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Video bicycle advocacy. It might be working.

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Video bicycle advocacy. It might be working.

Old 08-29-17, 06:43 AM
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Video bicycle advocacy. It might be working.

I'm trying a bit of bicycle advocacy. I created a video that I hope points out what I see as a serious problem for cyclists riding to the new Hillcrest BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station in Antioch, California.

I met with a transit official who told me my video explained the issue much better than writing would and he acknowledged there was a problem that needed fixing. That's a step in a good direction.


I've gotten a little interest. I'm hoping....

I did a low end followup with one possible solution. Bad production values, but it's gets the idea across.
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Old 08-29-17, 09:57 AM
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The reason for the intersection as designed, is cyclists! Cyclists are obsessed with being right hooked. The road as designed puts right turning cars to the right of cyclists. Of course they have to cross over on the dashed section. If a cyclist and/or car cannot negotiate that part of the compromise then, IMO neither one should be on the road. Your solution involves tech, and who is going to willingly pay for that when stripes on the road are cheap, and all that is then required is some common sense and road competency. I'm sorry, there is nothing to your concerns. I navigate a corner like that every single morning. Its a non-issue for me. I don't speak for everyone but I just don't think the solution is to force cities to spend millions accommodating the needs of a few thousand cyclists. I really can see the day coming when everyone simply says "enough! Bicycles are henceforth restricted to parks, Greenways and MUP's". Don't have one nearby? Sucks to be you. Ride the bus. Better yet, grow up and get a car like a responsible adult!
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Old 08-29-17, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
The reason for the intersection as designed, is cyclists! Cyclists are obsessed with being right hooked. The road as designed puts right turning cars to the right of cyclists. Of course they have to cross over on the dashed section. If a cyclist and/or car cannot negotiate that part of the compromise then, IMO neither one should be on the road. Your solution involves tech, and who is going to willingly pay for that when stripes on the road are cheap, and all that is then required is some common sense and road competency. I'm sorry, there is nothing to your concerns. I navigate a corner like that every single morning. Its a non-issue for me. I don't speak for everyone but I just don't think the solution is to force cities to spend millions accommodating the needs of a few thousand cyclists. I really can see the day coming when everyone simply says "enough! Bicycles are henceforth restricted to parks, Greenways and MUP's". Don't have one nearby? Sucks to be you. Ride the bus. Better yet, grow up and get a car like a responsible adult!
I think you're are missing the fact that cars on the center line are also illegally turning right and crossing the bike lane. The other inexpensive options would be to put a sign to prevent right turning from the center lane and to ticket the cars that do. Once you have enough money from tickets, buy the tech
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Old 08-29-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG
I think you're are missing the fact that cars on the center line are also illegally turning right and crossing the bike lane. The other inexpensive options would be to put a sign to prevent right turning from the center lane and to ticket the cars that do. Once you have enough money from tickets, buy the tech
I see. I was not aware that cars were turning illegally, from the lane next to the bike lane. Around here cars don't need to be told that if there is a right turn lane, then the other lanes cannot be used to also turn right. Some big arrows on the ground pointing straight ahead, or split to allow straight through and left turns only are also seen on my commute. That's low tech enough to not give the Comptrollers heart attacks and are more effective than smaller signs higher up. Absolutely, ticket the scofflaws. Once you have enough money from tickets, use it to stripe off more bike lanes
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Old 08-29-17, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
I see. I was not aware that cars were turning illegally, from the lane next to the bike lane. Around here cars don't need to be told that if there is a right turn lane, then the other lanes cannot be used to also turn right. Some big arrows on the ground pointing straight ahead, or split to allow straight through and left turns only are also seen on my commute. That's low tech enough to not give the Comptrollers heart attacks and are more effective than smaller signs higher up. Absolutely, ticket the scofflaws. Once you have enough money from tickets, use it to stripe off more bike lanes
I am not sure that the cars were actually turning illegally, there appears to be no sign that prohibits a right turn across the bike lane. If there were indications on the road that prohibited right turns across the bike lane, some of the danger might be mitigated. However, there would still be as many cars wanting to turn right, so the choke point would be the area where cyclists have to cross the start of the right hand turn lane. The solution using a traffic light to provide a safe crossing for cyclists could work, but it could also create congestion during high traffic periods if the system was set up to give high priority to cyclists wanting to cross the intersection. What might end up happening is that cyclists would be given a very low priority, and end up waiting through a couple of traffic cycles. Believe me, I know about this, my local rides go through another very busy intersection. The bike lane is an afterthought, and I have my doubts whether the crossing buttons work at all. My friend and I refer to this intersection as "the valley of death". An 80 year old pedestrian was killed at this intersection just last week

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Old 08-29-17, 07:09 PM
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Here when there are two lines or more that can turn, they'll have indication above the line indicating so (snow blocks road marking so we can't rely only on that). Could be different there. Still, having the bike lane going straight between two right turning right is ludicrous.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:12 PM
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How about a speed bump so those cars in the centre lane will have to slow down if they make a right turn? If they go straight, they don't have the speed bump.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:16 PM
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So a speed bump while turning? Could loose control if you take it too fast IMHO.
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Old 08-29-17, 08:51 PM
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I'm not sure what to make of the dumbing down of traffic rules.

You make a right turn from the right most lane.
You make a left turn from the left most lane.

If there is nothing to PERMIT you to make a turn from an adjacent lane, you can't.

And even more extraordinary, a beg button and a light are called "tech."

-mr. bill
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Old 08-30-17, 10:20 AM
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Well done Cooorlew. Engaging with transportation people in a constructive way is the Way.
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Old 08-30-17, 10:58 AM
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There's one spot on my route where a bike lane leads directly between two lanes, both of which can turn right.

Their genius solution to this is to have the bike lane just abruptly disappear about 200 feet back from the intersection, then reappear on the other side.

This appears to me to be more of the DOT covering their behinds ("hey it's not our fault he got killed, there's no marked bike lane there") than anything to do with actual safety. I wonder if they assume I should merge into the center of the leftmost turn/straight combo lane and block traffic?

In reality what I do is to keep an eye open as to what the people to the left of me are doing, and if I'm entering the intersection and it looks like they're going to turn I'll command the lane and keep them behind me.
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Old 08-30-17, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG
So a speed bump while turning? Could loose control if you take it too fast IMHO.
Motorists are already aware of what happens when they go through speed bumps too quickly going straight. So they should or will slow down turning.
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Old 08-30-17, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
Motorists are already aware of what happens when they go through speed bumps too quickly going straight. So they should or will slow down turning.
Yeah, they should unless they are distracted and didn't see the sign or bump. Happens to many drivers with no ill effect to the other drivers, unless this happens to be in a turn...
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Old 08-31-17, 02:42 PM
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I'm thinking a slot in the road... and a large pin that juts down from the car... the car can only go where the slot exists.

I think I saw a concept like that somewhere....
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Old 08-31-17, 04:59 PM
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Need to extend BART even more. There are abandoned railroad right of ways, iirc, the San Francisco and San Jose? The sacramento northern? Maybe more feeder lines, with bus and light rail. I think that intersection needs a bike overpass, signs lines and lights won't save you... Driverless cars are coming, everybody will have GPS,WiFi, v2v, ... I'm a proponent of the idea that we put people in plastic pods, for their own protection and the safety of others, but that BART station needs a pedestrian and bicycle overpass.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:25 PM
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Researching into this, the BART station isn't actually open yet... I don't think you mentioned that fact, I had to check on google...
Wasn't there a plan to turn the abandoned RR tracks into a Greenaway, before BART took it over? Conflict of interest there? I
Think you should circulate a petition to get a bike/pedestrian overpass built...
Maybe you could take a bus to BART Antioch and rent a bicycle when you get to San Francisco?
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Old 08-31-17, 08:01 PM
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The first video is pretty good at explaining the problem, although the fear of cars merging across the bike lane is a bit unwarranted, imo. However, the proposed solution in the second just makes things (substandardly) much, much worse. Beg buttons?!? Bike lane to the right of right turning cars?!? Depending on motorists to observe and obey an "no right on red" sign/signal?!? Good grief, Corbin, you really need to get out more. Not to mention the ridiculously unnecessary wait time that is incorporated into a bike-only signal (traffic counts, donchaknow).

All that's needed is either the removal of one of the lanes and appropriate signage/impediments to the illegal right turns from the center lane, coupled with a commitment to law enforcement. They could do with widening that skimpy bike lane while they're at it.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:10 AM
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Nice video. This is a great visual way to get the point across to those who don't cycle and would never see the issue. Around here they usually paint arrows on the roadway indicating whether turns are permitted from a lane. Of course, paint wears pretty quickly and drivers usually mimic other drivers even if wrong. At critical points I have seen concrete curbing that separates the turn lane from the straight-ahead one. Of course, this would have to accommodate the left turning vehicles. I like the idea of the bike lane to the left of the right-turn lane. This seems to work well around here. I have no experience with the signal dependent design change you propose, but it does raise a few worries. Drivers in this area rarely obey "No RTOR" signs and even if permitted, they uniformly forget that there is a requirement to stop first.

Good luck - and thanks for sharing this.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
However, the proposed solution in the second just makes things (substandardly) much, much worse. Beg buttons?!? Bike lane to the right of right turning cars?!? Depending on motorists to observe and obey an "no right on red" sign/signal?!? Good grief, Corbin, you really need to get out more. Not to mention the ridiculously unnecessary wait time that is incorporated into a bike-only signal (traffic counts, donchaknow).
Experts always worry about the conflicts that arise from turning traffic across straight traffic.

They *NEVER* ever do that.

Or do they?

In any event, if the beg button is so offensive, suggest a bikabob instead.

BTW, even in paradise (Amsterdam) there are bicycle beg buttons. They work. WELL. Done very well, you don't even have to put a foot down while waiting.

Your alternative, paint, signs, and enforcement will *never* work as long as there are two lanes on the entrance ramp:



-mr. bill
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Old 09-01-17, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver
I have no experience with the signal dependent design change you propose, but it does raise a few worries. Drivers in this area rarely obey "No RTOR" signs and even if permitted, they uniformly forget that there is a requirement to stop first.
We have some NO RTOR signs that light up around here.

Compliance is *better* than a static sign. But there are always some who make up their own rules - no matter if they are on foot, on a bicycle, or behind a wheel. Like the person above driving the BMW SUV. And the person riding their bicycle in the crosswalk. Both in front of a state police officer.

But on signs, the above intersection inspired this Bikeyface comic.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 09-01-17 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
We have some NO RTOR signs that light up around here.

Compliance is *better* than a static sign. But there are always some who make up their own rules - no matter if they are on foot, on a bicycle, or behind a wheel. Like the person above driving the BMW SUV. And the person riding their bicycle in the crosswalk. Both in front of a state police officer.

But on signs, the above intersection inspired this Bikeyface comic.

-mr. bill
The comic was a great reflection of the reality of some intersections.

I am an advocate of abandoning the RTOR laws, although I have learned from my State Representative that federal funding is tied to it, thus change is not likely. I have seen or heard of so many close calls (especially for pedestrians) that we need to decide that safety is more important than the few drops of fuel that are saved. OTOH this fuel savings does offset what's wasted in speeding up to the red light.

I have heard that NYC prohibits RTOT unless there is a sign saying that it's ok. Is this correct?
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Old 09-01-17, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver
I have heard that NYC prohibits RTOT unless there is a sign saying that it's ok. Is this correct?
That is correct. Île de Montréal too. (Except while there are few right turn on red after stop signs in NYC, there are no exceptions on Île de Montréal.)

Another greater Boston inspired comic, and one of the intersections that inspired it:



-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 09-01-17 at 08:25 AM.
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