever seems to notice them..

    Same spot was tonights accident as the one I had earlier a couple months ago, cars pull out going right into a 1 way street where I need to turn left into. So usually the driver is only looking towards the left and not seeing me come in on their right. We'll b/c of this I decided to slow way down for a good 5 seconds before I go to the intersection, but this did nothing as I was passing the front of her car she decided it was a good time to pull into the road. Luckily the only damage done was my rear wheel being bent on my mountain bike.

    After this I stopped to see the damage and she wouldn't even acknowledge me and drove off. I'm about to the point where I am sick of how some drivers pay 0 attention to anything besides other cars on the road.

    What are some ideas for things I can do to ride safer? Would having an airzound even do anything? If this happens again I'll try to get a plate number or talk to the driver. Is there anything that could be done in the future to say replace parts? What kind of trouble could I get in if say I took a piece of scrap iron rod and hit their car?

    sorry.. just a bit frustrated
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    Quote Originally Posted by epix1718
    cars pull out going right into a 1 way street where I need to turn left into. So usually the driver is only looking towards the left and not seeing me come in on their right.
    I'm not sure I follow, but just to be sure, you're not riding against traffic are you? If you are, that's a big part of your problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by epix1718
    Would having an airzound even do anything?
    Yes! I used mine twice last night on unattentive motorists.

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocula
    I'm not sure I follow, but just to be sure, you're not riding against traffic are you? If you are, that's a big part of your problem.
    Yes, that's my question too. If you are turning left onto a side street from a two-way street, you should be going past the car and passing on their left as you complete the turn. I'm just not seeing how they are turning into you if you are where safety and traffic laws require you to be.
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    here is a pic of the street layout. I'm the blue oval in the bike path. I know the bike path seems to be on the wrong side of the road, but that is where it is, the street gets a lot of traffic especially in the morning and evenings
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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Ay pues.

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    No, you're right. That bike lane is on the wrong side of the road. I wouldn't ride in it, no matter what the markings and signs may say. Wow.
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    Tough call - It's probably better to ride on the right hand side of the one way - I think you'll get hit regularly at that spot.

    Another idea is to manouver around a left turning car (when road design is this bad - there are no rules of the road IMHO) so that they don't cross your path. However, you need to have a good sight line to be sure that a) there is no car behind the one turning, or b) you don't cut off a car turning right into the road you are turning left into.

    Probably the best option is to just wait until cars are past - or tap the hood of the car turning left lightly. That would probably be my choice.

    Finally - you should write a letter to the college and complain about their layout at that spot, mentioning that you have been hit twice in the same way in a semester. Campuses often have brutal road/bikepath/pedpath layouts.

    EDIT I just looked at that layout again. If those streets are busy, people are going to get killed. Write that letter - I imagine you're not the only one who's been hit. My last suggestion - avoid this intersection, if you can.

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    Is the bike lane marked for 2-way bike traffic?
    I agree with caloso. Doesn't look like a safe situation.

    If she hit you and drove off, even if there are no injuries, it's a hit-and-run. Next time get her plate number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    No, you're right. That bike lane is on the wrong side of the road. I wouldn't ride in it, no matter what the markings and signs may say. Wow.
    I've seen marked "bike lanes" on the wrong side of the road. It's an insanely bad idea because although the driver should look where they're going as they turn, their focus will be on the line of cars in the one way street.

    You have a number of options. One is to take a different route. Safety is that important. I actually take a 3.5 mile detour (7 mi RT) just because of a couple hundred yards of road that I consider unsafe.

    If that doesn't work for you, there are a couple other options. The most obvious is to stop and cross as a ped. That will cost you a half minute tops. Another possibility which I don't think is a particularly good idea is to make your turn BEHIND the car that is turning rather than in front. Cars behind will be moving more slowly and still looking forward. Again, I don't think this is a good option, but I think it's better than pulling in front of cars the way you have been.

    BTW, do you ride with front flashers? If you don't you should, even in daylight. I think they would be especially handy in screwball traffic configurations like what you describe.
    Last edited by banerjek; 12-12-06 at 05:08 PM.

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    No, you're right. That bike lane is on the wrong side of the road. I wouldn't ride in it, no matter what the markings and signs may say. Wow.
    Actually putting the bike lane on hte other side would not make much difference unless all the 'cross streets' Ts out on that side. It the next 'cross street' Ts out on the other side then the design is better for that corner.

    Good reason not to have this kind of bike lane. I'd avoid it if all possible going against traffic.

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    If the bike lane allows you to ride against traffic on a one way street, forget about it. Go another way.
    Ride with the traffic for this exact reason. Don't expect the drivers to do any better. Assume all drivers will drive right into you. It's a normal part of bicycling, motorcycling, and driving a car. Worse of course if you suprise a driver by coming the wrong way on a bicycle.
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    I agree with the council of elders. This bike lane is poorly designed and if you travel in it against traffic, you'll continue to be vulnerable. My city has a similar bike lane and these signs were recently installed on the back of the bike route signs to discourage what you're currently doing:


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    is the bike lane a painted bike lane or a separated "side path"?

    that street seems like a bad place to put either one. a one way street? if it's a one way street then it can't be faster than 25MPH (unless it's one side of a median-separated highway). how fast is this street?

    don't be riding the wrong way down a one way street period though, in the bike lane or otherwise. that's a recipe for disaster.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epix1718
    I'll start off saying that tonight was the 2nd time I've had my bike hit by a car this semester..

    I live about 5 blocks off my campus and so its easy for me to commute to class/work on my bike. The roads are setup decently with bike paths although no driver ever seems to notice them..

    Same spot was tonights accident as the one I had earlier a couple months ago, cars pull out going right into a 1 way street where I need to turn left into. So usually the driver is only looking towards the left and not seeing me come in on their right. We'll b/c of this I decided to slow way down for a good 5 seconds before I go to the intersection, but this did nothing as I was passing the front of her car she decided it was a good time to pull into the road. Luckily the only damage done was my rear wheel being bent on my mountain bike.

    After this I stopped to see the damage and she wouldn't even acknowledge me and drove off. I'm about to the point where I am sick of how some drivers pay 0 attention to anything besides other cars on the road.

    What are some ideas for things I can do to ride safer? Would having an airzound even do anything? If this happens again I'll try to get a plate number or talk to the driver. Is there anything that could be done in the future to say replace parts? What kind of trouble could I get in if say I took a piece of scrap iron rod and hit their car?

    sorry.. just a bit frustrated

    I drive a courier truck, basically one of these, guess what, they don't seem to see these things either

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    you will mostly likely get smashed again in short period of time at this intersection.

    The problem is that this bike-path is allowing you to ride in the wrong direction.

    =(

    You definatley won't be safer by using the sidewalk either, however it just doesn't look too good for you in the long run.
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  16. #16
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    We have bicycle lanes on parallel one-way streets going opposite directions here and they are on the "wrong" side of the streets (i.e., on the left-hand side). On one of the two-way streets, there is a bike lane, but only on one side. It isn't posted as a two-way bike lane. I asked the local police whether I should ride against traffic flow in the designated bike lane or ride with traffic on the other side of the street. He told me that it is much safer and legally correct to ride with the traffic flow instead of riding against traffic flow if the bike lane is on the "wrong" side of the street.

    Legally, a bicycle rider must follow all the laws that a car driver must follow. Therefore, riding the wrong way on a one-way street is against the law (unless the bicycle lane is marked for bidirectional travel) and if a bicyclist were to be involved in an accident while doing so, the bicyclist could be ticketed for improper lane use (or even if there wasn't an accident). I'd check with local law enforcement to get their input.

    There should be a bicycle lane going in the opposite direction on a parallel one-way street. You would be better off taking that one, if it exists.

    P.S. I've been hit by cars twice, so far, while riding in these bicycle lanes. A left hook and a right hook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epix1718
    here is a pic of the street layout. I'm the blue oval in the bike path. I know the bike path seems to be on the wrong side of the road, but that is where it is, the street gets a lot of traffic especially in the morning and evenings
    The bike lane is where it's supposed to be. You're riding against traffic, in violation of the law.

    That's why you keep getting hit.



    Quote Originally Posted by epix1718
    I'm about to the point where I am sick of how some drivers pay 0 attention to anything besides other cars on the road.
    While it's true that drivers often don't keep a proper lookout, you can't very well expect them to see you when you're riding the wrong way on a one-way street.


    What are some ideas for things I can do to ride safer?
    Stop riding the wrong way on a one-way street.


    Would having an airzound even do anything? If this happens again I'll try to get a plate number or talk to the driver.
    See above.

    Is there anything that could be done in the future to say replace parts?
    Not when you're in the wrong.


    What kind of trouble could I get in if say I took a piece of scrap iron rod and hit their car?
    Lots.
    Last edited by Blue Order; 12-12-06 at 08:50 PM.

  18. #18
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    You're riding against traffic...that's the problem.
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    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  19. #19
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    The fault is either yours or the bike path's.

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    Thanks for providing the drawing of the intersection.

    In the USA, don't ride on the left side of the road, whether pavement markings encourage this or not.

    Drivers won't expect you coming from their right when they make right turns. This is the most common type of car-bike collision in the city where I live: Turning driver hits contra-flow (left side) bicyclist on the roadway or sidewalk.

    Ride right.

    If the markings encourage you to ride left/against traffic, complain to the local police or the department in charge of maintaining the road

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    You can see the car entering from the side street, so use an AirZound to make sure you have their attention.

  22. #22
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    The fault is either yours or the bike path's.
    The bike path is one the right side of the flow of traffic.

    He was riding against the flow.

    It cannot be the bike path's fault. It's just a stripe in the road.
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    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    The bike path is one the right side of the flow of traffic.

    He was riding against the flow.

    It cannot be the bike path's fault. It's just a stripe in the road.
    That is not always true. Ones like that exist with arrows going both ways, in some cases even with a dashed line down the middle.

  24. #24
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Bike lanes are not bi-directional. (ok, except a few heinous ones) I once hit a guy going the wrong way in a bike lane. He didn't know that he had to follow street signs. You must follow the direction of travel on a one way road. Use a different route.
    Bring the pain.

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    Yep more info on the bicycle lane.
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