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Old 03-31-09, 06:25 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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Kill Zone(s) what's yours?

I'm pretty sure everyone has a "kill zone" or two ... what's yours?

I'll go first: crossing and riding 1/3 mile on Route 9 Natick, MA where all the malls are, and worse is the 1/2 mile on Route 20 in Framingham with the choppy and narrow shoulder.

OK - go!
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Old 03-31-09, 06:35 AM   #2
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New Orleans, LA USA:

I have pretty much figured out ways around all of the traffic kill zones - or at least some unconventional riding techniques that keep the "kill" out of killzone. A couple of Interstate 10 crossings come to mind tho. I-10 is elevated through the city but surface streets still must go under I-10. Biking these surface streets with all of the exit/on ramps and such can be hair raising.

But I do have some kill zones related to bad neighborhoods. There are several places that I traverse where I would not want to get a tire puncture. Especially at night.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:41 AM   #3
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In order to get to the road that runs along Revere Beach, I have to traverse the dreaded Lynnway as its the only way over Lynn creak.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:48 AM   #4
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Oh that kill zone.

I ride in the south end of New Bedford. It's a good place for intervals.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:10 AM   #5
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as I pass across campus I pass a ton of bus stops and buses, and as you may know bus drivers are not exactly observant. So I got impatient drivers trying to get to class ontime, stupid bus drivers who can't look over their shoulders and stupid college kids crossing the street without looking. Luckily I have only hit two pedestrians and no cars or buses, but I have a feeling it will only be a matter of time.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:15 AM   #6
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Delaware Avenue near the 198 ramp. I have to watch my rear mirror and time my speed because they don't slow down getting on or off the 198 and will cut right into you if you are crossing the entrance or exit ramp.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:16 AM   #7
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Inevitably, 10 feet in front of me.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:24 AM   #8
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Just thought of another one. There is an intersection that formerly was dangerous so they installed a traffic light. Except right now it is flashing yellow for me and flashing red for the side street. It will be much safer when no judgment call is required and the light goes through full cycles of of yellow red green, etc. Right now it's anyone's guess what to do and if there's no car traveling with me it's only me to hold up the flow for my lane. Fortunately I'm lit up like a Christmas tree and the folks in that neighborhood (so far) are courteous. But it's a bit freaky and it wouldn't take much to go through the flashing red and kill me.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:29 AM   #9
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Highland Park bridge. 4 lane, 45mph speed limit (55 mph traffic). I feel OK when it is light out, but anything earlier than April and I hit it at dark/dusk.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:44 AM   #10
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No real problems around here.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:58 AM   #11
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One route I take includes a left turn from a left turn only lane on a 4-lane divided road with heavy traffic. Getting over into that left turn lane can be a ballsy affair. Luckily the timing of the lights are such that, if I don't hammer too hard, the light at the intersection will change to red before I am all the way to the intersection and I can filter over to the left as the cars are stopping for the light.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:05 AM   #12
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I'm pretty sure everyone has a "kill zone" or two ... what's yours?

I'll go first: crossing and riding 1/3 mile on Route 9 Natick, MA where all the malls are, and worse is the 1/2 mile on Route 20 in Framingham with the choppy and narrow shoulder.
You bike on Route 9? You have bigger balls than me. It's a real shame that all that development that's been done there over the years is completely car-centric. I have on occasion gone up the westbound side Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington, MA by the Burlington Mall ramps and past the 95 ramps and wow, that is a stressful experience. I now go about 2.5 miles out of my way to avoid that little stretch. Eastbound up that road isn't too bad aside from potholes.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:17 AM   #13
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3 miles of beach road bearing heavy,fast rush hour traffic.
I think of it as "blood alley".
Sometimes think I should wear dog tags.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:21 AM   #14
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A section of Calistoga Road between Porter Creek road and the St. Helena road. The steep, heavily shaded, often wet, narrow, closely tree-lined, and twisted part on the south side of the crest. Oh, and during rush hours, massive traffic traveling way over the speed limit. Yes, the tour of California came down it, but only on a weekend, with the road swept and closed.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:23 AM   #15
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Any route with a school bus on it, I get along ok with city buses, but the school bus drivers all seem to think I'm in their way.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:51 AM   #16
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Luckily I have only hit two pedestrians...
Before you get totally flamed for that "only two" remark, I want you to know that I get it. By some miracle I have only hit one. Half a dozen tried their BEST to increase that tally. Like the UPS guy on his cell phone who was walking down the sidewalk with his phone blocking his peripheral vision. Here I come and without warning or hesitation (or actually LOOKING) he turns to the street with his back mostly toward me and pushes his hand truck and his brown arse right in front of me. A professional assassin could not have done much better. missed him, but I still don't know how.

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Old 03-31-09, 09:16 AM   #17
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A few streets in southern Denver have bike routes on them and are busy as all heck. I said screw it and avoid them.
More important is when kids are being dropped off or picked up from school. It took me a couple attempted right hooks to figure out that I needed to change my commute times.
Parking lots suck. Malls suck. Riding near DU is interesting.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:22 AM   #18
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One route I take includes a left turn from a left turn only lane on a 4-lane divided road with heavy traffic. Getting over into that left turn lane can be a ballsy affair. Luckily the timing of the lights are such that, if I don't hammer too hard, the light at the intersection will change to red before I am all the way to the intersection and I can filter over to the left as the cars are stopping for the light.
I have a similar one....4 lanes going the same direction; two turn left and two become a freeway on ramp. I have to cross the two on-ramp lanes to get in the right lane of the two that turn left. When the light is green, traffic is gearing up to a: make the light,,,,and b: get up to freeway speed. So it is a little unnerving. For Boise Folks, this is the end of Eastbound Chinden at Fairview.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:23 AM   #19
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Odd, I go from downtown Atlanta to a 'Kill Zone' about a half a mile away (everyone and their mother is merging onto I85), to beautiful bike paths that take me most of the way home. But damn that few hundred yards near I85 can be a bit touch-and-go.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:24 AM   #20
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East bound exit from I-5 onto Martin Way in Olympia, WA: actually only a kill zone during the morning & afternoon rush hours(each of which which lasts about 20 minutes). Photo looks back West at the zone. That's the exit lane from the freeway( with traffic exiting at 50+ mph) that cyclists are forced to cross so they can re-enter the bike lane. Don
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Old 03-31-09, 09:30 AM   #21
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I'm lucky in the regard that my commute allows me to take Boise's greenbelt most of the way. The worst traffic I have to deal with is crossing Chinden Blvd during the morning rush hour. Waiting for the light to change has gotten me through safely time and time again though.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:45 AM   #22
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Two MUP crossings, both have crosses memorializing previous unfortunate situations.

The first is really a bear in that it is near a 5-point type I-section, but slightly off-set, so that there is no car stop required at the bike crossing itself. Cars are a constant stream here. And, needless to say, bikes are the last thing on the driver's minds.

The second cross is such that it is just is easy to miss a car. You want to roll thru the stop because it is sort of wide open area, but there is a high-tension-line tower that sort of obscures any oncoming vehicles. I almost ate it there myself once, about a year ago, but stopped at the last second when I noticed a pedestrian come to a halt. I never did see the car -- until after I stopped, that is.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:26 AM   #23
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Here in Fort Collins, Colorado there are a few places like Datajunkie talked about that are best to be avoided. They are not "kill" zones, but even with the bike lane, it is just too busy to feel safe riding there. Most riders around here avoid those areas.

The most dangerous places around here are the switch-back roads that head up beside the reservoir dams at Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake, and the utility roads that run beside the interstate and near the Budweiser beer plant just north of town.

Both Horsetooth and Carter lakes are very popular with boaters, that sometimes don't know how much room their speed/pontoon boat trailers take up. Hearing a laboring engine behind you along those roads can be a harrowing experience. I've never been hit, but 2-3 people get pinged or side-swiped off the road up there every year (one was fatal 2-years ago). They are usually going so slow, that I've always been able to swerve sharply off the road when the truck passes too closely. So far.

It is rare, but some of the out-of-state 18-wheel truck drivers that deliver goods to the Budweiser plant north of town simply hate sharing the road with bicyclists. Even though the traffic on those side-roads is very, very light, it is fairly common for riders to be crowded off the road up that way on a regular basis. Some drivers honk their horns and curse at you. They also side-swipe a few riders off the road each year up there too. No deaths up that way yet, but plenty of broken bones and such.




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Old 03-31-09, 10:34 AM   #24
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Any arterial road with highway on/off ramps.....

There is a right turn where it becomes their lane on the side street, that is pretty hairy waiting for a gap big enough (which the courteous drivers speed up to close the distance). I used to not wait where those using the crosswalk would wait, but after 3 or 4 close calls with dump trucks, or cement trucks I decided that waiting for a gap would be much safer. I don't even go that way anymore.

Buses annoy me, especially when they are trying to leave a bus stop, never can tell if they are waiting for me or a gap in traffic. I'd look over my shoulder, but I am to close and I have decided to just wait for them to leave.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:39 AM   #25
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I ride across Manhattan from around Houston St and the Hudson Greenway to the Williamsburg Bridge. Lots of sketchiness but I tend to stick to single-lane streets, which minimizes, IME, the danger. On the way home to save time I do go on Delancy St for a stretch which is probably the sketchiest part of my commute. Never a serious problem, but it is a chaotic, multi-lane street.
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