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Old 09-29-08, 10:39 PM   #1
DavidW56
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Motorists who stop for me

Has this happened to you? From the number of threads on vehicular mayhem and the volume of posts detailing violent encounters on the streets, I'm guessing "no".

I've been cut off by vehicles once or twice. But I ride the sidewalks whenever I can, because I really don't trust the drivers enough to ride in the street when I commute.

Instead, more often, I have the opposite problem -- some drivers who attempt to cede me the right-of-way even when it's inappropriate. Most often this occurs when I am approaching the freeway exit or entrance ramps off Michigan Avenue to or from the Southfield Freeway. Sometimes a driver sees me and stops on the freeway ramp and motions me to cross in front of their vehicle. I don't think this is a good practice.

Because this is located in the heart of the city, the cloverleaf ramps are very tight curves. It's impossible for any driver to see the top of the ramp from halfway down. So I think it's likely that one of these motorists with the misplaced good intentions is going to get rear-ended by another driver exiting or entering the freeway at high speed.

At first, I just waved these people on, and I'm afraid it might have put them off a little bit -- here they thought they were doing me a favor. Now that I've seen this, I hang back far from the crosswalk so there's no doubt that I'm staying put, and they're not having to worry about me crossing in front of them.

Also, now mindful of the unpleasant situations the other posters have described, I always stop at stop signs if there are any other vehicles at or approaching the intersection. And I NEVER blow through a red light. I want to live long enough to see my kids all graduate...from high school...from college....get married...give us grandchildren...and so on.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:45 PM   #2
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I've had motorists try to give me the right of way, too. I usually wave them off. When they see me standing there not getting ready to move they take the hint.

I am apprehensive about going out of turn because I have seen instances when one driver is telling you to go and another driver doesn't see it and decides to forge ahead into your path.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
Has this happened to you? From the number of threads on vehicular mayhem and the volume of posts detailing violent encounters on the streets, I'm guessing "no".

I've been cut off by vehicles once or twice. But I ride the sidewalks whenever I can, because I really don't trust the drivers enough to ride in the street when I commute.

Instead, more often, I have the opposite problem -- some drivers who attempt to cede me the right-of-way even when it's inappropriate. Most often this occurs when I am approaching the freeway exit or entrance ramps off Michigan Avenue to or from the Southfield Freeway. Sometimes a driver sees me and stops on the freeway ramp and motions me to cross in front of their vehicle. I don't think this is a good practice.

Because this is located in the heart of the city, the cloverleaf ramps are very tight curves. It's impossible for any driver to see the top of the ramp from halfway down. So I think it's likely that one of these motorists with the misplaced good intentions is going to get rear-ended by another driver exiting or entering the freeway at high speed.

At first, I just waved these people on, and I'm afraid it might have put them off a little bit -- here they thought they were doing me a favor. Now that I've seen this, I hang back far from the crosswalk so there's no doubt that I'm staying put, and they're not having to worry about me crossing in front of them.

Also, now mindful of the unpleasant situations the other posters have described, I always stop at stop signs if there are any other vehicles at or approaching the intersection. And I NEVER blow through a red light. I want to live long enough to see my kids all graduate...from high school...from college....get married...give us grandchildren...and so on.
If you're on a sidewalk, you're a pedestrian, meaning you have the right of way, but technically, you should get off your bike and walk across. I've seen to many close calls with sidewalk riders flying through an intersection to ride on the sidewalk again. Motorists expect fast moving vehicles to be on the street, not on the sidewalk, so unless there is some crazy traffic where you live, you're actually better off on the street.

Anyway, I'd suggest getting off your bike, crossing the street, and getting back on it on the other side. You'll have way less run ins, and the amount of time it takes to walk, the driver will have gotten bored and left.

Never let them wave you on. Unclip, but a foot down, let them go first. It may seem like a really nice thing for them to do, but it could end up putting you in a dangerous position.
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Old 09-30-08, 04:55 AM   #4
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Sometimes when I get waved on in a situation like this, I act like I didn't see the gesture and pretend to look at something on my bike. That way no offense is taken and they keep on going.
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Old 09-30-08, 08:06 AM   #5
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..... so unless there is some crazy traffic where you live, you're actually better off on the street. ...
You obviously haven't been to Detroit. It is a mad house. I am glad I don't live/commute there
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Old 09-30-08, 08:15 AM   #6
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The topic of motorists surrendering their ROW to cyclists has come up a couple of times in the commuting forum. It can be annoying and it can endanger you. Sometimes i'll take advantage, other times i'll put the foot down and have a swig of the water bottle to clearly show that i'm not going to go.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:13 AM   #7
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This is very common in Central Pennsylvania. My wife stops for other motorists when she has the right of way. It's occasionally gotten very close to causing accidents.

Last night, the guy to my left waved me on, we were both at stop signs, I was on the mup. There was a 3rd vehicle at 90 degrees to us at a stop sign to our left, and he went when the first guy waved me on. Of course, the township is at fault for having such a crazy intersection, but generally I insist on the accepted rules of precedence.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:15 AM   #8
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I just keep waiting unless the person waving me on is sitting in a cement, dump, or semi truck.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:09 AM   #9
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All of the MUP around here have lane markings and stop signs just like a regular city street.

It's a nice gesture, but they don't seem to be considering the law or the other vehicles around them. I was crossing W. Washington the other day (a four lane arterial during rush hour, no less) and a guy stops without prompting from signage or traffic lights for a few bicyclists who are waiting at their stop sign, thus holding up at LEAST ten other drivers. Nobody was in the cross walk, just waiting and waiving for the guy to keep going.

On side streets where the MUP intersects it's just annoying. While they slow down and mull over if they're stopping or not, I've got to wait for them to make up their mind and come to a full stop before I can cross. I'm having to wait longer when they do this.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:27 AM   #10
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The problem I see on the roads is, that cyclists know and respect the rules, but pedestrians on bikes do not. I try to make a point not to stereotype in everyday life. But when driving, you gotta figure out if the bicycle pilot is a cyclist or POB.

I didn't yield out of turn sometimes, I would have definitely hit someone.. A lot of them being children.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:38 AM   #11
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As I interpret your description (cycling on sidewalk about to enter crosswalk across freeway ramp) the motorists are required by law to stop.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
If you're on a sidewalk, you're a pedestrian
That would be a matter for the law to say, but in general I seriously doubt that it's true. (Unless you're walking your bike, of course.)
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Old 10-01-08, 08:03 AM   #13
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last week some guy at a 4 way stop did something strange.

I was on my corner, waiting for him to go, and he would not go. I waited for more than 30 seconds, and he finally went. I know that he was waiting for me to move, but since he actually got there before I did, it wasn't my turn so I didn't move.

lolz.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:27 AM   #14
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A related situation that bothers me is the over cautious driver behind me.

JUST F'ING PASS ME ALREADY!!!!!!!

I really do what I can hugging the edge of the shoulder, waiting for cars to pass. Some folks seem to think that they need 2 miles of clear road to overtake me. I'm on a damn bike. I ain't going that fast. As long as you are behind me, you are a concern. Step on it and give me as much room as possible. If this means that you won't be able to give me the 3 feet of clearance, I really don't give a crap. I just want you ahead of me ASAP.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:29 AM   #15
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last week some guy at a 4 way stop did something strange.

I was on my corner, waiting for him to go, and he would not go. I waited for more than 30 seconds, and he finally went. I know that he was waiting for me to move, but since he actually got there before I did, it wasn't my turn so I didn't move.

lolz.
my rule at 4 way stops is I count to three slowly. You wanna be nice and wait for me? Fine. I just smile, wave and go. This applies no matter what I am piloting.
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Old 10-01-08, 11:11 AM   #16
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Last time that happend to me, a rear-end accident did occur. A driver with all good intentions stoped to let me make a left turn, thanks, wave, on my merry way. All of a sudden BOOM. The driver two cars back, a 17 year old, didn't see the cars stopped in front of her. Smashed her front end, airbags deploy, and two young girls dazed and confused, thankfully only minor injuries. I waited for the cops to arrive to give them my story, he wasn't really initerested in my involvement.
The point is that I was in no hurry, so the 30 seconds or so that would have taken all 3 cars to pass was no big deal to me. There was really no other reason for the initial drive to stop, other than him being nice.
BTW, the guy that stopped, sped off when he heard the bang.
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Old 10-01-08, 05:16 PM   #17
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as for the OP, if you are cycling on the sidewalk, while you are still technically a vehicle, many people may consider you a pedestrian. much like a Segway i suppose.

as for myself, this happens to me all the time at stop signs. i wave people on several times a day at least.
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Old 10-01-08, 07:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
...problem -- some drivers who attempt to cede me the right-of-way even when it's inappropriate.
Happens to me all the freakin' time because of the way I ride, but also when I am just chillin'.

As I roar up to each stop sign, I am figuring the timing in my head regarding the crossing traffic who has right of way. Basically, I plan to aim for an imaginary spot one foot off the rear bumper of the crossing car. All they have to do is IGNORE me and proceed by minding their own business. But no. They see me coming and half start, then stop. So then I have to slam on the brakes and stop too. Then (Grrrrrr) they wave me through even though they have total right of way.

With practice I have gotten to the point where I can tell which motorist will flinch at my speed so I just take the opportunity and go.

On the same note, what infuriates me even more is when I am following a car on a narrow one way street and they are stopping at EVERY intersection no matter if they have a stop sign or not. O-M-freakin-G!!!!! It's bad enough to stop at the stop signs. But to stop at every corner?????? That slays me.
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Old 10-02-08, 06:44 AM   #19
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Im in a small rural town, one set of stop lights and a state route as main. I've noticed allot more drivers stopping for me, especially when I have the Young Prince on his tag a long or a group of kids. I hope its because I've explained a few rules, rather nicely, while taking a lane at eh four way or downtown. But I feel most has to do with a teenage cyclist who was killed just a couple of weeks ago.

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Old 10-02-08, 11:11 AM   #20
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I don't know Detroit so I may be talking out my *ss here, but if you feel you must ride on the sidewalks, you are taking the wrong route.

It seems that a lot of people, when they start commuting by bike, take the same route they would by car.

Nevertheless, your concern about cars being innapropriately gracious is a valid one. I will, while in the road, put my foot down and make it clear that I am not moving if I don't have the right-of-way. In the event that I may be on the sidewalk, I will dismount entirely to walk my bike in the crosswalk.

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Old 10-03-08, 06:43 AM   #21
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To all those who state that, if I ride on the sidewalk, the rules for pedestrians apply: I agree. But the intersections where this happens to me are the freeway entrance and exit ramps, and there are no STOP or YIELD signs, either at the crosswalk or up at the street. So I don't believe I have the right of way if I'm on the curb and traffic is approaching. Even if I do have the ROW, I'd rather be prudent, as many poster have suggested and wait far back from the intersection so the drivers understand I'm not planning to dart out in front of them.

To the poster who suggested if I have to stay on the sidewalk, then I'm biking the same route as I drive, and I should find another route: unfortunately, there is no better route. I can cross the freeway another mile north or south of Michigan Ave., but the traffic would still be the same. Dearborn has a population of around 90,000-100,000, but it triples every business day, according to city official estimates.

I do ride in the street for the first part of my commute -- the residential 25 mph street where I live.
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Old 10-03-08, 09:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
To all those who state that, if I ride on the sidewalk, the rules for pedestrians apply: I agree. But the intersections where this happens to me are the freeway entrance and exit ramps, and there are no STOP or YIELD signs, either at the crosswalk or up at the street. So I don't believe I have the right of way if I'm on the curb and traffic is approaching. Even if I do have the ROW, I'd rather be prudent, as many poster have suggested and wait far back from the intersection so the drivers understand I'm not planning to dart out in front of them.
Lack of a stop sign at a crosswalk (marked or not) does not mean that traffic is not required to stop for pedestrian who has or is attempting to enter a crosswalk. However your prudence is appropriate as I assume from your story that drivers are not following the law.

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Old 10-04-08, 11:08 AM   #23
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I wanted to add something that happened to me this morning. I was riding the MUP on my way to work. Just before an intersection I pulled over, dismounted (though still straddling the top tube) and grabbed a drink of water.

There was a car approaching slowly but I had already stopped seconds before it reached the crosswalk.

I was ignoring the vehicle because I didn't plan on crossing just yet, when out of the corner of my eye I see the car stopped (with another vehicle behind it) and the driver waiving me across as if to say, "What the HELL are you doing you idiot? Bloody MOVE!"

I was at least ten feet from the crosswalk, stopped, drinking water, yet somehow she thinks she's required to stop.

And that I'm a gigantic inconvenience to her.

People seriously need to chill. I can't say for sure, but there's a good chance she wasn't headed anywhere too terribly important at 8am on a Saturday. And the ten seconds that she was stopped wouldn't impede her too much considering the almost nonexistent traffic.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:22 PM   #24
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I get this from time to time, too. I really wish they wouldn't do it.
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Old 10-05-08, 10:35 AM   #25
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My main route is all stop signs, some two-way, some 4-way. Damn friendly motorists waving me to my death!

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