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Thread: VAC puzzler

  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    VAC puzzler

    Very simple road scenario.

    Two intersecting two lane (one each way, no turn lanes) roads controlled by a traffic light. Inductive sensor covers and works for entire left side 10' width of lane. Lane is 15' wide.

    You as the cyclist are making a left turn. You are first in line and the light is red. There are vehicles behind you stopping who will also activate sensor. Your experience is that most are going straight or turning right. There is not a protected left signal.

    Question: Where laterally (left-center-right) in the lane do you stop and where in relation to stop line?

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 03-23-07 at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Left of the center of the lane, leaving enough room for motorists to pass me on the right... as for as the stop line, I stop where I can trigger the sensor... if properly placed, that should be behind the stop line.

    I would stop in the same spot if I were riding a motorcycle.

    Now the real question is, will the motorists stop behind me, to the right of me, or really freak out and go across the double yellow (in spite of the red light) all the way around me, and then move to the right of the road in some strange awkward attempt to avoid being "behind" a cyclist?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Left of the center of the lane, leaving enough room for motorists to pass me on the right... as for as the stop line, I stop where I can trigger the sensor... if properly placed, that should be behind the stop line.

    I would stop in the same spot if I were riding a motorcycle.

    Now the real question is, will the motorists stop behind me, to the right of me, or really freak out and go across the double yellow (in spite of the red light) all the way around me, and then move to the right of the road in some strange awkward attempt to avoid being "behind" a cyclist?


    It helps to be looking for the first car who will stop behind, and, as they are approaching to turn your head and look at them. They're much more likely to do the right thing if they know they're being watch. It's human nature.

  4. #4
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I stop dead center behind the stop line as far forward as possible to allow the most cars to sit over the sensor as possible, sitting right over the center sensor line. Then when the light changes, I pull out so at least 2 cars who also want to turn left have room to pull out over the stop line. Then at least 3 of us can go once there's a break in traffic. I don't give a rip about anybody who wants to turn right or go straight. As far as I'm concerned, the center sensor line is my turf.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I stop dead center behind the stop line as far forward as possible to allow the most cars to sit over the sensor as possible, sitting right over the center sensor line. Then when the light changes, I pull out so at least 2 cars who also want to turn left have room to pull out over the stop line. Then at least 3 of us can go once there's a break in traffic. I don't give a rip about anybody who wants to turn right or go straight. As far as I'm concerned, the center sensor line is my turf.
    That's fine if you can count on at least one more car showing up pretty soon.

    I like to trigger the sensor myself. Some are pretty tricky, but I've learned how to trigger all the ones on my commute.

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    left of center for a left hand turn off a two lane road with traffic signal.

    but that's my political position too.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Like Gene, HH, Bek... Thats where I stop too - left of center (Diane, I said the inducive sensor covers and works for the entire 10' left portion of the 15' lane. (Locally the sensors are a double loop and I can stop lined up on left line, middle or right and always activate))

    But what does one do if waiting in this just behind stop line, left of center position when a driver from the right x-traffic is making a fast left and they cut the left turn tight and are coming right at you? You can't move forward, as they may adjust their path as they see you at last second, you can't move back or sideways as you are motionless. Plus it all happens in a split second.

    Is this just one of those collisions that the cyclist has no control over? (yes you are wearing ample hi-vis gear and watching)

    Al

  8. #8
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Is this just one of those collisions that the cyclist has no control over? (yes you are wearing ample hi-vis gear and watching)
    Generally, same positioning as previous replies.

    I suppose, if you know that a particular intersection, because of design, sight lines, or other factors, is particularly likely to encourage cutting left turns, you could reconsider positioning, but that only works for intersections you know well, and may result in other problems.

    This is one of those scenarios that makes me think seriously about putting Airzounds back on my bikes, and using them whenever I suspect a turning driver may be cutting it too closely. I'm already such a Fred that it can't get much worse.

    If they only weren't so flimsy...

  9. #9
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    If I can be sure the sensor works when I'm on top of the left portion, them I'll sit over the left one. But I seem to have more luck with the center one, so that's usually what I aim for.

    As for peope cutting the curve as they make lefts from my right, if I'm on my upright bike I can usually move over a little, but I will usually just glare at them and hold my ground. On my trike I find it impossible to move and it can be scary knowing you can do nothing more than brace for impact if a good indignant glare doesn't have effect.

    I've never had anybody insist on running into me in this scenario, however. They always know they are in the wrong when they do it.

    This actually happened to me the other day when I was on my Vespa. I held my ground and scowled at the guy. He got the hint. So far holding my ground and scowling has always worked on any machine I've used.

    Buses on the otherhand often have no choice, but they won't run you over. They will simply stop and inconvenience everyone until people back up.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Sounds like a situation for a really loud air horn!
    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    If I can be sure the sensor works when I'm on top of the left portion, them I'll sit over the left one. But I seem to have more luck with the center one, so that's usually what I aim for.

    As for peope cutting the curve as they make lefts from my right, if I'm on my upright bike I can usually move over a little, but I will usually just glare at them and hold my ground. On my trike I find it impossible to move and it can be scary knowing you can do nothing more than brace for impact if a good indignant glare doesn't have effect.

    I've never had anybody insist on running into me in this scenario, however. They always know they are in the wrong when they do it.

    This actually happened to me the other day when I was on my Vespa. I held my ground and scowled at the guy. He got the hint. So far holding my ground and scowling has always worked on any machine I've used.

    Buses on the otherhand often have no choice, but they won't run you over. They will simply stop and inconvenience everyone until people back up.
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  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Maybe a twist to this (this is common where I ride - situation is a 25mph road crossing a 45mph arterial) is that its hot outside windows are up AC and stereo blasting, driver is going 55mph before left turn and slow only enough to make the turn, hence also cutting it with a wide radius as a tight turn would require slowing even more. Cutting corners like this very common (when lane not occupied by a notable vehicle that only takes a glance to see)

    Al

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    in that case, al, now that you've added clarifiers....

    left biased, behind the 'sweet spot' of the turning radius. wear high vis clothing, run a LED front blinkie even during the day to add even greater conspicuity, and aim it towards the turners....

    but yep, your post proves you can't eliminate the dangers of riding, despite ones road position.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    How could I forget the Airzound!? I have one on my trike and use it liberally. This IS a classic case where the Airzound proves invaluable.

    Thing is, if someone's making a left turn like that how can they not see you standing there? You're standing directly where they are going.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  14. #14
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Very simple road scenario.

    Two intersecting two lane (one each way, no turn lanes) roads controlled by a traffic light. Inductive sensor covers and works for entire left side 10' width of lane. Lane is 15' wide.

    You as the cyclist are making a left turn. You are first in line and the light is red. There are vehicles behind you stopping who will also activate sensor. Your experience is that most are going straight or turning right. There is not a protected left signal.

    Question: Where laterally (left-center-right) in the lane do you stop and where in relation to stop line?

    Al
    Given that I'm first in line, I'd hog the lane. I'd just make sure I had already let everyone behind me know I was turning left, first. After that, tough nuts.

    I wouldn't be holding anyone up more than if I were in my car.

    Stop line: no different from a car.
    No worries

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