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View Poll Results: Do you ever move left to communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

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  • Yes, sometimes I move left in order to communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner.

    5 13.89%
  • No, I slow or signal to communicate yielding; I may move left too, but not to communicate yielding.

    10 27.78%
  • No, I never move left when yielding to oncoming left-turners.

    10 27.78%
  • Other

    11 30.56%
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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Do you ever move left to communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

    Do you ever move left in order to communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

    EDIT (rephrase question for clarity): In a situation where you are approaching an intersection while a car driver is approaching from the opposite direction, and he is signalling to turn left, do you ever choose to yield to him and communicate this by moving left?

    If yes, can you explain how your moving left alone might communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

    ----

    EDIT: Here is the post that prompted the creation of this poll/thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I sometimes intentionally yield my right of way in this type of situation by moving further left.
    And here is the relevant portion of a post that implies agreement with Bek:

    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    ... Bek has a good idea. He's presenting a target which says "you'll get past me faster" rather than "go faster and you might hit me."

    Of course, you should know a few things about moving left in a lane, HH. See, it supposedly makes you more visible to other drivers. If another driver notices you, then you can let them go first so you're guaranteed to not get run down, smooshed, flattened, etc. by them.

    ...
    I don't get it. I'm looking for someone who can explain it.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 12-20-06 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #2
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    I'm not sure. I don't understand, sorry. Do you mean MY intent to yield (which I'm not going to, for an oncoming left turn driver)?

    I believe here are several options for this senario, depending on the conditions. I won't exhaust every option here.

    The classic approach, which is also taught in M/C safety classes, is to get ready to swerve left around the back of the car if it turns in front of you.

    edit:

    OK, now there's more to your original statement. I would say no, I hold my line. Depending on the driver's apparent attention to me, I may make an obvious move that I'm accelerating, (such as getting out of the saddle).

    I'm trying to communicate: "Hey, I understand you want to turn left, I'm trying not to hold you up."

    I'm not going to do anything that shows I may intend to yield. NEVER! I have the right of way in this situation.
    Last edited by eubi; 12-20-06 at 12:57 PM.
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  3. #3
    SSP
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    I voted "Other", because I don't yield to oncoming left-turners...it's their responsibility to yield to ME.

    However, if they fail to notice me and turn left anyway, then I'll use whatever accident avoidance maneuver seems most appropriate (e.g., quick dodge left behind them, scream real loud so they stop, emergency braking, etc.).

    FWIW, I rarely encounter this type of problem when cycling, compared to right hooks, "close shaves", etc.
    Last edited by SSP; 12-20-06 at 03:00 PM.
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  4. #4
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi
    I'm not sure. I don't understand, sorry. Do you mean MY intent to yield (which I'm not going to, for an oncoming left turn driver)?

    I believe here are several options for this senario, depending on the conditions. I won't exhaust every option here.

    The classic approach, which is also taught in M/C safety classes, is to get ready to swerve left around the back of the car if it turns in front of you.
    I've attempted to clarify the question (see OP).

    Anyway, you have a good point. I actually don't think that I yield to oncoming left turners either. I mean, either they're so much closer to the intersection that they can easily turn left before I get there, or I assert my right and ask them to yield to me (by maintaining speed, establishing eye contact, perhaps shaking my head no -- only if they're starting to inch forward -- and, possibly moving left to indicate I'm NOT yielding).

    It has been suggested in another thread that moving left in this situation can sometimes be useful for communicating yielding to the oncoming left-turner. I'm trying to find someone who does this who can also explain it. So far, nada.

  5. #5
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    I voted "Other", because I don't yield to oncoming left-turners...it's their responsibility to yield to ME.

    However, if they fail to notice me and turn left anyway, then I'll use whatever accident avoidance maneuver seems most appropriate (e.g., quick dodge left behind them, scream real loud so the stop, emergency braking, etc.).

    FWIW, I rarely encounter this type of problem when cycling, compared to right hooks, "close shaves", etc.
    Yeah, that's a good point. Why would a cyclist ever yield his right of way to a left turner, unless, perhaps, he's so accustomed to being not noticed and having his right of way violated, that he chooses to yield by default?

    Hopefully Bek or SingingSabre can clear this up, since they're the yielders who move left to yield in these situations (sometimes).

  6. #6
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    I don't yield except at yield signs. I behave predictably, yielding or being overtly nice on the road leads to confusion and problems. I sometimes have to slam on the brakes and avoid: that's not me yielding . I will move more centerish to make sure they know I'm there.

  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I couldn't really vote as I always am left/center biased thru interections when going straight, but never move left to convey that I am yielding and never give up my ROW (unless that is needed to prevent a collision or potential one)

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 12-20-06 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I couldn't really vote as I always am left/center biased thru interections when going straight, but never move left to convey that I am yielding and never give up my ROW (unless that is needed to prevent a collision or potential one)

    Al
    Concur.
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  9. #9
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I couldn't really vote as I always am left/center biased thru interections when going straight, but never move left to convey that I am yielding and never give up my ROW (unless that is needed to prevent a collision or potential one)

    Al
    +1 that is why I did not vote. Giving away our ROW only confusses the motorist.

  10. #10
    N_C
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    Depends on the situation. If he has the right of way I yield to him.

    If I do & I am the first one at the intersection with one one behind me I am in the center of the lane & stay there until I am through the intersection. Then I move right accordingly, after I get through the intersection.

    If I am the first one in line to cross & there is traffic behind me I am in the center of the lane, but move to the right as soon as I can and am able to. Depending on the intersection & roadway somewhere about the middle of the intersection is where I can start moving to the right so traffic behind me can safely pass when we get through the intersection. But I do stay in the travel lane, not the gutter or real close to the curb.

  11. #11
    On Two Wheels sam83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi
    The classic approach, which is also taught in M/C safety classes, is to get ready to swerve left around the back of the car if it turns in front of you.
    WTF! Must be the same class that teaches the classic approach that you to "lay it down" if you can't avoid a collision (Which BTW is really stupid, but takes no skill other than an improper braking technique.)

    To my knowledge, the MSF never taught this. I was certified as an instructor from '92-'98 and observed the course as recently as 2001.

  12. #12
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    WTF is wrong with just waving the driver through?
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  13. #13
    On Two Wheels sam83's Avatar
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    Sometimes people act stupid when they see a bicycle. They have trouble judging our speed or predicting our actions.

    I would think that the farther laterally you are from the oncoming car, the more difficult it might be for the driver to be able to judge if they can clear a left turn in front of you.

    Thus moving left, or closer laterally, will make it easier for the car to judge if they can clear you.

    Maybe I buy it if it means that you help the driver see that they do have time to clear you rather than actually yielding your ROW.

  14. #14
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    no need to yield the right of way to a left turner around here
    they just assume the right of way and cut in front of you

  15. #15
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    I move left not to yield, but to communicate that I acknowledge his presence and expect him to turn. Because I am further left, he doesn't need to clear as much of the intersection for me to continue unimpeded, so I'm really doing it to keep me moving along.

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    hmm, well, I can't speak for all the rest of the riders that can't viusualize this technique.

    It's a basic technique I 've used for umpteen years. It has its place in my quiver of road positioning dynamics.

    It involves a driver turning left, and a bicyclist moving left with their vector to be moving outside the approaching automobile's turn radius.

    By moving towards the outside of the cars turning radius, it communicates the riders intent to clear the vehicle behind the car.

    think of slow speed, four way stops. think of slow speed bicycling with a load, up a hill, and cars moving freely downhill to an unsignalled intersection. think of higher speed roads, with good sightlines and cars notching into fast left hand turns ahead of you a hundred yard, a hun and a half...

    it is one of my myriad techniques in use for safe bicycling. Sometimes I add a hand signal, a VC-approved ear waggle or nose wiggle, along with a helmet head tilt, but not always.

    drivers figure it out. I'm only herding them if I want them to go ahead of me anyway.

    and of course...
    I use the move left to vigorously CONTROL intersections and minimize hooking situations as well.

    Why helemet head fails to see the mechanics of this speaks of his lack of experience and nothing of mine, because i've used the 'move left to yield' in my repitiore for a couple of decades now.


    gots to think outside of the textbook, HH. Get out of the armchair and RIDE, buddy! You'll figure it out... there's more than your way to ride a bike!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 12-21-06 at 12:24 AM.
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  17. #17
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    I wish HH would stop making new threads to debate silly little things he doesn't agree with.

    So I voted "other."
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  18. #18
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    I'm not looking for a debate. I'm looking for an explanation. Can you discern the difference, SS?

    Bek's #16 is moving us in the right direction. It's certainly a much better explanation than he provided in the other thread.

    I can see doing this as you approach an intersection where the oncoming left turner is already into the turn (and thus has a "turning radius" to speak of). But at that point, doesn't the driver already have the ROW? Is this really yielding?

    What I still can't see is approaching the same interection and starting to move left to communicate yielding when the oncoming left-turner hasn't even started his turn yet.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    oh well. you can't see it. its basic traffic dynamics as far as i'm concerned.

    HH, i think you don't ride enough. I'd recommend a nice heavy, utility bike for all your shopping and grocery getting, and night riding your commutes. (have you been riding much at night, HH? or just wishful thinking about lane position at night on 50 MPH roads?)

    riding bikes is not always HH and the peloton dreamily moving 20mph en masse up a steep grade in full control of the right hand lane on a 50MPH arterial.


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    Last edited by Bekologist; 12-21-06 at 12:19 AM.
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  20. #20
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    HH, it's not exactly yielding. I'm going to assume, correct me if I'm wrong, Bek, that Bek really meant to say "to indicate adequate room for a car to turn left in front of me." The lane positioning equivalent of waving them through.
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    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  21. #21
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    I'm having trouble visualizing myself giving up the ROW just by moving left at a controlled intersection, especially if it was busy. On a low traffic country road, with a hesitant motorist about to enter a driveway I could see this working to both party's advantage, but including additional signals certainly would help.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    The following scenario would happen on occasion during my previous suburban commute. I'd be stopped at a red light on a 6 lane (3 lanes each way) 45 mph road with a bunch of other traffic. Then the light would turn green and everyone starts moving. Of course, the cars get ahead, because I can't go 45 mph. About a block ahead there would be an opposite direction motorist waiting to turn left into a residential or other minor street. He can't turn left because of the traffic that just got the green light is approaching. Once he sees that the last car in the "pack" has made it by, he starts to make his left turn, but he didn't see me when he started making his turn.

    I have found through experience that moving left in this scenario makes the driver more likely to either (1) stop and let me through the intersection, or (2) complete the left turn faster so that I can keep going without slowing down too much. Whether the lateral movement makes me more visible, or moving further left lets him know that I'm a 20 mph bicyclist and not the usual 10 mph bicyclist in that area, or gives the impression that I will pass him behind his rear bumper, or perhaps all of the above - I honestly don't know. I do know that there were some times where I didn't move left in that situation and I found myself braking hard (and I remember quite well because rode a fixed gear on that commute).

    My current suburban commute is in a newer area where all left turns must be done at a light, so this situation never happens anymore.

  23. #23
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    HH, it's not exactly yielding. I'm going to assume, correct me if I'm wrong, Bek, that Bek really meant to say "to indicate adequate room for a car to turn left in front of me." The lane positioning equivalent of waving them through.
    Yes, that makes sense, and dovetails with what LCI_Brian is saying.

    Perhaps another way to say it is it's letting them know that they have enough room and time to make their left. I still think something else must be going on though to make it clear that your intent is to go after them.

  24. #24
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    I ride in or near the center of the lane at intersections. I never considered it yielding to a driver turning left, but if the driver does violate my ROW, being in the middle of the lane gives me the room to execute either a dodge behind them or turn with them to avoid a collision, or at least minimize the impact.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do you ever move left in order to communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

    EDIT (rephrase question for clarity): In a situation where you are approaching an intersection while a car driver is approaching from the opposite direction, and he is signalling to turn left, do you ever choose to yield to him and communicate this by moving left?

    If yes, can you explain how your moving left alone might communicate yielding to an oncoming left-turner?

    ----

    EDIT: Here is the post that prompted the creation of this poll/thread:



    And here is the relevant portion of a post that implies agreement with Bek:


    I don't get it. I'm looking for someone who can explain it.
    I cannot imagine a situation where I would choose to move left to signal my intention to yield to an oncoming left turner. If the other vehicle were some huge lumbering thing, and, if I chose to yield, I would simply yield. You can do so by simply stopping, whether via track stand or putting your foot down.

    There are situations where, when first in line with intentions to turn left at a red light in heavy traffic, where I know from experience that signals are timed to assure no late, amber-light-stretching cross traffic is apt to run me over, I will purposely make certain that I am first into the intersection when the light turns green for me. I then get to the left so that I can proceed with my left turn without getting held up by an unending string of oncoming traffic. Any oncoming traffic that manages to get into the intersection before I clear it passes me on my right (this is rare, as most drivers are so slow to react when the light changes that I am long gone before they get motiviated).

    I feel this is a safer maneuver than pulling out into the middle of the intersection and sitting there as traffic whizzes past on both sides waiting for the light to go amber or red before I can complete my left turn. The latter works ok for cars. I don't think it the best for bikes. You cannot do what I describe at all intersections, and I would almost never do it at an intersection with which I am not totally familiar.

    But, in the places where I perform that maneuver, I've never, ever had a close call as a result. It gets me through the intersection safely and out of everyone else's way. Other drivers seem to understand and appreciate the way I execute the maneuver. I've had more than a few thumbs up from drivers, never so much as a toot from any.

    But, if I am not turning left, then, for me, it would be a very rare occasion if I were moving along at a decent pace into an intersection where I had the right of way, that I would give it up - and, if I did give it up, I would really give it up by slowing or stopping my own progress. Anything else, I believe, would tend to increase confusion and danger for all involved.

    Caruso

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