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Old 07-02-07, 05:31 PM   #1
shutupthepunx
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bike paths and stop lights

where i live they just finished building a bike path along side a 4 lane road. (not a bike lane, it used to be a sidewalk)
if im on the bike path do i stop at green lights and hit the the button to walk or can i just go?
if i have to wait at a green light it'll just slow me down since its a busy road and the lights are almost always green.
but i was just curious if i treat it the same as a bike lane or not.
thanks.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:09 PM   #2
Zinn-X
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treat it the same as a bike lane and make sure people aren't going to turn into you before you go.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:52 PM   #3
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The green light probably has a "don't walk" symbol for the crosswalk, unless someone has activated the crossing signal. At this point on your bike, you could act like a pedestrian, and press the button to change the walk signal. This is probably your safest bet, since after all, it's basically a modified sidewalk you are on, and you're expected to cross in the crosswalk, with pedestrians.

Sometimes you have to cross on the left side of the road, which is even more challenging.

Talk about living in an auto-centric universe!
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Old 07-02-07, 06:58 PM   #4
Mr. Underbridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shutupthepunx
where i live they just finished building a bike path along side a 4 lane road. (not a bike lane, it used to be a sidewalk)
if im on the bike path do i stop at green lights and hit the the button to walk or can i just go?
if i have to wait at a green light it'll just slow me down since its a busy road and the lights are almost always green.
but i was just curious if i treat it the same as a bike lane or not.
thanks.
Be very careful. Those things can be dangerous because drivers aren't expecting fast-moving vehicles (ie, you) to be on the "sidewalk." The most dangerous will be drivers turning right from behind you - they probably won't be looking in your direction and will be apt to plow you.

I would treat it more like a sidewalk (well, one that's legal for riding) than a vehicular lane. Do what you would consider safe as a pedestrian.

You'll probably get varied advice, but I would either A) Stop, check, and go; B) Stop and wait for the ped crossing light, or C) ride in the street. Do not just pay attention to the stoplight; right-turners will nail you.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:46 PM   #5
shutupthepunx
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i figured i would probably have to use the walk sign.
bike lanes would be faster, they just tore up the road and added another lane, but oh well. im only 3 miles from where i work anyways.
thanks for youre advice everyone.
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Old 07-02-07, 09:41 PM   #6
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I have one of these on my commute and I have learned, via that best of all learning devices, the bumper of an SUV, not to enter the intersection until I have eye contact and a nod of recognition from the driver(s) turning right. If I don't get the eye contact I let them go, it's just not worth starting off my day that way, regardless of how tame the accident might be. I used to get upset about it, but now it's just another one of those saftey things I do, like fastening my seatbelt, or checking both ways before I walk across a street.

The real danger, if this is like the intersection I have, is that it is pretty much only used by bicycles and precious few at that. I have no doubt that a driver could go through this intersection for years before ever seeing someone in this crosswalk. In my experience once they haven't seen a pedestrian at an intersection for a month they write it off as an unused crosswalk. To back up this theory all of my near misses and one hit have occured in the colder months when there were very very few bicylists on this stretch.
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