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Thread: Was I wrong?

  1. #1
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    Was I wrong?

    This morning started out just loverly. Early on in the commute I get up to a T intersection where I have a stop sign. So I stick out my arm to the left and slowly start to move into the middle of the lane as I am approaching the stop sign. Someone comes up behind me and then start to try to pass me on the left with about 2 car lenght to go before we both have to come to stop. I yell at them to watch out (for the record I am wearing brightyellow and have my super flash on). They end up pulling behind me.

    No more than 1 mile up the road I get to an intersection where the 3 ft shoulder I ride in (practially a perfect bike lane) comes to an end. The road lines move the right lane over 3 ft to the right covering where the shoulder used to be to make room for a left turn lane. The light is read and there is a car in front of me slowing down to make a stop. There are only a few car length of distance to where I'd have to come to a complete stop. A car starts to pull up next to me. As they are next to me they start to move over to the right. I yell at them to watch out. The lady then gets out of the car and yells at me that I should have signaled my move to the left. Problem is I was going STRAIGHT, I stayed 2 to 3 feet from the right curb the whole way. It is the car lane that moves to the right. Worst of all she is a member of the local cycling club... Was I wrong. With nearly getting run off the road a few minutes before maybe I was a little more jumpy then normal, but when a car is next to me and starts to move right I am going to get their attention to make sure they don't side swipe me. If the shoulder end I am going straight I shouldn't have to signal anything right?

    Thanks for listing,
    André

  2. #2
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    From what you described, it doesn't sound like you did wrong. I personally yield the right of way to any one who even looks like they think they want it. You have to remember that the laws of physics trump right-of-way laws.
    In the Maine driver's license manual used to have a cute little ditty--- "He was dead right as he drove along, but, he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong."
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    Honestly, I think I would signal and carefully merge in that second situation. You're technically merging into the traffic lane if the shoulder disappears and the lane jogs to the right, so I think the burden is on you to merge safely there rather than the driver. But to evaluate who was "in the wrong" probably depends on the specifics of the situation (who was in the traffic lane first, etc).

    The first situation is just commonplace driver stupidity. You can head off a lot of that simply by moving into the middle of the lane a bit earlier.

  4. #4
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I always signal if I'm crossing from the shoulder into the lane. There's one place around here where both the bike lane and the traffic lanes shift left (together) and a right turn lane begins to the right of the bike lane. I signal there, even though I'm staying in the bike lane, just to let cars coming right know that I'm not going right.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I would have made some kind of signal at the end of the shoulder - simply because I don't presume any driver is paying attention to my road situation. They don't notice if there's a parked car ahead that I'll have to dodge, or a pothole, puddle, icy patch, or if lane markings change for me - or anything other than what's 3 feet in front of their bumper.

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    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    A car starts to pull up next to me. As they are next to me they start to move over to the right. I yell at them to watch out. The lady then gets out of the car and yells at me that I should have signaled my move to the left. .... Worst of all she is a member of the local cycling club... Was I wrong. André
    Oddly enough I've found that bicyclists themselves are sometimes the biggest ***holes to other cyclists when they get behind the wheel. It seems that they think if you don't do something exactly the way they would do it you are wrong AND they are going to teach you a lesson. There is no doubt that she knew what you were intending to do and that she deliberately squeezed you (there was only 2 car lengths to the car in front) probably to "teach you a lesson." What she did was completely irresponsible ... just because someone makes a mistake (which you didn't as far as I can tell) is no reason to threaten them with a lethal weapon (a car).
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

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    You're leaving the shoulder and proceeding to enter the road way. You need to give way to any traffic and signal your intent. Doesn't matter if the lines are moving, you're the one making the change.
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    When your riding shoulder disappears and you have to merge into a normal lane of traffic, always signal if there a car behind you. Depending on the situation, you should even take the lane with no uncertainty, then proceed to the right side of the lane once the change is complete.

  9. #9
    wyrobs
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    This is the problem with riding in shoulders and bike lanes, drivers don't realize they just end. When there is a big shoulder like that I tend to feel more comfortable staying in the lane (Maybe ride a little closer to the line since I have room to slide out if i feel like someones gonna buzz me, but still holding the lane) just to be consistent about the fact that that is where cyclist are supposed to be

    a shoulder or bike lane is just a glorified sidewalk (thats more for the drivers peace of mind then the rider), people still don't expect you when there turning.

  10. #10
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    Was she hot?

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    I am not sure why, but many motorists seem to be incapable of looking down the road and anticipating what is going to happen. Last night, on my way home, I am riding across a highway overpass. There is a right turn only lane for traffic going on to the highway, I was in the right tire track of the rightmost lane for through traffic, travelling at the same speed as traffic, following a pickup truck who was about 15' in front of me. We were moving at about 20mph. I hear a honk from behind me, and an SUV driver guns his engine and passes me close, with squealing tires, only to notice that there is a truck directly in front of me, so he slams on his brakes and leaves a bunch of rubber in on the road - narrowly avoiding hitting the truck that I am following - he yells at me to get out of the middle of the road . Clearly the SUV driver never saw further in front of himself than the cyclist who was keeping him from going fast.

    My guess is that your incident came about because the driver of the car was totally clueless about the situation that she was in - she was probably not paying attention to anything other than the lane marking to her left, so from her point of view, you just merged in front of her from the right.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    ...so from her point of view, you just merged in front of her from the right.
    From the description, that is exactly what the OP did. The OP should have been looking further ahead, signaled, and changed lanes when safe before the bike lane ended.

  13. #13
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    I am not sure why, but many motorists seem to be incapable of looking down the road and anticipating what is going to happen. Last night, on my way home, I am riding across a highway overpass. There is a right turn only lane for traffic going on to the highway, I was in the right tire track of the rightmost lane for through traffic, travelling at the same speed as traffic, following a pickup truck who was about 15' in front of me. We were moving at about 20mph. I hear a honk from behind me, and an SUV driver guns his engine and passes me close, with squealing tires, only to notice that there is a truck directly in front of me, so he slams on his brakes and leaves a bunch of rubber in on the road - narrowly avoiding hitting the truck that I am following - he yells at me to get out of the middle of the road . Clearly the SUV driver never saw further in front of himself than the cyclist who was keeping him from going fast.

    My guess is that your incident came about because the driver of the car was totally clueless about the situation that she was in - she was probably not paying attention to anything other than the lane marking to her left, so from her point of view, you just merged in front of her from the right.
    This is fairly common. Car drivers seem to get mesmerized by the vehicle directly in front of them and can't see anything further than the next bumper. Saving wear and tear on my car and its brakes I generally start slowing down well before a red light and many times will have some impatient zero rush up behind me and then make a darting lane change and wind up slamming their brakes and stop right behind a loaded cement truck or transit bus. The best situation was when I had some character in his brand new Mazda practically climb into the backseat of my car on a highway off ramp in snowy road conditions. I had used my transmission to slow and hadn't touched the brakes till I reached the entrance of the curve and I feathered the brake pedal enough to take off about 5 kph of speed and the next thing I saw in my rear view mirror was the Mazda turned broadside to me and get buried in the snowbank.
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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    From the description, that is exactly what the OP did. The OP should have been looking further ahead, signaled, and changed lanes when safe before the bike lane ended.
    Precisely.
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    Senior Member philski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    From the description, that is exactly what the OP did. The OP should have been looking further ahead, signaled, and changed lanes when safe before the bike lane ended.
    This. You entered traffic, you need to signal your intent. No one can "assume" your intentions - are you sticking to the right hand turn lane? Are you going straight? You need to signal.

    I also do my best to avoid riding on shoulders unless I'm going to be on them for a long stretch (miles...) and I always signal my way on and off. You can't assume what traffic around you will do, and they shouldn't have to guess what you are doing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    From the description, that is exactly what the OP did. The OP should have been looking further ahead, signaled, and changed lanes when safe before the bike lane ended.
    But here's what's up. As I approach this area I line up with the white line so that I am staying EXACTLY the same distance from the curb about 2 .5 feet). The white line slowly (over 20 to 30 yards) starts to move to the right till it disappears. I continue to move straight. The driver didn't come up to pass me till I was already in the area where the shoulder had disappeardd. When the driver started to pass me, she gave me with plenty of clearance, so clearly seeing me was NOT the problem. Only when she was directly next to me did she start to move right and tried to push me off the road, and THAT is when I started to yell to get her attention. It's not like I moved over to the left all off a sudden and cut her off... For that matter she was pulling into the left turn lane, so a good 75% of the time that is where the driver is aiming for. I was not entirey suprised by the "squeeze" as this happens all the time, I can take the lane and some jerk will still try to get around me even if there is absolutely no room and I am moving at the same rate of speed as the traffic around me. I am quite good about signaling my intentions. For that matter it drives me completely crazy how bad most cyclists (and cars) don't bother signaling their intentions. Either way, once you start passing a cyclists it is NOT cool to just shove over to the right. Clearly you saw them, and then claiming the cyclists should signal has nothing to do with the driver of the car trying to squeze the cyclists off the road.

    Happy riding,
    André

  17. #17
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    It sounds like she misjudged your speed and figured she was past by the time she started to move over (without headchecking to be sure).

    I recommend getting into the traffic lane before the shoulder peters out. It may not have helped this situation, but it can help with others.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    You still need to be acting like your changing lines, even though the shoulder line moves and you don't. Your lane is ending, so its your responsibility to merge safely, which includes giving way to the traffic in the lane your merging with and to signal your intent.

    It does sound like you gave way, but just didn't signal. Also sounds like she was a jackass.
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    Hmmmm. Signal my intent? That's just what their EXPECTING me to do!

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