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Thread: "Signal!"

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    1 MILE TO TOP qpliu's Avatar
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    "Signal!"

    I was in a bike lane approaching a low-traffic intersection where the majority of the traffic turns left. I was also going to turn left, so I looked back and a car was approaching rapidly. This was pretty normal, and I figured I'd pull in behind the car before getting to the stop sign. The bike lane stripe becomes broken approaching the intersection, and, in the absence of traffic, I usually move into the lane where the solid stripe ends.

    However, the car pulled next to me and slowed to my speed, and the driver yelled, "Signal!" at me. The car kept me blocked in the bike lane as I reached the intersection, so I looked at the driver after stopping. He was looking and me and threw his hands in the air. I didn't know what his problem was, and didn't want to deal with him, so I cut in front of him and turned left.

    Moments later, he went by and yelled, "Signal!" again. He sounded really frustrated.

    WTF?

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    Odd.. Were you using hand signals?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

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    He was pissed at you for not using hand signals...Since you were turning left, you should have raised your left hand parallel to the ground on your left side...This way cars can see what you are doing... If you did do this, Null and Void this post...

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Signalling is optional in many states, if a bicyclist has to keep both hands on the bars for manuevering or braking....
    despite what a bicyclist 'should' or shouldn't do, no road user has the right to enforce law by harrassing fellow road users.

    the op ran into a jackstrap too stuck on himself, and likely not familiar with the signaling optional rule for bicyclists....i've gotten the reactionary "you're suppossed to be signalling" prior to some low grade motorist harassment similar to how you've described it.

    too much shock talk radio into frustrated americans still stuck in their cars is take on it.

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    1 MILE TO TOP qpliu's Avatar
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    I guess the guy was being an overzealous traffic vigilante looking for trouble. There was no reason for me to signal when he was passing me the first time. I was over 50ft from the intersection, probably going slower than 12mph. He was probably going 20-25mph when I first looked back. There's no hand signal to indicate that I'm going to stay in the bike lane until he passes.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    There are many situations, such as braking on a downhill grade, under which signaling is downright dangerous.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Senior Member thebarerider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpliu View Post
    I guess the guy was being an overzealous traffic vigilante looking for trouble. There was no reason for me to signal when he was passing me the first time. I was over 50ft from the intersection, probably going slower than 12mph. He was probably going 20-25mph when I first looked back. There's no hand signal to indicate that I'm going to stay in the bike lane until he passes.
    I was confused not after reading your post but after reading the replies, which seemed to completely miss the fact that you weren't changing lanes yet...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Signalling is optional in many states, if a bicyclist has to keep both hands on the bars for manuevering or braking....
    That's the key, it depends on the state and the language in the law. For example in Missouri, the language on signaling on bikes is as follows (it's in the section on mopeds and bicycles):

    "Always check traffic and signal before changing lanes or changing your position within a lane." - p61 Driver's Guide

    "4. Make sure you signal before you slow down, change lanes, or turn. Before merging, changing lanes, or turning, scan behind and in front to ensure that it is safe to make this maneuver. Do so in plenty of time and in cooperation with other drivers who will be affected by your move. If it is not safe, continue on a straight course and scan repeatedly and only move once it is safe. In conditions of heavy traffic, less proficient bicyclists may find it easier to wait near the curb for a safe gap to appear." - p62 Driver's Guide

    Which indicates, IMO, that there is no language indicating that signaling is an optional thing for the bicyclist (in MO) regardless of circumstances. Now I question if anyone knows the meaning of the hand signals given what I've seen riding (and was about to post), so I wonder if it would do much good. But the attitude I take is that it is better to do it and not be liable in the eyes of the law than not do it and run into a problem.

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpliu View Post
    I guess the guy was being an overzealous traffic vigilante looking for trouble. There was no reason for me to signal when he was passing me the first time...... There's no hand signal to indicate that I'm going to stay in the bike lane until he passes.
    a motorist looking for bicyclists to harass - there's one in every mile.

  10. #10
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Sounds like he would have had something to say if you signaled or not.
    Some jack@sses always have to share their "wisdom" with us.
    Sounds like you handled it really well.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    Conservative Hippie
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    I don't understand how he thought you were going to turn, since you didn't say you has started to set yourself up for a left turn. Unless maybe he's seen you turn left there before without signaling.

    "Signal!"

    "Okay. You understand this signal?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post

    "Signal!"

    "Okay. You understand this signal?"
    Indeed.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    A couple of places on my commute I come up to an intersection and turn left. If the light is green I have to slow, brake, watch for bumps, watch for traffic from every direction except straight up or straight down, turn left sometimes with traffic and sometimes without. How can I do all that one handed? If you are in the left turn lane signaling is kinda redundant. I have always wondered if the control fo the bike or signaling is safest.
    Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

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    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpliu View Post
    I guess the guy was being an overzealous traffic vigilante looking for trouble. There was no reason for me to signal when he was passing me the first time. I was over 50ft from the intersection, probably going slower than 12mph. He was probably going 20-25mph when I first looked back. There's no hand signal to indicate that I'm going to stay in the bike lane until he passes.
    I frequently wave traffic ahead of me in this situation. I simply do not trust a majority of motorists to acknowledge, let alone heed my hand signals.

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Signalling is optional in many states, if a bicyclist has to keep both hands on the bars for manuevering or braking....
    despite what a bicyclist 'should' or shouldn't do, no road user has the right to enforce law by harrassing fellow road users.

    the op ran into a jackstrap too stuck on himself, and likely not familiar with the signaling optional rule for bicyclists....i've gotten the reactionary "you're suppossed to be signalling" prior to some low grade motorist harassment similar to how you've described it.

    too much shock talk radio into frustrated americans still stuck in their cars is take on it.
    Optional my butt. I am tired of motorist and cyclists that do not have enough courtesy to indicate their intentions. This is basic to "sharing the road." If we don't know what the intentions of one another are, there is no "sharing," just taking.

    I don't know which is more annoying, a cyclist swerving all over the road without any indication, or a motorist suddenly changing a lane without indication... they are both annoying.

    Share the road and indicate your intentions.

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sorry, gene, signalling is codified as optional in many states if the signal will interfere with braking or handling of the bicycle.

    i agree, signalling is a courtesy and smoothes out many traffic manuvers, but as the OP stated, he had no signal for "staying in the bike lane until the fast overtaking motorist has passed"

  17. #17
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sorry, gene, signalling is codified as optional in many states if the signal will interfere with braking or handling of the bicycle.

    i agree, signalling is a courtesy and smoothes out many traffic manuvers, but as the OP stated, he had no signal for "staying in the bike lane until the fast overtaking motorist has passed"
    I was serious about wether to signal or not. If I know it increases safety and is curteous to others of course I would do it. But often it takes both hands to safely navigate between the bumps and the cars etc.
    Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

  18. #18
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Do you use a mirror? That will greatly help reduce the confusion/ambiguity you created.
    Al

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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    I understand that this is a loaded issue, but if you can't signal, then you are not in control of your vehicle.
    It is simple courtesy and something we expect of motorists.
    I don't see why they can't expect the same from us, they need all the help they can get.
    We all do.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    I understand that this is a loaded issue, but if you can't signal, then you are not in control of your vehicle.
    It is simple courtesy and something we expect of motorists.
    I don't see why they can't expect the same from us, they need all the help they can get.
    We all do.
    I know we expect it of motorists... but frankly how often do we get a good signal from motorists? I find it doubly annoying that they can't seem to find that little lever most of the time when it really is so easy to do.

    I also find it very annoying when driving to signal and have that signal ignored. Only a couple weeks ago I was given the finger by some ahole driver not allowing me to move over in spite of my long signal. (when driving) That showed the real issue of lack of courtesy on the road. It was really an idiot power play on his part for no reason what so ever. Yet those types of drivers do exist... and we all have to deal with them, on 2 wheels or 4.

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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Gene,

    No doubt that those who see a signal and take it as a personal affront are a problem no matter what vehicle you’re driving. Sadly, courtesy is not a citable offense.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I know we expect it of motorists... but frankly how often do we get a good signal from motorists? I find it doubly annoying that they can't seem to find that little lever most of the time when it really is so easy to do.
    Doesn't excuse us from signaling ourselves.

    -Kurt

  23. #23
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Did the car make a RIGHT turn at that intersection??? He may have had HIS signal on and been pissed that you didn't leap out of his way so he could merge right for a turn???

    I dunno... strange behavior, regardless.

    Edit: Meh... I guess not, if he passed you again... he was just weird.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  24. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    It was not weird at all. The driver was confused by the ambiguous situation the cyclist caused by looking back as if desiring to turn. The driver slowed perhaps wondered if would happen. But the cyclist neither turned nor made their intentions clear.
    Next time: Signal!
    Al

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    I've had people speed up after I had made the signal of my intention to move over to the left so I may turn left after stopping at a intersection. Hence blocking me against the curb until they pull away from the stop. Of course all kinds of interactions ensue at that point.
    Another great day in paradise

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