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View Poll Results: Can a vehicular cyclist ride in a "Right Turn Only EXCEPT buses and bikes" lane?
Yes. 12 63.16%
No. 1 5.26%
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Old 04-22-07, 09:33 AM   #1
Bekologist
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"Right Turn ONLY except Buses & Bikes" Lane- Vehicular?

You're riding down a busy, 50mph road, 6 lanes of traffic, center turn lane. At the county line, the designation of the right hand lane changes to "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BUSES AND BICYCLES' you have miles yet to go on this busy arterial, and the 'right turn only except buses and bikes' continues as a classed lane past your destination or turnoff.

is riding in a lane classed for specific types of vehicles vehicular? or does a vehicular cyclist have to avoid riding in a right turn lane because it's not for thru traffic?
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Old 04-22-07, 09:36 AM   #2
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I ride on an arterial that has exactly this situation. To the right of the road are several strip shopping centers. When I ride in the right lane I am in constant fear of being right hooked. I haven't been able to figure out the safest way to ride.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:39 AM   #3
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If it's the rule of the road, it's vehicular.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:48 AM   #4
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It seems the foresterites suggest ignoring rules which are contrary to ordinary vehicular operation. a 'regular' classed vehicle would not be able to travel straight in the right hand turn lane. but special class vehicles can use it.

Last edited by Bekologist; 04-22-07 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 04-22-07, 11:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
You're riding down a busy, 50mph road, 6 lanes of traffic, center turn lane. At the county line, the designation of the right hand lane changes to "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BUSES AND BICYCLES' you have miles yet to go on this busy arterial, and the 'right turn only except buses and bikes' continues as a classed lane past your destination or turnoff.

is riding in a lane classed for specific types of vehicles vehicular? or does a vehicular cyclist have to avoid riding in a right turn lane because it's not for thru traffic?
All you are doing is playing silly semantic games that demonstrate only your extreme desire to find some illogicality in what you think to be vehicular cycling. Nobody should bother with such foolishness, not even me. Yet I find that I have to make this point, not your point.
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Old 04-22-07, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
You're riding down a busy, 50mph road, 6 lanes of traffic, center turn lane. At the county line, the designation of the right hand lane changes to "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BUSES AND BICYCLES' you have miles yet to go on this busy arterial, and the 'right turn only except buses and bikes' continues as a classed lane past your destination or turnoff.

is riding in a lane classed for specific types of vehicles vehicular? or does a vehicular cyclist have to avoid riding in a right turn lane because it's not for thru traffic?
Sounds like the shopping mall/outlet district on US 1 north of Lewes, Del. It's generally like having a whole lane to yourself. And it's clean! I ride in the left tire track to avoid right hooks. If a bus caught me from behind I would move to the right tire track but not give up the entire lane.
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Old 04-22-07, 03:35 PM   #7
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john, can't anwser that straight for the crowd, eh?

Worthless, bub, worthless.

'nobody should bother with such foolishness'- this is a real life road scenario, john, not a 'silly semantic game'.

you are SO ACERBIC. does anybody like you, old man?

SOOO, how should us vehicular cyclists ride this type of road, big bad john?

Last edited by Bekologist; 04-22-07 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 04-22-07, 04:58 PM   #8
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I have never seen a lane like this. How do you ride in it? Do you ride so buses can pass you? Do you ride down the center? Do you ride at the left edge? And so I understand, do cars get into this lane to turn right? Seems like a scary place to be.
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Old 04-22-07, 05:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
I have never seen a lane like this. How do you ride in it? Do you ride so buses can pass you? Do you ride down the center? Do you ride at the left edge? And so I understand, do cars get into this lane to turn right? Seems like a scary place to be.
There are two such lanes within three miles of my house in Austin. One is on Northcross Blvd, "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BUSES AND BIKES". The other is on Far West Blvd, "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BIKES". I can't figure out how to correctly ride those streets.
The signs imply that bikes are supposed to ride in the right lane, even if they are continuing straight.

It seems to me to be a bad idea to sign the roads that way. What do you suppose motivated them to make the signs like that?
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Old 04-22-07, 05:29 PM   #10
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I ride it like Galen, Diane. and its a heck of a lot nicer than the 50 mph plus narrow lanes on the other side of the county line where there isn't the special class lane.

despite the chestbeating of the foresterites, holding a lane on a 50 mph arterial isn't fun or a walk in the park. its an exercise of stoicism against 1000's of distracted and angry drivers. in a 'right turn only except buses and bikes it's you, some buses, and some right turners. like galen says, "It's generally like having a whole lane to yourself"

the main traffic flow is in another lane.
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Old 04-22-07, 05:34 PM   #11
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My question was serious. I just can't picture how I would ride a lane like that. I would personally feel nervous being in a lane where other traffic can merge on over and turn right while at the same time I have to keep letting faster people go by. I would much prefer to ride on the far left edge, or on the right edge of the next lane over.

So, he he, right turn only except bikes. How do you turn right then?
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Old 04-22-07, 05:37 PM   #12
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my question, and the scenario, is serious also, Diane. a real traffic situation, but the great 'vehicular cyclist' himself just mocks me for 'silly semantic games'.
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Old 04-22-07, 05:59 PM   #13
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Maybe it's possible John F. thinks this is a carefully crafted hypothetical situation constructed solely for the sake of argument. However, here in Austin it's a real question that's puzzled lots of people.

On Far West, the right lane is swept clean and the traffic volume is far smaller than in the other two lanes. However, right-turning cars tend to drive erratically around me. Some follow behind me in the right lane for longish distances, others race ahead of me and merge in front of me quite suddenly and often without signalling in order to make their right turn. I guess it's something like a standard bike lane with lots of right turning traffic across it.
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Old 04-22-07, 06:19 PM   #14
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I'll go take pictures tomorrow on a long ride.

i really find john's tone offensive. "nobody should bother with such foolishness" what a pedantic, angry man.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
john, can't anwser that straight for the crowd, eh?

Worthless, bub, worthless.

'nobody should bother with such foolishness'- this is a real life road scenario, john, not a 'silly semantic game'.

you are SO ACERBIC. does anybody like you, old man?

SOOO, how should us vehicular cyclists ride this type of road, big bad john?
Here is your question: "[I]s riding in a lane classed for specific types of vehicles vehicular? or does a vehicular cyclist have to avoid riding in a right turn lane because it's not for thru traffic?"

Your question is not about how to ride in such a situation. It is a question that plays semantic games with whatever you think to be vehicular cycling, the kind of question that a lawyer asks when he wishes to discredit a witness. I repeat, nobody should pay attention to such foolishness.
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Old 04-22-07, 08:58 PM   #16
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why are you even bothering to try and ridicule me, john? its a real traffic scenario.

would you care to answer the question for the crowd, john? you're the high and mighty vehicular cyclist.

should a vehicular cyclist avoid riding in a right turn only lane, even if the signage says it's allowed for bikes?

can't believe john's insulting acerbic nature
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Old 04-22-07, 08:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
My question was serious. I just can't picture how I would ride a lane like that. I would personally feel nervous being in a lane where other traffic can merge on over and turn right while at the same time I have to keep letting faster people go by. I would much prefer to ride on the far left edge, or on the right edge of the next lane over.
If the cyclist operates in the center or left half of the described travel lane, then there is no dangerous violation of the destination positioning rule (of vehicular cycling), because the through-cyclist is not operating to the right of right-turning traffic. It is okay for a bicycle driver traveling straight to operate in line with right-turning traffic, just not to the right of it. Of course, the special lane must also continue on the other side of the junction, as appears to be true in this special case.

The main problem with these limited-use-through/RTO lanes is that motorists may expect a greater level of convenience than possible with the cyclist operating center or left in them. Some motorists attempt to overtake other traffic when using the less busy RTO lane, or expect to turn right on red, and may be delayed by a straight-traveling cyclists.

In my area, we have arterials where the wide right lane is marked as a continuous right-turn-only lane for one commercial driveway after another, for long distances. The through lane is narrow. Ride in the narrow through lane, and lots of straight-traveling drivers get mad, often passing on both sides. Ride in the middle of the continuous RTO lane, and only the right-turners get mad. Ride on the right of the RTO lane at the junctions, and get right-hooked. I hate these roads. A better design would be to leave the outside lane dual-destination and wide, perhaps with sharrows. Or, move the extra width to the through lane, and stripe off the rightmost area as shorter, narrower individual right turn pockets.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
...It is okay for a bicycle driver traveling straight to operate in line with right-turning traffic, just not to the right of it. Of course, the special lane must also continue on the other side of the junction, as appears to be true in this special case.
I think that's the answer I was looking for.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy
I think that's the answer I was looking for.
However, I think it's important to caution cyclists about traveling straight from ordinary right-turn-only lanes. First, the lane may not continue ahead, so an emergency merge mid-intersection with the through lane traffic would result. Second, other road users might assume you're turning right and move in front of you at the junction. Third, if you stop at a signal, you're blocking potential right-on-red turning traffic that might be behind you. Lastly, it's usually illegal.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:06 PM   #20
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... so riding in 'right turn only EXCEPT bikes and buses' lanes is vehicular. not that I need steve to tell me that, just wondering what the 'vc' crowd thought of it. john forester thinks my posting about it was foolishness, despite the reality of this roadway scenario.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
... so riding in 'right turn only EXCEPT bikes and buses' lanes is vehicular. not that I need steve to tell me that, just wondering what the 'vc' crowd thought of it. john forester thinks my posting about it was foolishness, despite the reality of this roadway scenario.
I think the operational complexities of these lanes are a lot more interesting than the semantics. Vehicular cycling leads one to think of a number of reasons one might not always want to be in such a lane.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:16 PM   #22
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wow.I find this type of lane hardly 'operationally complex', steve.

it's remarkably like riding any other lane of traffic from which traffic might turn right, except without the thru traffic, steve.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
However, I think it's important to caution cyclists about traveling straight from ordinary right-turn-only lanes. First, the lane may not continue ahead, so an emergency merge mid-intersection with the through lane traffic would result. Second, other road users might assume you're turning right and move in front of you at the junction. Third, if you stop at a signal, you're blocking potential right-on-red turning traffic that might be behind you. Lastly, it's usually illegal.
Check. The "RIGHT TURN ONLY EXCEPT BIKES" lane on Far West continues through several intersections, then ends with a mandatory right turn where it joins a freeway access road. I move one lane to the left to continue straight through. That has never been a point of confusion to me.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:01 AM   #24
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Some of the 'complexity' may be localized. The shopping district I referred to in my earlier post I only ride once or twice a year when I am on vacation at the beach. But, due to the fact that there is a significant young, east-European immigrant summertime work force who travel almost entirely by bicycle, the locals and vacationers are aware to some degree of cyclists more than they might be at some other locality. Also I think the speed limit is low.

However, when riding one of these restricted lanes, one must still be vigilant for no-look merges from the left through lane especially if traffic is slow, slowing or stopped at a traffic signal and you are overtaking on the right.
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Old 04-23-07, 06:51 AM   #25
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When I first saw this thread, I had to think about it. We don't have "right turn only except cyclists and buses" lanes.

After reading a bit, I noticed that I sometimes ride in the left tire track of the RTOL. Other times, I rode in the right tire track of the rightmost through lane.

But this just sort of came naturally. Is it "vehicular?" Who knows. All I know is I'm comfortable and cops don't ask questions.

The really hilarious part about this is that one RTOL is a favorite place for drivers to race ahead of the long line of traffic and cut in ahead of everyone closer to the light to save time. When I'm using this lane, drivers have to wait behind me, so it screws up their cutting job. Oooo, the cyclist is holding up "traffic." Oh, well, eventually I started taking a parallel street, it saves me an extra light, and the jockeys can go for it. I still end up waaaaay ahead of them.

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