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View Poll Results: Stopping in a bicycle lane to let a driver merge and right turn send the wrong msg?

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  • Yes

    17 70.83%
  • No

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  1. #1
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Sending Messages

    Right Hooking
    Is the right hook really such a big threat?

    In a Bike Lane ONLY

    Does stopping or waiting for vehicles wanting to merge and right turn send the wrong message?
    Of course you have to accept the notion we send messages.
    Like ridding on a "safe sidewalk" sends the message we should all be on the sidewalk. I think this sends two messages. One hurry up merge then right turn as the cyclist won't pass (more right hooks). Two if they're slowing down the vehicle can now merge and right turn.

    Myself I choose to pass safely while looking at behavior. I don't like to go against the "traffic rules" by stopping or slowing down and waiting for traffic to merge and right turn while cycling in a bicycle lane (or even when they perform illegal actions to help me out). I have found there are plenty of things you can do to improve your safety. Slowing down to pass at a slow speed usually resolves this but creates "The Right Turn of Death". However with their speed now stopped or going to be, and my slower speed this traffic pattern can still exist and yes very awkward. I have found this never to be a problem if they wait long enough for me to get to the blind side they are going to wait me through. Keep in mind with "The Right Turn of Death" having a choice will be ilmited as they will be turning into you or merging into your lane.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  2. #2
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    It all depends on the conditions at the time.

    For example, if traffic is stopped and somebody has their right turn blinker on but they aren't merged into the bike lane (that's the law in California), I'll stop behind them (I'm still in the bike lane) so they will just go ahead and merge and make their turn. A lot of times they are waiting for me, but once they see I'm not going they'll just go, which is what they should do according to the law.

    If traffic is moving slowly, I'll try to time myself so I can stay behind somebody I know is turning right and stay in front of someone else who appears not to be (but I'll stay in the bike lane). If it turns out whoever is behind me also wants to turn right, they'll see me there and I won't get right hooked. It works every single time.

    If things are just too ambiguous, or people just aren't "getting it" I will get out of the bike lane and get behind someone in the traffic lane. I rarely have to resort to this except in some of the more touristy parts of town where people may be lost or not familiar with California laws or not familiar with roads that have so many bicycles because where they come from there are none. Like San Diego tourists (ha ha that's a joke.)
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  3. #3
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I said "no," but my true answer would be "depends." If you are filtering up a bike lane next to a bunch of stopped cars, not only does waiting for right-turners not send the wrong message, it is much safer. If you have someone rapidly overtaking you, racing you to the intersection, then, in some respects, giving way sends the wrong message. These, however, can be dangerous situations. If I do wind up giving way, it'll be accompanied by a yell at a minimum.

  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I don't pass on the right.
    I make every effort to get behind the vehicle turning (instead of waiting for it to its right)
    Ideally one should pass them on the left.

    Here is the main point: If if a driver is really cyclist aware, being safe, being courteous, they wouldn't pass the cyclist in the first place, only to then stop and then wait for them to pass on right. If they really saw and considered the cyclist they would slow down let the cyclist pass the right turn point while waiting behind them. I will never assume that those that don't see me or care.

    Just like in this example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iibXnV4AU
    The driver passed me, then at some point became aware of me and was waiting for me to pass. I refused. The question is why did they pass me in the first place instead of wating a moment till I cleared the intersection?

    Al

  5. #5
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I've been on both sides of this, as a cyclist and a driver. as a driver I have waited for a cyclist to pass me before turning, only to have the cyclist wait for me to turn before passing in kind of a standoff situation that was awkward. as a cyclist, I have had the same thing happen as Al, in which case I wait like he did.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  6. #6
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    I said Yes, but I'm having second thoughts along the lines of newbojeff. I don't know if there is a single answer for all situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    as a cyclist, I have had the same thing happen as Al, in which case I wait like he did.
    Keep in mind this is the reactive approach, a combination of reflexes and luck keeps one from getting hurt. I far prefer the proactive approach of not being right biased when passing possible right turns.
    Al

  8. #8
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    I didn't vote, it depends.

    On a bike this close to an intersection I would most likely be in the motor vehicle lane, which completely negates the situation. If for some reason I were in the BL, I would continue forward as long as the way were clear, but very carefully to watch for right hooks and opening doors.
    In the car I would wait for the cyclist, unless they were so far back they could slow very gradually, or if I felt I could reasonably complete the turn before they caught up to me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    I said "no," but my true answer would be "depends." If you are filtering up a bike lane next to a bunch of stopped cars, not only does waiting for right-turners not send the wrong message, it is much safer..
    Well if cars are stopped wouldn't that be more of a "Right turn of Death"? I was trying to seperate them.

    Noisebeam,
    I had this problem on Hatcher a lady was cycling in front of me and stopped for the same thing. I was going to pass (normal riding) her so I almost ran into her. (the cars fault) Your video does illustrate how fast things can happen. I pass especially after they stop. I give drivers alot of credit after all they have my lfie in their hands. If someone misjudges speed and space that might not be their fault after all they most likely don't ride a bike. It's the behavior I obesrve. I think the people who are aware of cyclists are cyclists for the most part.



    I was trying to make it specfic as a motor passes you and then turns right. If I got the right hook thing right. As the chance of them seeing you is better.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  10. #10
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheel
    Right Hooking
    Is the right hook really such a big threat?

    In a Bike Lane ONLY

    Does stopping or waiting for vehicles wanting to merge and right turn send the wrong message?
    Of course you have to accept the notion we send messages.
    Like ridding on a "safe sidewalk" sends the message we should all be on the sidewalk. I think this sends two messages. One hurry up merge then right turn as the cyclist won't pass (more right hooks). Two if they're slowing down the vehicle can now merge and right turn.

    Myself I choose to pass safely while looking at behavior. I don't like to go against the "traffic rules" by stopping or slowing down and waiting for traffic to merge and right turn while cycling in a bicycle lane (or even when they perform illegal actions to help me out). I have found there are plenty of things you can do to improve your safety. Slowing down to pass at a slow speed usually resolves this but creates "The Right Turn of Death". However with their speed now stopped or going to be, and my slower speed this traffic pattern can still exist and yes very awkward. I have found this never to be a problem if they wait long enough for me to get to the blind side they are going to wait me through. Keep in mind with "The Right Turn of Death" having a choice will be ilmited as they will be turning into you or merging into your lane.
    If I'm approaching an intersection (any place where right turns are authorized), in the unlikely event that I'm still in the bike lane, I'm in the process of merging out of it, so the question is moot.

    Edit: To clarify, as I look back to prepare to merge left, if someone behind me is planning on turning right, they'll let me in and will merge right as I merge left. If they're next to me passing me, we're stilll too far back for them to be slowing down for the turn; I let them pass then I merge left.

    So I never stop to let someone in the bike lane, but it's not because it would sent the "wrong message"; it's because I'm never in a position to have to do so.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 01-29-07 at 01:38 PM.

  11. #11
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    The thing is, if they stop and wait for you it's hard to be sure it's YOU they are waiting for. It could be a cat in the road or something. It's best to get eye-contact and return a smile and wave or something like that just to make sure. You can have trouble whether you try to pass someone on the left or the right. I always try to make sure people in front of me stay there until I'm certain it's ok to pass them.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I'd treat it no differently that if I were driving a car coming up the rightmost lane and seeing traffic wanting to merge right. If they haven't pissed me off by being a jerk and jumping around in the lanes & gaps like they are at Indy, I'll usually wave them to merge in front of me. It's just plain courtesy, it ain't rocket science.

    IMO, merging OUT of a lane that allows both thru and right-turning traffic is not 'vehicular'. Do other vehicles in the rightmost lane with through rights normally merge into the next lane at every intersection? Yeah, I know the reasons why we do...but I'm just sayin....
    Last edited by chipcom; 01-29-07 at 02:11 PM.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    IMO, merging OUT of a lane that allows both thru and right-turning traffic is not 'vehicular'. Do other vehicles in the rightmost lane with through rights normally merge into the next lane at every intersection? Yeah, I know the reasons why we do...but I'm just sayin....
    That is because there is no other normal* roadway design that has thru traffic to the right of a lane from where a right turn is permitted. If that was a normal roadway design, I am sure that most vehicle drivers would get out of that rightmost lane at intersections if they were not turning right.

    *There are some special cases for busses

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I'd treat it no differently that if I were driving a car coming up the rightmost lane and seeing traffic wanting to merge right. If they haven't pissed me off by being a jerk and jumping around in the lanes & gaps like they are at Indy, I'll usually wave them to merge in front of me. It's just plain courtesy, it ain't rocket science.

    IMO, merging OUT of a lane that allows both thru and right-turning traffic is not 'vehicular'. Do other vehicles in the rightmost lane with through rights normally merge into the next lane at every intersection? Yeah, I know the reasons why we do...but I'm just sayin....
    No. Other vehicles in the rightmost lane with through rights normally do not merge into the next lane at every intersection. However, this is because they NEVER, EVER, NEVER put a normal lane (not a bike lane) that allows through travel to the right of a lane that allows right turns, so drivers of other vehicles never find themselves in the situation that every cyclist is in at every intersection with a bike lane that is not to the left of a right only lane.

    If a traffic engineer ever created a through/right lane to the right of another through/right lane, he would be fired on the spot, and for good reason. Yet that's exactly what they do with bike lanes regularly, and almost nobody complains at all. It's insane.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    That is because there is no other normal* roadway design that has thru traffic to the right of a lane from where a right turn is permitted. If that was a normal roadway design, I am sure that most vehicle drivers would get out of that rightmost lane at intersections if they were not turning right.

    *There are some special cases for busses

    Al
    You know of lanes with allowed right turning that are to the left of a bus lane that allows through travel? Please name the intersection and the number of fatalities per week.

  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    and almost nobody complains at all. It's insane.
    And those that do complain about it are sometimes called anti-cyclist. Craziness on top of insanity.

    It seems every time I drop my vigilance and get temped by the bike lane, I get right hooked. Must resist, must resist. (I'm much better at that these days - seeing these videos of myself is a stark reminder of the danger)

    Al

  17. #17
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    You know of lanes with allowed right turning that are to the left of a bus lane that allows through travel? Please name the intersection and the number of fatalities per week.
    I don't, but I swear I remember someone here saying such a design existed in some east coast or mid-west dense urban area - the far right lane was designated as a Bus Only lane and other vehicles are not allowed to merge into it even for RTs. I put this disclaimer in just to nip it before someone countered my comment with a 'but...' But perhaps I misunderstood or the source was not right.

    (Here buses do use the RTOL where there is a bus stop - in this case the RTOL is labeled "Right Turn Only - Except Busses" - not the same of course as allowing RT from a lane to the left of such a RTOL.)

    Al

  18. #18
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    And those that do complain about it are sometimes called anti-cyclist. Craziness on top of insanity.

    It seems every time I drop my vigilance and get temped by the bike lane, I get right hooked. Must resist, must resist. (I'm much better at that these days - seeing these videos of myself is a stark reminder of the danger)

    Al
    LOL. I know what you mean. The tempation I keep falling for is daydreaming while riding in a bike lane, when suddenly some car blows by that I wasn't expecting, and I realize I lapsed on monitoring to the rear. As soon as that batch of cars goes by, I move back out into the traffic lane where I stay alert.

    I do stay in the bike lane at intersection approaches, however, when same direction traffic is present and is passing me way too fast to be able to turn right. But it requires a lot of vigilance, because you have to be ready to negotiate/move left if someone behind looks like they are slowing down to possibly turn right.

  19. #19
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I don't, but I swear I remember someone here saying such a design existed in some east coast or mid-west dense urban area - the far right lane was designated as a Bus Only lane and other vehicles are not allowed to merge into it even for RTs. I put this disclaimer in just to nip it before someone countered my comment with a 'but...' But perhaps I misunderstood or the source was not right.

    (Here buses do use the RTOL where there is a bus stop - in this case the RTOL is labeled "Right Turn Only - Except Busses" - not the same of course as allowing RT from a lane to the left of such a RTOL.)

    Al
    I suppose it's possible, and, I guess it actually wouldn't be nearly as bad as a bike lane since busses are much harder to overlook and inadvertently right hook than are bikes...

  20. #20
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    No. Other vehicles in the rightmost lane with through rights normally do not merge into the next lane at every intersection. However, this is because they NEVER, EVER, NEVER put a normal lane (not a bike lane) that allows through travel to the right of a lane that allows right turns, so drivers of other vehicles never find themselves in the situation that every cyclist is in at every intersection with a bike lane that is not to the left of a right only lane.

    If a traffic engineer ever created a through/right lane to the right of another through/right lane, he would be fired on the spot, and for good reason. Yet that's exactly what they do with bike lanes regularly, and almost nobody complains at all. It's insane.
    I don't disagree. (makes sure the earth hasn't stopped)

    Here's the thing....I don't care what the engineers do. Just because there is a solid line doesn't mean I'm gonna use it to filter up to the front when I KNOW that folks are going to be making a right. But it doesn't mean I'm going to merge over into the other lane either. Just like driving, I'm gonna use the sense God gave me, based on the conditions at hand, to decide how, where, when and even if, I am going to stop, filter, merge, take a pee, etc. That's the problem I have with both sides of this BL debate...there are no hard fast rules, unless YOU choose to make them that way. I think that's the point that Bek tries to make in his own way, as well as TJ my brutha.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I have been discussing the cases of same direction traffic being faster than me, driver pass me to right hook.

    In cases where I use BL to pass slow or stopped traffic, then I always yield to and stop being a potential right turner - traffic starts to move again and I merge left behind the potential turners.

    Al

  22. #22
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I do stay in the bike lane at intersection approaches, however, when same direction traffic is present and is passing me way too fast to be able to turn right. But it requires a lot of vigilance, because you have to be ready to negotiate/move left if someone behind looks like they are slowing down to possibly turn right.
    Thats what I used to do (and still do sometimes) but I find that judgement misses a small fraction of drivers who slow very fast for their right turns. Thats is how I got caught as shown in some of the right hook videos (others I purposely rode in BL to see what would happen - I have an open mind and trying different methods helps one understand)

    Al

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Thats what I used to do (and still do sometimes) but I find that judgement misses a small fraction of drivers who slow very fast for their right turns. Thats is how I got caught as shown in some of the right hook videos (others I purposely rode in BL to see what would happen - I have an open mind and trying different methods helps one understand)

    Al
    I suspect you have more frequent right turners at minor (no signal) intersections on your commute then I have on mine. I'd probably do what you do on your commute, and you'd probably do what I do on mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I don't disagree. (makes sure the earth hasn't stopped)

    Here's the thing....I don't care what the engineers do. Just because there is a solid line doesn't mean I'm gonna use it to filter up to the front when I KNOW that folks are going to be making a right. But it doesn't mean I'm going to merge over into the other lane either. Just like driving, I'm gonna use the sense God gave me, based on the conditions at hand, to decide how, where, when and even if, I am going to stop, filter, merge, take a pee, etc. That's the problem I have with both sides of this BL debate...there are no hard fast rules, unless YOU choose to make them that way. I think that's the point that Bek tries to make in his own way, as well as TJ my brutha.
    And pointing out that there are no hard fast rules would have some relevance to the discusion if anyone was arguing that there are hard/fast rules with respect to this stuff (if you disagree, please identify the hard fast rule, and who has alleged that it's hard and fast, and where they did that). But since no one is doing that, this point has no relevance here.

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    one of the tricks employed by the savvy traffic bicyclist is claiming a lane of traffic immediately between two vehicles as the forward vechicle becomes a turning or potentially turning car. staying cognizant of hookers or places where hookers are likely to pounce is savvy bicycling. Yielding to a car turning right ahead of me? YEP, its a left vector yield, into the main lanes. with skill and savvy, your speed as a rider doesn't have to necessarily drop to a stop. Stopping in a lane of traffic is a bad idea.

    "yielding" to right turning vehicles, by avoiding being caught to the right of a right turner, is EXACTLY what the big armchair book of bicycling recommends.

    Its what most of you are asserting: YIELD to avoid being caught to the right of a potentially right turning vehicle. YIELD by slowing so you are no longer to their right.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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