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  1. #1
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    How to approach a Stop Light

    Quick Question.

    You approach a red light where there's 3 Cars already stopped do you

    1. Pull past the 3 cars all the way up to the Stop line so you are even with the first car.
    2. pull up behind the last car in line just as you would on a motorcycle or in a car.


    I always do #1 but I often wonder if I'm correct to do so... after all, technically I should abide by all the same rules of the road as anyone else on it. right?

  2. #2
    Senior Member katmu's Avatar
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    I do #2, but like you I'm not really sure if that's right or not.

  3. #3
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    2 is correct

    if you pull even you are lane sharing which is not only illegal it is very dangerous.

    what do you do after the light goes green? do you continue to ride next to the front car or do you allow it to pass? I just can not see any advantage to pulling even with the front car, all you are doing is making the road dangerous for everyone and forfeiting your lane position

  4. #4
    jpdesjar
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    I just posted something like this in relation to an article about bike commuting, I get to the front of the line because I am on a bike and I can. I have been doing this for a while. So I get to the front along side the car that is first.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mr York's Avatar
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    I started out doing #1, but I get better reactions and feel safer doing #2.

  6. #6
    Señor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    Depends on how wide the lane is. If there's enough room for there to be a proper bike lane (even if there isn't one), I'll slowly ride up to the light. Or if there's no room to the side, like what happened at one light this morning, I'll take my place in line.
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  7. #7
    jpdesjar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr York View Post
    I started out doing #1, but I get better reactions and feel safer doing #2.
    Good to know, I may give this a shot today but there are certain lights where I can get a headtstart on the cars behind me. I can see getting better reactions with using approach 2.
    I guess I don't really gain much by being one car ahead. Makes sense

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I tend to do #2, unless the traffic is backed up... then I figure why add more congestion to the mess, and I filter forward and go with a motorist. (thereby causing no more delay)

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    #2 unless I am certain I will end up waiting an extra light cycle in which case I filter forward only enough to avoid that.

    It seems pointless to get passed again and I want the drivers behind me to be most aware of me - and staying in back of line assures that vs. being up front off to the side with blocked sight lines.

    Al

  10. #10
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    In a recent LA Times article about motorcycles, #1 is referred to as "Lane Splitting" which, as far I know, is legal in CA.

  11. #11
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    If there's only 3 cars, I wait in line. There's nothing to be gained by passing 3 cars that will just pass me back.

    If I were turning right I'd pass them.

    Now, if there's 20 cars, and I know only 15 will make it through the light, I'm jumping to the front -- maybe not the very front, but close to it. Before my office moved, there was one stoplight that would have required me to sit through three light cycles every single day if I'd waited in line.

  12. #12
    jpdesjar
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    Dang I have been doing approach one this whole time, people in cars must be pissed at me but I did think I was using good judgment. There is one light where many cars get backed up so I just say alright I need to get to the front because I can.

  13. #13
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    #2 here. I feel safer, it lets other drivers know that I consider myself a vehicle and follow the rules of the road, and I find that I can get as quick, if not quicker start, than most cars when stopped at a light, so they can't use the excuse that I'm holding up traffic.
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  14. #14
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    You are correct, however California is the ONLY state lane splitting is legal in.source


    this made a lot of sense to me

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    It seems pointless to get passed again and I want the drivers behind me to be most aware of me - and staying in back of line assures that vs. being up front off to the side with blocked sight lines.
    I think i'll switch it up on the ride home and go for what seems to be the more accepted #2. There's one light though where I cross a busy highway where ALL cyclists regardless pull up past all the cars to the line. I think at that particular light it just makes it easier to hurry up and get across the highway and get in the lane than waiting.

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdesjar View Post
    Dang I have been doing approach one this whole time, people in cars must be pissed at me but I did think I was using good judgment. There is one light where many cars get backed up so I just say alright I need to get to the front because I can.
    I recommend trying approach #2 for a while. I'll betstimate that you will only go back to #1 for cases where you would otherwise end up waiting an extra light cycle or for where you are going to turn right and there is room to safely filter.

    This topic by the way is an oft debated one. Not everyone agrees that #2 (with stated exceptions) is preferred, but those are mostly folks who haven't given #2 an honest trial period.

    Al

  16. #16
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harleyfrog View Post
    #2 here. I feel safer, it lets other drivers know that I consider myself a vehicle and follow the rules of the road,

    This is the initial reason I questioned the wisdom of what I was doing. I consider myself a vehicle and I follow the rules of the road. And somewhere along the line I expect to be treated by others as such although i realize thats a whimsical idea at best

  17. #17
    jpdesjar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I recommend trying approach #2 for a while. I'll betstimate that you will only go back to #1 for cases where you would otherwise end up waiting an extra light cycle or for where you are going to turn right and there is room to safely filter.

    This topic by the way is an oft debated one. Not everyone agrees that #2 (with stated exceptions) is preferred, but those are mostly folks who haven't given #2 an honest trial period.

    Al
    Thanks, I honestly thought nothing of it until this post. The better I can get along with motorists the better. One of the intersections is a tough one because I cross railroad tracks and then the lane splits into three 2 going straight and one going right so I have to make a quick move to get in my lane.

  18. #18
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Another advantage of #2 is when the vehicles in front of you get going, they will get you going quicker due to their draft.

    Al

  19. #19
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    Where I live and commute I have bicycle lanes next to the arterial roads. On those roads that I am in the bike lane I will stop even with the car in the front. On regular surface roads without the bike lane I will take my place in line behind the stopped cars.

  20. #20
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Even when there is a BL I line up with other vehicles unless I am making a right turn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvA6jQyPP98
    Last edited by noisebeam; 05-14-08 at 03:02 PM.

  21. #21
    GATC
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    I will go all the way up on the right if they all have left turn signals on (and there's room). Then I hope they meant it.

  22. #22
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I will go all the way up on the right if they all have left turn signals on (and there's room). Then I hope they meant it.

    oh lawwd that be my BIGGEST pet peeve right there.

  23. #23
    Raving looney
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    Depends on the light. If I know the light to be short, I'll filter through and make sure I get through on the next cycle (there's a light in my current commute that lasts only 2-3 cars regardless of conditions - I'd filter to this one).

    To be fair I guess I filter most/pretty much all of the time - I find it safer for me to get across intersections first/before the cars get going, if I'm not close enough to get right to the front, I'll find a gap and duck to the curbside (I usually filter by splitting lanes, I find it much safer than curb squeezing) to allow traffic to flow properly.

  24. #24
    jpdesjar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deez View Post
    oh lawwd that be my BIGGEST pet peeve right there.
    My thing is that I know on certain lights I can get to the front and I know the timing of the lights well too so that I can get a headtstart, am I wrong here? The light I am doing this on leads right into another light with another set of railroad tracks to cross, it's my least favorite part of my commute.

  25. #25
    Senior Member m00n's Avatar
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    For me it depends on the situation and the type of road I'm on. If there is plenty of shoulder room, I go with #1 and then let everyone pass.

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