A recurring theme in Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling, and in many of his posts on this forum, is that the Forester/Effective Cycling/Vehicular Cycling/LAB/LCI approach relies too much on others obeying the rules of the road. I agree that relying on others obeying the rules of the road can be a problem, but I strongly disagree that the Forester approach is an example of this.
Robert made a statement about this recently in the Filtering thread up in A&S, to which I replied, but that thread has since been closed. I am reposting his statement, along with the quote to which he was replying, and my comment here.
ROBERT'S POST ATTACKING LCIS
Robert, you claim that LCIs put "their faith in the traffic _system_, without fully grasping that traffic is nothing more than individual humans doing human things".
No, Robert, with all due respect, you're the one who does not fully realize something. What you don't realize is that we "fellars" (at least the VC advocates and LCIs that I've met) do not put faith in the traffic system without fully grasping that traffic is nothing more than individual humans doing human things.
You also don't seem to realize that a cyclist, including you, is nothing more than an individual human doing human things as well. This is why a practice that puts more reliance on the cyclist's vigilance than another practice, all other factors held equal, is a higher risk practice that the other one is.
Vehicular cycling is about mitigating risk, not eliminating risk, and that includes accounting for the risk of the cyclist failing to be vigilant 100% of the time. That's what following the rules of road (*) is about, and that's why it's the vehicular cyclist's first line of defense. Following the rules of the road makes the cyclist less likely to make a mistake (if nothing else because violating the rules of the road is often already making a mistake), and it also makes a cyclist less vulnerable to a motorist's mistake. Vigilance -- in particular, looking ahead for hazards, reading motorists and watching for errors -- is the second line of defense.
Though you don't say so explicitly, I think you would agree that your book emphasises vigilance as a higher priority than following the rules of the road. You do not discount the value of following the rules as much as Glowacz does, but it's there, mostly between the lines. And doing so puts more reliance than necessary on the cyclist's ability to stay vigilant 100% of the time, which of course is impossible (as exemplified by your crash with the Mercedes backing out of the alley).
And, as I've pointed out before, simply focusing on trying to follow the rules improves a cyclist's vigilance. You have to establish and maintain good situational awareness in order to effectively follow the rules. So by making following the rules the first priority, VC helps the cyclist be less likely to fail being vigilant, including watching for and being ready for the inevitable motorist errors.
* By "following the rules of the road" I do not mean following the absolute letter of the law like a non-thinking automaton. In general, it means being conspicuous and predictable, which means the biggies... ride on the right half of the road, use lights at night, obey traffic controls and ROW rules, follow speed and destination positioning rules (which, when done properly, maximizes sight lines and buffer spaces), stay out of door zones, don't ride too fast for conditions, don't invite sharing in narrow lanes, etc. It also means knowing the rules and understanding their purpose, so that you understand the risk and potential ramifications of not following them when you choose to do so.