Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-13-08, 07:26 AM   #1
DerekC99
*
Thread Starter
 
DerekC99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Told I can't do this..was he right?

While biking last night I was making a left turn and used the left lane instead of the bike lane because I felt it was the safest way to get onto the main road; Not long after I got into the lane, I was honked at, but I thought it was 'cause I was going too slow so I sped up and continued up to the stop light. A few seconds later, the guy that honked at me called me out and told me I can't start the left lane and that I should start in the bike lane and change lanes into the turning lane. Of course that's what I normally do, but there was a lot of cars on the road at the time and I would've had a hard time changing lanes with all the cars, and at a low speed, so I just apologized and said I didn't know. What I'm wondering is if what I did was illegal or more unsafe than changing lanes from the bike lane.

The picture below is of the road I'm talking about, it's only about 100 yds with a speed limit of 25 mph. I took the green line, the blue line is what I would've taken from the bike lane, except with traffic starting at the white line, and the red line is what I really would have felt more safe with taking if I wasn't taking the green line at the time.

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/48e9dd9d63.jpg

I've done this on multiple occasions and always thought I was right, until last night, so any input would be helpful.

Thanks

Last edited by DerekC99; 08-13-08 at 08:17 AM.
DerekC99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 07:52 AM   #2
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Bikes: Surly LHT, and 3 others
Posts: 5,477
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
I can't see the picture.

My answer would be: If it is legal for a motorcycle to make the move that you made, then you are withing the law under most circumstances.
JoeyBike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:08 AM   #3
surveyor
Where am I?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: Old Centurion Accordo (in the process of being SS'ed), Cannondale Quick 5 (racks/panniers/fenders, utility bike), Trek XO1 (fun/fast/main ride)
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do exactly what you are talking about every day on my commute route. It keeps me from interrupting the flow of traffic and it is far safer than the strict literal reading of the law.

You should have asked the driver if he does the same thing with his car. I would bet a dollar to a dime the answer is no.

This is without question one of those times when to strictly obeying the law would result in more danger to yourself and far more impedance to traffic.

Forget the motorist - although he may have meant well.

People who flatly obey the law "because it is the law" - without examining whether it is logical and practical with respect to its intent (in this case motorist/cyclist safety) and the multitude of different situations that may arise - should never, ever dictate your actions.
surveyor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:10 AM   #4
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
Posts: 18,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rule of thumb:

Don't take advice from cagers.
Bekologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:16 AM   #5
DerekC99
*
Thread Starter
 
DerekC99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks guys, I'm glad to hear it; however, since the picture wasn't working I re-read what I wrote and I don't know if it sounds exactly what I'm talking about, but I re-uploaded it in case it wasn't.
DerekC99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:26 AM   #6
harleyfrog
An Army of Fred
 
harleyfrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lost South of Nowhere East of Edan On the Waterfront Far from the Madding Crowd (Biloxi, MS)
Bikes: 1992 Specialized Crossroads Trail
Posts: 1,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ditto. For that short of a distance, I see nothing wrong with it and I do the same thing on parts of my commute.
harleyfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:34 AM   #7
mandovoodoo
Violin guitar mandolin
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Friendsville, TN, USA
Bikes: Wilier Thor, Fuji Professional, LeMond Wayzata
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your course would be the correct course from the laws I see on the books in Tennessee. Perhaps there are special laws for special people where you are. I'd tend to ignore them. What you did looks like what any vehicle would correctly do.

And I'd also ignore folks rude enough to attempt to educate me without providing citations to the law or other backup. You did fine, though.
mandovoodoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:35 AM   #8
Szczuldo
What is this demonry?!
 
Szczuldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Central IL
Bikes: KHS Aero Comp.
Posts: 1,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Left turn lanes are there to make left turns in. Bicycles are for the most part considered vehicles and therefore you should be able to do that turn. Besides the speed limit was 25. I do this all the time on my commute, and I also read the "as far right as safe clause" as riding in the right tire tracks on the road, which forces people to pass in a safer manner, or if they choose to be unsafe I have room to move.
Szczuldo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:36 AM   #9
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Of course one should make left turns from left turn lanes. How can one even make a (legal, safe, practical, clear intent) left from a bike lane unless possibly the bike lane is 'part' of the left turn lane.

Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:49 AM   #10
Kurt Erlenbach
Senior Member
 
Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Space Coast, Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 2,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that what you have been doing is correct. The distance that you travel in the left lane before you get to the turn lane is short, and to move from your first left turn into the bike lane and than back across two traffic lanes and into the left turn lane seem unnecessarily dangerous.
Kurt Erlenbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 08:58 AM   #11
resipsa
The Thing Itself
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What you did sounds fine to me. Of course, each state has its own bicycling laws and California's seem to deviate from the norm more than most; the general rule, though, seems to be that the bike lane is essentially "reserved" for bicyclists, but it's not mandatory that they use it. Therefore, crossing the lanes to get to the left turn lane, which you - by law - have to be in to turn, would seem to be a perfectly legal move.

Again, though, you'd have to go through the statutes and applicable regulations to see how it works where you are.
resipsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 09:17 AM   #12
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,772
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
Rule of thumb:

Don't take advice from cagers.
Bek is right... most "cagers" barely know the laws that govern their vehicles... they just follow each other like sheep.

Make a left turn just like you would in a car or motorcycle... leave the bike lane with plenty of room to change lanes and make it to the turn lane... if there is no traffic, you can just angle across to the left lane, but more than likely there will be some traffic... in that case, signal and change lanes just like you would any other time... check each time you make a lateral move and ensure you have room to do so... and then just change lanes one at a time right over to the left lane.

If a motorist insists that you shouldn't do it... tell them to call the police, and you'll wait. That alone will usually intimidate the idiots.
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 09:20 AM   #13
maddyfish
Senior Member
 
maddyfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ky. and FL.
Bikes: KHS steel SS
Posts: 3,944
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You did what I would have done. Pretty much ignore what car drivers say to you. Just wave at them.
maddyfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 09:35 AM   #14
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO
Posts: 29,894
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
You did good.
Keep riding safe.
__________________
[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
10 Wheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 10:00 AM   #15
Tsuru
Bromptoneer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: Brompton S2L
Posts: 2,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's one intersection on my commute where I make a left turn from the left turn lane. It's definitely the safest and cars respect me. But since I'm coming from the far right initially, if it's just too busy to make my way over 2 lanes and into the turn lane, I'll stay on the right and head over to the pedestrian cross walk and wait for a signal to cross.


Seems to be the best way for me and my safety. With your situation, and judging from that picture, I'd try to get over in the turn lane for sure.
Tsuru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 11:39 AM   #16
Da Tinker
Can't ride enough!
 
Da Tinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: south Louisiana
Bikes: IFab Crown Jewel, Giant Defy, Hardtail MTB, Fuji finest, Bianchi FG conversion
Posts: 1,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Know the laws in your state as they pertain to cyclists:
http://massbike.org/bikelaw/statelaws.htm
Quote chapter & verse right back at your 'advisor'. Even LEO often don't know the law. Works like a charm.
Da Tinker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 12:24 PM   #17
Tsuru
Bromptoneer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: Brompton S2L
Posts: 2,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for that link...

Well, for Ohio, looks like you need to get your butt over to the left lane, or get off the bike and walk it like a pedestrian.

Quote:
4511.36. Rules for turns at intersections.
Quote:
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall be governed by the following rules:

(A) Approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

(B) At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.


Comment: The rules for turns are exactly the same for bicycles as for other vehicles merge to the appropriate position (right for right turns, left for left turns), yield to any traffic that has the right of way and then turn. A cyclist also has the option to make turns as a pedestrian by dismounting and walking the bicycle through the intersection.
Getting into position for a left turn may involve merging across lanes of traffic. If traffic is heavy, you should start doing this early to take advantage of gaps in traffic. Otherwise, there may not be a gap when you need it. Beginners, who have not yet developed the skill to merge in traffic, may make pedestrian-style turns instead.
Tsuru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 01:50 PM   #18
Da Tinker
Can't ride enough!
 
Da Tinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: south Louisiana
Bikes: IFab Crown Jewel, Giant Defy, Hardtail MTB, Fuji finest, Bianchi FG conversion
Posts: 1,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey, in most states, a bike is a vehicle, with all rights & duties as any other vehicle, save or those that cannot apply, due to the nature of the vehicle.

What the OP's advisor was advocating is commonly called a ' shooting gallery' left turn. At the risk of turning this thread, it is also a mojor flaw with bike lanes through intersections.
Da Tinker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 02:03 PM   #19
apricissimus 
L T X B O M P F A N S R
 
apricissimus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Malden, MA
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Bianchi San Jose, Redline 925
Posts: 2,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
I think most motorists don't realize that cyclists often have to merge earlier into left lanes than cars would when there's a lot of traffic because of the typically lower speed of bicycles, and the unwillingness of some motorists to let in a slower moving vehicle. I catch flack for it sometimes, but hey... sometimes it's the only way to get over there.
apricissimus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 02:14 PM   #20
surveyor
Where am I?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: Old Centurion Accordo (in the process of being SS'ed), Cannondale Quick 5 (racks/panniers/fenders, utility bike), Trek XO1 (fun/fast/main ride)
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Tinker View Post
Hey, in most states, a bike is a vehicle, with all rights & duties as any other vehicle, save or those that cannot apply, due to the nature of the vehicle.

What the OP's advisor was advocating is commonly called a ' shooting gallery' left turn. At the risk of turning this thread, it is also a mojor flaw with bike lanes through intersections.
That and what I call the "disappearing bike lane". There will be a lane along a street for several blocks, and then it will just...stop. It sometimes picks up again a block or two later. But most of the time it just dead-ends, for no apparent reason and often at a location that comparatively few people travel to (as in nowhere near a transit center/large office park/strip mall).
surveyor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 02:40 PM   #21
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,141
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Tinker View Post
H... At the risk of turning this thread, it is also a mojor flaw with bike lanes through intersections.
This is my thought exactly. In some circumstances bike lanes make sense and I use them, but the logic and safety gets at best confusing at intersections like these. I can't imagine how a newby would respond to that situation - with confusion and dangerous maneuvering I'd guess.
Camilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 02:57 PM   #22
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp
Posts: 7,573
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
I know it is pretty stupid, but in Illinois, bicycles are supposed to stay right, go thru the intersection, stop, then cross the road when it is safe, and continue in your new direction.

Me, I take the left turn lane, just like a car.
Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 04:29 PM   #23
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,772
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I know it is pretty stupid, but in Illinois, bicycles are supposed to stay right, go thru the intersection, stop, then cross the road when it is safe, and continue in your new direction.

Me, I take the left turn lane, just like a car.
Really, is this documented somewhere?
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 04:36 PM   #24
crhilton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Bikes: '07 Trek 1500, '08 Surly Cross Check, '09 Masi Speciale Sprint custom build
Posts: 4,568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Most places with bike lanes do not mandate their use. You probably don't ever have to ride in the bike lane, and if it would have been dangerous to move back over within the time you had then it's probably better to start in the left lane. On a multi-lane road like this the cars can change lanes and go around you. That's not a big deal for a block or two.
crhilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-08, 05:36 PM   #25
Recycle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE IL
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Giant Cypress DX
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I know it is pretty stupid, but in Illinois, bicycles are supposed to stay right, go thru the intersection, stop, then cross the road when it is safe, and continue in your new direction.

Me, I take the left turn lane, just like a car.
Illinois has the same bicycle laws as most states. There is nothing in Illinois state law or home rule community ordinances prohibiting left turns from a left turn lane.

The section in the IL state vehicle code on lane position for a bicycle is at
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...ehicle+Code%2E and it reads:
Quote:
(625 ILCS 5/11‑1505) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑1505)
Sec. 11‑1505. Position of bicycles and motorized pedal cycles on roadways ‑ Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
(a) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable and safe to the right‑hand curb or edge of the roadway except under the following situations:

1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motorized pedal cycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorized pedal cycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right‑hand curb or edge. For purposes of this subsection, a "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a one‑way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left‑hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
(Source: P.A. 95‑231, eff. 1‑1‑08.)
The box left turn or L left turn Wanderer describes is an option a cyclist may use if it is difficult to negotiate into the left turn lane.

Last edited by Recycle; 08-13-08 at 05:38 PM. Reason: corrected a spelling error
Recycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:48 PM.