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  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Bike Friendly Intersection?

    My city prides itself in being bike friendly, but sometimes things are not thought out as well as they should be. They have installed push buttons on the curb that a cylist can push to activate the lights to cross the intersection. Because of this the inductive sensors do not (and are not required to be) activated by a bike.

    These intersections mostly have a left turn, straight and right turn lane. The straight and right turn lane are not separated by a line, it is just one wide lane with the inductive sensor on the left side so right turning cars do not activate it.

    So when I approach these intersections if a left turning or straight going car is already there (which is rare) I just get in line. If not cars or right turning I ride up to curb side push button, press it then get in straight or left turn lane.

    But because of traffic flow there is usually a line of right turning cars and seldom others. So to press the bike button I need to squeeze between the right turning cars and the curb to get up to the push button then make hand signals to cross between line of cars to get into straight or left turn lane.

    Yesterday as I was slowly squeezing between right turning cars and curb some jerk in a large truck decided he didn't want me passing on his right and pulled right as I was approaching so his wheel touched the curb. I almost hit him. I had similar previous instances of having to squeeze between cars and curb, but never been blocked. He probably thought he was being safe so as not to make a right turn into me going straight. But of course am only there to press the button and afterward go to the straight lane to go straight.

    I've notified the city of this issue, but since all the infrastructure is there I am not hopeful this would be fixed.

    Al

  2. #2
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i have noticed that problem as well. another thing i've frequently noticed is how bus stops are right after an intersection or a light. not before. so, what happens is the bus goes though the light, stops to pick up people, and everyone behind it is scambling to pass in the intersection - which creates a dangerous situation in my opinion. why not just have the bus stop before the light? some things are obviously not thought out at all and have become the norm.

  3. #3
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i have noticed that problem as well. another thing i've frequently noticed is how bus stops are right after an intersection or a light. not before. so, what happens is the bus goes though the light, stops to pick up people, and everyone behind it is scambling to pass in the intersection - which creates a dangerous situation in my opinion. why not just have the bus stop before the light? some things are obviously not thought out at all.
    I deal with the bus thing as well. To the point that I time my departure times as to best avoid the bus. (i.e. If I leave at 6:50am, no bus, at 6:55am too late). But timing isn't always practical. I either wait behind bus sucking fumes or pass it on left along with other traffic, like I did yesterday, a little hazardous, but fun )

    Al

  4. #4
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Bus stops after the light are supposedly to keep the buses from jutting out into traffic while someone tries to turn right and causing a pileup. In downtown NYC, most of the bus stops that are before a traffic light have a one way street coming toward the bus ahead of it.

    It actually makes sense... Kind of...

    Or should I say, as much as anything else these cities do when planning could make sense...
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  5. #5
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    What an idiotic design.

    As to the truck driver - you can't blame him. All vehicular road users, including cyclists, are required by law to drive as close as practicable to the right side when making a right turn. Right-turning motorists who leave room between their vehicles and the curb for a cyclist to squeeze in are technically breaking the law. This is true even at intersections where there is a painted bike lane stripe. In fact, right-turning motorists are required by law to merge into the bike lane at such intersections before they make their right turn. This law is commonly violated, with motorists avoiding merging into the bike lane like the plague. Right-turning cyclists should stay in line with the right-turning motorists. Cyclists headed straight at the intersection should merge left away from the curb and position themselves at approximately the left-tire track (to leave room on their right for right-turning motorists).

    Obviously, none of this was considered when they put in the push-button for cyclists. Writing to the city is important - so at least they won't replicate this idiotic design in other intersections.

    Serge

  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The simple solution is to ignore the push button at this intersection. It's obviously too dangerous for you to use when making a left turn. Simply ride up the to the intersection, stop and proceed carefully when the intersection is clear.

    Unless the local police are strictly enforcing traffic laws with cyclists, you shouldn't have a problem. Just be sure to stop if the light is red and be safe.

  7. #7
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    I would have to have thrown something hard, sharp and menacing through the truck drivers window. Don't fool yourself about him thinking about your safety. If he was really considering your safety, he would thought wait for you to go before turning, not pull to block you, no matter what your true intentions were. Nope, he was just being a dick.
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  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    The simple solution is to ignore the push button at this intersection. It's obviously too dangerous for you to use when making a left turn. Simply ride up the to the intersection, stop and proceed carefully when the intersection is clear.

    Unless the local police are strictly enforcing traffic laws with cyclists, you shouldn't have a problem. Just be sure to stop if the light is red and be safe.
    This is completely impossible during my commuting times. X-street traffic is dense and fast (50mph). I have tried other routes that do not have a light and once waited 10min for a break, then gave up and went down the sidewalk the wrong way until I got to a light where I could cross.

    Al

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phiber
    I would have to have thrown something hard, sharp and menacing through the truck drivers window. Don't fool yourself about him thinking about your safety. If he was really considering your safety, he would thought wait for you to go before turning, not pull to block you, no matter what your true intentions were. Nope, he was just being a dick.
    Of course they were being a dick. Two reasons I didn't start a confrontation. First is that the right turn traffic is moving forward slowly and in bursts as cars get a chance to turn right. Second is that my goal is to get home as fast as possible - I am obsessed with tracking times and beating them and I was on a fast ride yesterday - any confrontation would have been a delay and in my opinion would not correct this person future behavior and likely made them more hostile to cyclists.

    Al

  10. #10
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    This is completely impossible during my commuting times. X-street traffic is dense and fast (50mph). I have tried other routes that do not have a light and once waited 10min for a break, then gave up and went down the sidewalk the wrong way until I got to a light where I could cross.

    Al
    Then stay in the right lane until you have a green light. Proceed across the intersection until you are at the head of the rightmost line of cross traffic going to your left. Stop, turn the bike to the left, wait for a green light, and ride straight through in the direction you wanted to go.

    I have a left turn on my commute that requires crossing three lanse to get to the left turn lane. Most of the time, crossing these lanes is unsafe so I use the above maneuver. It works like a champ though it takes an extra minute.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i have noticed that problem as well. another thing i've frequently noticed is how bus stops are right after an intersection or a light. not before. so, what happens is the bus goes though the light, stops to pick up people, and everyone behind it is scambling to pass in the intersection - which creates a dangerous situation in my opinion. why not just have the bus stop before the light? some things are obviously not thought out at all and have become the norm.
    After much research, buses cross the traffic lights to increase pedestrian safety.
    Given the majority's ruling, the only safe bicycle in Illinois is a stationary exercise bike located in one's home or at the gym. ----Illinois State Supreme Court, Boub V Wayne

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