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View Poll Results: Are BikeinBlue views (see OP) typical or unusual?

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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Example of bike lane problem: unusual or typical?

    The SF Chronicle has this short story on bikes vs. cars. Here is an excerpt:

    The latest CHP data on car-bike collisions that resulted in injury or death shows, most often, the cyclist is at fault. Take a look for yourself at the CHP statistics covering more than 11-thousand accidents around the bay during the past five years. Sixty percent of the time, the cyclist caused the crash. The most common violations that led to accidents were riding on the wrong side of the road, refusing to yield to an automobile's right of way, unsafe speed and ignoring traffic signals and signs. Cyclists who caused collisions were nearly three times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol, compared to drivers who caused accidents.
    One of the responses is a great example of ramifications of the false sense of security fostered by bike lanes, coupled with them being inherently contrary to the vehicular rules of the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikeinBlue
    As an avid bike rider, who has been hit by a car, I think that the rules set by the SFPD are unclear.
    In my case, I was struck by a car while I was riding in the bike lane. The car pulled into a parking spot headfirst. The officer at the scene reported I was passing on the right, making my action illegal. But I was in the bike lane, traveling at a normal speed. I was left fully liable for nearly 10k in hospitol bills, and a broken bike.
    The grey area in bicycle/automobile right of way and laws is emmense. To report that bicyclists are more neglegent in traffic is neglegent in itslef. I feel cyclists in our city are getting a bad rap. I don't beleive in critical mass, I beleive in critical manners. Our city is growing too fast, and I beleive we, as San Franciscans, need to be a little more curtious to each other. Lets not become another NYC. We are a city known for tolerence, lets not forget that.
    Note how he feels he did nothing wrong since he was in the bike lane. He claims he's an "avid biker", but he's clearly not an A&S regular, because his post is riddled with confusion.

    He claims the gray area in bike/car ROW and laws is "immense". What he doesn't recognize is that the only bike/car ROW gray area in the law has to do with bike lanes. I'll bet he's a big supporter of bike lanes too, but I doubt he would be as big a supporter if he understood the role it played in his crash.

    Do you think this BikeinBlue guy is an unusual or typical representative of how cyclists currently think?

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Cyclists who caused collisions were nearly three times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol, compared to drivers who caused accidents.
    Sounds to me like this is more of a direct cause than a line of paint.

  3. #3
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Sixty percent of the time, the cyclist caused the crash. The most common violations that led to accidents were riding on the wrong side of the road, refusing to yield to an automobile's right of way, unsafe speed and ignoring traffic signals and signs. Cyclists who caused collisions were nearly three times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol, compared to drivers who caused accidents.
    This means 40% of the time it's the motorist's fault. Almost half.

    Riding on the wrong side of the road, refusing to yield to an automobile's right of way, unsafe speed, ignoring traffic signals and signs, and riding while drunk are not caused by bike lanes.

    As for BikeinBlue, I think he's not telling the whole story. There may also be a residual effect there due to the CM issues they are having in SF. He also may just need a little training on how to use a bike lane safely. Again, the bike lane did not cause the problem. Other mistakes did.

    Finally, how is yet more harping on your hatred of bike lanes furthering your mission to teach Vehicular Cycling to the world? Or is this topic yet more evidence that VC is only about anti-bike lane whining and not about safer cycling practices? Can't you guys teach people how to ride a bicycle safely in the world that currently exists without constantly trying to find places to place blame? This is why Hurst is so much more effective.
    ~Diane
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  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I think this once again bears out why I refuse to use California as a model for the rest of the country - and why HH and JF are so out-of-whack with many of us...because their experiences are based on California.

    As to the premise of the OP...cyclists tend to pass on the right whether there is a BL stripe or not - the root cause is the notion that passing on the right is ok, which is shared more and more by motorists too, not the fact that there was a BL stripe.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    As to the premise of the OP...cyclists tend to pass on the right whether there is a BL stripe or not - the root cause is the notion that passing on the right is ok, which is shared more and more by motorists too, not the fact that there was a BL stripe.
    In another thread, HH told me that passing on the right was VC.

    In general, I think the issue behind that behavior is general impatience/reptilian brain competition. The roads are reaching their limits in some cities (60% of L.A.'s surface is roadway, for example), but traffic continues to increase. We can't be late. So we pass on the shoulder, we cross double yellows to pass, we pass on the right in our bike or our big SUV.
    I am a mutated sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate and mutate, blah!.

  6. #6
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Sounds to me like this is more of a direct cause than a line of paint.
    I agree. Nor have I ever claimed otherwise.

  7. #7
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I think this once again bears out why I refuse to use California as a model for the rest of the country - and why HH and JF are so out-of-whack with many of us...because their experiences are based on California.

    As to the premise of the OP...cyclists tend to pass on the right whether there is a BL stripe or not - the root cause is the notion that passing on the right is ok, which is shared more and more by motorists too, not the fact that there was a BL stripe.
    Of course you are correct about the root cause - feeling it is okay to pass on the right.

    However, I think bike lanes give most cyclists a false sense of security, it makes them think they have the right of way simply because they are in a bike lane. BikeinBlue's words exemplify this. Can you blame him? On multilaned roads, it is not illegal to pass on the right. So to a cyclist who is in his own lane, it feels natural to pass on the right. I strongly suspect uninitiated cyclists like this are less vigilant when they are riding in bike lanes because they are riding in bike lanes. It probably does not occur to them that they are doing something that requires extra caution (if they should do it at all) because they are in a bike lane. After all, they support bike lanes because they are "more comfortable" when riding in bike lanes.

    Anyway, do you think this is guy is typical or unusual?

  8. #8
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeytoun
    In another thread, HH told me that passing on the right was VC.

    In general, I think the issue behind that behavior is general impatience/reptilian brain competition. The roads are reaching their limits in some cities (60% of L.A.'s surface is roadway, for example), but traffic continues to increase. We can't be late. So we pass on the shoulder, we cross double yellows to pass, we pass on the right in our bike or our big SUV.
    It is not illegal to pass on the right. It is not contrary to VC to pass on the right with due caution.
    It is contrary to VC to pass on the right obliviously assuming it's a perfectly reasonable thing to simply because you're in a bike lane.

    Most cyclists never heard of VC. I'll bet BikeinBlue, an "avid cyclist", never has. These are the folks we should be trying to reach.

  9. #9
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    This means 40% of the time it's the motorist's fault. Almost half.
    Well, it means the primary cause of the crash 40% of the time was the motorist's fault. But if you accept the Multiple Causation Theory that Ratliff, Sr. has been posting about, and is consistent with common sense, there are almost always secondary causes, some of which are surely the bicyclist's fault. If the bicyclist can avoid to make mistakes that are secondary causes to crashes - and VC is about avoiding secondary as well primary cause mistakes - then he should be able to avoid almost all crashes. Arguably, over 99%. This is the basis for defensive driving.

    Riding on the wrong side of the road, refusing to yield to an automobile's right of way, unsafe speed, ignoring traffic signals and signs, and riding while drunk are not caused by bike lanes.
    Indeed, violating the basic rules of VC are the primary causes of most bike-car crashes. The role of bike lanes is indirect, insidious really, and probably more relevant where the cyclist's mistake is a secondary cause. Bike lanes are probably only related to primary causes of bike-car crashes where they entice the cyclist to ride the wrong way on a street, or pass on the right obliviously, as was the case for BikeinBlue.

    As for BikeinBlue, I think he's not telling the whole story. There may also be a residual effect there due to the CM issues they are having in SF. He also may just need a little training on how to use a bike lane safely. Again, the bike lane did not cause the problem. Other mistakes did.
    A car in the outside lane slowed down, the cyclist did not react, he kept riding along in the bike lane, starting to pass the slowing car, which then cut right head first into a parking spot. You think this driver intentionally cut off this cyclist due to a residual effect from CM issues? This is a classic midblock right hook and could have happened anywhere with door zone bike lanes and an empty parking spot.

    Finally, how is yet more harping on your hatred of bike lanes furthering your mission to teach Vehicular Cycling to the world? Or is this topic yet more evidence that VC is only about anti-bike lane whining and not about safer cycling practices? Can't you guys teach people how to ride a bicycle safely in the world that currently exists without constantly trying to find places to place blame? This is why Hurst is so much more effective.
    This is a good point. I don't hate bike lanes. I do wish the members of this forum, to start, would better recognize the role that bike lanes play, often insidiously, in bike-car crashes.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 05-24-07 at 09:37 AM.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    pass on the right, or hooked by drivers????

    a lot of bike lanes on your commute WHEN you bike commute, head, which isn't very often.


    what a wank.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    In the Contest thread, Nate entered this, which Diane and others agreed with:

    Pro-bikelane - We support bicycling for the masses
    Anti-bike lane - We do not support bicycling for the masses

    In these terms, the question in this thread can be phrased as: is BikeinBlue typical of "the masses" that Nate, Diane and other pro-bikelane folks seek to support?

    Of course, the ultimate question is: is supporting bike lanes really supporting/benefiting folks like BikeinBlue?

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    who the heck is bikeinblue, and were they quoted in the Chronicle, or are you merging two disparate blurbs to support your smear against bike infrastructure?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    who the heck is bikeinblue, and were they quoted in the Chronicle, or are you merging two disparate blurbs to support your smear against bike infrastructure?
    Click on the link in the OP and all will be clear. It's an article, with user comments. BikeinBlue was one who posted a comment.

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    who says bicyclists that haven't heard of VC use caution while passing cars on the right?

    how off base.

    Honestly, i think it's a MUCH larger issue of drivers hooking bicyclists by failing to yield than bicyclists 'passing' cars turning on the right. what a mischaracterization by the head.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sounds like bikeinblue was HOOKED, head.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    This is a good point. I don't hate bike lanes. I do wish the members of this forum, to start, would better recognize the role that bike lanes play, often insidiously, in bike-car crashes.
    Well is it the lanes themselves or motorists that do not understand their role in the use of lanes and their relationship to cyclists? And yes, the different roles in different states do add confusion... as once did the RTOL variations, at one time, also confuse motorists.

    Lets face it, road workers on the roadway confuse some motorists... which is why CALTRANS had the whole "Give them a brake." campaign. Also part of the problem could also be the very inconsistent way BL are created and "signed" in CA. Go to Oregon to see well implemented and consistently well signed BL.

    Chipcom has a point in that CA probably has the worst overall inconsistent implementation of BL...

    But that is just my observations and humble opinion.

  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    who says bicyclists that haven't heard of VC use caution while passing cars on the right?

    how off base.

    Honestly, i think it's a MUCH larger issue of drivers hooking bicyclists by failing to yield than bicyclists 'passing' cars turning on the right. what a mischaracterization by the head.
    Drivers in the outside lane of traffic slowing down to turn right, or slowing down to park, have no obligation to yield to a cyclist who is passing them on the right, even if they just passed him, even if there is a bike lane.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    sounds like bikeinblue was HOOKED, head.
    How quickly do you pull into a parking spot, Bek? This motorist who hit Bikeinblue (or who he hit) had to be barely moving when Bikeinblue passed him. I highly doubt the motorist passed the cyclist quickly then turned at 20mph into a parking spot. Passing on the right and being hit by a right turning vehicle that you saw up ahead moving slowly is not the traditional right hook that can sometimes be blamed on the motorist.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I drive about 6 days a year, joe. can't ascertain how i pull into parking spots. ask helmet head, HE drives a lot.

    however, i doubt your analysis or the police's analysis of bikeinblue's actions.

    i can't say what or how bikeinblue was riding. but hooks are much more the fault of the drivers than the cyclists, isn't that right, joe? you get hooked once a week, and you do everything right, dontchya?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I drive about 6 days a year, joe. can't ascertain how i pull into parking spots. ask helmet head, HE drives a lot.

    however, i doubt your analysis or the police's analysis of bikeinblue's actions.

    i can't say what or how bikeinblue was riding. but hooks are much more the fault of the drivers than the cyclists, isn't that right, joe? you get hooked once a week, and you do everything right, dontchya?
    Great, now you've latched onto a misinterpretation of something I said and will continue to use it to try and discredit what I write. I feel so special

    I would say that right hooks that result in collisions (not the kind where someone swoops across the lane in front of you to prepare for a turn up ahead) are often the result of motorists not noticing cyclists up ahead on the right, motorists not understanding how to make a turn in the presence of a bike lane/cyclist, cyclists not understanding right of way laws and not riding defensively, and cyclists not paying attention. It's about 50/50 in my book as to who is to blame for most right hook collisions that I've read about. But, I'd say the vast majority could be avoided by cyclists not riding so far right in the absence of faster same direction traffic and not passing on the right without due diligence.

  21. #21
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    In the Contest thread, Nate entered this, which Diane and others agreed with:

    Pro-bikelane - We support bicycling for the masses
    Anti-bike lane - We do not support bicycling for the masses

    In these terms, the question in this thread can be phrased as: is BikeinBlue typical of "the masses" that Nate, Diane and other pro-bikelane folks seek to support?

    Of course, the ultimate question is: is supporting bike lanes really supporting/benefiting folks like BikeinBlue?
    So do I get royalties for showing up in a HH post and not being interrogated at the same time?

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Drivers in the outside lane of traffic slowing down to turn right, or slowing down to park, have no obligation to yield to a cyclist who is passing them on the right, even if they just passed him, even if there is a bike lane.
    Whoa, this is an interesting issue... let's break it down for a second... say a cyclist is riding in a WOL... and moving along at just under the speed limit... and a motorist who knows they are about to turn right into the local grocery store lot speeds up, moves left to pass the cyclist (crossing the lane stripe, but not the double yellow) and then the motorist slows and swings into the lot.

    At what point did the motorist gain ROW over the cyclist using the same lane? At what point did the motorist know they were turning right? Did the motorist, when behind the cyclist, have ROW over the cyclist? When the motorist overtook the cyclist, in the motorist's effort to move ahead, was the motorist violating the destination positioning concept?

    Now the cyclist is on the right of the motorist... but based on the actions of the motorist, why should the cyclist believe the motorist is doing anything but going straight... according to the concept of destination posititioning?

    Now we can go well beyond this and speculate that the observant cyclist will note the slowing of the vehicle that just passed and could make an assumption that the motorist make make a turn... and that cyclist should probably prepare for some sort of action... but based on destination positioning... the cyclist cannot predict anything... other than the motorist is doing something. The smart cyclist would position themselves behind the motorist and not assume a right, straight or left movement from the motorist.

    Now lets add a BL stripe.

    Everything is just about the same except the motorist feels they are in their own lane... as does the cyclist. The motorist doesn't move to the left and cross a different lane stripe (as often noted by advocates, the motorist passes the cyclist in the BL without thinking). At this point they both have equal ROW in their respective lanes. At some point the motorist is going to turn right... and knows this. Now here is the tricky part... is the motorist "changing lanes" before the turn?

  23. #23
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    It's about 50/50 in my book as to who is to blame for most right hook collisions that I've read about. But, I'd say the vast majority could be avoided by cyclists not riding so far right in the absence of faster same direction traffic and not passing on the right without due diligence.
    JJ, to clarify... What you mean by "not riding so far right in the absence of faster same direction traffic" helps avoid right hooks is that when same direction traffic slows to the speed (or slower) of the cyclist, the cyclist should merge left, right?

  24. #24
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    How the heck does support of cycling for the masses end up being about getting hooked by an impatient car parker?

    This morning I was riding OUTSIDE the bike lane stripe in the lane on a residential street and yet a truck, who had only just pulled into the street and so was going my speed, insisted he had to pass me. Naturally this required he pass into oncoming traffic, which in this case was present, and really step on the gas, this enveloping me in a cloud of noxious fumes. Did the bike lane cause this?
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  25. #25
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Drivers in the outside lane of traffic slowing down to turn right, or slowing down to park, have no obligation to yield to a cyclist who is passing them on the right, even if they just passed him, even if there is a bike lane.
    Whoa, this is an interesting issue... let's break it down for a second... say a cyclist is riding in a WOL... and moving along at just under the speed limit... and a motorist who knows they are about to turn right into the local grocery store lot speeds up, moves left to pass the cyclist (crossing the lane stripe, but not the double yellow) and then the motorist slows and swings into the lot.

    At what point did the motorist gain ROW over the cyclist using the same lane? At what point did the motorist know they were turning right? Did the motorist, when behind the cyclist, have ROW over the cyclist? When the motorist overtook the cyclist, in the motorist's effort to move ahead, was the motorist violating the destination positioning concept?

    Now the cyclist is on the right of the motorist... but based on the actions of the motorist, why should the cyclist believe the motorist is doing anything but going straight... according to the concept of destination posititioning?

    Now we can go well beyond this and speculate that the observant cyclist will note the slowing of the vehicle that just passed and could make an assumption that the motorist make make a turn... and that cyclist should probably prepare for some sort of action... but based on destination positioning... the cyclist cannot predict anything... other than the motorist is doing something. The smart cyclist would position themselves behind the motorist and not assume a right, straight or left movement from the motorist.

    Now lets add a BL stripe.

    Everything is just about the same except the motorist feels they are in their own lane... as does the cyclist. The motorist doesn't move to the left and cross a different lane stripe (as often noted by advocates, the motorist passes the cyclist in the BL without thinking). At this point they both have equal ROW in their respective lanes. At some point the motorist is going to turn right... and knows this. Now here is the tricky part... is the motorist "changing lanes" before the turn?

    I'll have what you're having. Seriously, this is another great post, Gene. Very insightful. Gets at the heart of the matter. Perfect counter-example using an analogy with a WOL.

    Frankly, I don't think the laws are clear on this. My take on it is that whenever approaching a place where a right turn is authorized, the cyclist who chooses to stay in a lane-sharing position off to the right (whether that space is demarcated as a bike lane or not) does so at his own peril (this is why I call the margin the "danger zone"). He must decide whether staying that far right in the danger zone is "practicable" for the circumstances.

    When you add in the BL stripe, it's still sharing of the outside lane. The BL stripe just obscures that fact and makes it less likely for the cyclist, like BikeinBlue, to recognize the potential hazard of riding in the danger zone.

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