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Wrong Way Road Biking?

Old 02-06-19, 11:42 AM
  #1  
Rcrxjlb
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Wrong Way Road Biking?

I've noticed that some cyclists here in Dallas ride on the left side of the street, against the flow of traffic.
Is this done as a safety practice, or just not knowing the rules of the road...?
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Old 02-06-19, 11:56 AM
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Generally not really a safe practice, especially where traffic is going fast. The speed differential between bikes and cars makes it very difficult for both driver and cyclist to react. E.g., car moves at 60 kph and cyclist moves the same direction at 25 kph. Relative speed is 35 kph. A good chance cyclist would survive that crash. Car at 60 kph and bike moves at 25 in opposite direction gives a relative speed of 85 kph. Cyclist will not survive a crash at that speed.

As for motivation, I don't know. Could be ignorance. Could be convenience.

Runners run this way on some roads. But the speed differential isn't quite as severe, and runners ca react much more quickly on foot to dodge out of the way, and also less chance of them losing control/balance on foot.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:45 PM
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They're called "salmons" for riding against the flow of traffic, as a salmon swims upstream to spawn. Not a good practice at all, can be very dangerous. And as a driver I hate seeing a cyclist coming toward me on the same side of the road. And, as far as I know, it's illegal to ride this way in most places.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Runners run this way on some roads. But the speed differential isn't quite as severe, and runners ca react much more quickly on foot to dodge out of the way, and also less chance of them losing control/balance on foot.
I was always taught, walk against traffic, ride with traffic. If you're walking on the side of a street or road, always best to face traffic so you can see it coming toward you and get out of the way if needed. On a bicycle, though, you are traffic and should obey all traffic laws including which side of the street to travel on.
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Old 02-06-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Generally not really a safe practice, especially where traffic is going fast. The speed differential between bikes and cars makes it very difficult for both driver and cyclist to react. E.g., car moves at 60 kph and cyclist moves the same direction at 25 kph. Relative speed is 35 kph. A good chance cyclist would survive that crash. Car at 60 kph and bike moves at 25 in opposite direction gives a relative speed of 85 kph. Cyclist will not survive a crash at that speed.

As for motivation, I don't know. Could be ignorance. Could be convenience.

Runners run this way on some roads. But the speed differential isn't quite as severe, and runners ca react much more quickly on foot to dodge out of the way, and also less chance of them losing control/balance on foot.
Correct, but it is hardly because of the speed differential. MOST cyclists are not traveling faster than a good runner in a finishing sprint (~12mph). Good cyclists are holding a ~17mph to ~20mph+ cruise, an Elite runner can just about match the lower end of that range and exceed it (~20mph) in a sprint. I don't know, I don't see a speed differential worth making a whole different rule structure over. I certainly could be wrong, and I've never thought about it till now, but it might be worth learning what the law is in Europe. My guess is that runners and walkers must both move WITH traffic there. Walking against traffic is encouraged here just because. It feels better, on foot, to be able to see the Escalade that is about to smack you into oblivion. Certainly the walker or runner is much better able to leave the asphalt and transition to the soft shoulder if they want to. Doesn't change the outcome, most people are likely to freeze if things ever really went sideways. Certainly in a bikelane runners should move with traffic, not against. Don't see any runners on the streets anymore. Don't know what they do in bikelanes. My guess is more cyclists than not would Salmon if it was legal.
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Old 02-06-19, 03:40 PM
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In much of the world salmoning is permitted in many circumstances, but then it’s not salmoning is it?

I’ve legally “salmoned.” Even in the US. I did not die.

And also, the world pretty much agrees that you ought to walk against traffic where sidewalks (or pavement) are absent.

Some A&S “experts” ought to get out more.

-mr. bill
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Old 02-06-19, 04:14 PM
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Hard to say. I'll sometimes go "salmon" for a block or two when I don't want to cross a road, then cross back. Usually taking the sidewalk. Or, perhaps ride the left side while looking for an opening to cross over.

I've heard cyclists yell "sorry" as I passed, indicating that they knew they were going on the wrong side, but they usually don't try to move over to the other side.
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Old 02-06-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Correct, but it is hardly because of the speed differential. MOST cyclists are not traveling faster than a good runner in a finishing sprint (~12mph). Good cyclists are holding a ~17mph to ~20mph+ cruise, an Elite runner can just about match the lower end of that range and exceed it (~20mph) in a sprint. I don't know, I don't see a speed differential worth making a whole different rule structure over. I certainly could be wrong, and I've never thought about it till now, but it might be worth learning what the law is in Europe. My guess is that runners and walkers must both move WITH traffic there. Walking against traffic is encouraged here just because. It feels better, on foot, to be able to see the Escalade that is about to smack you into oblivion. Certainly the walker or runner is much better able to leave the asphalt and transition to the soft shoulder if they want to. Doesn't change the outcome, most people are likely to freeze if things ever really went sideways. Certainly in a bikelane runners should move with traffic, not against. Don't see any runners on the streets anymore. Don't know what they do in bikelanes. My guess is more cyclists than not would Salmon if it was legal.
You're kind of all over the place with this post.

First of all, folks capable of holding 20 mph solo for long stretches likely aren't salmoning. Elite runners aren't running 20 mph for any long stretches. It is not a 'rule' for pedestrians/runners to run against. I certainly know runners and see runners running with traffic. As a runner myself I run on the sidewalk, but if there is not sidewalk I always go against traffic because I can see what is coming ahead of me. And no, people aren't going to freeze if they see a car coming straight at them. Really? Most folk's instinct for survival would compel them to move the hell out of the way. But if you don't see them coming, well...I assume you're not a runner.

Last edited by mcours2006; 02-06-19 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-06-19, 06:46 PM
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Okay.

"Salmoning" is dangerous because people riding in the legally specified direction are suddenly faced with head-on traffic. No one would suggest driving the wrong way "because I can see the cars coming." But some folks think it is okay in a bike lane? I have been in too many situations where Someone had to either go off-road (which is Always risky and can also lead to falling bake into the bike lane and causing a wreck anyway) or dodging into traffic (which isn't as bad depending---if traffic is heavy and moving fast and the salmon appears suddenly around a bend or over a rise, there might not be a lot of time to wait for a safe time to dodge left. The Fail-Safe is to stop ... but the idiot going the wrong way might not, or might try to squeeze by a hit you anyway.

Anyone who wants to salmon a short distance---I did on a group ride a while back because the whole group preferred

I don't see why runners or walkers would face cars. to ride wrong a couple hundred yards rather than to cross a high-speed multi-lane road twice, so I am not playing "holier than thou"-------has an obligation to go into the dirt to let correctly-heading traffic by, IMO. You want the convenience, you take the risk. I walked and ran for years before I became a bike commuter, and I always went with the traffic. Never had a problem.

I very nearly had a problem several months ago when I cam around a pitch-black corner and nearly rammed a runner heading right towards me. Somehow I sensed he was there even before might light hit him and luckily I had room to swing wide (into the road--luckily no traffic.) He had no sort of lights on at all, and because I was turning, I was committed to my line before my lights fully hit the end of the line. Strikes me as stupid.

Also at night, how could a runner see much but glare as cars approached? And as cyclists, we know full well that a driver doesn't necessarily see what is on the side of the road even when the headlights hit it.

I would strongly recommend running with traffic and wearing a flashing light on one's belt.
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Old 02-07-19, 10:08 AM
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While riding my bike I have been inconvenienced by salmoning cyclist many times. I have often almost gotten into accidents with wrong way riders coming around blind corners and from behind obstacles. I have gotten into one of my worst collisions with a wrong way cyclist around a blind corner that caused $300 damage to my bike and injured my ankle to the point it still bothers me after three years. No, I'm not a fan of salmon cyclist.
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Old 02-07-19, 10:37 AM
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Frankly, depending on whether there is a biciycle or motorbike lane, how much two wheel traffic is on it, and whether on a 4 lane highway it is possible to cross in reasonable time, as in the centre that separates the two sides is raised/concrete or whatever and does not have a break for some kilometres, I do it quite regularly, although not here in France, but certainly some Asian countries where cyclists and motorcyclists seem to follow the same system.
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Old 02-07-19, 11:02 AM
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Salmon riding is absolutely unsafe. I am curious where you are seeing this as a common practice. As a commuter, I ride through Dallas every day and wrong-way riders are a rarity.
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Old 02-07-19, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rcrxjlb View Post
I've noticed that some cyclists here in Dallas ride on the left side of the street, against the flow of traffic.
Is this done as a safety practice, or just not knowing the rules of the road...?
salmoning is a good way to get hit by a car turning right. The driver is looking left for on coming traffic and will not expect anything to be coming from the right.
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Old 02-07-19, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Salmon riding is absolutely unsafe. I am curious where you are seeing this as a common practice. As a commuter, I ride through Dallas every day and wrong-way riders are a rarity.
I see this mostly in the Fair Park area where I grew up...

​​​​​​
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Old 02-07-19, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by astrodust View Post
salmoning is a good way to get hit by a car turning right. The driver is looking left for on coming traffic and will not expect anything to be coming from the right.
I had a college buddy who was salmoning and ran into a police car exiting a parking lot. He had to pay for damages to the cruiser
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Old 02-07-19, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingTech View Post
I had a college buddy who was salmoning and ran into a police car exiting a parking lot. He had to pay for damages to the cruiser
Because when you are salmoning you can see the cars coming ....
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Old 02-08-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
........I don't see why runners or walkers would face cars...........

.............I would strongly recommend running with traffic and wearing a flashing light on one's belt.
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.



http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/...0316.2065.html

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

Last edited by OldTryGuy; 02-08-19 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 02-08-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk head-on into bicycle traffic, in order to multiply the potential for injury.
Fixed that for Florida.

Florida should stick to breeding crazy people to fuel the need for "hold my beer" internet memes.
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Old 02-08-19, 06:50 AM
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The instruction conveyed by the statute is not unique to Florida. It's the norm in this country.
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Old 02-08-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
The instruction conveyed by the statute is not unique to Florida. It's the norm in this country.
+1
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Old 02-08-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
The instruction conveyed by the statute is not unique to Florida. It's the norm in this country.
I live in Canada but we do get the TV broadcast from western NY, and there are always ads about walking safety at night.

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Old 02-08-19, 07:20 AM
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It's the law in Florida to ride with traffic, not against. If you ride against traffic, you'll be stopped by a cop. I'm pretty sure this is the case in most states if not all, including Texas.

And when I'm running, I always run against traffic.
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Old 02-08-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
It's the law in Florida to ride with traffic, not against. If you ride against traffic, you'll be stopped by a cop. I'm pretty sure this is the case in most states if not all, including Texas.

And when I'm running, I always run against traffic.
I wish the cops would crack down on them. At least in Tampa they do not and there are many wrong way cyclist.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:01 AM
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Just remembered something odd. On two separate occasions the same cyclist has admonished me for NOT riding against traffic while I was out on my bike. I not very politely told him what he could do with his idea.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:08 AM
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I hope he doesn't see your post about him. If so, it could be a very long weekend for both of you.

I can recall various people patiently explaining to me about how bikes don't need to follow traffic laws, they're exempt from them. Not here, of course ...
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