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Old 04-25-08, 12:25 AM   #1
Bekologist
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How do YOU handle WOLs with traffic and intersections?

sticky wicket on the way home tonight. sharing wide outside lanes with motorists and steadyish commuter traffic home, got passed and was in the 'hook' position for a lot of time. Running high vis and being fairly well out into the wide lane helped keep the actual neglectful hooks to nil, but at the same time, big vc conflict:

Lane wide enough to share safely. (14 foot outside lane or very wide curb lane with or w/o delineated parking) steady traffic. lots of driveway and intersections. chatter is high, traffic is clipping along.

Where do YOU ride to prevent right hooks in wide lanes? my assertion is you cannot. if you ride too far left, motorists pass irritated on YOUR right, a violation of the rules of the road. if you ride too far right, you violate being to the right of traffic that may turn right.

Where do YOU ride?
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Old 04-25-08, 12:30 PM   #2
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Given a wide lane enough, I share it. Though it can always happen, I have had no problem with getting hooked when riding predictably. There have been a few times when my brakes were used, but that's why I installed them in the first place.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:37 PM   #3
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Any lane like that around here seems to have been turned into a bike lane... Awareness and anticipation are your friend at intersections. Often, where the road is controlled by traffic lights, I'll pull into the line of traffic in the "main" lane for stops - especially if there is a right turn at the intersection. There's plenty of safe space and time to merge back into the WOL/bikelane as we all move on the next green.

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Old 04-25-08, 02:07 PM   #4
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My approach is to learn the road traffic patterns. I have one of these type of roads on my commute.

At main intersections, and/or when approaching an intersection where it is common for several cars to turn right at each light cycle, then I take the lane. When not approaching one of those intersections, but instead just a slew of small intersections with occasional turners, I share the lane, but I'm in full-vigilance mode, easy on the speed, ready to break.
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Old 04-25-08, 03:07 PM   #5
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Well, it certainly gets less nerve wracking once one is familiar with the roads. The first few weeks here in the USA, trying to navigate to work on unknown routes made me feel like a beginner again. Now I know the area much better and the goings on at various intersections life is much more comfortable. Another advantage of cycling is the chance to vary the route and explore a bit.
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Old 04-25-08, 03:35 PM   #6
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Well, it certainly gets less nerve wracking once one is familiar with the roads. The first few weeks here in the USA, trying to navigate to work on unknown routes made me feel like a beginner again. Now I know the area much better and the goings on at various intersections life is much more comfortable. Another advantage of cycling is the chance to vary the route and explore a bit.
Was some of the "newness" due to being on the other side of the road? Or was it simply layout, and so on?
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Old 04-25-08, 04:30 PM   #7
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Was some of the "newness" due to being on the other side of the road? Or was it simply layout, and so on?
Good question.
Mostly the issue was layout, what to expect in terms of traffic behaviour and that there are more 2+ lane roads here. This all took a little more thought at first. Prior to regular riding here, I had actually become quite accustomed to driving on US roads - in LA no less- but had little opportunity to ride. The left to right change does not bother me at all, I'm comfortable with either convention and use US and UK roads on a reasonably regular basis.

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Old 04-25-08, 06:15 PM   #8
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It's really not that sticky of a problem, Bek. I'm sure you're experienced enough to know that as you approach an intersection you survey the situation and adopt the proper position/speed to keep yourself safe and keep the drivers from doing something stupid. There isn't a one-size fits all solution.
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Old 04-25-08, 08:26 PM   #9
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chip, don't get me wrong......its not a problem except in theory -

Vehicular cycling isn't consistently vehicular.

WOLs generally place bicyclists to the right of traffic that might turn right. riding as far right as practicable in a WOL generates a lot of ambiguity and static at each intersection and curb cut, as the cyclist is placed again and again, again and again, again and again to the right of traffic that might turn right.

I repeat, sometimes vehicular cycling isn't even 'vehicular'.
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Old 04-25-08, 09:15 PM   #10
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I do what seems to be heresy to many cyclists...when I have to stop at an intersection, I take my place in the line of waiting traffic, WOL, BL or not. Hey, I'm old, I like the break to snort some Geritol.
If I see that I'll have the light and be able to proceed without stopping, that's when the decision making comes concerning whether I get out into the lane to cross the intersection or continue to share the lane, based on the traffic situation at the time.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:11 AM   #11
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signalized intersections are far more orderely and easy to ride vehicular, compared to the incessant unvehicularity exhibited by riders in WOLs passing minor intersections and curbcuts.

In WOLs with minor intersections and steady traffic, again and again, again and again,

the rider riding as far right as practicable in a WOL is riding unvehicularily to the right of traffic that might turn right.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:17 AM   #12
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signalized intersections are far more orderely and easy to ride vehicular, compared to the incessant unvehicularity exhibited by riders in WOLs passing minor intersections and curbcuts.

In WOLs with steady traffic, again and again, again and again,

the rider riding as far right as practicable in a WOL is riding unvehicularily to the right of traffic that might turn right.
Not sure if it can be considered 'unvehicular', if you subscribe to the 'monkey-see-monkey-do' addendum of vehicular cycling, since other vehicles do it too if they have the room. (you remember the monkey-see-monkey-do addendum, which also makes it OK to run stops because motor vehicles do it too)
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Old 04-26-08, 08:20 AM   #13
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ah, the monkey see, monkey do annendum. I didn't realize. I do cross the double yellow to pass slow motorists like they do me, so I guess I see your point.....

I had the illumination this week riding busy WOLs at near motorist speeds across town.....The patent unvehicularity of riding a WOL in a near constant right hook position in the general lane sharing position of 'as far right as practicable'. This is why I generally don't start sharing lanes until they are 18 feet wide

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Old 04-26-08, 11:22 AM   #14
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"VC encompasses a broad range of choices and styles, all of which are VC unless they violate the basic principles and rules of the road that drivers generally follow all over the world.

Also, some of the VC rules are fairly rigid (like don't ride at night without lights), while others are suggested best practices or techniques, the not using of which does not mean you're violating VC. For example, while it is VC to merge across one lane at a time, if you pull aside and wait for a gap, that's not necessarily not VC. "
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Old 04-26-08, 10:18 PM   #15
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Where do YOU ride to prevent right hooks in wide lanes? my assertion is you cannot. if you ride too far left, motorists pass irritated on YOUR right, a violation of the rules of the road. if you ride too far right, you violate being to the right of traffic that may turn right.

Where do YOU ride?
I don't entertain thoughts of being able to control other road users. I simply ride where it's best for me and anticipate stupid maneuvers as best I can.

Most motorists I encounter are intelligent and careful. The few that aren't are the reason I use my head.
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Old 04-26-08, 11:51 PM   #16
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unfortunately, neither littlebigman or chipseals realism counter the patent unvehicularity of being to the right of potentially right turning traffic while riding busy WOLs. and sixty feet later, it happens again. and sixty feet later, again.
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Old 04-27-08, 07:16 AM   #17
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unfortunately, neither littlebigman or chipseals realism counter the patent unvehicularity of being to the right of potentially right turning traffic while riding busy WOLs. and sixty feet later, it happens again. and sixty feet later, again.
What do you mean by "vehicular"?

Why is traveling to the right of faster traffic with a safe passing distance not "vehicular"?
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Old 04-27-08, 08:03 AM   #18
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what you would consider a 'safe passing distance' to prevent right hooks? in the presence of steady traffic while riding wide outside lanes, right hook positioning is a near constant phenomenon.

bicycling positioned to the right of traffic that can turn right is most definetly not vehicular... the VC crewe is consistent in complaining about bike lanes that do this. I observe WOLs generally present the same 'hook prone' road position for bicyclists. and sixty feet later, it happens again. and again. and again.

what is 'safe passing distance' when you are positioned directly to the right of a car as you both approach an intersection???

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Old 04-27-08, 08:33 AM   #19
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bicycling positioned to the right of traffic that can turn right is most definetly not vehicular... the VC crewe is consistent in complaining about bike lanes that do this. I observe WOLs generally present the same 'hook prone' road position for bicyclists. and sixty feet later, it happens again. and again. and again.
With regards to the statement that riding in a WOL would still leave cyclists prone to right-hooks ... that certainly can be the case. I am not arguing that point. Moreover, I think that the point is a wise one to convey to new riders; i.e., they should still be aware/careful whether in a bike lane or bike route or WOL or ordinary street.

But what do you mean by vehicular?

Oh ... by safe passing distance, I am referring to the notion of same direction traffic passing the cyclist instead of a distance whereby one would not be prone to a right-hook.
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Old 04-27-08, 09:55 AM   #20
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I'm looking at 'vehicular' rather ambiguously, as it appears to all VC adherents it is.

Being to the right, or in the possible turning arc of traffic that can turn right? Most definetly not vehicular.

(as a sidenote, I think a bike lane provides more vehicularity than a WOL in these instances...it becomes an actual lane that motorists need to be cognizant of, versus unstriped WOLs that may or may not contain a bicyclist as a motorist chooses to turn right.)


busy roads, WOLs and intersections place vehicular cyclists in hookable unvehicular road positions.

'safe passing distance' when it includes a potential right turn is meaningless.

a motorist can turn right- into a bicyclist to their right!!! UNVEHICULAR.
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Old 04-27-08, 10:02 AM   #21
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Invisiblehand, you need to clarify 'safe passing distance' when it applies to possible right turns. Do you mean 20 feet behind every car? or two feet to the side of the passenger side mirror as you both approach a minor intersection at about the same speed? Because in a busy WOL environment, the latter is far, far more common than the former. and sixty feet later, it happens again.


and why riding to the right of a possible right turning vehicle is considered 'vehicular'. I clearly state why it is not.

Broad strokes- Biking to the right of traffic that can turn right is not vehicular.

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Old 04-27-08, 10:22 AM   #22
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I'm looking at 'vehicular' rather ambiguously, as it appears to all VC adherents it is.
vehicular cyclist --> cyclist that rides according to the "rules of the road"

vehicular --> like a motor vehicle.

Actually, vehicles moving at slower speeds typically ride on the right side. No? And I guess subject to right-hooks like cyclists. Although I strongly suspect that passing cars are a lot more careful of them than my big butt on two wheels.

I bring this up Bek because -- and I believe that you do too -- I want people to consider riding "VC" when appropriate. This "VC is/is not vehicular" is just a play on words -- perhaps an entertaining one -- and a distraction from the safety advice "use yer noggin' when you ride through intersections".
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Old 04-27-08, 10:36 AM   #23
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Invisiblehand, you need to clarify 'safe passing distance' when it applies to possible right turns. Do you mean 20 feet behind every car? or two feet to the side of the passenger side mirror as you both approach a minor intersection at about the same speed? Because in a busy WOL environment, the latter is far, far more common than the former. and sixty feet later, it happens again.
Well, I am trying to think of a specific and meaningful WOL with a high volume of traffic around here. At the moment, I am blanking since the only ones that come to mind are quite short and not very meaningful. So my statements will unfortunately be somewhat ambiguous.

We both understand when to slide left or right to avoid hazards and regular traffic (parking cars, right turning cars, etc.).

Assuming we are talking about a road where traffic is passing you -- congestion is not an issue -- I don't think that the lateral safe distance changes meaningfully relative to between the intersections. I might slide out a bit if an auto is gaining ground behind me as I approach an intersection and it appears that they wish to turn right ... a Chuck Harris advantage. With regards to how far behind a car it depends on how your -- the cyclist's -- velocity. I typically travel two seconds behind the auto in front of me.

If congestion is an issue -- where I catch and pass the same car and vice versa -- then I think that as the cyclist, the best strategy is to ride a bit slower and stay on a higher level of alertness.

... baby time. Will return later.


EDIT in this font ...
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Old 04-27-08, 03:44 PM   #24
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I'm looking at 'vehicular' rather ambiguously, as it appears to all VC adherents it is.
... just finishing the thought regarding a situation where one is passed and passes the same cars ...

Maintaining the general path is an advantage in my opinion since these cars will probably see you and be aware of your presence. Extra care is still needed.

What does the phrase above mean? Are you using vehicular to mean "like a motor vehicle"?
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Old 04-27-08, 07:41 PM   #25
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wow. can't find a busy street with wide outside lanes in or around the greater beltway. Must be nice to ride where you do.

Maybe you're always riding precisely 2 feet behind motorists in orderly nonpartisan processions, and aren't familiar with speed leapfrogging and slow overtaking in busy WOLs.

Invusiblehand, why don't you explain what makes biking positioned to the right of traffic that might turn right vehicular first. Turning or potentially turning traffic should never be to the inside of thru traffic, being positioned to the right of traffic that might turn right is a violation of general vehicular rules.

ideally, motorists would never pull abreast of bicyclists and right hook them in a wide lane. the onus on safe passing is always on the overtaker, eh? that's why VC can curbhug narrow lanes and not violate rules of the road.....


perhaps you think this is just 'entertainment', invisiblehand, but illustrating the contradictions in VC is part of what I engage in in this subforum. I think its valuable to dismantle the vc platform.

If there's no issue with being to the right of potentially right turning traffic, bike lanes should also not be an issue. If vc has no issue being positioned hookable in a wol, then riding hookable in a bike lane should also cease to be an issue.

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