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  1. #1
    a big man
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    Situation-making a left turn followed by a cyclist

    I was in my car, first in line in a Left turn lane at a controlled intersection, turning from one busy street onto another. A cyclist was just behind me in the turn lane. Once I made the turn, my destination was a quick right into a parking lot, about 40 feet from the intersection.

    As I make the left turn I align my car with the right curb of the rode, so I'll be in position to make my right turn into the parking lot.

    As I turn left, the cyclist drifts farther right than me, and attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough. So I'm about to turn right with a cyclist feet from my bumper.

    What should I do?

    -wait for him/her to pass on the right?
    -continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?

    I tell ya, if he would've just taken the lane, this would be a whole lot easier.

  2. #2
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Wait for him to pass.
    No big deal.
    Your own words are " turning from one busy street onto another" he
    apparently thought he was doing what was best for that situation probably
    not aware of what you were doing. He was riding a busy area the way he thought
    it was best. You were aware of him, he probably will be more aware next time
    he rides this area. No harm, no big deal.

    heres to awareness
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    I was in my car, first in line in a Left turn lane at a controlled intersection, turning from one busy street onto another. A cyclist was just behind me in the turn lane. Once I made the turn, my destination was a quick right into a parking lot, about 40 feet from the intersection.

    As I make the left turn I align my car with the right curb of the rode, so I'll be in position to make my right turn into the parking lot.

    As I turn left, the cyclist drifts farther right than me, and attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough. So I'm about to turn right with a cyclist feet from my bumper.

    What should I do?

    -wait for him/her to pass on the right?
    -continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?

    I tell ya, if he would've just taken the lane, this would be a whole lot easier.
    Be sure you are signaling, and since you are well aware of the cyclist, simply stop and wait for them to pass. The option to stop always exists... so few motorists seem to realize it though. You can use that wide pedal near your feet to make the car stop.

    Actually if you can really "block the cyclist" then you have effectively "taken the lane..." but if you are driving a huge SUV or similar vehicle, chances are you can't get close enough to the curb.

    Remember, as a motorist, you can always slow down, you can aways stop... the effort to do so is really quite minimal... just some slight pressure to the wide pedal on the floor. I don't think you'll strain yourself or anything. Try it. Then simply relax on that wide seat you are sitting on, and look at the traffic... check your mirrors, look out the windows... where is the cyclist? Look again, make sure your desired path is well clear... and no one is approaching to cross your path... OK, now you slowly proceed. Hey, that's easy. Now you try it.

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    I'll third it. I agree with the 2 replies.

  5. #5
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    +1 to the above posts. Slow or stop to avoid right hooking the bicyclist. The first driving obligation is, after all, to avoid crashes. I'm curious as to whether or not the OP signalled a right turn in time for the cyclist to see it.

    It sounds like the bike driver wasn't exercising very good traffic judgement. He was attempting an illegal pass on the right, or he was following too closely, or, if the car driver was signalling the turn, the bike driver wasn't watching for turn signals on cars ahead of him.

  6. #6
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    As the motor vehicle driver, I'd switch from left turn signal to right turn signal as soon as I entered the intersection. Hopefully the cyclist would get the idea you're turning right after you complete your left hand turn, and not pass you on the right.

    I have an intersection like this on my bike commute (turn left, first right is about 10 feet after the intersection and is a busy gas station). It's stupid to try to pass on the right on a bike in this situation, even if they're not signaling a right turn, because it's difficult in most cars to signal a right turn while the wheel is turned to the left, and many motorists don't even think that is an option. Usually I'll stay behind the car in front of me, and if they start slowing down to make the right turn I'll pass them in the left lane after we have both cleared the intersection, after ensuring the car that is behind me and still in the intersection isn't trying to pass me on the left. In this situation it's just as easy for the cyclist to brake since we're usually doing about 10-13mph max, so if I have to brake and stay behind the right turning car until the motorist completes his/her right hand turn I will.

    Of course if the cyclist decides to be stupid and pass you on the right while you're signaling a right turn, and you see them doing it, you should stop and let them complete their dangerous maneuver if possible. If you get rear ended by another car when you stop then the dumbass that rear ended you is at fault for following too closely. If you and the cyclist collide while you are turning into the driveway that's not as straightforward.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tomcryar's Avatar
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    Watch everything, and everybody, when you are driving a car...and when you are driving a bike. In the position that you describe, the cyclist was wrong. But that doesn't let you off the hook for not paying attention.

  8. #8
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    I was in my car, first in line in a Left turn lane at a controlled intersection, turning from one busy street onto another. A cyclist was just behind me in the turn lane. Once I made the turn, my destination was a quick right into a parking lot, about 40 feet from the intersection.

    As I make the left turn I align my car with the right curb of the rode, so I'll be in position to make my right turn into the parking lot.

    As I turn left, the cyclist drifts farther right than me, and attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough. So I'm about to turn right with a cyclist feet from my bumper.

    What should I do?

    -wait for him/her to pass on the right?
    -continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?

    I tell ya, if he would've just taken the lane, this would be a whole lot easier.
    The other responses here surprise me, especially Gene, who I thought knew better.

    When preparing to make a right turn, you are legally required to drive as far right as practicable.

    California:

    Turning Upon a Highway

    22100. Except as provided in Section 22100.5 or 22101, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn upon a highway shall do so as follows:

    (a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except:

    (1) Upon a highway having three marked lanes for traffic moving in one direction that terminates at an intersecting highway accommodating traffic in both directions, the driver of a vehicle in the middle lane may turn right into any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

    (2) If a right-hand turn is made from a one-way highway at an intersection, a driver shall approach the turn as provided in this subdivision and shall complete the turn in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

    (3) Upon a highway having an additional lane or lanes marked for a right turn by appropriate signs or markings, the driver of a vehicle may turn right from any lane designated and marked for that turning movement.

    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22100.htm

    Oregon:

    ORS 811.355 states:
    “811.355 Improperly executed right turn; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of making an improperly executed right turn if the person is operating a vehicle, is intending to turn the vehicle to the right and does not proceed as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway:
    (a) In making the approach for a right turn; and
    (b) In making the right turn.
    (2) The offense described in this section, ...
    http://www.stc-law.com/bicycle.html

    So, assuming you properly signal your merge right to the "as close as practicable to the right" position, and you can make the merge safely and reasonably, you should "continue [your] line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make [your] right turn", though I wouldn't think of it as "blocking" any more than any time you need to slow down when there is someone behind you.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 12-17-07 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Add Oregon law

  9. #9
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    The other responses here surprise me, especially Gene, who I thought knew better.

    When preparing to make a right turn, you are legally required to drive as far right as possible.

    California:
    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22100.htm

    Oregon:
    http://www.stc-law.com/bicycle.html

    So, assuming you properly signal your merge right to the "as close as practicable to the right" position, and you can make the merge safely and reasonably, you should "continue [your] line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make [your] right turn", though I wouldn't think of it as "blocking" any more than any time you need to slow down when there is someone behind you.
    Emphasis added on "as far right as possible"...it's actually as close to the right as practicable before making the turn. We need to make sure we're not confusing "as far right as possible" with "as close as practicable"

    For example, if the motorist is driving a long vehicle and entering a narrow driveway, they may not be able to get as close as possible to the curb and still get into the driveway without mounting the curb with the rear tire. In that case it would be practicable for the motorist to leave a gap between their vehicle and the curb, possibly a large enough gap for a cyclist to try to squeeze through. If the cyclist is obviously trying to "shoot the gap", and the motorist sees this before starting the turning movement, the motorist has the option of stopping to let the cyclist complete the unsafe passing maneuver, or intentionally turning across the cyclist's path and hoping the cyclist stops or swerves out of the way. This may not directly apply to the op, but it's good to keep exceptions like this in mind, especially when driving around long pickup trucks, commercial vehicles, etc.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    The other responses here surprise me, especially Gene, who I thought knew better.

    When preparing to make a right turn, you are legally required to drive as far right as possible.

    California:
    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22100.htm

    Oregon:
    http://www.stc-law.com/bicycle.html

    So, assuming you properly signal your merge right to the "as close as practicable to the right" position, and you can make the merge safely and reasonably, you should "continue [your] line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make [your] right turn", though I wouldn't think of it as "blocking" any more than any time you need to slow down when there is someone behind you.
    Uh go back and read my response again... and notice that I give the same turning advice... but also mention that large SUVs and similar cars often cannot turn from that close to the curb. I even said "block the cyclist."

    Having that reading comprehension problem again?

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB502 View Post
    Emphasis added on "as far right as possible"...it's actually as close to the right as practicable before making the turn. We need to make sure we're not confusing "as far right as possible" with "as close as practicable"

    For example, if the motorist is driving a long vehicle and entering a narrow driveway, they may not be able to get as close as possible to the curb and still get into the driveway without mounting the curb with the rear tire. In that case it would be practicable for the motorist to leave a gap between their vehicle and the curb, possibly a large enough gap for a cyclist to try to squeeze through. If the cyclist is obviously trying to "shoot the gap", and the motorist sees this before starting the turning movement, the motorist has the option of stopping to let the cyclist complete the unsafe passing maneuver, or intentionally turning across the cyclist's path and hoping the cyclist stops or swerves out of the way. This may not directly apply to the op, but it's good to keep exceptions like this in mind, especially when driving around long pickup trucks, commercial vehicles, etc.
    Good catch. I can't believe I did that. I corrected my post. Thanks.

  12. #12
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post

    As I make the left turn I align my car with the right curb of the rode, so I'll be in position to make my right turn into the parking lot.

    As I turn left, the cyclist drifts farther right than me, and attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough. So I'm about to turn right with a cyclist feet from my bumper.

    What should I do?
    Both you and the cyclist made an error not uncommon to the area.

    In many states a vehicle is allowed to turn left into any lane moving in the direction of the roadway being entered. In Oregon a left turning vehicle at an intersection must turn to the closest available lane. IMO this is the best practice.

    Your turn should be slow, into the furthest left lane, followed by a shift in your signaling to indicate a right handed lane change, from the right lane proceeding to the driveway followed by a signaled turn into the driveway from a position as far right as practicable.

    Should the cyclist have followed the same rule they would have been behind you through the intersection into the same lane, your switch from left hand to right hand signaling would be clearly visible, and the cyclist could choose then to pass on your left or merge right with you and proceeding at a safe speed to accommodate your signaled right hand exit from the road.

    Had only you made the proper turn, the cyclist may have been able to proceed or yield at their judgment, as you would also make your judgment on whether to wait until the cyclist had passed to merge right, as being sure it is a safe lane change maneuver is your responsibility.

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
    In many states a vehicle is allowed to turn left into any lane moving in the direction of the roadway being entered. In Oregon a left turning vehicle at an intersection must turn to the closest available lane. IMO this is the best practice.
    In AZ the law reads:
    "If practicable the driver shall make the left turn from the left of the center of the intersection and shall make the turn to the left lane immediately available for the driver's direction of traffic."

    Note the 'If practicable.' If I am making left followed by an immediate right, it is not practicable to turn into nearest inside lane, then cut across lanes of traffic to make the right turn. Sometimes these right turns may be 20' from the intersection, which would mean, on a three same directioned lane road, a left turn followed by a right turn to cross two lanes of at 90deg. Impracticable and dangerous.

    Of course if not making an immediate right, turn into nearest inside lane, then if making a right later, merge safely across other lanes then make the right. But if making an immediate right, wait until there is no potential right turner that may be going into the same outside lane and turn into it and make your immediate right.

    As to the OP situation. Turn into outside lane - 40' is marginally to soon of a right turn to go into inside lane then merge across to outside lanes. Accommodate the cyclist - they have indicated the desire and carelessness to pass on right at potential right turn so let them. If you slow to wait they will continue to pass on right given the style of cycling they have already evidenced.

    Al

  14. #14
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Uh go back and read my response again... and notice that I give the same turning advice... but also mention that large SUVs and similar cars often cannot turn from that close to the curb. I even said "block the cyclist."

    Having that reading comprehension problem again?
    Gene,

    You quoted, the OP, who asked:
    Quote Originally Posted by justin70
    What should I do?
    1. wait for him/her to pass on the right?
    2. continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?
    To which you responded:

    Be sure you are signaling, and since you are well aware of the cyclist, simply stop and wait for them to pass. The option to stop always exists... so few motorists seem to realize it though. You can use that wide pedal near your feet to make the car stop.
    ...
    Remember, as a motorist, you can always slow down, you can aways stop... the effort to do so is really quite minimal... just [apply] some slight pressure to the wide pedal on the floor. I don't think you'll strain yourself or anything. Try it. Then simply relax on that wide seat you are sitting on, and look at the traffic... check your mirrors, look out the windows... where is the cyclist? Look again, make sure your desired path is well clear... and no one is approaching to cross your path... OK, now you slowly proceed. Hey, that's easy. Now you try it.
    That all adds up to (a), wait for him/her to pass on the right, the way I understand it. Did I miss something?

    Now, in the middle of all that, you also wrote this:

    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Actually if you can really "block the cyclist" then you have effectively "taken the lane..." but if you are driving a huge SUV or similar vehicle, chances are you can't get close enough to the curb.
    But that doesn't sound like (b), continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?, either.


    So, did I not comprehend your words, or did you not comprehend your words?

    To be clear, what is your answer to his question?

    1. wait for him/her to pass on the right
    2. continue [his] line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make [his] right turn

  15. #15
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Recycle has it right:
    The first driving obligation is, after all, to avoid crashes.
    It doesn't matter what someone should or shouldn't do, if a crash is imminent you should prevent it first before you do anything else.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  16. #16
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    As to the OP situation. Turn into outside lane - 40' is marginally to soon of a right turn to go into inside lane then merge across to outside lanes. Accommodate the cyclist - they have indicated the desire and carelessness to pass on right at potential right turn so let them. If you slow to wait they will continue to pass on right given the style of cycling they have already evidenced.
    I understand that, and would agree, except that the OP wrote that "[the cyclist] attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough." In other words, the motorist is in front of the cyclist, albeit not by much, as he commences his turn. Sounds like he could do it safely. Stopping and waiting encourages and sanctions the wrong behavior.

  17. #17
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    I understand that, and would agree, except that the OP wrote that "[the cyclist] attempts to accelerate past me, but isn't quite fast enough." In other words, the motorist is in front of the cyclist, albeit not by much, as he commences his turn. Sounds like he could do it safely. Stopping and waiting encourages and sanctions the wrong behavior.
    Depends how far ahead the motorist is - it read to be almost a side by side situation - the cyclist was feet from his bumper.

    Can he safety turn in front of accelerating cyclist? I very much doubt it.

    The real issue is it is very hard to know - I know can quite accurately sense how far I am from others when passing at relatively constant speeds. It is much harder to estimate when speeds of each party are changing rapidly - the motorist is slowing for turn, the cyclist is accelerating. That situation means it is better to wait than estimate clearance in error.

    Al

  18. #18
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    My advice would be to stick to the law in your area OP.

    At the speed considered safe by most for making these turns (-slow-) 40' is plenty of room for a stepped maneuver.

    You're under no obligation to turn quickly or accelerate upon completing your turn, and if you are signaling properly drivers behind you will see clearly why you are going the proper speed as opposed to the norm. If no one drives that way in Oregon because it -does- require a slow speed maneuver, ignore the ones behind you except where you are required to observe for everybody's safety such as in the lane change. They are behind you.

    Drive in a predictable manner and you've done all you need to do for the guy behind you, car or bike. Most people consider driving that conforms to traffic regulations to be the most predictable sort of driving. Personally, I'd be far less confident in any driver working to accommodate me from the fore simply because I'm on a bicycle. Esp. if said cyclist demonstrates a willingness to utilize a left hand turn lane on a busy thoroughfare. Do the cyclist a favour and drive the right way and forget about it however they ride, they are behind you. Your duty of care in lane changes, turns at intersections or when leaving the roadway, all places where you must check that traffic can yield to your maneuver safely or you must yield to the oncoming before making your maneuver isn't just the minimum requirement, in most cases it is ideal.

  19. #19
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
    My advice would be to stick to the law in your area OP.
    Don't forget the cyclist also needs to also turn into the nearest lane available then merge right across in stepped motion.

    If the motorist turns into nearest lane - slowly - then steps across it will further miscommunicate that the motorist is planning turning right only 40' from intersection. This will only encourage the cyclist to try to over take them on right instead of turning with and behind them.

    I know in AZ if I turned into inside lane - slowly - the driver turning left behind me will turn into middle or outside lane as I am or should be merging toward outside lane. Just like the cyclist was trying to do illegally.

    Anyway, can you envision the path of a left turn followed by a right turn in 40' There is hardly a path that would be considered 'merging' across, only 'cutting across': Turn into inside lane. Car enters it for the car's 10' length. Then you have to merge car laterally in the next 20' to be at start of right turn with nose of car at turn point and rear 10' behind it.

    Al

  20. #20
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
    Had only you made the proper turn, the cyclist may have been able to proceed or yield at their judgment, as you would also make your judgment on whether to wait until the cyclist had passed to merge right, as being sure it is a safe lane change maneuver is your responsibility.
    Don't accommodate things behind you outside your duty of care = balance.

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Gene,

    You quoted, the OP, who asked:

    To which you responded:

    Be sure you are signaling, and since you are well aware of the cyclist, simply stop and wait for them to pass. The option to stop always exists... so few motorists seem to realize it though. You can use that wide pedal near your feet to make the car stop.
    ...
    Remember, as a motorist, you can always slow down, you can aways stop... the effort to do so is really quite minimal... just [apply] some slight pressure to the wide pedal on the floor. I don't think you'll strain yourself or anything. Try it. Then simply relax on that wide seat you are sitting on, and look at the traffic... check your mirrors, look out the windows... where is the cyclist? Look again, make sure your desired path is well clear... and no one is approaching to cross your path... OK, now you slowly proceed. Hey, that's easy. Now you try it.
    That all adds up to (a), wait for him/her to pass on the right, the way I understand it. Did I miss something?

    Now, in the middle of all that, you also wrote this:


    But that doesn't sound like (b), continue my line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make my right turn?, either.


    So, did I not comprehend your words, or did you not comprehend your words?

    To be clear, what is your answer to his question?

    1. wait for him/her to pass on the right
    2. continue [his] line to the right edge of the road by the curb, blocking the cyclist, and make [his] right turn
    My answer is both.

    I did not cite law as you did, but I gave a simple practical answer that included the fact that many larger vehicles cannot get close to the curb and make a turn... the latter situation which you were enjoined by others to correct in your statement that focused on law, and not reality.

    The cyclist is wrong, and several responders pointed that out... but we also made the point that the OP, a motorist, who was aware of the cyclist, should therefore do what they can to ensure that they did not hit the cyclist.

    Since others agreed with my comment, I suggest that you have the comprehension issue. Quit trying to think like a lawyer (or software writer) and perhaps the lack of logic in the real world, will start to sink in.

  22. #22
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    The OP asked what he should do, not in the past tense. This indicates to me he intends to consider the information in replies in future, similar traffic situations. Hindsight is 20/20 except when trying to determine what the vehicle behind you is doing at any given time. Making the proper turn maneuver is what the OP should consider in a similar situation, in this instance it potentially would have made the question moot.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
    The OP asked what he should do, not in the past tense. This indicates to me he intends to consider the information in replies in future, similar traffic situations. Hindsight is 20/20 except when trying to determine what the vehicle behind you is doing at any given time. Making the proper turn maneuver is what the OP should consider in a similar situation, in this instance it potentially would have made the question moot.
    What exactly is the "proper turn maneuver?"

    Can you describe the "proper turn maneuver" for a VW? For an SUV... how about a 28 foot motor home... how about a 40 foot tractor trailer rig.

    Does the "proper turn maneuver" differ for any of these vehicles in any way?

    Seems to me the OP was trying to do whatever they could to avoid a collision with a foolish cyclist. Perhaps the foolish cyclist should admonished, not the motorist who was well aware of the situation.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    My answer is both.
    How convenient. Anyway, if you think it's clear in your original post that your answer is "both", we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I did not cite law as you did, but I gave a simple practical answer that included the fact that many larger vehicles cannot get close to the curb and make a turn...
    Duh. So what?

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    the latter situation which you were enjoined by others to correct in your statement that focused on law, and not reality.
    "Enjoined by others to correct"? You mean the possible/practicable typo???

    The focus of my post was on reality, it just happened to be supported by law.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The cyclist is wrong, and several responders pointed that out... but we also made the point that the OP, a motorist, who was aware of the cyclist, should therefore do what they can to ensure that they did not hit the cyclist.
    No one disagrees with that. Obviously if there is a risk of collision he shouldn't cut off the cyclist. I gave the OP the credit to assume he wasn't asking: should I cut him off even it might kill him?.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Since others agreed with my comment, I suggest that you have the comprehension issue.
    The only comprehension issue I have with your comment is trying to see how you're suggesting that he should go ahead and turn right from a position that is "as far right as practicable". I suggest the people that agree with it agree with it because they don't see it saying that either.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Quit trying to think like a lawyer (or software writer) and perhaps the lack of logic in the real world, will start to sink in.
    What are you talking about?

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post

    What are you talking about?
    Ah yes, the usual exploding of the reply into little bits... have a good time with it. It's not worth my time.

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