well, wait a second, if you stop in the line and wait say in the 12th position at the light, what should you do when it turns green? stay in lane and keep the drivers behind you from advancing? no that's dumb, you should move to the right and let them pass you because they might make the green even though you might have to wait for the next light cycle. it's not about rudeness, it's about the difference between cars and bikes and how they co-mingle on the roadways.
I don't know how to have this discussion in a way that avoids ad hominem and actually moves us forward. But I would like to.
I'm 57 years old and have been cycling the streets for as long as I can remember. I used to engage in salmoning, filtering, running red lights and jumping stop signs. In my driver's ed class we were taught to ride bikes against the flow of traffic, in fact.
For the past decade or so I have been very encouraged by the increase in cyclists and advocacy for cyclists. I believe we need policies that allow us to coexist with cars in a way that is safe for everyone. That can only happen if we work together to establish a set of laws and conventions that we all follow.
It is also critical that we avoid the temptation to rationalize "Well, these damned cagers never give me a break, I deserve to [break whatever law]." Or engage in the short-sighted "I know what's best for me and to hell with everyone else."
If we are going to create an environment that is safe and efficient for cyclists, then we have to change our behavior to conform to the laws and conventions, and we have to do it despite the behavior of many motorists. It's a process that will take time, patience and education.
Last year I began the League of American Bicyclist's curriculum to become a certified bicycle safety instructor. When I read the attitudes expressed by some riders on this forum, it genuinely concerns me for the rest of us. If you constantly engage in behaviors that piss motorists off, there will continue to be confrontations. And we (cyclists), tend to lose those battles against 3500 lbs of sheet metal. More importantly, we lose in the court of public opinion. I am amazed at the vituperative attacks I hear and read against cyclists. But then I see things like the OP's video or the NYC video and the attitude of motorists is more understandable to me.
Much of this discussion has been treated as though there aren't laws governing cyclists. Or that we get to choose whether or not to follow the same rules as motorists. That is not the case. As it stands right now, there are laws for cyclists to adhere to. You may not like them, but it's not up to you to follow them or not depending on your opinion.
If you feel there is a better way, then work with your local or national organization to change them. But just blowing them off is a recipe for creating a situation which hurts all cyclists, particularly those just starting out.
The first intersection is a dead end, either you go right or you go left and I split between the two to stand beside the first car making a left. If the light is green, I'll just take the lane; both roads are 60kmh/40mph, so I'm not holding traffic up much if at all and then while taking the left turn in the right lane of the 2, I'll go wide right so I'm away from the cars and out of their way.
(this street view is taken from the lane in the opposite direction I would travel, I would filter to the right of the red van)
The second intersection I filter is a bit of a busy nightmare after work: the two lanes travelling south split into 2 lanes travelling south and 2 lanes turning left and a single lane turning right. Because of how busy this intersection can get in the afternoon rush hour traffic, there is often a line up for 300-400m/yds and I'll start to filter then in the slow and stopped traffic. However, if I can't do that, about 150-200m/yds before this intersection is a well used pedestrian crosswalk and I'll stay against the curb until after the crosswalk, stop and wait for a pedestrian to activate the crosswalk red lights to stop the traffic and then I'll take advantage of the gap and cross over the lanes to get in line behind the rightmost left-turning lane. I tend to take the lane at this intersection and when I start making the left turn, I'll make a wide one to give the cars a bit more comfort room (this city is slowly getting used to more cyclists on the road).
Surely you can remember a point or three on your commute that will cause you death if you behaved exactly like a car. Me, it's approaching an uphill left hand turn with a red light on a three lane road in heavy traffic. Unless you're advocating getting off and walking it across the various intersections, navigating this turn like a car will slow down traffic and incite serious road rage behind me.
Unless you start separating traffic regs that are good from those that will murder you, it looks like you will receive nothing but hostile replies. And this one. HOSTILITY!
We can have a debate as to what constitutes FRAP and when one should take the lane, etc., but the law is clear about following the same rules as apply to cars.
It seems to me that only North Americans have this idea that one set of laws can fit every type of road user. Everywhere else in the world cyclists, motorcyclists, scooterists, Rickshaw drivers etc. all behave differently on the road, because they are different. But in a congested city such as New York, it would be a total waste of road capacity to not filter! If you're going to sit in traffic for hours, you may as well be in a car.
When my legs power me like a car, and I need the room of a car, and have manuverability of a car, and have the ability to maim or kill others like a car, I'll ride my bike like it's a car. Until then, I'll ride my bike like it's a bike. If that offends you, then too bad.
Yes, your statement was hyperbolic.
One of the great things about riding a bike, IMHO, is being able to go where cars can't go. If traffic is jammed up, you can get there faster on a bike. But not if you sit in traffic with everyone else. That's just dumb.
As I said previously, I believe there are times when filtering makes sense, and other times when it doesn't. If it causes motorists who have already waited on you and passed you previously, to have to do the same thing again (i.e. filtering and then going straight), then that's a @$$hole move. But in the OP's video or the situations I have described I think it's a perfectly good thing to do.
In the OP's video, there are 11 cares lined up to turn left. The first one starts going before he gets up to the intersection stop line, so he continues on around and is out of the way of everyone after completing the turn.
Knowing how most left turn signals are timed (may not be the case at the OP's video location), 11 cars cannot make it through on a left turn arrow. At least some will have to either wait and yield to turn left, or wait until the next cycle. If he had gotten there earlier and lined up at say, the 5th or 6th position, the cars behind him might not make it through the arrow, where they could have by him filtering as shown in the video.
It makes perfect sense to me.
I like to think that the varying laws of each state would dictate some understanding between members here and that because of this motorists and cyclists interact differently in different states because of the laws. I understand it's not legal where you live so motorists will act differently where you live. You seem to not get that it's accepted, legal and part of our road culture here. Ask anybody who rides in this area. We don't get fallout from it.
In the video I personally would have not felt safe being 6 or 7 cars back and following in line so I chose the legal option I had of filtering to the front and beginning and ending the turn where I felt I was best seen. I do have front & rear blinking lights by the way.
I try to ride so that I can take advantage of being small (relative to 4+-wheeled vehicles) but I also keep in mind the flow of traffic and the other people who want to use the roadway. If there is a safe and legal opportunity that I can take that will benefit me without hindering others, I will take it, if not, I'll do it a different way. Filtering is just an option.
"I follow the LAB, cars and bicycles are the same" ... Well that explains all of Aunt Roady being so confused and deluded about actual cycling practices.
I spent and hour looking for hers and Dave Cotter's non-existant IMAGINARY Laws about sharing the lanes or passing stopped cars being illegal. The OP certainly was NOT lanesplitting. About all the Illinois DOT website says is ride FRAP, obey signs and control devices, stay off freeways and SHARE the road. It's totally Ludicrous to even suggest that driver rights and responsibilities extrapolates to bicycles can't do anything that cars can't. ONLY the LAB thinks that nonsense about cyclists are drivers too.
I've argued this argument til' I can argue no more. I know what's right for me, where I live, which is to follow the law (bicycles are regulated the same as cars here, with a few notable exceptions), and to avoid situations that put me in conflict with either the law or other road users. OP says his video shows a road-legal manoeuvre in his jurisdiction, which it very well might - I surely don't know the details of road law everywhere else - but the five seconds he spends pulling up between the two lines of traffic and turning left alongside the line of vehicles puts the absolute fear of a wrathful cosmos into me.
If Jimmy in the truck on the right decides suddenly to open his door to check something in the truck bed, as I've seen happen many a time at intersections, I'm dead. If Davey in the Camry at the head of the line on the right has a sudden change of heart and decides he wants to turn left after all and maybe he can beat the left line by pinning it when the light changes - also a common if badly-behaved technique - I'm dead. If any of the fine upstanding citizens in the left turn line wander from the center of the lane during the turn, or make a sudden right into a driveway coming out of the turn - I'm dead. None of those drivers would expect me to be where the video's example would put me, so I can't expect them to keep me safe, and I just can't see taking a risk that big for at most a few minutes of time savings. Aren't we always making fun of motorists for being impatient?
For me, I would join the line of cars and turn as a full-lane occupant before resuming my position on the right. I'm fast enough from a standing start to stay with traffic through an intersection - cars are surprisingly slow to get going from a full stop - so I don't see I'd be inconveniencing anybody, and at worst it'd only be for a few seconds before I'm out of their way. Doing it that way, with proper lights and reflectors, means no one's going to be surprised I'm there, and that oughta keep me relatively safe. If the intersection is so crazy that there's no safe way for me to completely take the lane, I'd dismount and cross both ways as a pedestrian - probably beating the left-turn lane anyway. Totally legal, minimally inconvenient, near-zero risk - which is exactly how I want to ride.
I probably would have slowed down a bit more than the OP, and by paying attention you can anticipate or at least be able to react better to such unexpected happenings.
filtering is not a problem and, for me, those routes are not direct routes.Quote:
choosing your route to avoid places where cars queue up so as to avoid the problem all together