Thread: Taking The Lane
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Old 02-14-19, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
How can a cyclist make a left turn without "taking the lane?"
Why is this considered a valid question?

If it is safe to turn left, I turn left. I can turn left from anywhere on the road. I can turn left from the far right gutter. Either it is safe to go or not.

In fact, many of my left turns are made from left-turn lanes---where I set up in the Far Right of the lane (FRAP specifies far right of the lane of travel, not necessarily the right-hand lane.) As a rule, crossing from the right lane to the turn lane is sketchier by far than turning---people expect me to turn from a turn lane, and often there is a signal. I can always give a signal, but when I am trying to cross a lane or two of traffic that signal might not be noticed by drivers in the middle lane (and good as I am I cannot take Two lanes when trying for the third, left-turn lane on a two-lanes-each-way road. I am sure some the more experienced "Take a Lane" advocates can take three of four lanes at a time with ease.)

As for why I think the question is invalid---"Taking the Lane" as expressed in VC is not a strategy for making turns, as we know---it is a strategy for riding at all times in the middle of the lane, blocking traffic. Also, as I stated, if there are no cars coming, I do not have to be in the middle of the lane to turn left---so the question is even more meaningless.

The whole "Take the Lane" thing is as has been stated clearly, just One tactic for maneuvering safely in traffic.

Seriously, if you cannot figure out how to make a left turn ... maybe stick to indoor trainers?

As I have noted in other posts recently ... ALL of us do these things all the time. We make left and right turns, accelerate and brake, maneuver through traffic .... and It Is Easy.

Taking one tactic and making a big deal out of it ... well, great if you want to sell books, I guess. I want to ride bikes. And when I want to make a left turn, I turn left.

Setting up a false dichotomy between "People Who Take the Lane" and "Gutter Suckers" only serves to create conflict. No one is saying taking the lane is a bad idea per se ... just that it is only one tool in the tool box. I do not tend to hammer screws. You can if you like.
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