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  1. #1
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    Bike lanes must stop 100 feet before intersection

    Hi all,

    I really think that the fed's need to get involved and mandate that all bike lanes end 100 feet (at least) before an intersection without a right turn only lane.

    The government would never allow a straight thru lane to be built on the right of a possible right turning lane and yet that has become common practice in the United States.

    Many cyclists are killed like this. See the latest one from Portland for more information.

    The correct way to handle this would be to leave the bike lane, signal and merge with traffic before the intersection and just take your place in line. Many people are going to feel uneasy about doing this because they feel as though they have to stay in the bike lane. Motorists sometimes feel the need to remind you that there is a bike lane over there as well.

    In my city we are going to end all the new bike lanes before the intersection (supposedly) and either install a sign telling them to merge or just leave it up to them.....some will merge and some will still filter (not knowing any better) but at least stupidity has not been mandated by the government in that situation.

    Why couldnt a cyclists family who is killed in this way sue the city? They always seem to sue the poor drivers who could not have possibly seen the cyclists passing them on the right when the light turned green.

    What say you?

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    Hi all,

    The correct way to handle this would be to leave the bike lane, signal and merge with traffic before the intersection and just take your place in line. Many people are going to feel uneasy about doing this because they feel as though they have to stay in the bike lane. Motorists sometimes feel the need to remind you that there is a bike lane over there as well.
    There needs to be massive public campaigns to remind cyclists to move away from the corners, and to tell the motoring public that this is OK and expected.

    Changing the paint won't be enough.

  3. #3
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    The federal government doesn't give a **** about bike lanes

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i disagree with gos.

    bike lanes do not have to end 100 feet before all intersections. motorists have to yield to bicyclists before turning right.

    at MAJOR intersections, with multiple traffic lanes and designated turn lanes, some modification of striping should be placed so bike lanes are not to the right of right turn only lanes.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
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    I look out for myself at all times, a painted line doesn't mean crap.

  6. #6
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    One of the options offered in the AASHTO manual on bike facilities designs is to fade out or 'bear track' the bike lane before the intersection. The width from the bike lane is used to widen the outside straight through lane. The latest vesion specifically prohibits lanes outboard of RTO lanes.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  7. #7
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    The federal government doesn't give a **** about bike lanes
    They also don't have any authority over them, unless they're on an interstate.

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I think the bike lane stripes should end 200' before intersection, at least on 35mph+ roads where it often takes longer than 100' to negotiate a safe merge out of the BL.

    On lower SL roads 100' is appropriate.

    In Arizona ending the stripe fully (not even dashed as it still defines a BL) is even more important as motorists are not allowed to travel forward in any bike lane and because the penalties for the 3ft passing law do not apply if a bike lane is present and a collision happens outside the bike lane.

    Sure it would be nice to teach 100% of motorist to watch before turning right, but until it can be guaranteed that there will be 100% compliance no cyclists should rely on a motorist to watch out for them.

    The ones who have a stake in this are the cyclists - teach them to avoid the right at all possible right turns and do not imply or enourage dangerous far right postioning with a bike lane stripe.

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 10-12-07 at 05:46 PM.

  9. #9
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    Motorists cannot and will not open their car door stand up and look behind them for a passing bicycle before turning right.

    Have any of you ever driven a dump truck or another large truck? You can pretty much see what is in front of the truck (except for the hood which blocks 1/3 of that and what is straight out the side windows.

    You sure as heck cant see what is sneaking up alongside of you or what is behind you.

    Its not like driving your toyota camry.

  10. #10
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    Its not like driving your toyota camry.
    Of course not, but I wouldn't trust a camry driver to see and react to me passing on the right either.

    Al

  11. #11
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    Around here I've seen some bike lanes cross over to the left of the right turn lane with signs "yield to bikes". I'm not sure if any of you guys have experience with these? Seems like a decent idea.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    Hi all,

    I really think that the fed's need to get involved and mandate that all bike lanes end 100 feet (at least) before an intersection without a right turn only lane.

    {SNIP**

    What say you?
    I say the federal Government should mandate the elimination of intersections; as well as the elimination of dump trucks, too! Safety First, eh?

  13. #13
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    I'm not talking about roads with right turn only lanes that cross the bike lane. In that situation its fine for a bike lane to go to the front.

    Im talking about your everyday 4 lane intersection where the light turns green, the truck turns right and the cyclists ends up dead.

    I think that a cyclist would have a really strong lawsuit against a government that installs something like that.

    Just like if there was a possible right turn lane on the left side of a straight through car lane. No one would tolerate that kind of poor design.

  14. #14
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    I appreciate your sarcasm but everyone understands what a dangerous situation this is.

  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syn0n View Post
    Around here I've seen some bike lanes cross over to the left of the right turn lane with signs "yield to bikes". I'm not sure if any of you guys have experience with these? Seems like a decent idea.
    yep, its a decent idea. Sounds like AASHTO regulation should prevent bike lanes striped to the right of right turn only lanes.


    gosmo has a point, ending bike lane stripes before some four lane intersections could minimize bicyclists not automatically choosing to be to the right of potential turning traffic, but by no means is it some kind of magic cure all against right hooks for all bicyclists.

    there are many, many minor, unsignalled street intersections along two lane streets that are and can be accomodated quite well without any cessation of the stripe, or a dashing of the stripe, or a short break in the stripe.

    the mantra 'end the bike lane stripe 100 feet at all intersections' is the typical VC diatribe against bicycling infrastructure. note gosmoso is a 'bike instructor'- wonder what cirriculum he's 'qualified' to teach?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
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    bekologist.

    I hardly think its typical. I've never heard it before.

    If your answer is for cars to look for you passing them on the right before they make a right hand turn then youre barking up the wrong tree because it aint and shouldnt happen.

    If you drive do you check your passenger side mirror for cyclists passing you before making a right hand turn??

  17. #17
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Having BLs to the left of a RTOL is widely implemented across many parts of the US. This is nothing new and clearly shown in AASTHO guidelines. Not placing BL to the right of RTOL has also been for the most part done away with in most regions and does not meet guidelines. Neither of these cases are what is being discussed here or is what the issue at hand is.

    The issue is having BLs striped to the right of a thru/RT lane where some vehicles go straight and others turn.

    I very much disagree than minor or unsignaled intersections are not a cause for concern for potential right hookers. If a right turn is possible then a right turn can and will happen. It is these cases where a right turner may most surprise a cyclist who just assumes it is a little used side street.

    I ask what is the downside to removing the BL stripe 100-200' before these minor intersections? I can see none, this short a distance is too little for motorist who are not turning to make a lateral adjustment with the momentary removal of stripe. The advantage is to not encourage cyclists to stay far right and to not wrongly tell motorist that far right is where cyclists should ride. Why wrongly educate motorists and cyclists thru improper lane markings?

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 10-12-07 at 01:32 PM.

  18. #18
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    noisebeam you are very wise.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    minor, unsignalled intersections are not going to have a line of cars either going straight or right. particularily residential driveways.

    motorists should be better advised to not right hook bicyclists, bicyclists should be better advised to not pass slowing cars on the right, and wide or narrow lanes alone do not prevent either of these situations from occuring.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    The issue is having BLs striped to the right of a thru/RT lane where some vehicles go straight and others turn.
    Al
    CA's solution to this is to require cars to merge into the bike lane up to 200 ft before they make a right turn, effectively turning the bike lane into a right-turn only for cars but a thru or right-turn for bikes. The right most regular lane is then a thru-only.

    In theory, this seems like the right idea to me: it makes the faster moving traffic (cars) merge into the slower lane rather than forcing slower moving vehicles (bikes) to merge into fast moving traffic, cut people off and generally slow the flow of traffic.

    In my experience, however, drivers are unaware of this regulation and the right hook is still a problem.

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Bek - you know very well that a slow or stopped line of cars is not a prequisite for a right hook possibilty. Right hooks can happen when a single driver overtakes and turns in front of a cyclist.

    Even when drivers know and internalize that a cyclist is there it is a more difficult judgement to make in respect to relative speed when one also needs to include decelleration and turning time. It is best to play it safe, but all too often driver who play it safe end up waiting 'overly' long for the cyclist to pass. I know I do when there are cyclists to my right and I need to turn. Perhaps I play it overly safe and have no problem waiting 'overly' long so I do it. Other drivers mis-judge and think they are well ahead of cyclist before turning, but make a serious misjudgement.

    This is not a judgement that is required in any other driving situation - two vehicles going traveling the same direction and one needing to cross over the path of the other.

    But the most important question that you need to answer is what benefit or purpose does the last 100-200' of bike lane stripe before an intersection serve? What is lost if that small section of stripe is removed?

    Al

  22. #22
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avanwyns View Post
    CA's solution to this is to require cars to merge into the bike lane up to 200 ft before they make a right turn, effectively turning the bike lane into a right-turn only for cars but a thru or right-turn for bikes. The right most regular lane is then a thru-only.
    Yes. This is true.

    The flaw in this (aside from lack of awareness and varied laws across state lines) is that the bike lane is rarely wide enough for an average width motor vehicle to travel in. Driving partly in lanes goes against normal rules of traffic. Why paint a lane that one should be in for turning when one can fit ones vehicle in it?

    Addtionally many motorist when turning at normal cornering speed do not want to go too close to the curb as it makes for a tighter radius turn.

    Al

  23. #23
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Should I have stayed in the BL assuming the driver would yield to me?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvA6jQyPP98

    Al

  24. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Look, this 'bent cyclist stayed in the BL and was right hooked. They had to slow hard to avoid hitting the turning vehicle. It was a minor non-signaled intersection.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hir5oY-h10Y
    Al

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    The flaw in this (aside from lack of awareness and varied laws across state lines) is that the bike lane is rarely wide enough for an average width motor vehicle to travel in. Driving partly in lanes goes against normal rules of traffic. Why paint a lane that one should be in for turning when one can fit ones vehicle in it?
    Al
    I agree with your first reason for opposition (lack of awareness and varied laws) but not the second (partial lanes). With or without the dotted bike lane line there, cars wanting to turn right will slide around the right hand side of cars going straight--they make their own two-lanes-in-one, so it's not an odd or confusing situation. I just wish people were aware and that the same law was in place in every state.

    The downside of removing the bike lane is forcing bike to merge into faster traffic. In places where traffic is heavy like my commute, it would be impossible for me to merge and take-the-lane at every right hand turn. So, the only option I would have left is to forego the bike lane entirely. But since I tend to travel at about 20 MPH less than the cars, I'm now a roadblock. (By CA law, I am allowed to do this, if I believe it removes me from a hazardous situation, btw) It seems unreasonable to expect that all motorists must travel at the speed that I solely decide.

    So what do I do? I stay in my bike lane and at the places along my commute where right hooks are common (3 of them), I watch the cars near me very closely and I'm hyper aware that I might need to save my butt at a moment's notice.

    So I would argue that its better to increase awareness and try to standardize the regulations rather than remove the bike lanes at the intersections. In the meantime, do whatever it takes to stay safe.

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