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Old 08-03-09, 12:34 PM   #1
cohophysh
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car/cyclist scenario

My coworker posed this question to me

Car is stopped at red light wanting to make a right turn onto a one way street from a two way street, multiple lanes with sidewalks and a bike lane, light turns green, pedestrian crossing light is red. Cyclist going with the flow of traffic on the sidewalk, ignores red pedestrian light. Here is the question: should the cyclist act like a pedestrian and wait for pedestrian light to turn green or should cyclist act like a vehicle or a bike in the bike lane and ignore the red pedestrian light? Coworker anticipated cyclist blowing through the red pedestrian light and waited to avoid collision. (yes I know pedestrians have the ROW).
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Old 08-03-09, 12:44 PM   #2
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If the cyclist is on the sidewalk they should obey the pedestrian signal...but I guess the real question is why are they not in the bike lane?

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Old 08-03-09, 12:47 PM   #3
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Cyclist should not be on the sidewalk; cyclist should not be in the bike lane; the cyclist should be in the traffic lane behind the car turning right. At an intersection, a bike lane between the curb and a right turning vehicle is a recipe for the cyclist to get "right hooked". If the cyclist is on the sidewalk he/she should be off the bike, walking and following the pedestrian signals. Really, the safest place for the cyclist is in the travel lane, obeying the traffic signals for traffic. A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle subject to the same rules of the road as a motorvehicle.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:50 PM   #4
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Wait your coworker _saw_ the cyclist. That pacific northwest is definately a utopia.

Personally once he went on the sidewalk he isn't traffic. Did the bike lane end before the intersection and they choose to take the sidewalk instead of moving over into the straight through lane?

To me a sidewalk is sort of like a seperate road that is pretty much last on the ROW food chain even when they get the walk sign.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:08 PM   #5
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Cyclist shouldn't be on the sidewalk.

But, aside from that, I always assume cars are out to get me, so even I think I should have right of way, I always yield to cars.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:59 PM   #6
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should the cyclist act like a pedestrian and wait for pedestrian light to turn green
If the cyclist is on the sidewalk, they are to act in similar fashion to a pedestrian.

or should cyclist act like a vehicle or a bike in the bike lane and ignore the red pedestrian light?
No tif they're on the sidewalk. If they're in the bike lane, then the pedwalk signal doesn't apply to them. But IMO, when you approach an intersection like that you should slide out of the bike lane over into the traffic lane when going through to keep from getting hooked.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:04 PM   #7
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should the cyclist act like a pedestrian and wait for pedestrian light to turn green
If the cyclist is on the sidewalk, they are to act in similar fashion to a pedestrian.

or should cyclist act like a vehicle or a bike in the bike lane and ignore the red pedestrian light?
No tif they're on the sidewalk. If they're in the bike lane, then the pedwalk signal doesn't apply to them. But IMO, when you approach an intersection like that you should slide out of the bike lane over into the traffic lane when going through to keep from getting hooked.
This was my thinking....this is quite amazing here. There is a bike path a block over, the road has a nice marked bike lane, and yet there is a ton of bikes on the side walk...not to mention some that ride in the wrong direction on the bike lane
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Old 08-03-09, 03:04 PM   #8
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Zoste has it right. Act like a vehicle, which you are. Get behind the car, not next to them. If you MUST be next to the car, be on their left (driver's side).

The only time a bike should be on the sidewalk is when they are WALKING the bike. Then, they are a pedestrian, not a vehicle.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but a bike with a rider is a vehicle and should act like one and be treated like one.

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Old 08-03-09, 03:57 PM   #9
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actually the cyclist wasn't turning, they were riding along the one way street, the car was turning on to the one way street. The cyclist crossed in front of the turning car.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:11 PM   #10
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If I read it right, your friend had a red light, cross traffic had green, ped cross traffic had red (don't walk) cyclist crossed in front of friend, but on sidewalk/cross walk? The cyclist should have been in bike lane or lane of travel. If he insists on riding on the sidewalk, he should follow pedestrian signals/rules. I commute and I never use the sidewalk. It causes too much confusion. Confused and frustrated drivers are not going to increas my level of safety. I ride in the street, bike lane if available, and follow traffic signals/signs. So the answer is yes, cyclist should have waited for walk signal if he was on the sidewalk. IMHO.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:30 PM   #11
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You got it EE and I agree with you. Cyclist should have stopped. It really amazes me how many ride on the side walk when there is a bike lane. I bet i could count at least 30 a day on the side walk
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Old 08-03-09, 06:17 PM   #12
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About the cyclist on the sidewalk: In some places it's completely legal. If the cyclist is riding on the road, he is to obey the same laws as drivers; if he's using a sidewalk or a crosswalk, he is to obey the same laws as pedestrians.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:20 PM   #13
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Sounds like the city did a bad job designing the bike lane if it goes all the way to the intersection. In my city (suburbs with long blocks), the bike lane often ends far enough away from the intersection to let the cyclist merge into traffic or become a pedestrian. If what you're riding on looks like a sidewalk, then I think you're stuck being a pedestrian at intersections. I'd talk to the city transportation officials and see if they can review their practices and possibly restripe.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:27 PM   #14
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Side note

hi,
I believe that most studies find more problems riding on sidewalks versus in traffic.
I ve learned to avoid intersection in the QUote ( bike trail ), I usally enter the roadway to cross with the light with the cars, for me its safer than taking the intersection on the bike trail.
doug
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Old 08-03-09, 07:33 PM   #15
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I have to chime in just as many others already have. Cyclists should not be on the sidewalk. However, if they are, they need to follow the rules of the sidewalk and not choose to be a pedestrian when it suits them, then switch to being a vehicle when that suits them better.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:47 PM   #16
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First off, I'm amazed the driver who wanted to make a right turn at the red light actually stopped. I know drivers are supposed to stop before turning on a red but so often around here they pull on the steering wheel and take the corner like a race car driver, pedestrians be damned. So, kudos there.

In Toronto the only people allowed to ride on sidewalks are children, but regardless of being on a bike or on their feet, the traffic light should be obeyed. If it said "don't walk" then it also means "don't pedal". Most intersections where I see the "walk" sign delayed occurs when left turning traffic is given preference to clear up the intersection before the rest of traffic commences.

It's funny because when I started riding my bike I found riding on the sidewalk much harder than riding on the road. Sidewalks are narrow and usually has more distractions like people and driveways. The only time I get on the sidewalk is if the road is a complete mess, but then I usually walk my bike past the obstruction, unless there are no people on the sidewalk and I can clearly see a way off the sidewalk and onto clear road. I don't want to linger.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:15 PM   #17
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First off, I'm amazed the driver who wanted to make a right turn at the red light actually stopped. I know drivers are supposed to stop before turning on a red but so often around here they pull on the steering wheel and take the corner like a race car driver, pedestrians be damned. So, kudos there.

In Toronto the only people allowed to ride on sidewalks are children, but regardless of being on a bike or on their feet, the traffic light should be obeyed. If it said "don't walk" then it also means "don't pedal". Most intersections where I see the "walk" sign delayed occurs when left turning traffic is given preference to clear up the intersection before the rest of traffic commences.

It's funny because when I started riding my bike I found riding on the sidewalk much harder than riding on the road. Sidewalks are narrow and usually has more distractions like people and driveways. The only time I get on the sidewalk is if the road is a complete mess, but then I usually walk my bike past the obstruction, unless there are no people on the sidewalk and I can clearly see a way off the sidewalk and onto clear road. I don't want to linger.
She actually stopped because A) her bestest office mate (me) and her dad are cyclists, and B) she hears me *****in about the individuals riding on the sidewalk and that ya really need to pay attention.
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Old 08-04-09, 03:11 PM   #18
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Zoste has it right. Act like a vehicle, which you are. Get behind the car, not next to them. If you MUST be next to the car, be on their left (driver's side).

The only time a bike should be on the sidewalk is when they are WALKING the bike. Then, they are a pedestrian, not a vehicle.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but a bike with a rider is a vehicle and should act like one and be treated like one.

Bob
+1 Here is something that is funny and sad at the same time. I recently came accross my 4th grade school work at my parent's house (I went to school in Haarlem in the Netherlands back then). I read through my traffic safely book. It included scenerios just like what the OP described. I remember having fun putting in the pictures of cars, cyclists, and pedestrians and then having to give a short explanation of who had the right of way and why. The sad thing here is that in the US they don't bother training kids about rules of the road until they want to get a licence and even then you only need (1) 6 hour course to apply for a license. No wonder so many people are clueless. If they start back in kindergarden all the way through elementary school than the average adult would actually know the rules of the road.

Happy riding,
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