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-   -   Nearly got hozed in bike lane... (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/891325-nearly-got-hozed-bike-lane.html)

JoeyBike 05-23-13 09:27 AM

Nearly got hozed in bike lane...
 
Van ahead needs to turn left on 1-lane road. Truck behind him decides to use bike lane as passing lane. I am in the bike lane. Get the picture?

I have been riding with brigh@$$ed flashing front light day and night since last summer. I think that saved me this time. Passing truck hit the brakes almost instantly after entering the bike lane. I was riding far left in the bike lane out of the door zone. He had me if he wanted me. There was nothing i could have done at that instant.

Bike lanes are cool but we are never safe. Sometimed they offer a dangerous sense of false security.

bikemig 05-23-13 09:31 AM

Good to hear that you are safe; yeah you are never, ever safe. Cool website btw.

howsteepisit 05-23-13 09:34 AM

WHen I lived in Montana, I used to get buzzed by cars/trucks passing in the opposite direction when riding a wide shoulder. But there they wold stare right at you while I'd serve and swear. Seems the drivers figured that I could get over to the right edge of the shoulder so they could get get by some driver who simple refused to adhere to the passer's idea of an appropriate speed. A year later it still pisses me off. But in my case I am sure they saw me, they'd stare right at me.

spivonious 05-23-13 09:54 AM

People do that all the time, bike lane or not. Maryland roads will even put an extra right lane at some left turns so straight traffic can go around without slowing.

JoeyBike 05-23-13 10:33 AM

Yeah, i see it all the time. I avoided the exact same thing earlier this morning. The truck driver just decided to pass in the bike lane as an afterthought. Looke like he was stopping behind the turning van then...changed his mind almost right into me.

lostarchitect 05-23-13 11:01 AM

Glad you are OK. Some people think they can do whatever they want on the road. I don't see it changing any time soon.

Chris516 05-23-13 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeyBike (Post 15657949)
Van ahead needs to turn left on 1-lane road. Truck behind him decides to use bike lane as passing lane. I am in the bike lane. Get the picture?

I have been riding with brigh@$$ed flashing front light day and night since last summer. I think that saved me this time. Passing truck hit the brakes almost instantly after entering the bike lane. I was riding far left in the bike lane out of the door zone. He had me if he wanted me. There was nothing i could have done at that instant.

Bike lanes are cool but we are never safe. Sometimed they offer a dangerous sense of false security.

This is another example of why I avoid bike lanes altogether.

Brandonub 05-23-13 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsteepisit (Post 15657981)
But in my case I am sure they saw me, they'd stare right at me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_fixation

spare_wheel 05-23-13 01:07 PM

Quote:

Sometimed they offer a dangerous sense of false security.
Quote:

This is another example of why I avoid bike lanes altogether.
the truck driver was a numbskull.

squirtdad 05-23-13 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsteepisit (Post 15657981)
WHen I lived in Montana, I used to get buzzed by cars/trucks passing in the opposite direction when riding a wide shoulder. But there they wold stare right at you while I'd serve and swear. Seems the drivers figured that I could get over to the right edge of the shoulder so they could get get by some driver who simple refused to adhere to the passer's idea of an appropriate speed. A year later it still pisses me off. But in my case I am sure they saw me, they'd stare right at me.

you were luck to have a wide shoulder....lot's of roads in Montana don't.....i am still amazed more bike tourers on Hiway 2 don't get hit.

squirtdad 05-23-13 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris516 (Post 15658748)
This is another example of why I avoid bike lanes altogether.

how would it be any different on the street vs the bike lane? Self centered (aka Idiot) drivers abound. I have seen a lot of close calls on 2 lane streets when driver in left lane stops for cross walk, the person behind them switches to the right lane, not seeing the people in the cross walk.

Bekologist 05-23-13 01:54 PM

don't worry, it likely would have happened without the bikelane too.

Cause? Motorist, not facility.

JoeyBike 05-23-13 02:18 PM

Without the bike lane the van stopped up front would have centered himself between parked cars at right and double yellow line at left. There would have been no room for the offending truck driver to even THINK about sqieezing past on the right. The bike lane made his knucklehead move possible.

spivonious 05-23-13 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeyBike (Post 15659110)
Without the bike lane the van stopped up front would have centered himself between parked cars at right and double yellow line at left. There would have been no room for the offending truck driver to even THINK about sqieezing past on the right. The bike lane made his knucklehead move possible.

I've seen drivers go off the road to the right in order to get around a left-turning vehicle, so unless the road is lined with a concrete wall or parked cars, this situation will always happen, bike lane or not.

Dunbar 05-23-13 03:39 PM

Nothing you can really do if a car/truck wants to go right through you. A mirror might allow you to bail if you spot them in time. Even worse would be having the misfortune of being right next to a car when it decides to swerve into the bike lane. I try to avoid pacing right next to cars when I'm in a bike lane for that reason (either get ahead of them or stay behind.)

JoeyBike 05-23-13 05:59 PM

This is exactly what happened. I was right next to the truck's rear bumper when he started to bail onto the bike lane. He then cut the steerning wheel right and hit the gas pedal simultaneously. Then almost immediately his brakes. I presume he saw my front flashing light in his right mirror the instant he made his move - thankfully.

Chris516 05-23-13 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 15658936)
how would it be any different on the street vs the bike lane? Self centered (aka Idiot) drivers abound. I have seen a lot of close calls on 2 lane streets when driver in left lane stops for cross walk, the person behind them switches to the right lane, not seeing the people in the cross walk.

The difference is, in the bike lane cyclists' have a false sense of security. That does not exist in the travel lane. In the travel lane, there is always the expectation that something can and/or will happen.

JoeyBike 05-23-13 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris516 (Post 15660059)
The difference is, in the bike lane cyclists' have a false sense of security.

Yep. This is not a post to trash bike lanes. Just sort of a "heads-up" for those who use them regularly. I consider myself highly experienced and alert in city traffic but certainly not immune to be taken out "hit-man style" by a motorist. I was wide awake and looking past the stopped van at the time. I had already assessed the intention of the offending truck. He was slowing up and steering straight behind the stopped van.

So stuff happens fast out there. I still can't figure out how I could have done it differently other than just staying home. I do know that particular bike lane gets no respect, so perhaps I should have just stayed in the auto travel lane and stopped behind the truck instead of passing on the right (even though I was inside the bike lane). It seems silly to stop between moving vehicles when the coast appears clear inside that sanctioned bike space. Certainly the dude behind me will yell at me to get in the bike lane and out of "his way", not that I care what he wants.

I guess I pass on the right at my own risk, even in the bike lane. One in a million times someone is going to try to kill me outright while doing that. It would be far easier if I had somehow screwed up and learned something from the experience other than the fact that I am extremely vulnerable to serious injury coming out of nowhere.

spare_wheel 05-23-13 07:34 PM

Quote:

so perhaps I should have just stayed in the auto travel lane and stopped behind the truck instead of passing on the right
this is what i do. i almost never pass vehicles on the right anywhere near an intersection.

JoeyBike 05-23-13 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spare_wheel (Post 15660271)
this is what i do. i almost never pass vehicles on the right anywhere near an intersection.

I usually slow down to the speed of the car that can get me (right hook) near the intersection so I can easily hit the brakes to avoid a problem or at worst turn right next to them. If someone is turning left I assume the car behind them is coming my way into the bike lane and adjust my positioning accordingly. This particular intersection in my OP was a "T" with the only options to go straight or turn left. There is no right turn possibility there. So I guess that disarmed me a bit as I passed the truck. I am plenty awake now I can tell you.

Bekologist 05-23-13 09:28 PM

joey, this type of thing happens on roads all the time without bikelanes too - I'm suprised a guy with your riding chops don't know this.

The swerve around the left turner is VERY common. You've never encountered the serve around the left turner?

-Must be pretty cloistered down there! New Orleans sounds so bucolic.

funny to think the swerve around the left turner caught you unawares, and had to post to BF about the lack of riding awareness. Don't be lulled into a false sense of complacency. :lol:

turbo1889 05-23-13 09:57 PM

Since bike lanes and the apparent false sense of security they can offer has already come up multiple times in this thread I'll put my $0.02 in on the subject.

When it comes to right hooks and side-swipes the problem of a false sense of security of the bike lane goes up exponentially as the speed differential between the heavy vehicle traffic and the cycle traffic goes down. When heavy vehicle traffic is moving at 45+ mph all the way up to 75mph and they pass a cyclist in the bike lane like he/she is standing still and then take a right turn immediately afterwards it usually is an avoidable situation for the cyclists since in comparative terms the cyclists is nearly standing still due to the large differential in speed. Just stop pedaling for a moment and maybe touch the brakes lightly and drop down one gear and the heavy vehicle makes its right turn in front of you (or squeezes over to pass a left turning vehicle) with tight but not significantly hazardous clearance and then you continue on your way. Annoying for the cyclist because they have to slow down for a moment but usually not a huge amount of danger unless they turn right into you. Their speed is so much greater that they can pull into your path right in front of you without putting you in a situation where you can't avoid the colision. Annoying as heck but not too bad all other things considered.

Now when the speed differential is very small or non-existant that is where things get really nasty and motorists who pass you just assume that you are way behind them after they do so when you can still be right beside them and they can turn right into you at point blank range and if you don't have an open escape area to your right (and even if you do you might not have time) your meat in a burger grinder.

The same thing applies to Left-T-Crosses where motorists take a left right in front of you from the oncoming lane and violate your straight through right of way when they are supposed to yield when making a left turn to through traffic (which includes you). On high speed roadways motorists automatically allow for a larger gap to make their left and although they won't allow you as large of a gap as a cyclists they will usually give you enough to avoid the collision because their mind is already tuned to the higher speeds of the roadway and the larger gap they need to make a successful left and although they will automatically consider that you are moving comparatively slower and give you less gap then they would another car they will usually give you a decent gap of about 1/2 to a 1/3 of what they would give another car which works out sort of okay for you if you hit your brakes although once again it can still be too close for comfort and can be rather annoying to have to hit your brakes and slow down a little. But on slower speed roads where the speed distance is much less if not non-existent between you as a cyclists and heavy vehicle traffic they will still give you 1/2 to 1/3 the gap before turning in front of you and that can be too close to avoid a collision on your end. All that of course assumes that they actually see you over to the right riding in the cycle lane or on the shoulder edge of the roadway instead of in the main traffic lane.

Long story short, When it is a high speed roadway with a large speed differential between me and heavy vehicle traffic I will ride in the cycle lane (not that common around here but they do exist) or much more commonly on the shoulder edge of a road provided that is a safe, sane, and effective spot to ride dependent upon its width and surface conditions. BUT, once that speed differential starts to be reduced sufficiently I am in the main travel lane in order to make myself more visible and to help avoid ^&@#%^# like this. And most certainly once the speed of the road is reduced down to either a posted speed limit of 25mph or less or the speed of traffic is only moving that fast despite a higher speed limit I'm absolutely going to be in the main traffic lane and I'm going to stay there regardless of whether there is a bike lane or a ride-able shoulder edge or not. The only exception I will make to that is if I get bogged down climbing a steep hill or have a really nasty head wind that brings my speed down to 10mph or less and I only make that one exception because I'm sorta a nice guy and if I'm moving that slow I'm practically down to pedestrian speeds anyway.

dynodonn 05-23-13 10:09 PM

I'm really not following Joey's account on his one lane road with a bike lane. Is this road designated a one way or has it the capability to have two way traffic?

CB HI 05-23-13 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeyBike (Post 15657949)
Van ahead needs to turn left on 1-lane road. Truck behind him decides to use bike lane as passing lane. I am in the bike lane. Get the picture?

I have been riding with brigh@$$ed flashing front light day and night since last summer. I think that saved me this time. Passing truck hit the brakes almost instantly after entering the bike lane. I was riding far left in the bike lane out of the door zone. He had me if he wanted me. There was nothing i could have done at that instant.

Bike lanes are cool but we are never safe. Sometimed they offer a dangerous sense of false security.

Just so you know, you can us the word ass here.

JoeyBike 05-23-13 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bekologist (Post 15660779)
joey, this type of thing happens on roads all the time...

Yes, I know. I know this thread is getting too long to read completely but I even stated up the thread that I avoided the exact same thing earlier that day in a different part of town.

The street I posted about has a NEW bike lane - less than three months. Before the bike lane there was no way a car could go around a turning vehicle at the spot I nearly got wacked. Now that there is a bike lane, all of a sudden there is JUST ENOUGH space for someone to pass on the right driving mostly in the bike lane. I have biked passed cars in the exact same spot literally 1000+ times before the bike lane was created without a chance of a problem (other than a driver becoming unconscious and running off the road). So the possibility, although probably obvious to anyone who never biked the new bike lane before in their lives this danger was somehow "not on the map" as I routinely make that move without fear of cars squeezing right. It was impossible to do so for the past 30 years. All of a sudden, it's possible thanks to the new bike lane. But my mind was on the next problem up the road instead of where I was at the time because again, it was not possible for two vehicles to fit side by side there before.


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