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  1. #1
    Senior Member m_yates's Avatar
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    construction flagman directed me to the sidewalk

    I ride through a road construction zone on my way to work and today the flagman directing traffic sternly told me to get on the sidewalk!! It was too busy to have a conversation and I didn't want to argue. So, I went to the sidewalk, rode around the flagman, and went back onto the street. It is bad enough that drivers don't know the rules of the road, but you'd think someone who is paid to direct traffic would.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    In my old home state, in several cities you would have broken the law. Wonder if the flagman would have paid your fine had that been the case.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Depending on the traffic situation, he most likely would have gotten a one finger salute from me.
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  4. #4
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
    I ride through a road construction zone on my way to work and today the flagman directing traffic sternly told me to get on the sidewalk!! It was too busy to have a conversation and I didn't want to argue. So, I went to the sidewalk, rode around the flagman, and went back onto the street. It is bad enough that drivers don't know the rules of the road, but you'd think someone who is paid to direct traffic would.
    Flagman is a loser, like most flagmen.
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  5. #5
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    I don't know how official those flagmen are around there, but here they put a vest on any drunk homeless guy who can hold a flag and tell him to wave it for a few hours. Not somebody I take a scolding from, that's for sure.
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  6. #6
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
    In my old home state, in several cities you would have broken the law. Wonder if the flagman would have paid your fine had that been the case.
    Agreed.

    Again ... this flagman is an ignorant loser.
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  7. #7
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2create View Post
    Depending on the traffic situation, he most likely would have gotten a one finger salute from me.
    Most definetivelly.

    Flagmen have no authority to regulate any kind of traffic ... they better be polite or otherwise get verbally abused.
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  8. #8
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    I don't know how official those flagmen are around there, but here they put a vest on any drunk homeless guy who can hold a flag and tell him to wave it for a few hours. Not somebody I take a scolding from, that's for sure.
    ... just like Santa Claus performers.
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  9. #9
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    Last summer my route took me through a construction zone that had the road down to one lane serving both directions for about 6-8 car lengths. There were flag people at both ends directing traffic. My first day through, I dutifully lined up in traffic behind the last car but placed towards the right hand side of the single lane so that I could see and be seen by the flag person on the far side. When our direction got the go ahead I took the center of the lane. Now as luck would have it no cars came up behind me, so I was the last “vehicle” in my direction before the flagman reversed flow and let oncoming vehicles pass.

    Since it was a rather short passage, but slightly up hill I was able to almost keep up with the car in front of me but a gap about the length of two cars opened up. Needless to say the flag person on the far side let traffic go into that gap straight towards me! I took evasive action onto the grass then proceeded to tell the flagman, in very clear terms, what I thought about him almost killing me.

    I pulled over and tried to capture the “How’s my driving” number of the work vehicle, but didn’t have a pen or pencil with me. While I was fiddling around the supervisor came over and asked me what my problem was. I told him that I didn’t appreciate the carelessness of his flagman and that I was a vehicle too as defined by PA state law.

    As it turned out the supervisor was pretty willing to here what I had to say and agreed to talk to his crew. In fact the next day through the same area in the same situation the same flagman made sure I cleared the road before letting opposing traffic through. I think that had I not stopped and talked to the supervisor nothing would have changed.

    I left for a month overseas for work the following week so by the time I was back all the work was done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    We don't have flagmen here -- it's all paid police details, and you better believe that does great things to keep costs down. Ahem. Anyway, I seem to recall back when the earth was flat and I took driver ed, that when you are directed to do something by a person directing traffic in an official capacity, you do it -- never mind if lights, signs or regs say otherwise. Someone directing traffic is there to handle a situation where lights, signage and regs are not adequate, so it makes no sense to insist on obeying lights/signs/regs when a human being directs you to do otherwise. You obviously don't do something that's going to harm yourself or others, but beyond that, you do what you're told.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    They don' t call cars steel cages for nothing.

    Maybe it has to deal with OSHA rules. Next time wear a orange vest and hardhat

  12. #12
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    A bridge that I cross every day is getting rebuilt right now. I've been riding over it during construction for about 4 weeks now. The newspaper said that the bridge would be "closed to bicycles and pedestrians" for the duration of construction, but there's no terribly reasonable alternate route (it's a couple of miles to go around it).

    I just ride over it anyway. Nobody has even noticed me as far as I can tell, and the only holdup is that I'm ALWAYS getting held up by the car in front of me; I'm crossing the bridge far faster than the cars are (due to the much-narrowed and shifted lanes) and I wind up on the tail of any car in front of me, waiting for them to get out of my way. If anyone bothers me about it, as far as I've seen there's no signage, just that notice in the paper.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  13. #13
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    when you are directed to do something by a person directing traffic in an official capacity, you do it
    What if they pointed a car or a motorcycle to drive on the sidewalk? Are you going to blindly drive your vehicle off a cliff because some moron in the middle of the road tells you to? We have brains, use them.

    dipy911

  14. #14
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
    Most definetivelly.

    Flagmen have no authority to regulate any kind of traffic ... they better be polite or otherwise get verbally abused.
    Not necessarily true. It depends where you're from. In my province, drivers are obligated to follow directions from people whom are authorized to direct traffic. Plus, driving fines double in construction zones here too.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
    Flagman is a loser, like most flagmen.
    At least he has a job and is being productive to society. Don't be so hard on the guy. Maybe he's just following orders.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post
    What if they pointed a car or a motorcycle to drive on the sidewalk? Are you going to blindly drive your vehicle off a cliff because some moron in the middle of the road tells you to? We have brains, use them.

    dipy911
    That's a pretty arrogant statement to make, calling someone a moron. There's a big difference between being directed onto a sidewalk for a short period and driving off a cliff. Grow up, you don't even know the guy.

  17. #17
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post
    What if they pointed a car or a motorcycle to drive on the sidewalk?
    Well, then I guess I'd have to have the circus ponies trample them to death. What's that you say? Where'd I get the circus ponies? The same place you got a flagman who directs a car or a motorcycle to the sidewalk.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    Well, then I guess I'd have to have the circus ponies trample them to death. What's that you say? Where'd I get the circus ponies? The same place you got a flagman who directs a car or a motorcycle to the sidewalk.
    LMAO.

  19. #19
    Senior Member adebrunner's Avatar
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    Is this really a big deal? Do you honestly feel less safe on the sidewalk for that portion of your trip or are you just irritated that he's taking away your right to ride in the road. Really the man probably is looking out for your best interest and everyone else's. Voodoocommuter's story is a perfect example. Construction areas aren't set up for bike travel and people aren't expecting it. He may have let you go, but if nobody else was looking out for you, you could've found some trouble without an exit. He is responsible for the traffic in that area. That is his one and only goal and if he feels that you're safer on the sidewalk, chances are that you are. I know it's inconvenient and seemingly disrespectful of your decision to ride but, in the scheme of things, not really a battle I'd pick to get worked up over.

  20. #20
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
    It is bad enough that drivers don't know the rules of the road, but you'd think someone who is paid to direct traffic would.
    I wouldn't.

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  21. #21
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Didn't we just have one of these threads a week ago?
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  22. #22
    that strange guy
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    I've been directed on to the sidewalk before when traffic was cut to one lane. I realized the flagman did it to help me out, so I didn't have to wait for the cars to go through the other direction before I continued. I was pretty happy about it.

  23. #23
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post
    What if they pointed a car or a motorcycle to drive on the sidewalk? Are you going to blindly drive your vehicle off a cliff because some moron in the middle of the road tells you to? We have brains, use them.

    dipy911
    Back when the earth was flat and you took driver's ed, it was police only that had the authority to direct you in that manner... and indeed if they tell you to drive off a cliff, you head the vehicle that way... (of course being a smart cyclist, you jump out of the vehicle before it goes over the edge).

    Bottom line however is that most flagmen have no authority, were as police do.

  24. #24
    n00b-sauce
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    I don't know how I would've have acted in the same situation. I know that I would've been a little ticked. But, what's one more inconvenience? I think I could see myself trying to sneak around the guy when he wasn't looking, but I wouldn't start any kind of altercation.
    I like to ride bikes. I miss living in the city though, where it was all a bike's ride away. City dwellers: appreciate it. :D

  25. #25
    Senior Member charly17201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    I don't know how official those flagmen are around there, but here they put a vest on any drunk homeless guy who can hold a flag and tell him to wave it for a few hours. Not somebody I take a scolding from, that's for sure.
    You're definitely not from around here. Flagman is usually a flagWOMAN and it seems to be the choice job during the summer for the college girls (read young and pretty and seems to always wear a too small top and shorts). Maybe it is a psychological thing...... pretty girl equals guys will look at and pay attention to her and presumably the sign she holds too.
    Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm.

    In response to bicycling being so dangerous: "We could all died today from any number of accidents. I'm not going to stop living to keep from dying." The Northern Tier by Lief Carlsen

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