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-   -   Almost got hit @ this intersection. Am I doing it right? (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/894672-almost-got-hit-intersection-am-i-doing-right.html)

Jimi77 06-09-13 06:32 PM

I have a few of those "angled" intersections by me and it seems like people just lose their minds at those intersections - I don't know why. Suddenly the rules for a 4-way stop go out the window, people forget to check the crosswalks, turn in front of on-coming traffic, etc. :twitchy:

That said, I'm pretty sure you're in the right. I'd probably keep crossing like that because I think you'd be less visible to cars turning left at the other crosswalk.

downwinded 06-09-13 06:58 PM

Seems to me drivers do not discriminate. They will run you down in a crosswalk regardless of your riding a bike, walking a bike, or just walking. Crosswalks here only let you get off the curb before the "ped cross" symbol changes to the "don't cross" symbol. I'm 6'-2" and I can't cross the first lane walking. Seriously.

loky1179 06-09-13 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunbar (Post 15722857)
I'll let someone else find the laws but it's generally not a good idea to cross in cross walks. The reason is that cars aren't looking for bikes in cross walks, they're looking for people.

Cars are most assuredly NOT looking for pedestrians or cyclists. In this situation, I'd guess that the person that almost hit you was looking at ONCOMING traffic only, and as soon as that was clear, they figured they were good to go.

I almost got run down last year in virtually the same situation as you have described. The four lane roads like this are the worst, since you are further from the oncoming traffic, not to mention that pedestrians tend to be somewhat rare. On a two or three lane road, when I'm waiting for the light, I'll try to get a good jump when the light turns green and be out of the "kill zone" before any of the left turners can take me out. Four lane roads are often divided, and may have turn lanes to cross as well. In situations like this, it can be impossible to beat the oncoming left turners.

A bright front strobe, pointed right at the oncoming traffic is about the best you can do to get their attention. Even then, assume they don't see you, and plan escape routes accordingly. It was after my incident that I started running a strobe in the daytime.

DX-MAN 06-09-13 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the sci guy (Post 15722850)
Also, ticketed for riding in a crosswalk is stupid IMO. I'd have to say each intersection is different, and depending on where you need to go sometimes a bike just can't, or shouldn't?, stay completely in the road to bomb through a busy intersection - especially if, like me here, you're not going through it to the road on the otherside, but to the corner to get on a path.

I'm just being honest here: "IMO" doesn't mean jackshat; look up the local applicable laws, so you KNOW, then you won't have to fall back on opinion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunbar (Post 15722857)
I'll let someone else find the laws but it's generally not a good idea to cross in cross walks. The reason is that cars aren't looking for bikes in cross walks, they're looking for people. I've had close calls with other cyclists crossing at cross walks when I'm riding my bike. Something is messed up with that equipment if it's giving the signal to cross at the same time as left arrow though. It looks you could position yourself to the right of through-traffic so I don't even see why you think it's beneficial to use the cross walk.

Not flaming you here, pard, but I really am tired of hearing what drivers "don't expect"; if all any of us had to worry about on the road was what's EXPECTED, we wouldn't need INSURANCE. DRIVERS in particular NEED TO WAKE UP, AND DAMN WHAT'S "EXPECTED". That's just the bottom line. We have to share the road with thousands of "rugged individualists" who are by nature unpredictable; why would ANY of us think THE OTHER GUY WILL BE predictable?

the sci guy 06-09-13 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 15723702)
Why is this question being posted to a cycling forum?

because i was on a bike?

robble 06-09-13 08:05 PM

First, it's a bad idea to ride in a crosswalk. Second, she would not have had a left turn arrow if you had a cross signal. She might have had a green light but now way a left green turn arrow.
Third, yes, she should have yielded to you.

cooker 06-09-13 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 15723702)
Why is this question being posted to a cycling forum?

He was biking on an off-road path that feeds into the pedestrian crosswalk at this intersection.

Slaninar 06-10-13 12:37 AM

If crosswalk doesn't have a bicycle lane painted, you are supposed to walk the bike across it. If you are riding the bike on the crosswalk, it is wrong. Pedestrians walk about 5 km / h, while cyclist can move easily 3 times that speed. When turning left, you have a lot of things to watch out for, and "pedestrian" moving at 15 km / h can be a surprise - like you ran in front of her truck.

So if no bike lane -walk the bike and you're 100% right.

One more thing - when crossing road, look and make sure it is safe. When I drive a car, turning, pedestrian light is RED, but just as I'm 1 meter away from the crosswalk, it turns GREEN. An impatient man just jumped straight forward, without looking. Fortunately I was prepared for such careless reaction, had my foot on the brake and stopped. Point: sudden movements are dangerous and are not right. Both pedestrians and drivers should be considerate - we are all just humans.

Buzzatronic 06-10-13 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaninar (Post 15724696)
If crosswalk doesn't have a bicycle lane painted, you are supposed to walk the bike across it. If you are riding the bike on the crosswalk, it is wrong.

Actually the laws on this vary from state to state. In WA State it's legal and sometimes expected that bikes ride in the crosswalk.

meanwhile 06-10-13 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzatronic (Post 15723206)
Are you sure this is right? Arrow almost always you've been given the right-of-way and they wouldn't put pedestrians in the path of cars in which they've given this arrow to, especially in a left turn situation.

If that is how the lights are configured, I'd email/call whomever is in charge of traffic control there. Giving the WALK sign along with a left turn arrow that will cross the crosswalk at the same time is quite literally a death trap.

Very true!

jerseyJim 06-10-13 10:49 AM

I agree with the stay in the travel lane crowd.

Two reasons.

First it is where drivers are looking. They are looking for other cars in the travel lane and I feel they are more likely to see you there.

Second, I think it is important to condition drivers to expect to see bicycles in the travel lanes when appropriate. Too many drivers as it is feel that bicycles don't belong in the road. Acting like a pedestrian just reinforces this opinion.

New Jersey, where I live, reinforced pedestrian safety laws a while back. Motor vehicles are now required to come to a complete stop whenever a pedestrian (or bicycle) enters a marked crossing. The police have been doing a pretty good job of enforcing the new laws and more and more drivers are paying attention and respecting pedestrian right of way..

It's still a free for all here but it's slowly getting better.

calyth 06-10-13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunbar (Post 15722857)
I'll let someone else find the laws but it's generally not a good idea to cross in cross walks. The reason is that cars aren't looking for bikes in cross walks, they're looking for people. I've had close calls with other cyclists crossing at cross walks when I'm riding my bike. Something is messed up with that equipment if it's giving the signal to cross at the same time as left arrow though. It looks you could position yourself to the right of through-traffic so I don't even see why you think it's beneficial to use the cross walk.

I agree on principle that drivers are not used cyclists crossing crosswalks at biking speed - if it's an intersection that I can't make a left comfortably, it's best to get off and cross as pedestrian on a crosswalk instead.

However, it seems like the driver is on the phone and not paying enough attention has more to do with it than anything else.

cooker 06-10-13 04:12 PM

Another thing to consider is that left turning vehicles have a blind spot at the left side of the windshield where the roof post or pillar is. Depending on the angle and speed of their turn, sometimes a pedestrian or bike can be moving at the exact speed to stay hidden as the car turns. So don't assume they see you - try to see if you can make eye contact. More experienced or cautiouis drivers may learn to move their head a bit to ensure they are looking around the post, but not all of them do. So the OP may have been hidden from the driver's view for part of her turn.

This is true as well of cars at fourway stop signs where you are to their left (they are to your right) - they may not see you at your stop sign if you are hidden by the post, and if you start forward just as they do, you may continue to be hidden. There's one four way stop on my route where a park path feeds onto the end of a very short, dead-end street, so almost no traffic comes out of that cul-de-sac, except cyclists coming through the park. I notice that when I go that way, and reach the stop sign (often at the dark tail end of rush hour0, drivers to my right are far less likely to notice me when it is my turn, and yield right of way, compared to drivers to my left, perhaps because their view is compromised.

Double0757 06-10-13 04:48 PM

The way I would do this intersection is, take the lane going straight across. As I get to the middle of the crossing, I would start taking the right side to let the cars behind me pass. I would be watching the left hooks and have a bailout maneuver. If early turn sharp right, if later on the intersection crossing, turn left watching the traffic behind you going left (stay wide) or just brake straight ahead.

if you get on a red, I would go all the way to the front and take the lane ( middle), as soon as the light changes, go all out (watching all directions) and do the above.

if not comfortable doing the above, then cross on the pedestrian side and watch the traffic behind turning right (even the ones on the straight across only lane) and also watch for the illegal left turners from the head coming traffic. If possible do half crossing on the pedestrian walkway doing the other half when safe. Double O

Matariki 06-10-13 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzatronic (Post 15723206)
Are you sure this is right? Arrow almost always you've been given the right-of-way and they wouldn't put pedestrians in the path of cars in which they've given this arrow to, especially in a left turn situation.

If that is how the lights are configured, I'd email/call whomever is in charge of traffic control there. Giving the WALK sign along with a left turn arrow that will cross the crosswalk at the same time is quite literally a death trap.

Exactly what came to my mind. I bet she did not have a green arrow, which would mean that she would have had to yield to oncoming traffic as well as pedestrians.

meanwhile 06-10-13 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by calyth (Post 15727120)
I agree on principle that drivers are not used cyclists crossing crosswalks at biking speed - if it's an intersection that I can't make a left comfortably, it's best to get off and cross as pedestrian on a crosswalk instead.

However, it seems like the driver is on the phone and not paying enough attention has more to do with it than anything else.

But the second factor is not one you can control and the first one is. I would NEVER use a crosswalk this way in busy traffic; if you are not behaving in a way that drivers expect, they won't see or allow for you.

curbtender 06-10-13 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cooker (Post 15727474)
Another thing to consider is that left turning vehicles have a blind spot at the left side of the windshield where the roof post or pillar is. Depending on the angle and speed of their turn, sometimes a pedestrian or bike can be moving at the exact speed to stay hidden as the car turns. So don't assume they see you - try to see if you can make eye contact. More experienced or cautiouis drivers may learn to move their head a bit to ensure they are looking around the post, but not all of them do. So the OP may have been hidden from the driver's view for part of her turn.

This is true as well of cars at fourway stop signs where you are to their left (they are to your right) - they may not see you at your stop sign if you are hidden by the post, and if you start forward just as they do, you may continue to be hidden. There's one four way stop on my route where a park path feeds onto the end of a very short, dead-end street, so almost no traffic comes out of that cul-de-sac, except cyclists coming through the park. I notice that when I go that way, and reach the stop sign (often at the dark tail end of rush hour0, drivers to my right are far less likely to notice me when it is my turn, and yield right of way, compared to drivers to my left, perhaps because their view is compromised.

Very good observations. Hey, just because someone else didn't see you doesn't make you feel any better. Do things to be noticed, especially at intersections.

meanwhile 06-11-13 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DX-MAN (Post 15724011)
Not flaming you here, pard, but I really am tired of hearing what drivers "don't expect"; if all any of us had to worry about on the road was what's EXPECTED, we wouldn't need INSURANCE. DRIVERS in particular NEED TO WAKE UP, AND DAMN WHAT'S "EXPECTED". That's just the bottom line. We have to share the road with thousands of "rugged individualists" who are by nature unpredictable; why would ANY of us think THE OTHER GUY WILL BE predictable?

Why? Because it usually works. If you're a driver and you go your whole life without looking for people zooming at bike speed over such crossings, then you'll almost certainly not hit someone. Human nature being what it is, it is foolish to expect drivers not to behave this way. Rants about if it makes you feel better, but don't ignore it if you want to survive.

And to the OP: you have to become a realist and stop confusing what is legally correct with what is survivable.

calyth 06-11-13 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meanwhile (Post 15727846)
But the second factor is not one you can control and the first one is. I would NEVER use a crosswalk this way in busy traffic; if you are not behaving in a way that drivers expect, they won't see or allow for you.

Do you mean riding on the crosswalk or walking the bike across the crosswalk?
I meant to get off the bike and cross as a pedestrian, so if that causes problems, I'd love to hear it.

the sci guy 06-11-13 12:17 PM

So I used the regular go straight across the intersection lane today, instead of the crosswalk. I was the first in line too. There was a bus across from me waiting to take a left turn. We both got greens at the same time. He yielded to me, and as I crossed the intersection I drifted to the right corner to get on the sidewalk/greenway. No issues.

I'll keep trying that.

Double0757 06-11-13 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the sci guy (Post 15730572)
So I used the regular go straight across the intersection lane today, instead of the crosswalk. I was the first in line too. There was a bus across from me waiting to take a left turn. We both got greens at the same time. He yielded to me, and as I crossed the intersection I drifted to the right corner to get on the sidewalk/greenway. No issues.

I'll keep trying that.

And now you're a hardcore commuter, congratulations! Double O

sauerwald 06-11-13 02:16 PM

If it were me, I would have either remained on my bicycle, and been in the straight through lane, or I would have dismounted the bike, and walked across the intersection in the crosswalk. Either option would have been safer than choosing to act neither like a cyclist, a pedestrian nor a vehicle - behaving in an unpredictable manner is the best way to get involved in a crash.

That said, the left turning motorist was completely in the wrong, as a left turning vehicle, she must yield to any other traffic. Honking and yelling does not give her the legal right-of-way.

meanwhile 06-11-13 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by calyth (Post 15729397)
Do you mean riding on the crosswalk or walking the bike across the crosswalk?
I meant to get off the bike and cross as a pedestrian, so if that causes problems, I'd love to hear it.

The behaviour that I am saying is dangerous is traveling at cycle speeds on a crosswalk where that is legal but where drivers will only expect walking speed traffic. Cycle paths that lull cyclists into this behaviour are bloody dangerous!

the sci guy 06-11-13 06:16 PM

to be fair i was just starting off from the corner at the beginning of the crosswalk, so i was going very slowly. and i don't race across crosswalks either specifically so i can be moving slow enough to pay attention to as much of the intersection around me and have time to notice something and move or avoid it.

randomgear 06-12-13 11:40 PM

Being a link in the Greenway, you might want to suggest to whatever agency controls the signals (Public Works dept, Traffic Engineering Division ( http://www.cityofknoxville.org/engineering/traffic/) and copy the Mayor, Director of Public Works, and Parks Dept) to reset the lights to have a Leading Pedestrian Interval, LPI, to give pedestrians and less traffic savvy cyclists a safer crossing. The LPI gives pedestrians a few seconds to get into the road, where they will be more easily seen by motorists. On a bike, you likely can get halfway across before left turning traffic makes it to the crosswalk.


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