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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Do you agree with the BOLD statement in the OP?
Agree. 4 25.00%
Agree. And I would add that it also desensitizes cyclists to close passes. 4 25.00%
Disagree (explain why in post). 8 50.00%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-12-07, 07:45 PM   #1
Helmet Head
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Agree or Disagree (2 of 2)

In Agree or Disagree (1 of 2) over 50% of the 46 respondents so far agree with the following statement:
As a motorist approaches from behind a cyclist riding relatively slowly up ahead in space adjacent to, but not in, the motorist's intended line of travel, the motorist should take notice of the cyclist, slow down some, and possibly adjust left prior to overtaking the cyclist.
Another 6% said they agreed in general, but not in all cases.

An additional 20% also agreed, but with the caveat that such adjusment is often not required when the "cyclist is traveling in space separated from the motorist's line of travel by a bike lane stripe or shoulder stripe".

Now, in Part 2 of 2, we consider the following statement.
Repeated exposure to the act of passing cyclists who are riding in very close adjacent space, but separated by a painted bike lane or shoulder stripe, habituates motorists to such an experience, and makes them accustomed and insensitive to passing cyclists closely without adjusting laterally or slowing down.
Do you:
  1. Agree.
  2. Agree. And I would add that it also desensitizes cyclists to close passes.
  3. Disagree (explain why in post).

Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-12-07 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 02-12-07, 07:50 PM   #2
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what about when I'm riding my bike in another lane of traffic?
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Old 02-12-07, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
what about when I'm riding my bike in another lane of traffic?
In that case the lateral passing/buffer distance is usually 6 feet or more - no need for any kind of adjustment in most cases.

This is about close passes.

Now, if you're riding (or driving a car for that matter) on or near the left edge stripe of the traffic lane, much like cyclists ride near or on the BL or shoulder stripe (because, except in unusally wide BLs and shoulders, riding further right is often not practical), then, yeah, I would think some adjustment would be appropriate by the motorist passing in the adjacent lane to the left.

A typical BL, for example, is 4 or maybe 5 feet wide. A typical cyclist is about 2 feet wide. So even if his tire is tracking in the center of the 5' lane, his left side is about about 16 inches from the stripe. In a 4' BL the centered cyclist is only a foot from the stripe. And anyone riding left of center, as most cyclists do due to the inherent debris-collecting nature inherent in all bike lanes, he's less than a foot from that stripe.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-12-07 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 02-12-07, 07:56 PM   #4
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what about in a wide bike lane with good buffer.
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Old 02-12-07, 08:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
what about in a wide bike lane with good buffer.
How wide?

If it's 8 feet or more, and it's designed and cleaned such that cyclists typically ride in the middle of it with at least a 3' buffer from the stripe, then the close pass issue does not apply, but getting the attention of motorists (to inhibit them from choosing to attend to a distraction so that they don't inadvertently drift into the bike lane) is still worth considering. Also, the relative inconspicuity of riding where cross traffic is probably not paying much attention, and the relatively inferior sight lines from riding so far right, remain an issue.
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Old 02-12-07, 08:10 PM   #6
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what is this polls' hypothesis?
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Old 02-12-07, 09:05 PM   #7
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STRONGLY disagree based on empircal evidence and just plain horse sense. People move over more when there's a bike lane and they move over less when there is not. But the fact of the matter is, they don't really have to move over and I don't expect them to or need them to.

So, how is your Lord and Master, Mr. American Dream Coalition, going to use all this info you are gathering in his speeches on pro-car/pro-sprawl development? Or are you gathering all this info in order to better tailor his message so that more cyclists will drink his pro-car/pro-sprawl koolaid?
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Old 02-12-07, 09:14 PM   #8
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so, if i'm in another lane, the car should slow down, but if i'm sharing a lane, the car shouldn't? wait a minute.....what is this poll trying to say?

i think it's comin' in loaded.........
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Old 02-12-07, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Repeated exposure to the act of passing cyclists who are riding in very close adjacent space, but separated by a painted bike lane or shoulder stripe, habituates motorists to such an experience, and makes them accustomed and insensitive to passing cyclists closely without adjusting laterally or slowing down.
Aren't motorists passing one another under the above circumstances all time?

Aren't motorists most often only separated from a head on collision with an oncoming car separated only by a yellow line?

Aren't motorists passing in lanes marked by broken white lines?

Aren't motorists driving near the edge of highways only separated by a white line?

Don't motorists even park in parking lots using the lines as guides between them and the nearest parked car?

Does this make them "insensitive" to oncoming traffic? To autos that they pass? To the edges of highways and guardrails? To the cars that they park next to?



I don't understand the logic of this question
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Old 02-12-07, 09:41 PM   #10
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I should think that slowing down for each on-coming car would do you more good than slowing down for same direction bicycle traffic. I mean, which is going to hurt more if you hit it at full speed?
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Old 02-12-07, 09:42 PM   #11
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I hear Elvis in the background.... "yes, it's coming in loaded...."
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Old 02-12-07, 09:44 PM   #12
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where am I in the lane again? am I in another lane? and what about the oncoming traffic, am i supossed to be oncoming, being passed, passing, or overtaken? maybe its' "overtook"

helmet head, could you help confuse this a little bit more? where am I in the lane again? am I wearing a high vis vest? are the drivers drunk? am I? no, wait, i don't drink...
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Old 02-13-07, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzman
Aren't motorists passing one another under the above circumstances all time?

Aren't motorists most often only separated from a head on collision with an oncoming car separated only by a yellow line?

Aren't motorists passing in lanes marked by broken white lines?

Aren't motorists driving near the edge of highways only separated by a white line?

Don't motorists even park in parking lots using the lines as guides between them and the nearest parked car?

Does this make them "insensitive" to oncoming traffic? To autos that they pass? To the edges of highways and guardrails? To the cars that they park next to?



I don't understand the logic of this question
This question is asking you to explore the idea that people in cars should not pass people riding on bicycles with the same indifference that they pass people in cars.

Do you agree or disagree?
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Old 02-13-07, 07:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This question is asking you to explore the idea that people in cars should not pass people riding on bicycles with the same indifference that they pass people in cars.

Do you agree or disagree?
Well, duh...
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Old 02-13-07, 08:03 AM   #15
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This is yet another poll trying to lead us down the path that cyclists are stupid, error-prone and unpredictable, thus drivers must give us special attention because they are also stupid, error-prone and unpredictable - but only when passing cyclists, not other cars.
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Old 02-13-07, 08:19 AM   #16
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Old 02-13-07, 08:40 AM   #17
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Poll 1 + poll 2=Bike lanes are bad.

In general, the conclusion you are pointing to is true to some extent. Many car drivers like to rely on hard and fast rules. I'm in my lane, clearly marked by white lines, therefore I can do anything within this lane because its mine and anyone coming into my lane is violating my right of way and if anything happens, I won't be at fault.

Not a smart way to drive, but very common in my experience.

Just a suggestion, HH. Instead of running the poll as if it were a deposition in court "So you admit that ......", just state your theory and ask people to comment. People don't like to be bashed over the head. You might get less knee jerk negative reactions and more constructive commentary.
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Old 02-13-07, 09:13 AM   #18
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Drivers should only slow down and take extra care if I'm a child. Otherwise it simply isn't necessary unless we're on a collision course.

I certainly don't slow down to pass other vehicles, why should anybody else?
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Old 02-13-07, 11:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Drivers should only slow down and take extra care if I'm a child. Otherwise it simply isn't necessary unless we're on a collision course.

I certainly don't slow down to pass other vehicles, why should anybody else?
true true true!!
we are (most of us at least) adults and kn ow what we are doing
if we didn't know what we were doing we'd not be in the road in the first place
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Old 02-13-07, 11:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Drivers should only slow down and take extra care if I'm a child. Otherwise it simply isn't necessary unless we're on a collision course.

I certainly don't slow down to pass other vehicles, why should anybody else?
My niece is 5'4" and not even 10 years old yet. If she was out riding her bike, could you say for sure that she was not an adult as you are passing by with a 45mph speed differential?
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Old 02-13-07, 11:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Poll 1 + poll 2=Bike lanes are bad.
That is not a conclusion I have stated in either poll. Why do you bring this up?

Quote:
In general, the conclusion you are pointing to is true to some extent. Many car drivers like to rely on hard and fast rules. I'm in my lane, clearly marked by white lines, therefore I can do anything within this lane because its mine and anyone coming into my lane is violating my right of way and if anything happens, I won't be at fault.
Why are so many here reluctant to admit this rather obvious fact?

Quote:
Just a suggestion, HH. Instead of running the poll as if it were a deposition in court "So you admit that ......", just state your theory and ask people to comment. People don't like to be bashed over the head. You might get less knee jerk negative reactions and more constructive commentary.
I'm just asking whether folks agree or disgree with a fairly simple and straightforward statement.

If anyone feels this is being "bashed over the head", or is like taking a deposition in court, I don't understand why.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
This is yet another poll trying to lead us down the path that cyclists are stupid, error-prone and unpredictable, thus drivers must give us special attention because they are also stupid, error-prone and unpredictable - but only when passing cyclists, not other cars.
Is there an indication of whether you agree or disagree with the statement in bold in the OP in there somewhere, and an explanation of why or why not, because I can't see it, nor can I see the relevance of this comment to this thread.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951
My niece is 5'4" and not even 10 years old yet. If she was out riding her bike, could you say for sure that she was not an adult as you are passing by with a 45mph speed differential?
I would think that, just as you'd have to wait until you are a certain age to drive on public streets, the parents of that 10 year old would keep her off of a 50mph street. It's kinda sorta one of the jobs of a parent.

As for tagging her as a child from a car, yea, there are ways to tell, and if you cannot tell from looking at her figure or from seeing how she rides a bike, then it probably doesn't matter. Some 10 year olds are mature in that way. It's also kinda sorta the responsibility of a driver to err in the direction of caution. Most drivers around here do that, though I've seen other places where they don't, so I think it is a cultural thing.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Is there an indication of whether you agree or disagree with the statement in bold in the OP in there somewhere, and an explanation of why or why not, because I can't see it, nor can I see the relevance of this comment to this thread.
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Old 02-13-07, 12:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Drivers should only slow down and take extra care if I'm a child. Otherwise it simply isn't necessary unless we're on a collision course.

I certainly don't slow down to pass other vehicles, why should anybody else?
Just to be clear, are you saying people in cars should pass people riding on bicycles with the same indifference that they pass people in adjacent lanes in cars?

Do you think that none of the following factors should be taken into account when a person in a car is passing a person on a bicycle?
  • the tendency of most cyclists to ride near or on the BL or shoulder stripe due to rubble/debris collecting in the BL/shoulder as opposed to a few feet from the stripe where most vehicles are normally driven in normal traffic lanes.
  • the usually high relative difference in speed between the passer (the motorist) and the passee (the cyclist)
  • the need for cyclists to balance to say upright and their vulnerability to being knocked off course/balance due to wind from high speed passes
  • the cyclist's relative vulnerability due to "lack of cage"
  • the need of cyclists to sometimes swerve to avoid an object that they did not see soon enough
  • the tendency of many cyclists to suddenly merge left without remembering to look back first (as you admitted to doing recently)

None of these factors should be taken into account, and people in cars should pass people on bicycles in adjacent space with the same indifference that they pass people in cars in adjacent lanes? That's your position? How do you advocate for cyclists from such a position?
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