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Old 02-07-09, 10:48 PM   #1
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How long would it last?

Greetings!

Suppose you stood a grandfather clock in the center of right lane on your local arterial street one day. How long would it stand there before someone hit it with their car?

Discuss.
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Old 02-08-09, 01:28 AM   #2
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I'd guess sometime after sunset and before sunrise most likely.

What if we put it mid-block in a bike lane or sidewalk?

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Old 02-08-09, 06:10 AM   #3
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Greetings!

Suppose you stood a grandfather clock in the center of right lane on your local arterial street one day. How long would it stand there before someone hit it with their car?

Discuss.
Depends on whether it got hit through negligence or on purpose.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:45 AM   #4
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Does the clock have a right to be there? Is it licensed? Does it pay road taxes? Will it swerve?
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Old 02-08-09, 01:21 PM   #5
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Depends on whether it got hit through negligence or on purpose.
So you think that someone might deliberately run into it?
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Old 02-08-09, 01:27 PM   #6
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I'd guess sometime after sunset and before sunrise most likely.

What if we put it mid-block in a bike lane or sidewalk?
So fetad bets it would last as long as the sun was out.

I would contend that it would be in greater peril in a bike lane than in the travel lane. It would be as safe as a bank that is "too big to fail" on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-08-09, 01:32 PM   #7
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5 minutes.

Then it would be picked up as a curb side give away

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Old 02-09-09, 02:48 PM   #8
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Does the clock have a right to be there? Is it licensed? Does it pay road taxes? Will it swerve?

Dammit we need grandfather clock lanes!

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Old 02-09-09, 03:03 PM   #9
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Dammit we need grandfather clock lanes!

roughstuff
No no, just teach the grandfather clock to act in a vehicular manner...
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Old 02-09-09, 05:40 PM   #10
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Since it is so hard to imagine a car deliberately or inadvertently smashing into a large stationary object in their path, why are we so fearful of cars smashing into us while riding our bikes in the lane?
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Old 02-10-09, 12:48 AM   #11
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Suppose you stood a grandfather clock in the center of right lane on your local arterial street one day. How long would it stand there before someone hit it with their car?
..on one local arterial here, six lane, 125,000 ADT, signed 50 cars moving 60, around the short sightline at the on ramp approaching the Aurora Bridge, the clock would last less than 90 seconds.

Oh, i see, this is a chestbeat about vehicular cycling, and an attempt at smearing preferred class lanes for bicyclists!

what was the question? why are cyclists adverse to taking the lane on arterials,

or is a grandfather clock an immovable argument, i mean object, analogous to bicycling in arterial traffic?

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Old 02-10-09, 10:26 AM   #12
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Since it is so hard to imagine a car deliberately or inadvertently smashing into a large stationary object in their path, why are we so fearful of cars smashing into us while riding our bikes in the lane?
We move. We "weren't there a second ago"
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Old 02-10-09, 05:25 PM   #13
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We move. We "weren't there a second ago"
That is the point, Gene. Cars don't smash into fixed objects directly in their path, so they would be even less likely to hit a cyclist directly in their path who is moving away from them.

If you are cycling off to the side of their intended path, a motorist is not as likely to notice you and they return to their distraction from the safe operation of their vehicle and drift into you inadvertently. Thus we "appear out nowhere" and "I couldn't avoid him" is entered into the official record of the death certificate. SWSS

If one must paint lines on the roadway marking where bicycles ought to ride for their own safety, I propose that they be placed between the right and left tire track in the center of the right-most lane. But alas, bike lanes are not really about cyclist's safety then, are they?

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Old 02-10-09, 06:54 PM   #14
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So you think that someone might deliberately run into it?
Sure. Think about how many pieces a grandfather clock, presumably made of thin, dry wood, would fly into if clipped with a front bumper. I've known more than one person that would hit something like this on purpose.

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That is the point, Gene. Cars don't smash into fixed objects directly in their path, so they would be even less likely to hit a cyclist directly in their path who is moving away from them.

If you are cycling off to the side of their intended path, a motorist is not as likely to notice you and they return to their distraction from the safe operation of their vehicle and drift into you inadvertently. Thus we "appear out nowhere" and "I couldn't avoid him" is entered into the official record of the death certificate. SWSS

If one must paint lines on the roadway marking where bicycles ought to ride for their own safety, I propose that they be placed between the right and left tire track in the center of the right-most lane. But alas, bike lanes are not really about cyclist's safety then, are they?

I completely agree with this. This is why I believe that the best infrastructure for cyclists is multiple, same direction, narrow lanes with sharrows and signage giving cyclists the entire right lane. A lane that motorists may use at their discretion, as long as they understand that they will change lanes to pass a cyclist.

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Old 02-10-09, 08:58 PM   #15
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It's not the first car that will hit the clock, it's one of the tailgaters behind him that will. That's what happens to stationary cars out front of my workplace driveway several times a year. A car stops in the left through lane (no dedicated left turn lane) to wait for a gap, then a pod of cars going 50-60 mph come up from behind running barely 1-2 car length buffers. Throw in some late braking/lane changing and CRASH! The car waiting gets rear ended hard. One time I got to watch it happen while barely 30 feet away on my bike.

Of course an object moving would be less likely to be hit than a stationary object, so I say the clock would have a better chance if it was "running".
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Old 02-10-09, 10:47 PM   #16
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Cars don't smash into fixed objects directly in their path

they don't? I'm sorry but I beg to differ.

REAR-END ACCIDENTS ARE the second most frequent motor vehicle accident- many of these collisions are into the back of cars stopped directly in the path of the oncoming vehicle.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:35 AM   #17
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True but I think this is because motorists, upon seeing another motor vehicle in front of them, expect that motor vehicle to be moving at, at least close to, the same speed they are traveling. They then allow themselves to be surprised when it isn't. Upon seeing a cyclist, however, they expect the cyclist to be moving at the same speed they would ride a bike, about 5 mph. A cyclist is much more likely to be noticed if directly in the sight line of an approaching driver. I also think this discrepancy in judging the speed of a bike is also a major contributor to other types of crashes, such as right hooks and left crosses.

With respect to being seen and noticed by motorists, a lane position that places the cyclist off to the right is detrimental by making, in the mind of the motorist, the cyclist inconsequential to the line of travel of the motor vehicle.

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Old 02-11-09, 09:01 PM   #18
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True but I think this is because motorists, upon seeing another motor vehicle in front of them, expect that motor vehicle to be moving at, at least close to, the same speed they are traveling. They then allow themselves to be surprised when it isn't. Upon seeing a cyclist, however, they expect the cyclist to be moving at the same speed they would ride a bike, about 5 mph. A cyclist is much more likely to be noticed if directly in the sight line of an approaching driver. I also think this discrepancy in judging the speed of a bike is also a major contributor to other types of crashes, such as right hooks and left crosses.

With respect to being seen and noticed by motorists, a lane position that places the cyclist off to the right is detrimental by making, in the mind of the motorist, the cyclist inconsequential to the line of travel of the motor vehicle.
I'm not so sure. Today, for example, my ride included several sections with construction zones. The construction zones were outlined with orange cones sitting right in the middle of the lane. At two of the construction zones cones were knocked over- why?

Did the driver's hit them because the cones were moving at an unexpected speed?

I'm sorry guys but I'm not buying this theory.

I'll also add that the OP is from Texas and you are from Florida. I have done a considerable amount of riding in Florida and have ridden across Texas. On most of the roads I was on in both states if you put a grandfather clock in the middle of the road you could see it a couple of miles away before you came upon it. I'd like to take you on a twisty New England mountain road and have you put that grandfather clock around a blind curve- which, by the way, for some of us is our local arterial- and that thing would be in pieces when the next car came along.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:30 PM   #19
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True but I think this is because motorists, upon seeing another motor vehicle in front of them, expect that motor vehicle to be moving at, at least close to, the same speed they are traveling. They then allow themselves to be surprised when it isn't. Upon seeing a cyclist, however, they expect the cyclist to be moving at the same speed they would ride a bike, about 5 mph. (snip)
Naturally I agree with CommuterRun completely, but I wish to add to his point. This instant recognition that a cyclist is a slow moving object in motorist's way causes them to immediately respond with evasive action. (Just as they would with a grandfather clock.) They either merge without a fuss or slow at a distance. They would never rush up to you and swerve around you (or a grandfather clock in the middle of the lane) at the last moment and surprise their tailgater.

The first rule one learns about driving a car, and one that is reinforced every time you get behind the wheel is: Don't hit anything. Motorists will even swerve to avoid things that are of no consequence. Like balloons or plastic shipping bags on the wind. That is how ingrained and automatic this is!

Car/car rear enders expose the danger of riding on the shoulder or in the "minorities only" lane. If motorists paid more attention to what they are doing, they would perceive that a car in their path was not moving. But they are intermittently scanning while attending to something other than driving. But a grandfather clock or a cyclist in the middle of the lane is not so easily overlooked, precisely because they are both instantly recognized as slow moving objects, and a hazard. The first rule asserts its self, and the driver has plenty of time to react.

But the hapless cyclist off to the side in his "Guantanamo lane" will be dismissed by the distracted motorist as being "out of the way" if he is seen at all. The motorist will return his attention to the distraction. The poor cyclist, so cowed by his fear of overtaking traffic that he cowers at the edge of the roadway, must now trust that this inattentive motorist won't drift into him. This same driver who is likely to be so distracted he wouldn't notice a CAR stopped in his lane!

Interesting, Buzzman; "I'd like to take you on a twisty New England mountain road and have you put that grandfather clock around a blind curve- which, by the way, for some of us is our local arterial- and that thing would be in pieces when the next car came along."

But in that scenario, any unmoving object out of sight by a curve would be struck. From a car bumper to a downed tree to a stalled mobile home truck, right? A situation where a cyclist would want to be seen from as great a distance as he could, and to be clearly identified as being in the lane- not out of the way.

As for the construction zone, well you are in Massachusetts, right? The whole country knows you guys take three times longer than anyone else to do a construction project. (Like the Big Dig.) Those traffic cones were probably just tired from having to stand there year after year!
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Old 02-12-09, 10:24 AM   #20
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I'd say riding in the middle of the lane is neither as dangerous nor as safe as some make it out to be. For one thing, a cyclist is not just standing still like a construction cone, but is traveling 15-20 mph giving motorists much more time to react. Plus, I think any motorist will consider a person more important to avoid than a cone.

On the other hand, while I agree that being directly in their path certainly makes one more relevant, it also requires action on the drivers part every time to avoid a crash, as opposed to being off to the side where no action at all is required. The vast majority of cars do not go veering out of their lane or off the road, especially when they can clearly see a cyclist is there.

Aren't both positions appropriate depending on conditions?
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Old 02-12-09, 10:34 AM   #21
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Naturally I agree with CommuterRun completely, but I wish to add to his point. This instant recognition that a cyclist is a slow moving object in motorist's way causes them to immediately respond with evasive action. (Just as they would with a grandfather clock.) They either merge without a fuss or slow at a distance. They would never rush up to you and swerve around you (or a grandfather clock in the middle of the lane) at the last moment and surprise their tailgater.
Interesting...

I have seen motorists do exactly what you said they would NOT do... I have been tailgated, I have seen platoons of vehicles moving at 50MPH come close and peel off one at a time as the following car gets even closer, I have seen motorists aggressively come up behind me, rev the engine several times and then cut off the motorists beside them as the aggressive motorist swerves in and out of the lane to cut me off.

You are living with false notions.

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Old 02-12-09, 10:42 AM   #22
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On the other hand, while I agree that being directly in their path certainly makes one more relevant, it also requires action on the drivers part every time to avoid a crash, as opposed to being off to the side where no action at all is required. The vast majority of cars do not go veering out of their lane or off the road, especially when they can clearly see a cyclist is there.
This is precisely why I believe that the Cross Fisher study cited by Forester and others, states "that overtaking collisions are so rare."

Cyclists in the past rarely took positions in the middle of the lane... and even today cyclists still rarely take positions in the middle of the lane. Oh sure there are a few that declare that the middle of the lane is their "default position," but even these guys move as cars approach, thus cyclists are usually off to the side... Thus making overtaking collisions, in fact, rare.

If all cyclists were to ride in the middle of the lane, I firmly believe there would be more fatal overtaking type collisions.

While the use of a mirror and moving out of the way of overtaking cars is touted as a "safer" way to ride... no doubt there would be accidents where the cyclist did not see the overtaking vehicle in time and a collision would occur.

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Old 02-12-09, 10:44 AM   #23
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Someone would steal it (probably backing up traffic in the process) before it got hit.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:44 AM   #24
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Naturally I agree with CommuterRun completely, but I wish to add to his point. .... "Guantanamo lane"....D
you wasted our time writing that?

It's my way or the highway!!! wait a second.....live free or die!! no, no let me get my rhetoric in order..... take the lane always !!
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Old 02-12-09, 10:22 PM   #25
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The problem with studies that examine car/bicycle collisions from accident reports is that most investigators do not make note of the cyclist's lane position when the crash occurred.
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