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Example of Poor Intersection Design

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Example of Poor Intersection Design

Old 04-09-19, 10:49 AM
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Example of Poor Intersection Design

Folks:
After nearly getting killed at this intersection, which is in Bellingham, Washington, I decided to document it via video. Granted, it is very old and pre-bicycle-conscious era, but lets hope that no new intersections are designed this way.

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Old 04-09-19, 02:07 PM
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Is this the place? It looks like a nightmare.
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Old 04-09-19, 03:42 PM
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Yes, this is the place. the Telegraph intersection is the one at the very top of your image. You did not include the two lanes with the concrete barrier; which is above the top of your photograph.
Otherwise, you are right on the point. I've got comments from several drivers of vehicles that they also avoid this at all costs.
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Old 04-09-19, 03:43 PM
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LOL ... Yah it's a nomans lane and It's a mile going another way. It's getting harder and harder to get thru double merge lanes, the worst POS there is.
I was THERE the middle June last year on tour, 2 times thru there both ways. Motel to the SE corner, then went northwest to the DQ in the evening and BKing in the morning. I did ride in the middle of course. Screw the traffic. Then I had to get over to the center to left turn wherever.
I forget if I barged thru the left sidewalk to LT from the BK. Maybe I got between the 2 LT lanes.
Funny thing is for Bellingham, I wrote in my diary, NICE BLanes. LOL And there is another stupid intersection going out the SW part.

Then homeward in Calgary on the north end of Deerfoot freeway, I sandwiched myself between merge lanes 4 and 5 with cars going 55 mph on my right and 70 in the 3 thru lanes. SUVs in the right lane were nicely honking their horn to warn others behind, while swerving wildly over to the shoulder. LOL A few seconds later I found out why. Half way thru the 200 yard merge, a car following a pickup (both merging out ) was headed for me and saw me, beeped then went in front before exiting right.
Then it was clear to get between lane 3 and 4, headed to the shoulder verge. I was sitting up HIGH so they could see my hat.
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Old 04-09-19, 09:18 PM
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That would not be my preferred route if another road was available. I have traveled through similar situations. I do not believe your examples major danger is no sidewalk or having to be in the correct lane position to keep cars from cutting you off. It is the speed of the motor vehicles through the freeway interchange. Are you a good sprinter. I lived in San Bernardino CA for several years. When I traveled to the VA hospital I went south on Tippecanoe Ave. After you go under interstate 10 you are in Loma Linda CA. The speed limit through there is lower and there are allot of business and several cross roads before and after. I was always able to position myself behind another car and stay with it. The problem where I rode was it gave some people enough time to show that they were a hole babies. Brake checks, get out of the traffic lane, get to the right which was the on ramp.
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Old 04-09-19, 09:39 PM
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I was hit by a car in the rain in a place a lot like this, by a car coming off the freeway merging into traffic, who merged right into me at an angle from behind. I suspect they were only paying attention to what was straight in front of them and never saw me. These are dangerous places for bikes due to all the merging, sudden lane changes, and lack of any sort of painted lines for bikes, you're pretty much on your own in an environment like that. About all you can do is avoid areas like this the best you can, especially during commute times.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:24 AM
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There are some really wonky intersections near the interstate in San Antonio too. Even in a car, I felt like I was running a demolition derby. It might be a little better once you've lived there a while, but I was only there for a job interview, and it was downright harrowing.

I've driven that stretch of I-5 many times when I lived in Everett, but never really spent much time on the surface streets in that area.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:32 AM
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I'm sorry, but that's not an intersection. I don't know what that is. It looks like a giant's shoes came untied. Or more accurately, what it looks like when roads aren't pre-planned, and then more road gets bodged on.

I ride in a lot of shoulderless places, and I have to mix in with big rigs all too often, but at least the roads here usually make sense. I don't envy you guys having to ride anywhere near that.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:45 PM
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There are quite a few areas like that in Toronto, well, anywhere the highway crosses a main arterial road. I would try to avoid spots like that, even if it mean going out of the my way. If I had no choice I might even take the sidewalk, if one existed.

My commute used to take me past a very busy area like this, but last year they put in a bypass just about half a km from it, and that was a godsend. I no longer have to deal with merging traffic and on and off ramps.
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