Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Bikes: Klein Attitude(off-road), Cannondale M700(commuter), Nishiki Performance Equipe(Roadie)
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I'm seeing a very bad trend at an intersection on my commute. Let me explain.
There's an intersection controlled by traffic lights. There are two lanes on my side of the road. One lane is designated for straight and left turns only, and a right lane designated right turn only. So, I do what I am legally allowed to do and take control of the straight/left turn lane and wait for the light. As the light turns green I look over my right shoulder, and sure enough someone "timed" the light and just blasts straight thru the right turn lane at ~20 mph. Motorists are tempted to do this because on the other side of the intersection are two lanes.
Map (I am heading NW waiting to cross HWY 61. Also there are pavement arrows not depicted in the picture.)
There a few good take-aways from this experience for me.
1 - Taking control of a lane I am legally entitled to offers protection. In this case I avoid positioning myself for a right hook if I stayed in the right turn lane(illegal anyway). I wish it was an optional straight/right turn lane.
2 - Never, ever, assume motorists will obey traffic laws. This is the 3rd occurrence I have witnessed at the intersection.
3 - Motorists can come from out of nowhere - as in this case timing the light. Had I begun to merge to the right I most would have been seriously injured or killed. Experience and street smarts save me time and again.
I'm really getting tire of this. Now for my question. Is it worth while for me to get the plate number and report it to the local police? I don't mean to play traffic cop here, but some people just blatantly disregard the turn lane and put my life in danger just to save seconds. I'm not even sure it would get "noted" on the person's record. I'm almost tempted to take control of the right turn lane to go straight, but then I'd be as guilty as any other motorist breaking the law. Perhaps I should make a complaint to the city to make it a optional straight/right turn lane - problem solved in that case.
Sorry to be long-winded, and I hope I making some sense here.
Thanks for any advice.