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Old 08-10-18, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
When the light turns green a right hook is most assuredly possible with the first car in line. That based on my watching the positioning of most bicyclists who do it.

I am going to put a spin on your words to give you the motorists perspective of what you do.

If the light happens to change on the way up, my own preference is to slide in and cut off the vehicle behind me. The person that is behind you will feel the same way anyone would when someone cuts in line in front of them. What happens when the spacing of the vehicles is such that you can't safely reenter the traffic pattern?

I don't see doors open curbside often, but it does indeed happen.

Us bicyclists do a whole hell of a lot of mental gymnastics to justify being in the middle of the lane, but happily relegate ourselves to the road's edge to filter to the front. What are the primary safety reasons we don't hug the curb?

For me this all boils down to a risk vs gain equation.
If you are observing cyclists positioning themselves next to the lead car at a traffic light, that is indeed unsafe. If I move up to the front I move all the way up front. I position myself in front of and to the right of the lead car. Right ahead of the front right bumper.

There's a lot to be said for making eye contact, too. Just like they told you in your first day of driver's ed. If I move up to the front, I make eye contact with the driver of the lead car just behind me and to my left. I also make eye contact with the lead driver on the other side of the intersection who may be planning to make a left turn. If I see everyone and I know that they have seen me while we are all stopped at the light, I'm a lot more comfortable proceeding when the light changes.

Now, say you are 2 or 3 or 4 cars back from the light and the light changes and you proceed with traffic through the intersection, how do you ensure that the car right ahead of you, or worse, the car that was behind you, but is now trying to squeeze by you on your left isn't going to make a quick right turn in front of you? How do you know that the car across the intersection waiting to make a left turn knows you are there? They aren't looking for a bike, they're looking for a gap in the oncoming traffic that's big enough to sneak through.

Those are the situations that I avoid by moving up to the front and making myself visible and making my intentions obvious.

However, as I said earlier, if the road is too narrow for me to safely move up to the front, or for cars in my lane to pass me without moving across the center line on the other side of the intersection, I don't do it. I take my chances riding in what I believe is a less safe position.

Last edited by clengman; 08-10-18 at 11:36 PM.
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