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  1. #1
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    Riding in traffic question

    Been trying to find an answer to this but no luck.

    I have a question on what to do at stop lights and stop signs with no bike lane, but with one ahead after the intersection. Do I fall in line with the cars and go along or can I creep up along the right hand side and sit there and go thru the intersection side by side with the cars? I live in california btw. Also what if it is ok for me to go on the right and ride along the side of them but the lane I'm in cars use to turn, so I would be sort of blocking the turning cars but they could still squeeze by me? I come across this type
    Of intersection a lot.

  2. #2
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I prefer to go through with the traffic, in the traffic lane, and then move over after clearing the intersection. When waiting at the intersection in a combined straight/right turn lane I like to stop in the left portion of the lane to allow cars to move up and turn right. The drawback is when, every once in awhile, someone will pull up beside intending to go straight, trapping you between lanes.

    The problem with creeping through the intersection on the right side (or on the crosswalk) is that the drivers will not let you merge back into the road at the far side of the intersection.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Stay in the Lane:



    Or stay Left to allow a right turn.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  4. #4
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    Both riding and stopping for lights take up so much of your auto lane that cars cannot occupy it with you. If a bike lane is ahead, get there after the intersection, don't ride there with cars alongside. There is no safer way to ride in traffic. When you start up from a light that way, you don't have to think about getting squeezed. Sometimes I will move to the left even more at a right turn on red situation to make room for the cars to turn, but when I do that, it can be tricky to take possession of the main part of the lane again. Just have to feel it out.

  5. #5
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    I agree with staying in the lane or moving left to let cars turn. Don't make a habit of parking yourself to the right of traffic at intersections or you'll get familiar with being right hooked.

  6. #6
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    Don't be afraid to take your lane. The law will allow it because it will be as far right as safety allows. Being nice and letting cars share with you will only put you in a hazardous position.

    Most of the time, motorists will patiently wait for you. I still get the occasional honk - but that's been rare this spring and summer.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for clearing it up, I just want to make sure I was doing it right because I find myself in a middle of a car pack with 5 in front and 5 in back and feel like I'm holding up so many people lol

  8. #8
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    Sometimes I stop at right front fender allowing right turn on red cars to proceed, other times I go far right, stop at curb and wave the right turn on red cars to go.

    Just never do this.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jWvAxjG0kg

  9. #9
    Rubber side down Clipped_in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Don't make a habit of parking yourself to the right of traffic at intersections or you'll get familiar with being right hooked.
    This^^^^^^^
    ...Just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  10. #10
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    I learned the hard way not to stop next to a car in their blind spot. I once had a car make a right turn and the rear tire ran over my foot.

    Now i'm either in front or behind the car.

  11. #11
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    Merge with the traffic lane in the back and wait your turn. I see cyclists ride up to the right of cars to the front of the line. But then, all the cars just end up having to pass the cyclist after they get through the intersection. Just stay behind them because they're going to leave you behind anyway.
    Alan

  12. #12
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
    This^^^^^^^
    As long as I pull past the driver before stopping its not a big deal.

  13. #13
    Pretty rigid member BykOfALesserGod's Avatar
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    I end up stopping on the crosswalk to the right of the straight ahead lane in plain view of the line of cars. It's something I picked up from observing bicycles while I'm driving. I don't want bikes waiting behind me where I can "lose" them.

    And of course I never stop on the right turn lane. It is such a common jackbutt move for cyclists around here. Morons.
    IFCJ

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    When waiting at the intersection in a combined straight/right turn lane I like to stop in the left portion of the lane to allow cars to move up and turn right. The drawback is when, every once in awhile, someone will pull up beside intending to go straight, trapping you between lanes.
    I've had this happen and it sucks big time. Being trapped in the narrow gap on a line between cars is beyond dangerous. Once was enough that I'm never going to let that happen again. If there is room I'll stay to the middle/left of the lane but scoot up on the crosswalk. That will let cars turn right but I'm sure to be far enough into the lane that any car going straight can't squeeze by me. If there isn't room then I'll look back at the car directly behind me. If it has a right turn signal on then I'll generally move over to the left enough to let me pass. Haven't had to face the situation yet where the next car behind the one turning wants to go straight. But by now if that car doesn't turn or doesn't have a signal on I think I generally make eye contact and move in front of the car.

  15. #15
    don't misunderestimate me BoSoxYacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BykOfALesserGod View Post
    I end up stopping on the crosswalk to the right of the straight ahead lane in plain view of the line of cars. It's something I picked up from observing bicycles while I'm driving. I don't want bikes waiting behind me where I can "lose" them.
    +1
    This is legal in many areas.

  16. #16
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    I slide up on the right and wait for the light to green or safe to go after a stop. I'd rather not be in the mix with cars like that.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Peiper1's Avatar
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    I don't ride on city streets very often, but when I do, I simply take up the entire lane and don't really care about slowing down the cars behind me. I'm certainly not going to be too worried about some fat blob in their ridiculous SUV who might get to wherever they're going five minutes late because of me.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awsimons View Post
    I see cyclists ride up to the right of cars to the front of the line. But then, all the cars just end up having to pass the cyclist after they get through the intersection. Just stay behind them because they're going to leave you behind anyway.
    Alan
    OP said a bike lane is after the intersection so I don't think what you're saying applies here. He's actually doing drivers and traffic a favor by filtering up to the front rather than sitting in a line of cars that he likely can't keep pace with when the light turns. Staying in line creates a gap that otherwise would not be there of he filtered up and only serves to slow down traffic behind.

    My rule is if there is no bike lane, filter only of I'm turning right. If there is a bike lane after the light, filter to the front if I'm going straight or turning left. If the light is on an incline, I always filter to the front.

    As far as where I sit in the lane, I apply the motorcycle rule. If a motorcycle would be in the lane and cars wouldn't make dumb moves to endanger them, I go where they would go. Sometimes this means I block right turns when I'm going straight, so be it. All other vehicles going straight would also block right turns, why should I be expected to make things less safe for myself just because I'm on a bike?
    Last edited by Buzzatronic; 08-11-13 at 06:15 PM.

  19. #19
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    Slightly off topic but one time in the 1980s in Vancouver, I just came out of the Stanley Park Drive by bicycle and I was lining up at the traffic light on the road that takes you along English Bay. Behind me was this pickup truck that kept inching forward. When the light turned green I couldn't move forward because the pickup truck had jammed his bumper on to of my rear wheel.

    It sort of felt good to tell him to back off - otherwise he's the one blocking all the traffic.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
    OP said a bike lane is after the intersection so I don't think what you're saying applies here. He's actually doing drivers and traffic a favor by filtering up to the front rather than sitting in a line of cars that he likely can't keep pace with when the light turns. Staying in line creates a gap that otherwise would not be there of he filtered up and only serves to slow down traffic behind.

    My rule is if there is no bike lane, filter only of I'm turning right. If there is a bike lane after the light, filter to the front if I'm going straight or turning left. If the light is on an incline, I always filter to the front.

    As far as where I sit in the lane, I apply the motorcycle rule. If a motorcycle would be in the lane and cars wouldn't make dumb moves to endanger them, I go where they would go. Sometimes this means I block right turns when I'm going straight, so be it. All other vehicles going straight would also block right turns, why should I be expected to make things less safe for myself just because I'm on a bike?
    this clears it up even more, where I live I have a lot of narrow and wide streets with tons of uphill/downhill so I have to hold up traffic quiet a bit or risk them trying to hook me as the get around me.

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