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Old 05-30-13, 11:53 AM   #1
Ursa Minor
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Don't you hate it when ...

you're waiting at a light and some cyclist cruises right through the red light? Yesterday I was behind a young
woman who ran 4 red lights in a row. This creates an atmosphere of hostility towards cyclists.

There is more to it than just anger. Bad behavior can inspire bad behavior in others.

On another ride I was waiting at a light with two motorcycle guys when a group of 3 elite riders blasted
through the red light at 25 mph. The two motorcyclists did a double take then they decided to run the red light too!

I'm not trying to create drama with this post. I've behaved badly on many occasions.

But I encourage you and me to:
A) be a beacon for others and
B) don't lead them on a downward path.

Charlie
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Old 05-30-13, 12:00 PM   #2
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In Wisconsin you can be cited and it will affect you the same as if I did it in a car. That reason alone keeps me from doing it, but I have thought about it on a good ride and waiting at the light thinking I could of made a personal record if I blew it. Just not worth it to me. I wish I could claim I was a pillar of safety but im not and without the law I would do it. Just being honest.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:08 PM   #3
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A 16 year old kid blew through a stop sign locally recently, BMX type bike. He was hit by a car and killed!
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Old 05-30-13, 02:19 PM   #4
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welcome to commuting. It comes from folks who have to commute in busy cities. It happens. Is it smart? No... not always. There are times for it and times not to do it. Case in point.... early in the morning when there is no traffic and lights are not tripped by cyclists. When not to do it? Day time when traffic is heavy. Exceptions might apply like riding in big cities.

Just another way of looking at it.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:24 PM   #5
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When I "catch" idiots blowing through red lights, stop signs too, I give them a piece of my mind ... and they are not gentle words either. I usually let rolling stops in light to no traffic go, especially if they have slowed down and checked for cross traffic. But to blow through without even slowing ... yeah, it gives cyclists a bad name, and I tell that to the offenders.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:32 PM   #6
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You know, as nice as it would be for each of us to be ambassadors of goodwill for our tribe, that is just not going to happen. There are way too many different kinds of riders out on the roads. You can only control what you do and not what others do. Ride safely.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:50 PM   #7
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My rule of thumb is usually whether anybody can see me... Car at the intersection? I stop. Busy road? Stop. Residential road with no traffic and just a stop sign? Slow & go. Riding with my kids? Stop all the time.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:55 PM   #8
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You know, as nice as it would be for each of us to be ambassadors of goodwill for our tribe, that is just not going to happen. There are way too many different kinds of riders out on the roads. You can only control what you do and not what others do. Ride safely.
+1
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Old 05-30-13, 02:56 PM   #9
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My rule of thumb is usually whether anybody can see me... Car at the intersection? I stop. Busy road? Stop. Residential road with no traffic and just a stop sign? Slow & go. Riding with my kids? Stop all the time.
Exactly!
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Old 05-30-13, 02:56 PM   #10
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There is never a time for it. Large group rides where people blow through stop signs are horrible. I was in a vehicle where one bike pulled into the intersection and held up traffic like a funeral cop while everybody blew through. Next time you think "******* IN A CAR!" you can thank people like that.
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Old 05-30-13, 02:58 PM   #11
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There is never a time for it. Large group rides where people blow through stop signs are horrible. I was in a vehicle where one bike pulled into the intersection and held up traffic like a funeral cop while everybody blew through. Next time you think "******* IN A CAR!" you can thank people like that.
There IS a time for it. Go out and ride at 4:15 AM in the morning and sit there for 5-20 minutes waiting for the light to change to green from red when you cannot trip it. When you are a commuter, there is a time for it. Again, using your common since is essential.
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Old 05-30-13, 04:25 PM   #12
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If it's a t intersection and I haves bike lane on the right, I blow the stops sign...(if the other road is on the left)


other than that I stop or slow severely
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Old 05-30-13, 04:34 PM   #13
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There is never a time for it. Large group rides where people blow through stop signs are horrible. I was in a vehicle where one bike pulled into the intersection and held up traffic like a funeral cop while everybody blew through. Next time you think "******* IN A CAR!" you can thank people like that.
On our Sky Rides in UK and Social Group Rides the Leaders always stop traffic to allow riders to get accross junctions.

If we are crossing a junction where there's lights and it changes to red before a decent sized group is accross they have a policy of i treating it as a Juggernaut Truck crossing and want to keep everyone moving as "One Vehicle" so nobody gets stranded and seperated from the ride.

They dont want riders to get split up by vehicles moving to the side and keeping some riders ahead of them and some behind so they will work to keep everyone solid and in pairs on roads so if that means running a red light thats how they see it.

Of course I dont run lights when I'm on my own (well not deliberately anyway) and it does annoy me no end when cyclists run them and I am waiting for it to change.

Although I'm never sure when I am on the pavement (sidewalk) on a shared cycle lane and it ends and I have to rejoin the road just past a set of lights. Do I stop if they're red or go on?
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Old 05-30-13, 07:08 PM   #14
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I live in Chicago and see it all the time, I usually say something, but then I get blown off or called a conformist. Personally I wouldn't rather not conform to the road surface after being hit, but what can I do?

I always stop at lights, and will come to a complete stop at stop signs, unless it is super early and there is no traffic to trip the light. But I then make sure I am clear, or walk the bike.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
There IS a time for it. Go out and ride at 4:15 AM in the morning and sit there for 5-20 minutes waiting for the light to change to green from red when you cannot trip it. When you are a commuter, there is a time for it. Again, using your common since is essential.
OK I can see that for sure. However I'll say excepting those types of exceptions there isn't a time for it.

* tap dances around *
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Old 05-30-13, 08:00 PM   #16
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Once while waiting at a red light a lady racer did all this turn right, go around and make a u turn and then turn right again just to avoid the light. While she was doing this, the light turned green and I pushed off. Not realizing that light was green she turns to me with this nasty tone and says "you don't have to be so obvious". The light was green you idiot - of course I can be obvious....
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Old 05-30-13, 09:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ursa Minor View Post
you're waiting at a light and some cyclist cruises right through the red light? Yesterday I was behind a young
woman who ran 4 red lights in a row. This creates an atmosphere of hostility towards cyclists.

There is more to it than just anger. Bad behavior can inspire bad behavior in others.

On another ride I was waiting at a light with two motorcycle guys when a group of 3 elite riders blasted
through the red light at 25 mph. The two motorcyclists did a double take then they decided to run the red light too!

I'm not trying to create drama with this post. I've behaved badly on many occasions.

But I encourage you and me to:
A) be a beacon for others and
B) don't lead them on a downward path.

Charlie
The problem with 'being a beacon' is that no one cares. For instance, I could ride 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and my area would still have people riding bikes against traffic. Or riding at night without lights or reflectors - last week at 2 AM I nearly struck a guy riding a mountain bike. As I braked he noticed me behind him and switched lanes so he was riding against traffic.
 
Old 05-30-13, 09:35 PM   #18
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There IS a time for it. Go out and ride at 4:15 AM in the morning and sit there for 5-20 minutes waiting for the light to change to green from red when you cannot trip it. When you are a commuter, there is a time for it. Again, using your common since is essential.
I don't believe the OP was writing about lonely intersections at quarter after four in the morning.
 
Old 05-30-13, 10:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
welcome to commuting. It comes from folks who have to commute in busy cities. It happens. Is it smart? No... not always. There are times for it and times not to do it. Case in point.... early in the morning when there is no traffic and lights are not tripped by cyclists. When not to do it? Day time when traffic is heavy. Exceptions might apply like riding in big cities.

Just another way of looking at it.
Exactly. Most of the time I wait my turn. No one coming? Commuting home at 4AM? Light doesn't trigger for bikes? I run it. I have stop signs or stop lights pretty much every 5 blocks for my 8 mile (each way) commute. There are a couple of poorly designed intersections where I regularly run the stop sign even though I stop for all the other ones. I won't do it if there is a car waiting though, I try not to be rude, but I'm not going to stop for no reason if there is no one around. Do people in cars sometimes see me do this? Sure. I'm not going to change my behavior though.

Besides, it always smacks of blaming the victim when cyclists blame other cyclists for cars being rude or dangerous to them.

/ Land of the free
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Old 05-30-13, 11:55 PM   #20
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I roll through stops carefully when there is no apparent traffic, and there are two left lights that never trigger for me on the bicycle on my commute route. I stop for reds otherwise. I don't like being passed when I'm riding (sometimes I can catch them...) but it doesn't bother me when I'm stopped...
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Old 05-31-13, 04:51 AM   #21
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OK I can see that for sure. However I'll say excepting those types of exceptions there isn't a time for it.

* tap dances around *
Commuting is a different ball game really. I used to think that way and for me, I use my noggin to figure out what is safe and whats not. But when I commuted in Philly more and more for work, I can see running red lights with caution.
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Old 05-31-13, 04:53 AM   #22
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I don't believe the OP was writing about lonely intersections at quarter after four in the morning.
The OP did not say any differently. The point is there are exceptions and what it takes is to use percaution and your noggin to figure it out.
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Old 05-31-13, 04:56 AM   #23
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Exactly. Most of the time I wait my turn. No one coming? Commuting home at 4AM? Light doesn't trigger for bikes? I run it. I have stop signs or stop lights pretty much every 5 blocks for my 8 mile (each way) commute. There are a couple of poorly designed intersections where I regularly run the stop sign even though I stop for all the other ones. I won't do it if there is a car waiting though, I try not to be rude, but I'm not going to stop for no reason if there is no one around. Do people in cars sometimes see me do this? Sure. I'm not going to change my behavior though.

Besides, it always smacks of blaming the victim when cyclists blame other cyclists for cars being rude or dangerous to them.

/ Land of the free
+1. Its not rocket science. I believe in using precaution, like you. I know where in my commute are the pinch points. More so on the way home because it's late in the day. But the more riding you do, the more you become in aware of situations. Of course, this has to be balanced with cockyness that can creep up from time to time.

If a rider want to run a red light, so be bit. Does it piss me off? Not any more. More so are the folks who do not use helmets but I am working on that not bothering me either.
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Old 05-31-13, 06:28 AM   #24
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Commuting is a different ball game really. I used to think that way and for me, I use my noggin to figure out what is safe and whats not. But when I commuted in Philly more and more for work, I can see running red lights with caution.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in their booklet "Safe Bicycling in Philadelphia", advocates following the rules of the road. This includes observing traffic signals. Your approach should be "act like a vehicle." And yes there are motorists who also run red lights because they think they know what's safe, but that doesn't make it right.

When a cyclist advocates running red lights, he's saying traffic rules shouldn't apply to him because he wants to go fast.
 
Old 05-31-13, 06:35 AM   #25
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The OP did not say any differently. The point is there are exceptions and what it takes is to use percaution and your noggin to figure it out.
The situation you cited, of a signal that refuses to change, isn't related to the OP's examples of cyclists who run red lights because stopping would slow them down. Or are you advocating running red lights at all times of day?
 
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