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Old 12-02-02, 06:58 PM   #1
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Part 2 -- Bike Lanes at Automobile Intersections.

Automobile Intersections can be one of the most dangerous situations for cyclists. The vast vast majority of car-bike collisions occur at intersections. The next part will deal with how to deal with intersections in an ideal manner. This one will talk about why bike paths at intersections are dangerous.

Intersections have multiple lanes for the multiple destinations of automobiles. Left, right and straight ahead. Having a bike lane entering the intersection on the right hand side of poses a dangerous situation. A driver who wishes to make a right hand turn will have to cut right across the bike path. He will do this as he is looking left for cross traffic and is not looking for a cyclist. However if the bike lane disappeared about 20-50 meters before the interesection then the automobile would be forced to merge in with the bike lane first, then make the right hand turn, which would be a much safer course of action.

In addition, having the cyclist stay on the right for all cases will delay him because if he wishes to make a left hand turn. He would have cross the intersection and then wait for the change of the lights to cross again. This is needless waiting and another reason why simply widening the outer lane by the width of a bike path is safer for cyclists than to add one to the side of the road.
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Old 12-02-02, 07:04 PM   #2
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Interesting point, the bike lanes in my little town end about 50 feet prior to the intersection. I'd never considered that this might actually be safer.
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Old 12-02-02, 08:49 PM   #3
John E
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With a few misguided exceptions, bicycle lane lines in San Diego County either end (or at least become dotted) 100-200 feet before the intersection or continue to the LEFT (i.e., correct) side of any dedicated right-turn-only lanes. Fortunately, very few lanes lull bicyclists into setting themselves up for a right-hook, but many motorists and cyclists still evidently do not understand the concept of appropriate lane selection and positioning.
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Old 12-02-02, 09:05 PM   #4
Chris L
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Personally I think the safest thing to do at intersections is to just take the lane. As far as bike lanes/paths at intersections go, personally I'm glad they generally end just before the intersection. I don't want anyone expecting me to stay in the bike lane if I'm making a right turn (or a left turn for those in the US).
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