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Do you obey traffic signals?

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Do you obey traffic signals?

Old 01-24-23, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
And then there are those who criticize nice-holes because they give up their right-of-way to let you run your red or stop sign.
I guess so, just as there are some who manage to fault all sorts of stuff.

OTOH, if by "you" you mean me, it's a non issue. I don't have problems respecting the rights of other road users, though I don't trust them to respect mine. However, I do sometimes have drivers be over courteous, and when it happens I show my appreciation, because why not?

I try to get as long as I go along, and it seems to work.
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Old 01-27-23, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
And then there are those who criticize nice-holes because they give up their right-of-way to let you run your red or stop sign.
Not the same issue at all.

The only reason I don't obey stop signs or lights is because as a rider, I am not subject to the same blind spots as a driver is, so I can tell if an intersection is otherwise unoccupied to a degree of certainty unavailable to a driver. If there is such a "nice-hole" there, I am going to stop if they are at the intersection and have the right of way. This can lead to the "after you, no after you" stand-off that no one likes (inconvenient), but it can also be a safety issue if their maintaining their position in the intersection screens other lanes or what's behind them from my view, The safest operation is predictable operation, so I'd much rather other operators actually act according to right of way precedence rather than leave me guessing about theirs and other drivers' intentions as well as the presence or absence of other vehicles. .
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Old 01-27-23, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
I guess so, just as there are some who manage to fault all sorts of stuff.

OTOH, if by "you" you mean me, it's a non issue. I don't have problems respecting the rights of other road users, though I don't trust them to respect mine. However, I do sometimes have drivers be over courteous, and when it happens I show my appreciation, because why not?

I try to get as long as I go along, and it seems to work.

If they're courteous and going doesn't require me to place myself in danger, I have to admit that I appreciate it.

The pedestrian in the crosswalk scenario is the easiest way to illustrate the problem--there's really frightening statistics on how many pedestrians get killed because the driver in the lane closest to them when they start to cross respects the crosswalk and stops, but the driver in the next lane ignores the stopped car, can't see the pedestrian because they're on the other side of the stopped car, and the pedestrian steps out right in front of the moving car in the second lane as the pedestrian has no way of seeing them either. The problem with the over-courteous driver is they are often unaware that they are creating that sort of blind spot for the pedestrian, rider, or driver. I will refuse to go if I can't see around them, I'm not mean about it, but I may vehemently wave them on, and if there's a signal for "I can't see around you" I haven't learned it yet.
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Old 01-27-23, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
….The pedestrian in the crosswalk scenario is the easiest way to illustrate the problem--there's really frightening statistics on how many pedestrians get killed because the driver in the lane closest to them when they start to cross respects the crosswalk and stops, but the driver in the next lane ignores the stopped car, can't see the pedestrian because they're on the other side of the stopped car, and the pedestrian steps out right in front of the moving car in the second lane as the pedestrian has no way of seeing them either….
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-23, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
Illegal right turn. That other driver was originally behind the one waiting for the pedestrian. The only way he got to the pedestrian crosswalk would be to pass and go around the car in front.
And if it results in the pedestrian's death, call it 'involuntary manslaughter' (Yes, I learned that from the charge against Alec Baldwin.)
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Old 01-27-23, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
Illegal right turn. That other driver was originally behind the one waiting for the pedestrian. The only way he got to the pedestrian crosswalk would be to pass and go around the car in front.
And if it results in the pedestrian's death, call it 'involuntary manslaughter' (Yes, I learned that from the charge against Alec Baldwin.)

Wrong, my pedestrian scenario didn't involve any going around or turning. It's two parallel lanes. It's a big problem with crosswalks because the drivers in the second lane may not see that there's a pedestrian in the first lane. Their negligence is not cueing on the stoppage in the first lane.

Crosswalks without signals are really a poor choice for multi-lane roads. Unfortunately, they're quite common.
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Old 01-28-23, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Wrong, my pedestrian scenario didn't involve any going around or turning. It's two parallel lanes. It's a big problem with crosswalks because the drivers in the second lane may not see that there's a pedestrian in the first lane. Their negligence is not cueing on the stoppage in the first lane.

Crosswalks without signals are really a poor choice for multi-lane roads. Unfortunately, they're quite common.
closest i ever came, by a longshot, to a serious bike accident was a T intersection, stops all three ways, large vehicle stopped counterclockwise to me on and a vehicle behind them decided to move into the center “lane” to their left, from which they no doubt couldn’t see me - OR the stop sign, i’d guess. blew through the stop sign at 25-30, and missed t-boning me at full speed by a foot or two after i made an emergency swerve/stop. scared the sh1t out of me. multiple lanes = traffic lights please!
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Old 01-28-23, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
I don't know of an "official" or commonly used term, but I think of it as a stalking horse scenario. Once you understand the concept, you can avoid the hazard or turn it around and us it to tour advantage.
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Old 01-29-23, 12:46 PM
  #259  
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
"Darwin Award Winner" comes to mind. How about "Death by Eclipse"

This also is why cars/cyclists/people get hit by trains occasionally. They wait impatiently for the first train to pass then shoot across the tracks right behind the train only be clobbered by a second train traveling the opposite direction hidden behind the train that just passed. I mean, a train is HUGE. How could someone possibly NOT see it. The vehicle you can see ECLIPSES the vehicle that kills you. Now you know.

IMO this is 100% on the pedestrian in the case you cited, unless the motorist is running a red light or something. Even then had the pedestrian followed my Three Commandments he/she wouldn't be in the news.

As I have written here a thousand times:

Joey's Three Intersection Commandments:
1. Look both ways before crossing a street, even a one-way street.
2. If you CAN'T SEE, you CAN'T GO.
3. If you're NOT SURE, you can't go.


^These three simple concepts work no mater if you are a scofflaw running red lights and stop signs or a strict law abiding citizen. Works the same for everyone.
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Old 01-31-23, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
Multiple threat crossing.

We lose so many people to this DESIGN FLAW.

People who call pedestrians meat pylons blather about Darwin Awards.

-mr. bill
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Old 02-01-23, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
"Darwin Award Winner" comes to mind. How about "Death by Eclipse"

This also is why cars/cyclists/people get hit by trains occasionally. They wait impatiently for the first train to pass then shoot across the tracks right behind the train only be clobbered by a second train traveling the opposite direction hidden behind the train that just passed. I mean, a train is HUGE. How could someone possibly NOT see it. The vehicle you can see ECLIPSES the vehicle that kills you. Now you know.

IMO this is 100% on the pedestrian in the case you cited, unless the motorist is running a red light or something. Even then had the pedestrian followed my Three Commandments he/she wouldn't be in the news.

As I have written here a thousand times:

Joey's Three Intersection Commandments:
1. Look both ways before crossing a street, even a one-way street.
2. If you CAN'T SEE, you CAN'T GO.
3. If you're NOT SURE, you can't go.


^These three simple concepts work no mater if you are a scofflaw running red lights and stop signs or a strict law abiding citizen. Works the same for everyone.
As usual, your response is simplistic blaming and shaming of dead people.

This is definitely a design flaw. In the example I gave, the driver in the second lane is supposed to stop for the crosswalk when he sees the stopped car in the first lane. That habit is clearly not ingrained in drivers, so putting these crosswalks at otherwise uncontrolled intersections sets up a dilemma for the pedestrian. The problem with your simplistic rules is that the pedestrian gets stuck in the first lane because he can't go into a position to see around the vehicle in the first lane without exposing himself to traffic in the second lane. Basically, your rules make crossing the street impossible, and it's not at all surprising that people make mistakes trying to apply them.

I've personally known people who have been killed by commuter trains, and it generally happens at station crossings. There's a concept in tort law of the "attractive nuisance", which is generally a condition or feature that invites someone to do something disastrous--classic example is a swimming pool appearing structure filled with sulfuric acid that kids took as a place to play (yes, that actually happened). A train crossing put in a place where you know pedestrians will cross with a train sitting on the track without providing a way to see around that train without risking being beheaded is design malpractice.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
In fact, I'd venture that many drivers would gladly proceed against a red when it seems safe, were it not for fear of a ticket.
I have yet to meet a roadway user who would not break the law if they believed they could do it safely and they wouldn't get a ticket. Some don't even worry about that.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:47 AM
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I think I'm pretty good at obeying traffic signals. The only exception I can think of is that I practice Idaho Stop at Stop signs.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Does anyone know a good term for this situation? I have tried “screen” but that’s not quite it. I’m looking for a short-hand like “door prize” or “right hook”. Thanks.
I simply refer to them as blind spots, and there are many that we encounter as cyclists.
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Old 02-01-23, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
As usual, your response is simplistic blaming and shaming of dead people.
It IS simple. I've seen dogs and cats do it. Looking carefully before crossing any intersection may not be simple for YOU, but I don't know you personally so I can't attest.

.
Originally Posted by livedarklions
...the driver in the second lane is supposed to stop...
If everyone did what they were SUPPOSED to do, A&S wouldn't exist. I have found an intersection now and then where my vision was blocked by a moving truck or some other object. I don't PEEK around the moving truck in my car as this would put 5 feet of my car in the next travel lane. I turn the car around and find a better intersection. I have done this maybe THREE times in my 65 year lifetime.

IF YOU CAN'T SEE, YOU CAN'T GO.

Simple. For most of us.
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Old 02-01-23, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
I have yet to meet a roadway user who would not break the law if they believed they could do it safely and they wouldn't get a ticket. Some don't even worry about that.
99.9% of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians do whatever they please in my city. Speed limits are a total joke. Enforcement is rare unless a collision is involved, then the cops simply use the infraction as a way to determine who was at fault for insurance purposes.
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Old 02-01-23, 06:00 PM
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A lot of the postings here are 12-year old logic: "If Suzie has a boyfriend, why can't I!!?" As in.. cars break the rules all the time, so why can't I? Cars weight at least a ton, so life is just unfair...

Anyway, I've been riding on pavement for many decades, and I've almost been turned to strawberry jam innumerable times. My rules for long-term survival: come to a stop on the red and wait for the green at all traffic lights (duh!). Stop signs: come to a stop, and only proceed if you have complete visibility and awareness of everything that could come at your from every direction.

There have been many times that after starting up from a stop sign, I have been startled by something approaching fast from the side. As in ninja pedestrians and cyclists in the dark, or grey-toned vehicles in the dusk hours.

Another thing: use good lights front and rear. Not cheap little blinky lights, but flamethrower lights that cast shadows a block away.
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Old 02-01-23, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
It IS simple. I've seen dogs and cats do it. Looking carefully before crossing any intersection may not be simple for YOU, but I don't know you personally so I can't attest.

.

If everyone did what they were SUPPOSED to do, A&S wouldn't exist. I have found an intersection now and then where my vision was blocked by a moving truck or some other object. I don't PEEK around the moving truck in my car as this would put 5 feet of my car in the next travel lane. I turn the car around and find a better intersection. I have done this maybe THREE times in my 65 year lifetime.

IF YOU CAN'T SEE, YOU CAN'T GO.

Simple. For most of us.
Simplistic is not a synonym for simple. You are basically ignorant of the role of design here. If you have large numbers of people getting killed the same way, blaming them and calling them stupid is a really idiotic position. You're good at those.

And the situations we are discussing are not ones where it's obvious what people are supposed to do, so that too is just dumb.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
If you have large numbers of people getting killed the same way, blaming them and calling them stupid is a really idiotic position....
If a car falls from the sky like a meteor and hits a person, it's not their fault. If a person STEPS OUT in front of a moving vehicle, that IS their fault. (Maybe not legally depending on the details, but they're DEAD anyway so it's a moot point)

Originally Posted by livedarklions
And the situations we are discussing are not ones where it's obvious what people are supposed to do, so that too is just dumb.
I have biked across the USA five times and through almost every major city on the Eastern Seaboard and West Coast, along with many Midwestern cities. I've also driven all over the USofA. I have NEVER, not even once, come upon a situation where it wasn't obvious what I was supposed to do and PROCEEDED ANYWAY. I'm still here to talk about it. Because I never cross a street without looking both ways until I am certain it is safe and clear to proceed. I never found that very hard to do, but then I pay attention to my surroundings more than most I suppose and don't travel on the road in a fog of confusion or inattention.
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Old 02-01-23, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
If a car falls from the sky like a meteor and hits a person, it's not their fault. If a person STEPS OUT in front of a moving vehicle, that IS their fault. (Maybe not legally depending on the details, but they're DEAD anyway so it's a moot point)



I have biked across the USA five times and through almost every major city on the Eastern Seaboard and West Coast, along with many Midwestern cities. I've also driven all over the USofA. I have NEVER, not even once, come upon a situation where it wasn't obvious what I was supposed to do and PROCEEDED ANYWAY. I'm still here to talk about it. Because I never cross a street without looking both ways until I am certain it is safe and clear to proceed. I never found that very hard to do, but then I pay attention to my surroundings more than most I suppose and don't travel on the road in a fog of confusion or inattention.

You're a legend in your own mind. Sorry, but if not getting killed is qualification for assigning blame in situations we haven't witnessed, we're all equally qualified. You are nothing special.

I don't care what you do on your bike, these are well-known design flaws and calling people names when they get killed by them is a really disgusting thing you do on these forums.
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Old 02-01-23, 10:56 PM
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Hey, folks. CHILL OUT. There's way to much emotion for a thread polling rider habits regarding traffic lights.

The reality is that we all fall somewhere on a spectrum spanning from the free spirited "ignore the rules and do whatever works for you" attitude represented by Joey and myself, and "it's about law and infrastructure" approach at the other end.

So, stow the anger and accept that we all operate within the grey zone and are still here to argue because we've learned to read, analyze, and adjust to situations as they arise.

For my part, I accept that things like laws and infrastructure can help make us safer. However, they cannot make us safe in an absolute sense.

So, believe what you do, but stay focused on doing what you must to care for yourself.

It's sort of like "trust everybody, but count your change".
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Old 02-02-23, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
A lot of the postings here are 12-year old logic: "If Suzie has a boyfriend, why can't I!!?" As in.. cars break the rules all the time, so why can't I? Cars weight at least a ton, so life is just unfair....

BS. You're arguing with a straw man. Literally no one has said anything of the kind.

The question was whether we obey all traffic signals and signs on our bikes, and there are actually good safety reasons for being less obedient to them on a bicycle than in a car. That's why a growing number of states are adopting the Idaho stop law. It's really not rocket science here. I am scrupulous about signals and signs while driving because I know that generally, those features have been designed to cope with the blind spots of drivers. It's also a lot easier for a driver to come to a complete stop and restart than it is for a cyclist. When a cyclist approaches a stop sign, they can usually see in all directions of the standard 90 degree intersection and state with confidence whether there's any traffic from any direction. All stopping does is provide an opportunity for other traffic to arrive, and to make the cyclist a bit more wobbly accelerating in the intersection, which is probably the worst place to be wobbly.

Dark clothing and no lights has nothing to do with the thread topic.
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Old 02-02-23, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Hey, folks. CHILL OUT. There's way to much emotion for a thread polling rider habits regarding traffic lights.

The reality is that we all fall somewhere on a spectrum spanning from the free spirited "ignore the rules and do whatever works for you" attitude represented by Joey and myself, and "it's about law and infrastructure" approach at the other end.

So, stow the anger and accept that we all operate within the grey zone and are still here to argue because we've learned to read, analyze, and adjust to situations as they arise.

For my part, I accept that things like laws and infrastructure can help make us safer. However, they cannot make us safe in an absolute sense.

So, believe what you do, but stay focused on doing what you must to care for yourself.

It's sort of like "trust everybody, but count your change".

I'll chill out when people stop throwing around "Darwin winner" name calling. You andJoeyBike are really not making the same argument at all. He's doing his usual "blame the dead guy" trolling. I've never seen you engage in that at all.

Also, you've got a false dichotomy going there--I ignore the rules when I do precisely because the infrastructure is poorly designed for bicycle and pedestrian use. You're acknowledging the grey area, Joey's pretending every intersection is black and white clear based on the fact that he hasn't been killed yet.

ETA-- interesting to look back at this thread and see the contrast between 5 years ago Joey to today Joey. My argument here is with today Joey who has appointed himself judge, jury and chief shamer of dead cyclists and pedestrians.

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Old 02-02-23, 05:33 AM
  #274  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
You're a legend in your own mind. Sorry, but if not getting killed is qualification for assigning blame in situations we haven't witnessed, we're all equally qualified. You are nothing special.

I don't care what you do on your bike, these are well-known design flaws and calling people names when they get killed by them is a really disgusting thing you do on these forums.
It appears to me that he is advocating for defensive riding, or walking as the case may be. He's right about that. I don't think it's "on them" when someone is killed by a driver who doesn't yield right of way, but it is useful to point out ways that operating defensively could have prevented it. Road users, especially pedestrians, can be remarkably detached from their surroundings. It's incumbent upon all of us to be as defensive as possible. If you look at his point rather than his style of delivery, he's right on the money on this topic.

I walk in downtown NOLA nearly every day. To the observant, it should become obvious very quickly that traffic laws are optional. There are often vehicles that block my line of sight as I prepare to enter a cross walk. I make darn sure they aren't obscuring oncoming traffic. I see other people blindly follow the green signal and cross without looking. If I use a crosswalk at a 4 way intersection where two one way roads meet, I clear all 4 directions. Bicyclists going the wrong way are quite common. There are times I would have been hit by a wrong way cyclist If I hadn't looked both ways on a one way street crossing.
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Old 02-02-23, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
It appears to me that he is advocating for defensive riding, or walking as the case may be. He's right about that. I don't think it's "on them" when someone is killed by a driver who doesn't yield right of way, but it is useful to point out ways that operating defensively could have prevented it. Road users, especially pedestrians, can be remarkably detached from their surroundings. It's incumbent upon all of us to be as defensive as possible. If you look at his point rather than his style of delivery, he's right on the money on this topic.

I walk in downtown NOLA nearly every day. To the observant, it should become obvious very quickly that traffic laws are optional. There are often vehicles that block my line of sight as I prepare to enter a cross walk. I make darn sure they aren't obscuring oncoming traffic. I see other people blindly follow the green signal and cross without looking. If I use a crosswalk at a 4 way intersection where two one way roads meet, I clear all 4 directions. Bicyclists going the wrong way are quite common. There are times I would have been hit by a wrong way cyclist If I hadn't looked both ways on a one way street crossing.

From the operating defensively standpoint, his message is all wrong. The primary reason for talking about these flaws is because they are by definition examples of how your sense that the way is clear can be fooled. He's right to say this is a good reason to be aware of your blind spots, but this blame crap is just an excuse to post the inevitable "this could never happen to me because I always" blah blah blah that is actually the opposite of the attitude you need to operate defensively. The problem with Joey's rules is they skip a step-- check your intuition that the way is clear. The design flaws we are talking about are situations where the pedestrians are going to likely be in a hurry to get across and the danger is literally hidden from them. It really is counterintuitive that you can be a few feet away from a moving commuter train and have no way to see it without losing your head. It's a hell of a lot more effective message if you point out that the people who did step.out were.not doing anything that was obviously dangerous to them at the time than to act like they were just idiots doing something I would never do.
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