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Old 06-03-09, 11:57 AM   #51
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I do it. When I get to the front I usually trackstand. Because it's fun and quicker (and therefore safer) once the light changes. annc put it well and I'll just add that I am responsible for my own safety, but I'm not particularly concerned about what goes on inside a motorist's head as long as he/she drives safely, legally, and predicatably--just as I attempt to do.


Predictability.

Motorists are used to motor vehicles, and in states where motorcycles are not allowed to split lanes, motorists are not expecting it and when a bicycle does it, it throws them for a loop. And when something startles them or whatever, their predictability goes out the window.

Plus, you want the drivers to drive legally, but unless you are in a state where you can split lanes, you are not acting legally. People don't see a problem with this?
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Old 06-03-09, 11:58 AM   #52
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If it is legal for you to do it, then by all means you should be able to. The drivers will be expecting it. Unfortunately, in the States, there are only one or two states where it is legal to do so, and when riders do it anyway, it is illegal. You can't just create your own rules of the road and still consider others to take you seriously as a vehicle. Yes, motorists do things illegally ALL the time. However, the biggest difference is that motor vehicles are safely ensconced in their status as vehicles. Bicycles are not, yet, and riding illegally isn't going to win any brownie points or get bicycles to be accepted any easier as a vehicle by John Q. Public.

And to have the attitude that since someone is on a bike makes them better than someone in a car, doesn't have to follow the same rules of the road as the cars, and yet wants the same rights as a motorist and *****es, moans and has fits when they don't get it...that's entitlement. Just as so many cyclists complain about cager entitlement, I see cyclist entitlement running just as rampant.
on my bike I like to think of myself as a pedestrian when it comes to creating my own rules, and as a car when it grants me necessary rights a bicycle is basically a pedestrian car hybrid. You have a lot of flexibility (cross roads when you want, ride around road works etc.) but can also travel very quickly (20mph+), over my commute my average speed is probably higher than most cars.

I really am in 2 minds about riding illegally, I find that there are a lot of situations where a cyclist can speed up their journey without any affect on anyone else by performing illegal manoeuvres. However when I do something illegal - cross a green pedestrian light for example - if there are pedestrians coming they ALWAYS get the right of way.

As using an environmentally friendly means of transport I think cyclists deserve a break, we often take a great risk being out on the roads because drivers don't see us / don't care about us but still we do it and that benefits society as a whole. For this reason, and the reason that there are very few cyclists, I believe bending the laws sometimes doesn't have much of an effect. If however one day cyclists are the #1 mode of transport then there will have to be rules similar to those that are in place for cars, due to the sheer numbers it would be chaos without them. Also one has to remember that a car jumping a light could kill someone, a cyclist jumping the light puts themselves at greatest risk therefore they will probably be taking more care.

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Old 06-03-09, 12:22 PM   #53
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Predictability.

Motorists are used to motor vehicles, and in states where motorcycles are not allowed to split lanes, motorists are not expecting it and when a bicycle does it, it throws them for a loop. And when something startles them or whatever, their predictability goes out the window.

Plus, you want the drivers to drive legally, but unless you are in a state where you can split lanes, you are not acting legally. People don't see a problem with this?
It is legal and commonplace in California.
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Old 06-03-09, 12:31 PM   #54
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It is legal and commonplace in California.
Not everyone lives in California `
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Old 06-03-09, 01:21 PM   #55
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Old 06-03-09, 01:23 PM   #56
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I do it. When I get to the front I usually trackstand. Because it's fun and quicker (and therefore safer) once the light changes. annc put it well and I'll just add that I am responsible for my own safety, but I'm not particularly concerned about what goes on inside a motorist's head as long as he/she drives safely, legally, and predicatably--just as I attempt to do.
When I trackstand, I like to do it in line...more folks thinking WTF? that way.
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Old 06-03-09, 01:53 PM   #57
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Sometimes you can get far enough of cars that they are stopped at lights which you can safely jump - pedestrian lights, turning left (or right if you are in the US), such that you never see the vehicles again. This is much safer in my mind as long as you do it responsibly and I see people who don't do it responsibly, but there will always be those.
Jumping lights is worse than outright running them. If you can legally turn right on a red and you are turning right, that's not the same as filtering to the front and then going straight. I'd pass a line of cars on the right in my car if I were turning right, just as I'd pass a line of cars on my bike if I were doing the same thing. Standard practice for right turns.
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Old 06-03-09, 02:02 PM   #58
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I would just jump on the sidewalk.
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Old 06-03-09, 02:04 PM   #59
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First, you should always do what you is safe for you since no one else will for your safety.

Second, most motorists really don't care where you are as long as you're not in their way. You don't earn any brownie points for yourself or other cyclists by waiting in line with cars.
And finally, although bicycles are legal vehicles, they have almost no similarity with cars. Weight, speed, and visibility are drastically different. When you're riding a bicycle, remember that it's a bicycle, not a car. Be mindful of its limitations and take advantage of its strengths.
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You just said it all real good.
Well said. I was also impressed by this quote by my Boston neighbor on a different thread, but with similar thoughts. He thinks the cagers owe us for cycling.

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...We are not cars. We have the capability to move through auto congestion in ways an automobile couldn't. It would be interesting to count how many of those vehicles contained only one person. You, on your bike, are one person, on one vehicle moving smoothly through the traffic- and one less car holding everybody else up.

In the grand scheme of things the few moments where traffic may have to pause a moment to accommodate a cyclist is more than made up for by the fact that the cyclist does not contribute to this kind of congestion and frees up one more parking space, which in Boston and Cambridge is what every other car is looking for.
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Old 06-03-09, 02:31 PM   #60
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personally, i don't like to inhale the horrible car, truck, bus, exhaust smoke.

regardless of how fast you pedal, cars, etc will always catch up to you and pass you eventually.

the only other positive aspect being ahead, is that you wont get sandwiched between a slow rider, and cars.

there are people that rides at top speed, and others that likes to take it easy.

usually people that likes to go at top speed wants to be ahead to they don't get blocked by the people that bikes for pleasure.

i ride either way depending on my mood.

if faster riders thinks i ride slow i just move aside and let them pass me.

if i encounter slower riders, i just take the car lane and pass them.

On my daily commute, i keep playing sort a Tag game with the buses.

they pass me, i pass them, they pass me, i pass them.

since buses, taxi, and bikers share the same MUP lane.



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I don't really understand something, so maybe someone can clear this up for me. I see/read about cyclists who move up between lanes of cars waiting in traffic or at red lights so they can be at the head of the line (or they just blow through the light, but that's a different can of worms).

I consider myself a vehicle when I am on the road. Which means I am subject to the rules of the road. When I am approaching a red light or stop sign, I take the lane and I get in line behind the car in front of me to wait for the red to change. Just like the cars around me. I sit there, sometimes pretty far back, and I move with traffic and wait my turn to cross the intersection, like I would in a car. Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes to get through the intersection, like it would had I been in my car. Since I *am* a vehicle, I do as other vehicles do.

It seems to me that I never read about anyone else on these boards doing this, and yet everyone insists they are vehicles and want to be treated like vehicles, but waiting in line like a car doesnt apply? If it is case of cyclists being impatient and not wanting to sit in traffic, how is this attitude any different than a motorist that doesn't want to be stuck behind a slow cyclist? It only slows your commute by a few minutes, and it is ok for someone to take the lane and slow down motorists, but not for cars to slow down a cyclist?

Or, is there some safety issue I am not aware of that makes sitting in line to go through a red light dangerous to the cyclist?

p.s. If you sit in line like I do, sorry, I never read about it on these boards but I certainly read about/see videos of/see real life incidences of cyclists riding up the lane past cars to get to the front of the line at a stop.
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Old 06-03-09, 06:34 PM   #61
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You're probably pissing off the drivers more by sitting in front of them in the lane on a bicycle than you would be moving up and being out of their (self perceived) way. Personally, I don't sit behind cars unless it's not safe to do otherwise (lane width for example). If I wanted to wait through traffic lights and sit in stop and go traffic like cars, i'd just drive my car.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:07 PM   #62
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Eh, forget it.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:12 PM   #63
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The vehicle rules of the road were not written by Truck Drivers, Motorcycle riders, or Bicycle riders.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:23 PM   #64
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I consider myself a vehicle when I am on the road. Which means I am subject to the rules of the road.
Depends on the rules of the particular road. More about that in a sec..

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From a safety stand point, I'd rather be at the front and get through the intersection fast and back into a bike lane. I figure if I sat back my visibility as a bicycle is lower and cars are going to want to pass at unsafe distance in order to get themselves through the intersection. No one has given me grief for doing this yet, and given that most cars move fairly slow off the line, I tend to get out of everyone's way much sooner.
+1, especially about the first sentence. Intersections are where I'd rather not "share space" -- that is, compete -- with cars.

Anyway, about the "rules of the road" --

I've been in cities where cars, bikes, and pedestrians each have their specific signals to proceed through an intersection. The result is that, generally, no combination of the three are trying to cross the same space at the same time.

Unfortunately, in most of the US (I haven't been in every city and town), intersection signals don't account for bikes. So, if you go strictly by the lights, you're always trying to use the same space at the same time as someone else.

In lieu of good signals, here's what I do -- I go the front of the line if I can, and if the light is red, I'll stop. I look, wait for a good-sized gap in traffic (big enough where I could still get out of the way if I turn stupid and slip off the pedals), and get across as soon as I can. That way, I'm not dodging around pedestrians, and I'm not having to worry about a car trying to squeeze past me when the light changes.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:26 PM   #65
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Eh, forget it.
You realize now that you're beating the same horse that's been on BF since its inception.

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The vehicle rules of the road were not written by Truck Drivers, Motorcycle riders, or Bicycle riders.
Also true. +1.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:30 PM   #66
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The vehicle rules of the road were not written by Truck Drivers, Motorcycle riders, or Bicycle riders.
Which means trucks, motorcycles and bicycles are exempt from them then? "But officer! The rules of the road weren't written by me so they don't apply to me!"

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Old 06-03-09, 07:33 PM   #67
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Which means trucks, motorcycles and bicycles are exempt from them then?
They each travel everyday trying to be safe by not hitting or killing anyone.
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Old 06-03-09, 07:37 PM   #68
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Which means trucks, motorcycles and bicycles are exempt from them then?
No, it means that they all have to adapt and, when necessary, alter those rules just to get around or to stay safer. Trucks, as one example, can't always execute a right turn from the far right lane, so they'll start from one lane to the left instead. That's generally illegal for everyone else, though.
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Old 06-03-09, 08:28 PM   #69
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They each travel everyday trying to be safe by not hitting or killing anyone.
Oh, what's the fun in that? It should be more like Grand Theft Auto
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Old 06-03-09, 09:10 PM   #70
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I have to wonder what type of traffic situations the "wait in line" crowd experience. If I never passed cars within the lane (i.e. the same way they all usually pass me), there are a lot of days my commute time would be more than doubled.

I do agree that going to the front of a bunch of cars at a red light just so they can instantly re-pass you makes no sense. But driving in rush hour every major intersection is a three-light-cycle wait, more if you're doing a left turn.

Motorists circumvent this by using our rather expensive network of expressways. I pass within the lane, which as a non-motor vehicle is a legal grey area in my jurisdiction.
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Old 06-03-09, 11:37 PM   #71
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I am approaching a red light or stop sign, I take the lane and I get in line behind the car in front of me to wait for the red to change. Just like the cars around me. I sit there, sometimes pretty far back, and I move with traffic and wait my turn to cross the intersection, like I would in a car.
This is pure silliness...
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Old 06-04-09, 12:30 AM   #72
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I always wait in line at the light. Nothing is more frustrating than passing the same biker 5 times within 2 minutes. I'm a very well behaved fella on a bike, and pretty proud of doing so. My only problem is drafting off cars and rear ending them, but I'm getting better.
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Old 06-04-09, 02:09 AM   #73
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Not everyone lives in California `
Uh, yes we do. That's why we split lanes.
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Old 06-04-09, 05:46 AM   #74
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The vehicle rules of the road were not written by Truck Drivers, Motorcycle riders, or Bicycle riders.
You might want to do a little reading and get back to us on that.

I guess I gotta apologize to John Forester. For years I have argued that his 'cyclist inferiority' theories were hogwash...but you folks keep proving him right.
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Old 06-04-09, 05:56 AM   #75
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I always stop at red lights. Just yesterday a woman got stopped over for blowing thru a red light and a police motor cycle reeled her in. As I went past the dynamic duo, the cop was waving his ticket book asking if he should issue her a ticket. She seemed rather scared. I doubt the cop would have given her a ticket, just wanted to show her she done something wrong.
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