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Old 03-04-07, 10:58 AM   #1
Daily Commute
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AC/VC/?C, How could a striped lane have made me safer at this intersection?

Could a striped lane have made this situation safer? If so, how? This is a 25 mph downtown street. This is from a thread I started last year:

Quote:
Yesterday in downtown, I was in the right tire track of the lane to the left of a RTOL. An SUV in the RTOL swerved right at me from the side to avoid a car that had stupidly stopped in the RTOL. I had the full lane, so I just swerved to the left edge of the traffic lane. At the light, the SUV driver was VERY apologetic. The apology was accepted, and we moved on.

But then I thought, if I had been in a bike lane, I would have had to swerve into the traffic lane to the left, which may or may not have been clear. But thanks to the fact that I was using a full traffic lane, I had 11' or so of space to avoid an accident, instead of 5'.
Here's a map of the location. I was heading North on High approaching Chestnut.

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Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-04-07 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-04-07, 11:01 AM   #2
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how far did you have to swerve? 11 feet? is that even possible? complaining about nonexistant facilities? wow, talk about fearmongering.
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Old 03-04-07, 11:06 AM   #3
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As I said in the OP, I swerved to the far left side of the right traffic lane. I needed enough space to accomodate me and the SUV. How many segregated lanes have that much space? And again, how could a segregated lane have made me safer?

Edit: As to worrying about non-existent bike lanes, there is talk about a massive line-striping project downtown. But all downtown traffic planning is on hold while the Powers That Be decide how to fix the I70/71 corrider through the south end of downtown. It is one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the country, and fixing it will affect traffic flow on all of the streets around it (which affects all the streets around them, etc.).
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Old 03-04-07, 11:16 AM   #4
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i'm assuming the suv swerved after deciding you WEREN'T traffic and the lane was clear? As far as the SUV was concerned, you DIDN'T 'have the full lane.' Far from it.

Bike lanes add cognification that a bike might very well be alongside, and cars need to take greater care before crossing a bike lane at intersections nonexistant in your original post. instead of just swerving into an 'empty' travel lane void of other large vehicles.

Then, we could extrapolate the European paradigm of operation of vehicles around bikes and bike facilities, if you want to talk about non-existant road conditions, daliy....
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Old 03-04-07, 11:19 AM   #5
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That's an easy one. We all know that SUV drivers are anti-cyclists. So if there was a painted bike lane stripe, the SUV driver would have avoided that road all-together because of the two-wheel-phobia... the same way that <insert skin color here> people avoid an area of town known to be a <insert skin color here> part of town.

asked and answered

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Old 03-04-07, 11:40 AM   #6
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Bek, are you saying that a striped bicycle lane (in which the SUV driver only has to fear being hit by a bicycle) is more likely to deter careless lane changing than a regular traffic lane (in which the SUV driver has to fear being hit by another SUV)?
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Old 03-04-07, 11:44 AM   #7
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You started this thread, dude. You were in a traffic lane deemed clear enough for an SUV to swerve into and were not controlling the lane, despite your illusion of control.

Lets' apply the European paradigm of safe auto operation around bikes, if you want to debate nonexistant faciltiies and driver skillsets, DC. driver has to fear being hit by a bicycle, a bunk premise. shouldn't the driver fear HITTING a cyclist as well?

The driver wasn't too worried about you in the travel lane now, were they? despite your 'control'. Explain THAT.
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Old 03-04-07, 11:52 AM   #8
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Who said anything about "controlling" the lane? Not me. Part of the reason I am skeptical about the value of segregated lanes is that they tend only to be about 5' wide. Why ride in 5' when you can have 11' or 14'? A full traffic lane gives us more room to maneuver. Here, if I had on the left edge of a 5' lane, I would have had only inches of escape room before moving into another lane (in which there might be traffic).

Go ahead, make your case about how "the European paradigm of safe auto operation around bikes" means that a segregated lane here would have helped. I don't understand what you mean by that. But I may not be able to respond until tomorrow.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:06 PM   #9
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its your complaint about a SUV swerving into you despite your use of the full lane, brother.

It's not MY beef.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me, in post #4
I'm assuming the suv swerved after deciding you WEREN'T traffic and the lane was clear? As far as the SUV was concerned, you DIDN'T 'have the full lane.' Far from it.

Bike lanes add cognification that a bike might very well be alongside, and cars need to take greater care before crossing a bike lane at intersections(nonexistant in your original post.) instead of just swerving into an 'empty' travel lane void of other large vehicles.
again, your complaint and not MY beef.

Last edited by Bekologist; 03-04-07 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:26 PM   #10
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Cycling facilities are not designed to solve the problems that arrise from stupid motorists doing stupid things. There is no facility to prevent that. Even your precious non-facility road could not prevent it.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:45 PM   #11
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Considering that around here the bike lane would either:
a. not exist at all when a RTOL is present
b. would be to the right of the RTOL
it wouldn't be an issue. In the case of a striped bike lane between the RTOL and the thru lane, yep you don't have the same room as normal traffic lane. But of course one's accident avoidance options should be dictated by conditions, not lines.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bek
Bike lanes add cognification that a bike might very well be alongside, and cars need to take greater care before crossing a bike lane at intersections nonexistant in your original post. instead of just swerving into an 'empty' travel lane void of other large vehicles.
I think that there is some element of truth to this. I will add that that such markings remind drivers that cyclists belong on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bek
The driver wasn't too worried about you in the travel lane now, were they? despite your 'control'. Explain THAT
Well, we are getting into driver psychology here ... or at least my rough definition of it. My guess is that a lot of drivers--particularly in a relatively low-speed situation for cars--would swerve to avoid the obstacle without looking. In other words, the SUV would have swerved even if a car was in the lane.

Given that, it was better for DC to control the lane.

Let me take back that last sentence ... I can see a situation where it would have been better to brake. Especially if there is a bike area where one could expect no cars to be following. But if the car was directly to DC's right then the above sentence applies.

EDIT: Re-reading the post, let me clarify that I think that there is an element of randomness here. Sometimes the same individual will swerve only after looking ... sometimes without looking. I think that the bicycle markings would make it less likely that a person would swerve. Given that the person swerved, it was a good thing that DC had the entire lane. Again, this is just my anecdotal observations.

Last edited by invisiblehand; 03-04-07 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
But of course one's accident avoidance options should be dictated by conditions, not lines.
Very true.

One particular reason why I don't care for striped bike lanes but prefer the three arrows on the floor with a bike (jeez, I can never remember their name ...)
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Old 03-04-07, 08:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Could a striped lane have made this situation safer? If so, how? This is a 25 mph downtown street.
It can't. I have never seen a 25MPH street that could use a bike lane. 'Nuff said.
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Old 03-05-07, 04:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
. . . In the case of a striped bike lane between the RTOL and the thru lane, yep you don't have the same room as normal traffic lane.
By most standards, a striped bike lane goes to the left of a RTOL.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
But of course one's accident avoidance options should be dictated by conditions, not lines.
Which is why cyclists should generally not ride in striped lanes in 25 mph downtown traffic near any curb cut. Default to the right tire track, then your "accident avoidance options (will) be dictated by conditions, not lines."


Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Cycling facilities are not designed to solve the problems that arrise from stupid motorists doing stupid things. There is no facility to prevent that. Even your precious non-facility road could not prevent it.
The "non-faciltity road" did "solve the problems" that arose from the "stupid motorist" doing a "stupid thing." It gave me plenty of 11-14' of escape space to share with an SUV rather than 5'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
It can't. I have never seen a 25MPH street that could use a bike lane. 'Nuff said.
That's pretty much what I think, but I wanted to see if any of the strong supporters of stiped lanes could explain how one would have helped here.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-05-07 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 03-05-07, 06:01 AM   #16
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Despite your use of the full lane- what is commonly considered 'controlling the lane' by vehicular riders- the SUV driver still felt they could swerve into it - despite your use of the lane. Interesting how THAT works.

However, bike lanes add cognification that a bike might very well be alongside, and cars need to take greater care before crossing a bike lane at intersections. "CARS YIELD TO BIKES" are common signs around this type of accomodation- instead of just swerving into an 'empty' travel lane void of other large vehicles.


Who cares anyway? It happened to you last year; you're just posting more of your M.O. antifacilties slant in A&S.
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Old 03-05-07, 06:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
By most standards, a striped bike lane goes to the left of a RTOL.
Yeah, but this is Ohio.
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Old 03-05-07, 07:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
It can't. I have never seen a 25MPH street that could use a bike lane. 'Nuff said.
I agree with this.

However, it should also be pointed out that, DC's complaint against bike lanes in this situation would apply equally to WOLs.

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Old 03-05-07, 08:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist

"CARS YIELD TO BIKES" are common signs around this type of accomodation- instead of just swerving into an 'empty' travel lane void of other large vehicles.
Perhaps it is the sign that reminds motorists that they have to yield to cyclists that does more than a stripe on the road.

I have said so often that motorists simply do not know that cyclists have the same rights to the road that motorists do... and because of that, motorists rationalize so much bad behaviour.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopy
I agree with this.

However, it should also be pointed out that, DC's complaint against bike lanes in this situation would apply equally to WOLs.

Jalopy
I thought about that. But how do roads with wide outside lanes handle right turn only lanes?
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Old 03-05-07, 10:21 AM   #21
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I think the extra space gets eaten up by the right turn only lane.

Thing is, if a motorist has to take an evasive action, his best bet is to serve into same direction traffic, not head-on traffic, so lane lines aren't going to do much of anything. Extra space might allow the guy being swerved into some extra room to avoid a collision, but that extra space could have a bike lane on it or not.

In any case, if one dumb thing happens, there's not a lot of room to think, so usually people just act. At most they might have time to see a large object in their way, but a bicycle? Not as likely.
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Old 03-07-07, 01:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand
... how do roads with wide outside lanes handle right turn only lanes?
It might help to think of a WOL as a OL + BL pair, but without the BL stripe. Just as OLs and BLs are striped to the left of RTOLs, WOLs should also be striped to the left of RTOLs.
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Old 03-07-07, 04:07 AM   #23
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I agree that a WOL would not work here for the same reason a striped lane wouldn't work. I have repeatedly said that I prefer narrow outside lanes on multi-lane roads. Those require cyclists to use the full lane, and motorists who want to pass have to use another lane.

Here, I think the best solution is what we have--two regular traffic lanes and a RTOL.
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Old 03-07-07, 09:10 AM   #24
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and your 'preference' for narrow lanes, in crowded congested areas, will do NOTHING to bring greater numbers of cyclists to ride bikes in traffic. More so on high speed arterials with narrow lanes than city streets 'marked' 25mph, but I digress.

Is this your attempt to damnify facilties for the crowd, dailycommute?

seems you're not really concerned about the fact an SUV swerved into you while you were using a full lane of traffic.
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Old 03-08-07, 05:49 AM   #25
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I recognize that traffic will sometimes swerve. That's why I think a road design should gives us more than a few inches of escape space (which is what a cyclist riding on the left edge of a striped bike lane would have) on 25 mph streets with lots of intersections.
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