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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Is this a jacked up intersection or what?

    OK, the red dotted line is how I'm forced to ride. The yellow dotted line is the direction of auto traffic. As you can see, if I stay to the right, I'm risking a right hook from a car with a green light (and I'm legally in the wrong lane).

    If I move into the only lane designated for through traffic, I have to cross two lanes of moving traffic, some if it fast because drivers speed up to make the light. Then I have to hope that I drivers in the middle lane actually heed the arrows and turn right instead of going straight (which is very tempting, as I've driven through this intersection many times as well).

    It seems that the middle lane should be for cars that either want to go straight or turn right.

    Why did they do this? Did someone screw up painting the lines?

    Who do you call to report crap like this?
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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    That is stupid-- since my guess is a lot of people don't stay in their lane making the right turn... I lived near an intersection like that, and most people treated it like a normal turn, and there were all sorts of near misses as cars changed lanes during the turn. The other thing that stinks is that if someone is holding up traffic waiting to make a left, I am sure it is very tempting for other drivers to use the outer right turn lane to drive straight ahead.

    Of course the ultimate irony is that there a bike lane on the other side.

  3. #3
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    Looks like it would make more sense to have the middle lane be right and straight like you said. I'd use either the far left lane to go straight and wait to merge right until I was well past the intersection avoid anyone who decided to go straight from the middle. Or, worst case, I'd use the middle lane and position myself in the left tire track to go straight. The only thing that would keep me from doing so would be a high volume of right turning traffic from the intersecting road as they would not be expecting someone to go straight from one of those right lanes (assuming they know how it's marked).

    Is there much right turning traffic? That may be why it's marked like it is.

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    maybe the intersection could be improved to look more like this, along with other or different improvements.

    additionally, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a bike lane begin AFTER an intersection. Is this a newly expanded part of town, with newly widened roads?

    talk to your local bike advocacy group for how to get your dissatifaction formalized.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Well looks like two choices to me.
    I think I will stop there, One thing should be real easy if you have the law is to get a bicycle exemption from the right turn lane (second).
    That way I now have two legal ways.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  6. #6
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    That intersection isn't well-designed at all, not even for auto-traffic, although it's been designed ONLY with auto-traffic in mind and bicycle traffic as some kind of weak afterthought. I feel for you. Double right turn lanes are Satan's spawn for bicycles.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  7. #7
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    It seems that the middle lane should be for cars that either want to go straight or turn right.
    And then where would you bike? You'd still have to cross one lane of traffic, and into the second.

    There's no good way to handle that kind of intersection. I like how California does it - dotted bike lane crosses from the shoulder to your current bike lane, and there are signs warning cars to yield to bikes.

    Bek, that's fine, but how would that intersection look with two right turn lanes?

  8. #8
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    OK, the red dotted line is how I'm forced to ride. The yellow dotted line is the direction of auto traffic. As you can see, if I stay to the right, I'm risking a right hook from a car with a green light (and I'm legally in the wrong lane).

    If I move into the only lane designated for through traffic, I have to cross two lanes of moving traffic, some if it fast because drivers speed up to make the light. Then I have to hope that I drivers in the middle lane actually heed the arrows and turn right instead of going straight (which is very tempting, as I've driven through this intersection many times as well).

    It seems that the middle lane should be for cars that either want to go straight or turn right.

    Why did they do this? Did someone screw up painting the lines?

    Who do you call to report crap like this?
    Usually they stripe intersections like this - with double right only lanes and only one through/left lane, because of higher volumes going right than going straight and/or left. If that's how the volumes tend to work at that intersection, then it's a good design. If not, then not.

    The first thing to consider is how would you drive a slow moving motor vehicle through this intersection? In particular, would you wait until you were at the part where the right lane split into two right only lanes before you started merging left? Probably not. So why wait that long when on your bike?

    Yes, I'm suggesting you merge left earlier, before the right lane splits into two right only lanes. The lane is probably too narrow to share, so you need to assume a lane-controlling position, forcing those behind you to slow to your speed. It's only for a few seconds, and you have the right to do it (CVC 21202 and 21208 - law requiring cyclists to keep right and in the bike lane - do not apply "when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized", for precisely this reason). So, ride about in the right tire track of that left-or-straight lane. If car driver are still trying to squeeze in next to you, ride a bit further left (using a mirror helps immensely to control them, especially if you use the slow/stop signal to let them know you want them to slow down). The red dashed line in your diagram appears to track the left tire track of the leftmost right only lane. But you're still in the right turn lane, even though you're going straight. Why? I might do that once in a while, under special circumstances (no one turning right, bunch of fast traffic going straight or left), but not as a rule. I'm suggesting you ride one more lane over to the left, in the right tire track of that lane, a bit right of where the leftmost yellow dashed line is in your diagram. That's assuming you're going straight. If you're going left, you should be in the left tire track of that lane.

    So, the key is to merge left earlier, and to merge properly. Well before you get to the "split", look back over your left shoulder. If it's clear, move into position. If it's not, start negotiating for right of way. Get your arm out there letting drivers know you're looking to get out of the bike lane and into the traffic lane. Once you're there, do it again (you have one more lane to go). You should start the process early enough so that you're over in the straight-or-left lane before the right lane splits into two right turn lanes.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool
    I like how California does it - dotted bike lane crosses from the shoulder to your current bike lane, and there are signs warning cars to yield to bikes.

    Bek, that's fine, but how would that intersection look with two right turn lanes?
    probably more like the california bikelane crossover you describe. A more even merge of bike lanes across the traffic. I haven't found a two right turn lane bike lane crossover locally to photograph yet. i imagine they're out there.


    one theory I have for advancing bike lane crossovers on high speed, multilaned roads- to even include left turn bike boxes for bikes- would be 'bike zones' abundantly marked, much wider than any lane currently in america, that would serve to both

    a)inform cars bikes may be positioning across lanes, and

    b) clue cyclists into the need to crossover to more appopriate destination positioning.

    wide, marked zones maybe some kind of rumble strip infrastructure for cars leading up to the zone, but not in the bikeability part of it.

    this type of infrastructure enhancement does not currently exist in any planning document.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  10. #10
    Pedaling Backwards Mr_H's Avatar
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    I wish I could find a picture of an intersection back home where I grew up. It has 5 roads coming together, no lights, all stop signs. Man, was that a lot of fun to figure out.

    Here's a badly drawn MS Paint version of it (dont have anything better here at work). No bike lanes or crosswalks that I remember either.


  11. #11
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    OK, the red dotted line is how I'm forced to ride. The yellow dotted line is the direction of auto traffic. As you can see, if I stay to the right, I'm risking a right hook from a car with a green light (and I'm legally in the wrong lane).

    If I move into the only lane designated for through traffic, I have to cross two lanes of moving traffic, some if it fast because drivers speed up to make the light. Then I have to hope that I drivers in the middle lane actually heed the arrows and turn right instead of going straight (which is very tempting, as I've driven through this intersection many times as well).

    It seems that the middle lane should be for cars that either want to go straight or turn right.

    Why did they do this? Did someone screw up painting the lines?

    Who do you call to report crap like this?
    Just merge into the strait lane long before the right turn only lanes and proceed.

  12. #12
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Just merge into the strait lane long before the right turn only lanes and proceed.
    This is what I would do also.

  13. #13
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_H
    I wish I could find a picture of an intersection back home where I grew up. It has 5 roads coming together, no lights, all stop signs. Man, was that a lot of fun to figure out.

    Here's a badly drawn MS Paint version of it (dont have anything better here at work). No bike lanes or crosswalks that I remember either.

    Thats European cities in a nutshell...

  14. #14
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Looks like a good place for a roundabout.

    We have one like that but with 7 arms. It'll get a roundabout sometime in the future. A roundabout at a 7-armed intersection at the one place where the poor and the super wealthy have to yield to each other. That should make for endless amusement.
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  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Usually they stripe intersections like this - with double right only lanes and only one through/left lane, because of higher volumes going right than going straight and/or left. If that's how the volumes tend to work at that intersection, then it's a good design. If not, then not.
    This seems to be similar to a situation at a local road, Gilman, where the right lane is a sweeping curve onto the freeway. While the street is striped to indicate where the cyclists should be, left of the ROTL, and the far left lane is a straight only lane... motorists often use the straight thru lane and then illegally right hook cyclists, so those motorists can bypass other auto traffic that has properly queued up for the on ramp.
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  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I think the answer is to move to the left a lot earlier; roads can be striped to give riders actual room as a thru lane of traffic, and present a merging zone, or leave the riders to fend for themselves. I think the more proactive treatment to advantage all cyclists, even vehicular ones, are attempts to define road space for them to use in the case of high speed roads and turns like this.

    in the photo Gene describes, and similar to others descriptions, merging well back of the actual intersection makes sense. bikes having a thru lane of their own approaching the intersection also makes it more apparant bikes will be travelling thru the intersection, and to the left of right turners.

    Yes, it is a jacked up intersection, one that could be restriped to the advantage of all road users.
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  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    This seems to be similar to a situation at a local road, Gilman, where the right lane is a sweeping curve onto the freeway. While the street is striped to indicate where the cyclists should be, left of the ROTL, and the far left lane is a straight only lane... motorists often use the straight thru lane and then illegally right hook cyclists, so those motorists can bypass other auto traffic that has properly queued up for the on ramp.
    Just to be clear, the lane layout is:

    ||center median|| straight only lane |bikelane| right only lane | right only lane |

    Cyclists moving left early and in the bike lane report motorists commonly turning right from the straight only lane to right hook them.

    Some report that happening, though more rarely, even when they eschew the bike lane and attempt to control the straight only lane - reporting that motorists cut into the center median to pass them and then right hook. Imagined interviews with these motorists by yours truly indicates motorists who do this feel justified because cyclists are not "where they are supposed to be - in the bike lane, or on the sidewalk".

    This is a great example of a situation where a mirror is very helpful to decide where exactly to position yourself in the straight lane relative to someone approaching from behind.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    are you "imagining" things again and posting them as data, head? you ARE!

    Quote Originally Posted by hemet head
    Imagined interviews with these motorists by your truly...
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just to be clear, the lane layout is:

    ||center median|| straight only lane |bikelane| right only lane | right only lane |

    Cyclists moving left early and in the bike lane report motorists commonly turning right from the straight only lane to right hook them.

    Some report that happening, though more rarely, even when they eschew the bike lane and attempt to control the straight only lane - reporting that motorists cut into the center median to pass them and then right hook. Imagined interviews with these motorists by yours truly indicates motorists who do this feel justified because cyclists are not "where they are supposed to be - in the bike lane, or on the sidewalk".

    This is a great example of a situation where a mirror is very helpful to decide where exactly to position yourself in the straight lane relative to someone approaching from behind.
    Clearly the motorists are in the wrong though... as they are making right turns from a straight through lane, AND eschewing the queued motorists in the ROTL.

    This whole situation is perhaps best enforced with sharpshooters. Although I did post a possible solution to the SDCBC mail list.

    Even if there were no bike lane, the motorists that are doing the right hooks are in clear violation of the straight thru lane and are doing so for their own selfish reasons (to avoid the queues of motorists waiting to get on the freeway). I have seen similar situations at Sorrento Valley Road at 805, where motorists don't queue, violate the law and barge in where they want.

    That is clearly an issue of motorists violating the law, just as some motorists also use the car pool lane to bypass the signal controlled on ramps.
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  20. #20
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Clearly the motorists are in the wrong though...
    Clearly. I meant to address what cyclists could do about it, while we continue to wait, year after year, for engineering changes/improvements like the one you put forward.

    I'm concerned about cones on the BL stripe though. That will reduce "sweeping" of the bike lane even more, and probably cause it to be full of debris, and the cones will make it difficult if not dangerous for cyclists to get out of the bike lane once they are in it.

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    how about when an intersection has accomodations like the unconed bike lanes to the left of all right turning traffic, any better?

    some feel roads should remain the domain of cars, and riders that are comfortable negotiating high speed, high volume, 'jacked up' intersections.

    To address the OP's questions, is it a jacked up intersection? YES. who to complain to, check with your local advocacy group. Road striping improvements are in a constant state of change, no need to stay subjected to the status quo of poor road striping.

    I personally feel some mods to make that intersection safer for riding is appropriate, and able to be negotiatated more readily by more than just the steely headed rider.

    Roads can be restriped to advantage all road users, and that includes bicyclists in the mix of high speed traffic.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 02-20-07 at 10:32 AM.
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  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Clearly. I meant to address what cyclists could do about it, while we continue to wait, year after year, for engineering changes/improvements like the one you put forward.

    I'm concerned about cones on the BL stripe though. That will reduce "sweeping" of the bike lane even more, and probably cause it to be full of debris, and the cones will make it difficult if not dangerous for cyclists to get out of the bike lane once they are in it.
    I donno, I never seem to have problems weaving in an out of objects 12-16 feet apart. Yet most cars are at least that long and at speed this would appear to more of a visual barrier to them than to a cyclist.

    As far as the sweeping action... the cones would only be on one side of the lane, so sweeping can still occur.

    I am not convinced that this is the best solution though... but since the cones are only glued down, it would allow for a quick study.

    The best solution is a sharpshooter that takes out motorists that violate the speed limits, the rights of cyclists, and abuses the car pool lane by being the only person in the vehicle. But the cost of sharpshooters these days is pretty high.

  23. #23
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    Wow - crazy intersection

    I'm with HH (to a point) - cross one lane of traffic rather than two and block the left/through lane. If anyone is turning left - this will likely result in a blockage - in which case I would probably ride (carefully) along to the right of the blocked cars and get through.

    If there is no congestion at the intersection - i.e. everyone is turning/going through at speeds of 40 mph or more I would get to the intersection along the right, get off my bike and cross as a pedestrian.

    My first choice however (assuming the intersection isn't hopelessly congested - in which case you are probably okay) would be to find another route - double turn lanes suck!

  24. #24
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    I donno, I never seem to have problems weaving in an out of objects 12-16 feet apart.
    At 40 mph?

    As far as the sweeping action... the cones would only be on one side of the lane, so sweeping can still occur.
    The BL stripes already discourage sweeping to a great degree. Currently, there still may be some sweeping from the left from the jerks who turn right from the lane to the LEFT of the bike lane. But the guys turning right from the right only lane? They almost never, if ever, bias left into the bike lane. Effectively, the only sweeping going on is debris INTO the bike lane, from both sides. The cones can only make it worse, by reducing whatever slight amount of sweeping there may be from the jerks on the left, to nothing.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-20-07 at 04:44 PM.

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    maybe Davis actually owns street sweepers so the bicyclists don't have to depend on cars to do it....I've seen the city out sweeping the bike lanes quite often around seattle, although nothings' perfect

    cna you think of ANY way to improve this intersection, mr head?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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