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Old 10-12-11, 10:36 PM   #1
vol
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How do you make left turn at an intersection?

You are going to make a left turn at an intersection, waiting for the light to turn green. But when the light turns green for you, it also turns green for the oncoming cars on your left. In this situation, unless there are few cars, I would never directly make the turn, but ride (sometimes walk) forward across the street, then wait until that green light becomes red, then I'll cross that street. So I am making it 2 steps crossing instead of a 1-step turn. I feel it very dangerous to directly make the left turn when many cars are running. How many of you do the same cowardly thing? Or is it a justified wise way?

Last edited by vol; 10-12-11 at 11:00 PM. Reason: typo "on your left" (not "on your right"!)
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Old 10-12-11, 10:54 PM   #2
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If it is possible, I take the lane in front of a car to offer a bit of protection from the stopped car. Admittedly, I have very few situation where this is even an issue.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:55 PM   #3
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If there is a lot of traffic and no left turn arrow, there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. If the street you are turning on has light traffic, you can also turn right on it then make a U-Turn. If FedEx trucks never make left turns, due to safety concerns, it also make sense for cyclists. They only make left turns in residential areas. In any case, turning in front of an on coming car is not a good idea. Another thing to watch for is cars turning left at intersections when you are going straight. The more lanes, the more likely the driver will not see you. Its a good idea to do something to ensure they see you.
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Old 10-12-11, 11:05 PM   #4
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Another thing to watch for is cars turning left at intersections when you are going straight. .
Yes, the other day I was nearly hit by a car that way, because the driver made a tight turn instead of a big turn. The car stopped right in front of me.
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Old 10-13-11, 02:57 AM   #5
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Here in Australia, a left turn is a turn round the corner following the curb and not getting in the way of any vehicles.

However, if I were in North America, I would do a left turn just like I would if I were driving:

1) When the light turns green, I move forward into the intersection.
2) When the oncoming cars have passed, or when the light turns yellow and the oncoming cars stop, I make my turn.


How do you make a left turn when you drive?
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Old 10-13-11, 03:13 AM   #6
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Generally, I do it the same way I do it in a car. Unless I am with my kids, in which case I will use the two-step method.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:39 AM   #7
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Same way as I would in a car. If there are multiple turn-only lanes (a rarity around here) then I'll take the one that puts me in the right-most lane after the turn.
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Old 10-13-11, 07:30 AM   #8
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Just like I would in a car.

I was heading home after work yesterday on a one-way street with a bike lane on the right. There was heavy traffic and it wasn't moving too fast. As I approached my left turn, I signaled and moved out of the bike lane, over two lanes into the left lane.

I then got to sit in stopped traffic for a bit waiting to get to the intersections. I pedestrian told me there was a bike lane to the right. I told him I was turning left. He gave me a strange look and didn't respond. Strange, but none of the motorists said or did anything.
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Old 10-13-11, 07:48 AM   #9
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That's the downside to bike lanes and paths. They reinforce the idea that cyclists should be segregated.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:09 AM   #10
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That's the downside to bike lanes and paths. They reinforce the idea that cyclists should be segregated.
Amen.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:47 AM   #11
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It depends on how heavy traffic is.

If it's heavy, I just cross the intersection on the usual side and stop just short of the curb and do a 90 degree turn in preparation of going with traffic when the light changes.

If traffic is light, I just signal my intentions and take the lane.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:32 AM   #12
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/\ this.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:40 AM   #13
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I'm ^ in with #11 .. stay to the right, (unless in a left side driving country)
stop, and turn and cross with the green on the crossing street.

A Part of how I got to be this old
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Old 10-13-11, 01:45 PM   #14
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I'll ditto #5, 6, 7, &8. I don't remember ever getting hassled about it -- if I can't turn left, I couldn't turn left in my (much bigger) car, either.

Part of how I got to be so old!
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Old 10-13-11, 01:56 PM   #15
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Just like I would in a car.
^^This.
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Old 10-13-11, 03:14 PM   #16
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Like so many others just like I would with any other vehicle I opperate on the street.
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Old 10-13-11, 03:27 PM   #17
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Just as I would in a car. Generally I find doing the "2 step" just confuses vehicles further as they expect you to continue, not stop and turn 90 to wait. This is especially true of the vehicles queuing for a right turn in the perpendicular lane.
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Old 10-13-11, 03:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
How many of you do the same cowardly thing?
vol:There's nothing cowardly in it. It is indeed extremely dangerous to take left turns, especially in 1 step.
However, I would not use either of the two left-turning methods you described(1-step and 2-step). Here's how I would do:(see attached thumbnail).
Yes, that is indeed the lamest method to "turn left", but I think it's the safest way to take the desired route.
As already mentioned in another thread, I always walk my bike at intersections.
Attached Images
File Type: png untitled.png (9.9 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by Paranoid.Guy; 10-13-11 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 10-13-11, 03:41 PM   #19
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Depends. If there is a left turn lane I'll almost always make hte turn just like in a car. Exception being when it is an intersection with a seperate left turn signal, low traffic turning left and where i have learned that means no left turn arrow for me.

Where I'm most apt to play 2 step turn is where there is no left turn lane, intermittent traffic yet pretty fast when it comes. In that case sometimes stopping in hte left or only lane becomes less attractive. Heck I know I've been places where stopping ot turn left is not attractive in a car.
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Old 10-13-11, 04:37 PM   #20
vol
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Quote:
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That's the downside to bike lanes and paths. They reinforce the idea that cyclists should be segregated.
People complain when bikes are not on bike lanes, but not when cars are on bike lanes.

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Originally Posted by Paranoid.Guy View Post
Here's how I would dosee attached thumbnail).
Yes, that is indeed the lamest method to "turn left", but I think it's the safest way to take the desired route.
As already mentioned in another thread, I always walk my bike at intersections.
I sometimes do that, too.

What makes me nervous when turning left is that not only you need to watch for the oncoming cars, but also cars behind you (if you are not on the left-most lane).
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Old 10-13-11, 04:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1) When the light turns green, I move forward into the intersection.
2) When the oncoming cars have passed, or when the light turns yellow and the oncoming cars stop, I make my turn.

How do you make a left turn when you drive?
+1, except I'd also add "signal and shoulder check when moving into left turn lane"

sometime I have to wait for oncoming cars who want to be "nice" (aka "get me killed") and let me turn in front of them; other than that I've never had a problem. Of course there are exceptions, but they're rare and have involved explanations I'm sure no one cares about.
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Old 10-13-11, 05:10 PM   #22
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People complain when bikes are not on bike lanes, but not when cars are on bike lanes.
It is unfair to force cyclists to stay in their lanes and on the other hand allow other vehicles and pedestrians on the bike paths. Bicycle lanes are definitely bicycle lanes.
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