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Old 08-15-07, 09:45 AM   #1
unixpro
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Saw a sign I'd never seen before this morning

Anyone who lives in or around Seattle is well aware that they're doing work on I-5 for the next couple of weeks that is causing traffic to be rerouted off the freeway and onto surface streets. One of the surface streets they suggest as an alternate route is Airport Way S., which just happens to be part of the route I take in every day. The construction started on Monday and is expected to last until the 29th.

Airport Way S. is a fairly wide 4-lane street that's usually pretty lightly traveled. It's through an industrial area that has lots of heavy vehicle (as in semi truck) traffic, so the road surface itself is a little bad in places, but overall, considering the usually light traffic it's a good, safe ride. Riding during the construction hasn't been a real problem yet, but it is getting worse as more people bail other routes onto Airport.

Anyway, coming in this morning I noticed some new signs on the road. They may have been there earlier in the week and I just missed them, but I don't think so. They've got the little orange flags on them and everything, just like they're brand new. These signs say:

TRANSIT AND
TRUCKS ONLY
RIGHT LANE

MINIMUM WEIGHT
10,000 POUNDS

I had to double take that. Minimum weight 10,000 pounds?? In the right lane? Where I was riding?? The following thoughts went through my head, in the following order:
  1. I know I'm a little heavy, but I don't think I weigh 10,000 pounds. Does this mean I can't ride in the right lane now?
  2. Where am I going to get something to carry that weighs 10,000 pounds?
  3. Even if I found something that weighed 10,000 pounds, how the heck am I going to pull it?
  4. OMG! Everything within killing distance of me is going to weigh at least 10,000 pounds!!
  5. I wonder if there will be enough of me left to scrape off the ground

Maybe I shouldn't let my mind wander like that when I'm riding. It can be downright scary!
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Old 08-15-07, 09:52 AM   #2
HardyWeinberg
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We were up in Seattle the other day, saw how 3rd downtown is signed for buses and bikes only during the week, they may actually intend to exclude you from the right lane, since they do apparently specify bikes when they mean to. Some times, anway. That is a weird sign for sure, lots of confusing implications.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:39 AM   #3
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Look at it this way, usually truck drivers are the only decent drivers on the road.
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Old 08-15-07, 12:01 PM   #4
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I think you ran into the case of a state/city employed signmaker!
When I worked in the shipyard "across the bay" from you, the pipe shop test area had a sign-
"Unauthorized Personnel Only".
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Old 08-15-07, 12:32 PM   #5
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I'd continue to ride it, if I got honked at then I might call the police or something and ask for their advice.
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Old 08-15-07, 12:42 PM   #6
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I'd put on a sumo wrestler costume and ride it anyway...
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Old 08-15-07, 01:53 PM   #7
tsl
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Fake a British accent and tell them you thought it referred to your bank balance.
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Old 08-15-07, 01:59 PM   #8
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Fake a British accent and tell them you thought it referred to your bank balance.
*ba-doom chssh*
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Old 08-15-07, 05:59 PM   #9
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That sounds like it's going to make your ride interesting for the next couple of weeks!
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Old 08-15-07, 10:04 PM   #10
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I can't figure out what the sign means. Does it mean that trucks and busses must stay in the right lane? Or does it mean that everyone else must stay in the left lane? If it is the first case, then you can stay in the right lane but trucks and busses are not allowed to pass you. If it is the second case, then you can use the left lane. I sure hope it is not first case. That could get scary.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:45 PM   #11
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To the Op: Ooo yea, it might be time to look over the bike, helmet and other gear for visiibilty from a trucker's standpoint. It could save your life.
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Old 08-16-07, 03:42 PM   #12
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I checked it again this morning and, yep, they mean that only trucks and busses are supposed to be in the right lane. It's only a stretch of about 1.5 miles, and most people didn't seem to be paying attention to it anyway, but the signs are for real.

Oh, yeah. I've got lights (both steady and blinky), reflectors, reflective vest, reflectors on my helmet, plus the fact that I'm something of a Clydesdale to help make me visible. Actually, in my experience, its not the truck drivers that have given me problems; they seem to be well-aware of the size and exact location of their vehicle on the road. Bus drivers, OTOH, seem to be more along the lines of people who couldn't get hired at the DMV so they went to Metro instead.
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