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Thread: Where to go...

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    Where to go...

    I fell today , because I didn't know where to go when changing directions at this intersection and I was trying to reposition myself to stay out of people's way.
    If I go to the far right, I'll be blocking the cars turning right.
    If I don't go to the far right, I'll be blocking cars going straight.
    What to do? Please help.
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    ~ kcmrl

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    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Ride on the street...

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    Raving looney
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    Either cross the intersection as a pedestrian, or as a vehicle. I'd get off the path early to mix in with traffic, and head over to the Left Turn Only lane, and use that - traffic looks fairly busy, so I don't know if you feel good with doing that.

    If you feel better about it, just cross as a pedestrian and pick it up once you've crossed safely.

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    There's a retainer wall that prevents me from merging with traffic before the intersection. And there's no room in the right lane to start with, so I kinda have to start on the bike path.
    ~ kcmrl

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    Bike paths intersecting streets tend to be problematic. I would cross as a ped if I was faced with that choice. Either that or say the heck with the bike path and ride in the street.

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    Re-reading your post, it sounds like what you're asking is - assuming that you're going to negotiate this turn "pedestrian-stye" (because you can't get to the left turn lane) - whether you should position yourself in front of the through traffic on the cross-street, or in a spot that blocks the right turners. I usually opt to be in front of the through traffic. From a simple courtesy standpoint, you're not holding them up if the light is red in their direction, and you can get out of their way once you're past the path of the right turners. Also, I feel like those going through the intersection are more likely to notice me in front of them. The right turners are looking for cars coming from the left, and seem more likely not to detect the "radar blip" of a bicycle while their attention is diverted away from the road right in front of them.

    I don't know if there is any "gospel" on this situation, but this what gives me the highest level of comfort when I traffic forces me into a "pedestrian turn."

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    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I'd cross the street, and wait right in front of the first car going straight. As soon as the light changes, you can start going and move right if you want to be out of the way. You'd maybe inconvenience someone for all of 10 seconds or so.

    Depending on lane width and traffic after the intersections it looks like you might need to take the lane anyway... in that case I'd probably wait at the far curb for a break in traffic (so I wasn't blocking all the people that were at the light before I was)
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

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    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    I'm with the last two respondants. You are going straight so get in the line of cars to go straight. I'd get to the front of the line though and move to the right as I get moving to let people pass. My guess is that you are not likely to get a break sufficient to jump out from the curb and get into the flow during most times of day at that intersection.
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    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    Bike paths intersecting streets tend to be problematic. I would cross as a ped if I was faced with that choice. Either that or say the heck with the bike path and ride in the street.
    +1

    That's what I was going to say. At that intersection, you are either a vehicle already on the road or you are a pedestrian waiting for the crosswalk light and walking your bike across. Anything else that mixes these modes will just confuse everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcmrl
    I fell today , because I didn't know where to go when changing directions at this intersection and I was trying to reposition myself to stay out of people's way.
    If I go to the far right, I'll be blocking the cars turning right.
    If I don't go to the far right, I'll be blocking cars going straight.
    What to do? Please help.
    Given that you are crossing the first street as a pedestrian I think it makes sense to cross the second street as a pedestrian and then merge into traffic when possible.
    The other choice, especially if there are no cars waiting is to get into the appropriate lane once you make the first crossing. The appropriate lane is the right most lane that is going through the intersection in the direction you wish to travel. If the right most lane is a turn only move into the next lane. If the lanes and shoulders are wide then you can move to the right edge of the lane to allow cars to pass you more easily. Do Not allow cars to make a right turn in front of you. I often pull slightly further ahead and to the left if cars behind me indicate a right turn and it is legal to do so.
    Craig

  11. #11
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCRyder
    Re-reading your post, it sounds like what you're asking is - assuming that you're going to negotiate this turn "pedestrian-stye" (because you can't get to the left turn lane) - whether you should position yourself in front of the through traffic on the cross-street, or in a spot that blocks the right turners. I usually opt to be in front of the through traffic. From a simple courtesy standpoint, you're not holding them up if the light is red in their direction, and you can get out of their way once you're past the path of the right turners. Also, I feel like those going through the intersection are more likely to notice me in front of them. The right turners are looking for cars coming from the left, and seem more likely not to detect the "radar blip" of a bicycle while their attention is diverted away from the road right in front of them.

    I don't know if there is any "gospel" on this situation, but this what gives me the highest level of comfort when I traffic forces me into a "pedestrian turn."
    I would second this advice as this is how I negotiate these sorts of intersections in Los Angeles.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBBaron
    Given that you are crossing the first street as a pedestrian I think it makes sense to cross the second street as a pedestrian and then merge into traffic when possible.
    Craig
    Even though he is crossing as a pedestrian he should just go across and then position himself in front of the first car at the right lane. When the light turns green move a little to the right to let the cars pass without hindering them. I say this for safety issues. He could cross the street again as a ped but that makes him vulnerable to the right turning vehicles. Positioning in front the first vehicle that is stopped may be the safest way to go.

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    thanx all for the advice.
    I'm just tryin not to pi$$ any cager off when they see me 'cut' in front of them.
    Even though I may have every right to stop smack in front of them, and then give them a clear view of my bumm, the majority of them would probably not realize the rights that I have to do this.
    IMO, no sense in gettin into a battle with a cager that outweighs me by a few thousand lbs. even if I am right; I'd rather live to be wrong another day.
    And I really don't want to walk my bike like it's my dog. I have my bike for the purpose of transportation, not as a buddy to walk with, so I'd like to stay on my bike at all times, except when my bike decides to lay down and take a nap.

    Again, thanx for the advice. I think I'll cross, plant myself in front (and slightly right) of the straight going car, but far enough into the intersection so that right-turners can get by me on the right.

    But that raises another ?. If a police sees me far up into an intersection, what can they say/do?
    Any experiences with this?
    ~ kcmrl

  14. #14
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcmrl
    But that raises another ?. If a police sees me far up into an intersection, what can they say/do?
    Any experiences with this?
    I've always filtered to the front of the lines when its safe and have always planted myself in the pedestrian lane all the time. I've had cops pass me, stop besideme, look at me, see me. So far not a word or any sign of concern from them.

  15. #15
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Which intersection is this at? It looks terribly familiar!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    Which intersection is this at? It looks terribly familiar!
    Golf Links @ Wilmot
    ~ kcmrl

  17. #17
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Interesting! I'll have to ride there tomorrow and see what I come up with...

    Looking at the bike map, I'm going to suggest taking Golf Links to the East street lining Freedom park or to Craycroft and turning left.. Turning right onto 29th St, taking that to Wilmot, and turning Left back on to Golf Links.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  18. #18
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Check out this map. Do you have one?

    If not, pick one up at your LBS. It's a great tool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  19. #19
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Can you cross the streets in a different order? First go north (I'm assuming your map is oriented in a standard way here), then go east. Then north again, while all the other northbound cars are trapped at a red. If the light changes frequently enough there, it could be quite convenient.

  20. #20
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Did you manage to find a route?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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