Advocacy & Safety - Help Making Left Turn at "T" Intersection
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12-03-04, 07:43 AM
I've been having great success for the past seven months or so road riding according to all the traffic laws. But there's this one situation that I can't figure out.
There's a T intersection. I'm coming across the T and want to turn left, and there's a car coming up the verticle section, and he also wants to turn left. Only the car has a stop sign. Normally I should have the right of way, however:
1. SO many drivers kind of start their left turn as they stop, forcing me into an unnaturally large turn radius
2. Since I have to slow to turn, and also have to go so wide to turn, the driver is unsure of whether I am going straight, or if I am slowing to let them out. It's not good.
3. Also, I prefer to slow with my left brake, but I need that hand to signal the turn - kind of a pain.
How do you safely handle this situation? Should I stop and let the car out first?
Signal with your left hand - use your right to slow down for the this turn. Watch the driver to make sure he sees you. If you stop to let the other driver go first, you will likely confuse the other driver to where you are both stopped waiting on the other as well as potentially creating a hazard with motorists behind you that expect you to use your right of way.
12-03-04, 11:08 AM
If the traffic isnt too heavy, wave him on and make your left turn on the near side of him as he turns.
If traffic is light, as your description suggests, I slow and go straight and let the car make its turn, then either make my left or do a quick U-turn and a right after the car passes. If we have made eye contact and I am certain the driver has seen my signal I use my right of way normally.
Try to execute a standard vehicular left turn from just right of your centerline, but be ready to take evasive action if the driver fails to see you. A hand signal is mandatory in this scenario. Alternatively, stop on the right side of the road and wait for a traffic break before crossing along a pedestrian trajectory. The choice depends heavily on traffic flow and on your visibility.
12-03-04, 03:52 PM
If the situation is unbearable, one option may be, to turn right, ride a little ways away from the intersection to where it is less confusing. Then cross the street and go back through the intersection.
If there is a crosswalk, push the button and cross like a pedestrian.
Also if there is a good sidewalk and it is not heavily populated with pedestrians you may want to go onto the sidewalk somewhere and ride on the sidewalk (if you have to) to get through the interseciton on the sidewalk.
Read "Urban Cyclists tricks and tips" or other good traffic cycling books they will have diagrams too.
"Shadow" a car that you are sure is going to go your way and ride right with it. Be sure the driver knows your intention.
Lighted turn signals, fore and aft. Then the cages know exactly what to expect from you. They're used to looking for lights on other vehicles to indicate where they're going. (In spite of the fact that many motorists don't have a clue how to use turn signals!)
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