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Old 09-26-07, 10:18 AM   #1
AlmostTrick
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Major intersection closed... bike allowed through!

There was a serious collision at Rt. 20 and Shales parkway this morning, which is a major high volume intersection on my commute. The police had the entire section closed to motor traffic. I rode up to the officer directing traffic at the first barricade and asked him if it was ok if I ride through. He says "Yeah, I don't care". Once I got down to the intersection another officer told me I could go straight (my normal direction) or turn right but not left. I could see lots of emergency vehicles and smoke off to the left as I crossed. The reroute caused many motorists to be late for work, but the bicyclist was on time again!
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Old 09-26-07, 11:30 AM   #2
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I've had that happen plenty of times with construction. Very amusing for the crews to wave a line of 20 or so cyclists through, and turn all the cars around.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:55 AM   #3
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on my way in on Monday, a utility crew was digging up a new trench for some fiber and had blocked off the entire street to fill a dump truck. Cars were backed up twenty-plus deep in both directions, but I just filtered left, made eye contact with the officer on site, and he just waved me through.

Made a point of waving at all of the other cars waiting on the other side.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:20 PM   #4
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A few years ago, road construction busted a gas main and completely shut down an intersection that is pretty much the only way out of town from my school.

I rode up to ask about a good detour to take and the officer said "Oh, you're on a bike. Just go on through." Other teachers at my school who live near me didn't get home until 7:00, nearly two hours after I did.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:54 PM   #5
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That's another thing I like about biking -- it's barely different from walking on foot. Anywhere a pedestrian can go, so can a cyclist.

On July 4th, nearly all the streets along the Mall were blocked off to traffic between my place near the Capitol and Rosslyn across the river (my destination). I rode unimpeded most of the way down the Mall, got checked at the security checkpoint by the Washington Monument, then kept riding, crossing the Potomac, past the Iwo Jima memorial, and up the hill to the restaurant. It took me way less than half an hour, possibly half or 2/3 of the time it would've taken by car, and no longer than if I went by Metro.
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Old 09-26-07, 02:40 PM   #6
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I've had that happen a few times with the fire department putting out building fires. It was a pleasant surprise because I didn't expect it.

Unrelated: While it wasn't on my route, this would have been an interesting obstacle. We had a meat spill this morning. http://news.nky.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...0103/309260020
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Old 09-26-07, 03:30 PM   #7
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On my last job and commute, I regularly went through a big road construction project (actually, they were building a light rail track overhead). This often meant that there were flagmen on the road and only one lane allowed through at a time. Many a time, I filtered my way up to the front of the line on the right and made eye contact with the flagman there. I'd have to wait for the cars going the other direction to clear, but they'd stop all traffic and make sure I got through safely before letting the cars go. I think it kind of pissed off some of the cagers
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Old 09-26-07, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
That's another thing I like about biking -- it's barely different from walking on foot. Anywhere a pedestrian can go, so can a cyclist.
Yep. One of the RR crossings on my route was closed while under repair a couple of weeks ago. I carried my bike through while motorists who thought they could get through had to make uturns. When workers were present I always asked for permission to cross just to be polite. I always got it.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:35 AM   #9
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I had a couple of sweet moments like that. Riding on those huge and usually bike-unfriendly streets all by myself... ah, what a feeling.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:54 AM   #10
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I don't usually ask, I just assume if no one makes a stink, I act like I belong there and go on through. This works for construction zones, traffic jams, wrecks, and roads that are impassable due to snow. I'm not afraid to get my road bike dirty, go through gravel or light mud, or bunny-hop obstacles, either. My mountain bike is really a much more useful weapon against stuff like that, but I won't use it daily until winter comes around.
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