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Old 08-18-14, 08:12 AM   #26
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My daily commute involves several 4 lane crossing 4 or 6 lane intersections in various configurations of no shoulder, shoulder/bike lane, turn lane and no turn lane.
I rarely have motorists behave badly in any way around me, but have noticed the rare few who do are determined, and will find a way to do something stupid. If there's a shoulder or bike lane I use them, occasionally I use the sidewalk, mostly I'm using the travel lane, the emphasis on "using", not "taking" or "controlling", relying situational awareness to deal with those rare few who don't do the right thing.
One time waiting for a stoplight in the right tire track of the right lane, a guy in a SUV hopped the curb, half on the road, half on the sidewalk to do a right on red. I simply scooched left to give him some extra room and watched in amused amazement.

Its my contention that the average driver isn't as stupid or clueless as a few want or need them to be, ergo they will recognize over the top or unnecessary attempts to control their behavior as a judgmental challenge demanding a response when they otherwise would have simply done the right thing.
Using confrontation to prevent confrontation can be nothing more than self fulfilling prophecy.

I guess if there's a downside to how I ride, its that I don't have nearly as many "war stories" as the dogmatic "VC" and "lane controllers".
I think you should pedal a mile in my shoes. WA drivers are very different than what I see here in MA, some of the worst in the Nation. Most drivers here are clueless, do not signal, rude, arrogant, in a hurry and inpatient. And run red lights ALL the time. People who visit here are astounded by the driving here. I use my situational awareness all the time. It keeps me alive. In the past month I have see a driver turn down to drive on the BIKE path, 3 accidents, 2 people rear ended, and too many red light runners to count. Maybe some MA or Boston bikers could chime in here as well.
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Old 08-18-14, 08:47 AM   #27
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I think you should pedal a mile in my shoes. WA drivers are very different than what I see here in MA, some of the worst in the Nation. Most drivers here are clueless, do not signal, rude, arrogant, in a hurry and inpatient. And run red lights ALL the time. People who visit here are astounded by the driving here. I use my situational awareness all the time. It keeps me alive. In the past month I have see a driver turn down to drive on the BIKE path, 3 accidents, 2 people rear ended, and too many red light runners to count. Maybe some MA or Boston bikers could chime in here as well.
20+ years in NE New Jersey count?
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Old 08-18-14, 09:16 AM   #28
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20+ years in NE New Jersey count?
No, Jersey drivers may not be the best in the world (maybe NY/NJ thinking). But Boston drivers are in a different world. There are no rues at all, It's the only place I've ever been honked at waiting for a red light (in a car). Boston driving is a free for all, probably on a par with Lagos.
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Old 08-18-14, 09:22 AM   #29
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No, Jersey drivers may not be the best in the world (maybe NY/NJ thinking). But Boston drivers are in a different world. There are no rues at all, It's the only place I've ever been honked at waiting for a red light (in a car). Boston driving is a free for all, probably on a par with Lagos.
Try The DFW area some time, it makes the NE look good.
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Old 08-18-14, 09:39 AM   #30
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I think you should pedal a mile in my shoes. WA drivers are very different than what I see here in MA, some of the worst in the Nation. Most drivers here are clueless, do not signal, rude, arrogant, in a hurry and inpatient. And run red lights ALL the time. People who visit here are astounded by the driving here. I use my situational awareness all the time. It keeps me alive. In the past month I have see a driver turn down to drive on the BIKE path, 3 accidents, 2 people rear ended, and too many red light runners to count. Maybe some MA or Boston bikers could chime in here as well.
It's always worse where you live.
I love cycling around Boston. Not as fun as ripping around NYC or the DF (edit: mexico city) but pretty close!
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Old 08-18-14, 09:40 AM   #31
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I think spare_wheel nailed this one.
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Old 08-18-14, 10:40 AM   #32
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The idea that all who take the lane are VCers is false. I'm mostly a "stealth" cyclist according to Hurst's typology:

Urban Velo #3 - Bicycle Culture on the Skids

I really recommend that people read "The Art of Cycling". It's a great counterpoint to VC zealotry!

To provide a thread-specific example, when riding close to the speed of traffic (80-90% of the time in PDX), I almost always ride on the left side of traffic lanes.

Why I do this:

It eliminates close passes.
It prevents right hooks.
It allows me to swerve and split lanes with ease.

Moreover, as I approach some intersections I will reflexively perform a little swerve to help close followers and light blowers pay attention. The swerve also helps set up a possible quick turn that can be used to avoid oncoming perpendicular traffic.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I've been right hooked. Although the fact that I run a lot of stop signs and lights probably has something to do with this too.
I will give that a read, but ditto on the rest. It is about being smart in traffic and being aware.

Regarding Ma drivers:

Boston drivers are some of the craziest I have ever encountered.

But I feel sheer lack of skill and awareness award goes to my current Vancouver/Lower Mainland drivers; this coupled with poor traffic management. But at least there is great cycling infrastructure and it has made it better.

I do not know if I would want to bike in Boston, there are reasons they are known as Massholes in their cars.
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Old 08-18-14, 10:55 AM   #33
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A law was just passed locally that allows golf carts on the road as long as they drive FRAP. That law states that the golf cart driver must yield to right turning vehicles.

Sun City residents celebrate new golf-cart law
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Old 08-18-14, 11:44 AM   #34
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that's one thing I've never figured out about right hooks, how am I supposed to figure out they are turning right if they aren't in front of me so I can see their flashers?
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Old 08-18-14, 11:55 AM   #35
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OMG so many technicalities, the question is do you want to kill someone or don't you. what ever happened to common sense? who the heck is gonna take out a rule book while they are driving. it's a little bicycle, for God's sake, wait for it! even if it annoys you.
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Old 08-18-14, 11:56 AM   #36
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that's one thing I've never figured out about right hooks, how am I supposed to figure out they are turning right if they aren't in front of me so I can see their flashers?
I gather you're not psychic. I try to sort right hooks into classes of driver error and rider error. Certainly a driver is at fault if he passes a cyclist (or any vehicle) then turns across it's path--- the classic right hook.

But many right hooks are primarily the cyclists fault. Drivers turning right tend to slow as they approach the intersection, and this allows a cyclist to catch up and possibly initiate a pass on the right, putting himself in position for a right hook.

The basic and possibly most fundamental rule of the road is "drive right, pass left". This usually works fine for bikes and cars because cars tend to be faster than cars, and therefore tend to be "passing left" while cyclists are "driving right". But intersections, and traffic often reverses the speeds and bicyclists find themselves passing cars which opens up room for misjudgement and error.

It helps to learn to read drivers. Drivers rarely slow down when going straight at an open intersection, so if you find a driver forward and to your left slowing (whether he moves over slightly, or signals, or neither) there's a real chance that he's planning to turn. Unfortunately it also means you have an opportunity to pass, which sets up the trap. This is especially critical with trucks, which take more time and room to turn, and once initiating a turn are totally blind to anything coming up on their right.

So while there's little you can do about the pass-and-turn driver except to have good bike handling skill, you are in position to prevent a large number of right hook scenarios.
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Old 08-18-14, 12:08 PM   #37
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that's one thing I've never figured out about right hooks, how am I supposed to figure out they are turning right if they aren't in front of me so I can see their flashers?
You just always assume every car passing will try to right hook, so be prepared to slow down and turn with them or brake hard.

Sometimes you can pick up other nuances of the driver: such as noise, drivers head position, slight movement when they are along side and awareness of approaching intersection (i.e. starbucks?).

I tend to move left a bit (after shoulder check) when I approach side roads, I pedal through and I am on the brakes, ready.
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Old 08-18-14, 12:17 PM   #38
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I figure every car on the road is going to right hook me at some point....and left hook...and running red lights....and everything else you can think of...I expect it!......When somebody does something correctly,it throws off my whole game.....
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Old 08-18-14, 12:19 PM   #39
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When somebody does something correctly,it throws off my whole game.....
I hate when they try to be courteous and do the right thing. It usually means I have to put a foot down.
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Old 08-18-14, 12:26 PM   #40
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By using a mirror and staying out of far right side of roadway at intersections, right hooks have long been one of my least concerns.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:56 PM   #41
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I hate when they try to be courteous and do the right thing. It usually means I have to put a foot down.
learn how to track stand/sit.
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Old 08-20-14, 10:58 PM   #42
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I do for as long as I can, when it makes sense. But with a kid on the back it is not always possible for too long.

Also I will approach with enough speed and timing to clear the traffic circle. Then they stop in the middle and I have to make an abrupt stop and put my for down to let them know I will not go.

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Old 08-21-14, 06:14 AM   #43
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I've never understood that logic, I simply maintain whatever line I'm already using. Lane, bike lane, shoulder, or sidewalk, they all require the same situational awareness and are all mitigated by adjusting my speed. Changing my line simply changes the potential threat and increases the odds any drivers not directly behind me may loose track of where I am.

It seems the most common complaint motorists have about cyclists is erratic behavior.
"motorist" tend to think everything other then their own behavior is erratic

its kinda like what motorcyclists do at highways, instead of riding on the right side getting hit by some merging car, move one to the left
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Old 08-25-14, 09:56 PM   #44
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I gather you're not psychic. I try to sort right hooks into classes of driver error and rider error. Certainly a driver is at fault if he passes a cyclist (or any vehicle) then turns across it's path--- the classic right hook.

But many right hooks are primarily the cyclists fault. Drivers turning right tend to slow as they approach the intersection, and this allows a cyclist to catch up and possibly initiate a pass on the right, putting himself in position for a right hook.

The basic and possibly most fundamental rule of the road is "drive right, pass left". This usually works fine for bikes and cars because cars tend to be faster than cars, and therefore tend to be "passing left" while cyclists are "driving right". But intersections, and traffic often reverses the speeds and bicyclists find themselves passing cars which opens up room for misjudgement and error.

It helps to learn to read drivers. Drivers rarely slow down when going straight at an open intersection, so if you find a driver forward and to your left slowing (whether he moves over slightly, or signals, or neither) there's a real chance that he's planning to turn. Unfortunately it also means you have an opportunity to pass, which sets up the trap. This is especially critical with trucks, which take more time and room to turn, and once initiating a turn are totally blind to anything coming up on their right.

So while there's little you can do about the pass-and-turn driver except to have good bike handling skill, you are in position to prevent a large number of right hook scenarios.
Right hooks have caused a significant fraction of the cycling homicides in PDX. In most cases the killed cyclist was in a bike lane and had right of way irrespective of the position of the motorist. It is always illegal to merge across a lane when there is oncoming traffic.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 08-25-14 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:09 PM   #45
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IMO, dive-and-squat is just that. So is dive-and-right-hook. It's done without regard to the person immediately behind, the one instantly cut off like that. There's good reason why it's on the books in the vehicle statutes. It's dangerous.

I, too, have friends and some family that don't see it so clearly, don't see the threat they're posing to those they're cutting off.

And so it goes.


Had a RH'er do that to me a couple days back. Nearly nailed me. Am glad I'd just refurbished the brakes and that it wasn't wet out, else likely I'd be repainting (or worse) now.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:22 PM   #46
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Right hooks have caused a significant fraction of the cycling homicides in PDX. In most cases the killed cyclist was in a bike lane and had right of way irrespective of the position of the motorist. It is always illegal to merge across a lane when there is oncoming traffic.
Oregon is one of only two states that gives a cyclist absolute right of way when riding in a bike lane and forbids motorists from merging into it prior to turning right. It's a bit weird and led to many traffic engineers feeling perfectly comfortable putting bike lanes to the right of right turn lanes, which was unfortunate. We're finally beginning to see the right turn lanes put to the right of the bike lanes, although that only helps minimize right hooks when there is a right turn lane.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:50 PM   #47
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Oregon is one of only two states that gives a cyclist absolute right of way when riding in a bike lane and forbids motorists from merging into it prior to turning right.
Well that's just stupid when combined with mandatory bike lane use laws. It seems bike lane use at the riders discretion and normal lane discipline like the majority of states have makes a lot more sense.
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Old 08-25-14, 11:11 PM   #48
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Well that's just stupid when combined with mandatory bike lane use laws. It seems bike lane use at the riders discretion and normal lane discipline like the majority of states have makes a lot more sense.
It takes two to Tango. Cyclists and motorists usually need to work together to make right hooks happen, though it is possible for either to do it solo. In the case of PDX the Oregon legislature, or DMV wrote the music, and Portland's traffic engineers are the band.

You can rest 100% assured that if there were central motor lanes, flanked by divided "service" lanes, every intesection would be signed "no right and "no left", or there would be traffic lights holding the service road back while those in the center are allowed to turn.

See these photos of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx for an example #1 #2. NYC has a number avenues like this, and hundreds of similar intersections, and never allows right turns across divided "service" lanes. However, they also have similar features in the bike lane design and don't see a problem allowing turns across those. Go figure who's "bike friendly"
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Old 08-25-14, 11:59 PM   #49
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It takes two to Tango. Cyclists and motorists usually need to work together to make right hooks happen, though it is possible for either to do it solo.
No argument there, It just seems counterproductive to force all riders under all conditions to always be where its the hardest for motorists to see them, and give them absolute right of way. It limits the choices of skilled riders, and give a dangerous sense of deferred responsibility to unskilled riders.
Traffic rules and laws are supposed to define when we must yield right of way, not when we can take it.
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Old 08-26-14, 01:47 AM   #50
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Oregon is one of only two states that gives a cyclist absolute right of way when riding in a bike lane and forbids motorists from merging into it prior to turning right.
Yep...the prohibition on motorist merging is a complete fail.
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