Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Dead Right

Old 03-02-09, 07:06 PM
  #51  
CommuterRun
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Unless the pinhead doesn't realize that you're in complete control of everything, and does this:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Or passed him just as closely, or even closer on the right.
Nobody can control the stupid, not even themselves. I asked a federal law enforcement agent one time what was the most difficult case he ever had.

"I don't have difficult cases. I only catch the dumb ones."

Being in law enforcement, I would imagine you can relate to that statement.

I've been passed on the right before. In both cases the moron cager had to get off the pavement and drive on the unpaved shoulder to do it. These are stupid people. What if I had been further to the right? I probably would have been sideswiped on my left. This is why it's not only prudent, but smart, to keep enough room for an escape on the right. And for me that's about 3-4', about the right tire track or a little to the left, sometimes more.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 03-02-09 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:14 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Unless the pinhead doesn't realize that you're in complete control of everything, and does this:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Or passed him just as closely, or even closer on the right.
And if the right side passer is especially "clever/skillful," and the right side is an unimproved shoulder he might be able to send up a spray of gravel in the face of the alleged controlling cyclist when he suddenly swerves back in the lane. But then again nothing untoward ever happens to the Alpha Dawgs in control, eh?
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Old 03-02-09, 07:22 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
And if the right side passer is especially "clever/skillful," and the right side is an unimproved shoulder he might be able to send up a spray of gravel in the face of the alleged controlling cyclist when he suddenly swerves back in the lane.
That would only work if the cager swerved to the right putting themself further out in the ditch. Which would be pretty damn funny if they got stuck or crashed. I'd probably even be considerate enough to contact law enforcement for them, between giggles.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
But then again nothing untoward ever happens to the Alpha Dawgs in control, eh?
No, chit still happens; just a lot less often.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:24 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by nivekdodge View Post
Saw a guy with orange pipe insulation or a "noodle" flotation device
hmmmm.... pipe insulation - cheap, very light, very flexible, semi rigid, might survive multiple impacts, the only risk might be getting snagged, which could be addressed by attaching to the bike through a short (1 foot) rigid PVC tube and tied with something with a known breaking strength (light fishing line).
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Old 03-02-09, 07:31 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
That would only work if the cager swerved to the right putting themself further out in the ditch. Which would be pretty damn funny if they got stuck or crashed. I'd probably even be considerate enough to contact law enforcement for them, between giggles.



No, chit still happens; just a lot less often.
Less often for you; less often for me too. For a few others boasting on this thread about their magical Alpha Dawg powers, never.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:45 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Except when I've been positioned further to the right...
You keep saying this without any quantification of where you actually are. Is further to the right near the fog line, 1 foot to the right, 3 feet to the right, 10 feet to the right?

I'll admit I've never been buzzed while riding 8 feet to the right of the fog line. At 5 feet or less, I can no longer make that statement.

One more thing, the reason for staying further left in the lane (when the narrowness of the lane or your destination requires it) is that it greatly reduces the chances of someone trying to squeeze by in the same lane or by using as little of the other lane as possible. I don't think anyone here can claim that they've never been close passed while using more of the lane but most who have tried it agree that overall they are treated better. Personally, I'd prefer to take my chances with the guy who I know sees me and feels the need to mess with me than the guy who doesn't notice me in the edge of the lane. I've tried the whole edge of the lane thing. It doesn't work out nearly as nicely as "common sense" would lead you to believe.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:50 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
He should put a 3"x5" LCD monitor on his handlebars, so he can use the rear facing camera as a rear-view mirror.
Like, every time a truck passes him, he shouts "Hey!", as if he's surprised.

He should get himself an airzounds, instead of shouting.
First thanks for all the positive responses to my camera work. I started doing it to protect myself in the event of a crash or ticket from an uneducated LEO, but it's turned into something bigger than that. I've talked to a guy named Joe who runs a site selling jerseys to try to educate motorists. I'm talking with local advocacy groups about educating law enforcement and I encourage everyone else who frequents this site to do something similar in your area.

Now on to some responses.

I don't shout hey because I'm surprised, although sometimes I am shocked at how close the drivers actually come to me. I shout instead of using a horn. If I had a horn or bell or whatever by the time I got to it the driver would be gone. This way it's almost instinct as soon as the pass is happening I'm starting to shout. And yes all the shouts are real and unique. They didn't have to dub any in I shout whenever there is a scary close call. I shout a lot.

I don't use a mirror, but I would put my situational awareness up against anyone who does. I look over my shoulder almost constantly. I have excellent hearing and don't wear earphones and my ears tell me almost as much as my eyes about who is behind me.

The television station I work for did the story. It says in the story, that I am a photojournalist there. I was part of a story about bike safety a few years back and when they found out what I was doing with the cameras and what response I was getting especially from this one city, they thought it make a good story. I didn't consult the attorney in the story, they reporter and producer did. I did consult and attorney or two on my own but they do not appear in the story.

I will try to post copies of the letter from the city attorney from the news story as a few have asked. Check my blog in the next day or two, it should be there. feel free to shoot me a pm or email or comment on the blog if you have any other questions or suggestions.

I like the flash flag idea or maybe the pipe insulation. And at least in Wisconsin the 3 feet clearance is from the any point on the bike to any point on the passing vehicle, so it would be the widest part of the bike/rider and the widest part of the passing vehicle. The one interesting point that is raised by the prospect of putting a flag or stick on your bike is, is that now part of the bike? It would seem to me that it is a safety feature that is part of your bike just like a mirror would be. That would mean that the car would have to legally be 3 feet from your stick. I like the idea of a grease pencil or something like that which would leave a mark on the car. Most idiot motorists I've encountered would want to call the cops thinking that the cyclist would get cited for marking up the car, but it would seem that if there's a mark on the car made by the bike that would be prima facia evidence of a violation of the 3 foot law. Any lawyers in the bunch?

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Old 03-02-09, 07:51 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
And if the right side passer is especially "clever/skillful," and the right side is an unimproved shoulder he might be able to send up a spray of gravel in the face of the alleged controlling cyclist when he suddenly swerves back in the lane. But then again nothing untoward ever happens to the Alpha Dawgs in control, eh?
Is this personal experience? Any chance you got to experience riding in a more curb-hugging position next to this mentally challenged individual?

My best was a pickup truck driver almost taking out a sapling planted in the ~15 foot wide swath of grass on my right which he used to pass me. I had to give him credit for being creative. He came no where near me while making the pass.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:51 PM
  #59  
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I sorta did an experiment for you guys. I wanted to take a bike frame to work, so I strapped it on the rack sideways. Even though it was only a little wider than me, it seemed fairly obvious I was getting more room than normal. I figure the motorists didn't want to scratch their paint.
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Old 03-02-09, 08:34 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Is this personal experience? Any chance you got to experience riding in a more curb-hugging position next to this mentally challenged individual?

My best was a pickup truck driver almost taking out a sapling planted in the ~15 foot wide swath of grass on my right which he used to pass me. I had to give him credit for being creative. He came no where near me while making the pass.
Yes, a few times here over the last 6˝ years. All passes by me on my bike are at least at a 40mph differential, so I never know one pick up truck from another.

Currently most drivers give me at least 7 feet by moving totally into the left lane to pass, a few don't move all the way into the next lane but very, very few give me less than 5 feet. I can't remember any passes closer than 3 feet ever since I started using my raised pole of lights (about 4 years ago).

Being passed on the right in Philadelphia by drivers going straight through, using the right turn only, no parking/ bus stop zones at intersections as a passing lane was a daily occurrence while cycling (or driving) in the rightmost legal lane. In fact it was surprising when any space on the right, legal or not, was not used by some hot rodding driver as a quick passing/acceleration lane to get a car length ahead of other vehicles stopped at an intersection. Lane position of the legal vehicles was immaterial; if there was enough space, some impatient dummy would use it to pass.

The alleged lane/motorist controlling powers of the BF Alpha Dawgs sounds like the hot air of a few cyclists who have either not ventured too far from their own comfortable backyards or are deluded by their blind faith in their dogma.
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Old 03-02-09, 09:04 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Yep, done that, been buzzed agressively within the lane. Moved further left, still been buzzed super-aggressively, by a driver straddling lanes between me and the car in the lane to my left.
I can't believe that this needs to be addressed:
Of course results vary. I said "not always... but more often than not..." I even said that I've since had a handful of close calls... I can't account for every single driver, road, circumstance, etc...

Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
So what else can you tell me?
Ride your bike, be smart... Anything else?
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Old 03-02-09, 09:28 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yes, a few times here over the last 6˝ years. All passes by me on my bike are at least at a 40mph differential, so I never know one pick up truck from another.

Currently most drivers give me at least 7 feet by moving totally into the left lane to pass, a few don't move all the way into the next lane but very, very few give me less than 5 feet. I can't remember any passes closer than 3 feet ever since I started using my raised pole of lights (about 4 years ago).

Being passed on the right in Philadelphia by drivers going straight through, using the right turn only, no parking/ bus stop zones at intersections as a passing lane was a daily occurrence while cycling (or driving) in the rightmost legal lane. In fact it was surprising when any space on the right, legal or not, was not used by some hot rodding driver as a quick passing/acceleration lane to get a car length ahead of other vehicles stopped at an intersection. Lane position of the legal vehicles was immaterial; if there was enough space, some impatient dummy would use it to pass.
People pass on cross hatched areas, center left turn lanes, and left turn lanes all the time - whats wrong with right turn lanes IF you're positioned in the center of the thru lane? I'm not trying to spark a debate, but when there's a thru lane and a right turn lane, I typically ride the line between the lanes to avoid road rage and aforementioned unsafe passes.
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Old 03-02-09, 09:29 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by bcordy View Post
I can't believe that this needs to be addressed:
Of course results vary. I said...
Actually, what you said, in response to:
Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
I doubt you have much experience with proper lane positioning then.
was:
Originally Posted by bcordy View Post
+1...
And then you said:
Originally Posted by bcordy View Post
I started riding in the lane, (about where the passenger tire would run)
Given that you agreed with with gosmsgo's doubt that I have much experience with "proper" lane positioning, my response to your description of your own lane positioning "about where the passenger tire would run" was
Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Yep, done that, been buzzed agressively within the lane. Moved further left, still been buzzed super-aggressively, by a driver straddling lanes between me and the car in the lane to my left.
So why is it that you think your qualification that "results may vary" changes the fact that you were making unfounded assumptions about where I ride?
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Old 03-02-09, 09:54 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
You keep saying this without any quantification of where you actually are. Is further to the right near the fog line, 1 foot to the right, 3 feet to the right, 10 feet to the right?
Further to the right is to the right of the passenger tire track, on city streets. No fog lines, no wide boulevards, just narrow city lanes with curbside parking.

If I'm in the bike lane, I'm further to the right of where the passenger tire would be. If I'm just outside the door zone, I'm further to the right (barely) of where the passenger tire would be.

I'll take the lane where conditions (lane too narrow to safely share) call for it, but the facts are that every time I've been messed with, it was while I was "controlling" the lane through "proper" (or "aggressive") positioning. In contrast, I've never been messed with while I was positioned further to the right.

Dogma only trumps reality in the fantasy world of zealots.


Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
One more thing, the reason for staying further left in the lane (when the narrowness of the lane or your destination requires it) is that it greatly reduces the chances of someone trying to squeeze by in the same lane
Once again, the only times I've been buzzed have been while I was "controlling" the lane. Positioning myself in the passenger tire track has resulted in the driver behind me squeezing between me and the lane to my left. Positioning myself further to the left ("Try buzzing me NOW!") has resulted in the driver behind me straddling lanes to squeeze between me and the car to my left.

If a driver wants to mess with you, the driver will mess with you. Period. And in my experience, drivers have wanted to mess with me when I've been "controlling" the lane, but not when I've been positioned further to the right.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:01 PM
  #65  
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I've noticed little difference in motorist behavior based on my lateral position. They pass at about the same distance regardless of where I am in the lane.

There may be more motorist aggression as a result of a left-favouring position, but I don't ride near the curb often enough to have a concrete basis for comparison.

I think speed plays a far bigger role... lower motorist overtaking speeds result in far fewer incidents, and close passes (and yes, clips) are more manageable.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:04 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
Excellent video.

I'm thinking of doing something similar but with a 3 foot, very thin, flexible rod that sticks out into traffic from the rear rack - the traffic (backward) facing side a mix of neutral colors, the camera facing side high visibility with heavy black lines at the 0, 1, 2 and 3 foot marks (3 feet starts at my elbow, not the bike).

Choosing an appropriate material for the rod is the challenge - it needs to yield without breaking into dangerous projectiles when hit by vehicles that might be doing over 55 mph, but it also needs to be rigid enough not to bend (too much) when riding.

Ideally I would also like something that determines the speed of the passing vehicle, even if it is just me shouting the speed for an audio record.

In Oregon we can use a citizen initiated “violation proceeding” leading to citation.
The flag pole already exists, but not with a mounted camera. Perhaps it could be modified.

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/10...e-safety-flag/
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Old 03-02-09, 10:22 PM
  #67  
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I have been bicycling for more than 50 years, and I have yet to see a nuclear power plant out there, nor a loaded gun with the safety off, though there are many guns out there.
And I wouldn't stand in front of them, if I did see them.
I have seen far too many cars racing like crazy and here they don't or won't stop for much of anything, least of all having run over and killed a bicyclist.
Now, on a tombstone, you can use all caps, or not, but it isn't shouting. Caps are sometimes used for emphasis, not shouting.
So the proper tombstone epitaph, not shouting, just the dead speaking would be, if I have been properly corrected about not having the right opinion here, is: "SURE THEY RAN ME OVER WITH THEIR MONSTER SPORT UTE, AND KILLED ME AND LEFT ME LAYING DEAD IN THE ROAD, AND DROVE AWAY, BLAMING ME FOR IT, AND HAVE NEVER BEEN CAUGHT BUT MY LIFE WAS NOT IN THEIR HANDS BECAUSE I DETERMINED WHERE I RODE, AND BESIDES, IT'S OK, BECAUSE THIS IS A RARE OCCURRENCE."
Thanks for setting me straight on that.
It's not dangerous in front of the car when you are at the same speed UNTIL (emphasis, not a shout) they get a cell phone call, pick up the phone, stop looking, and you have to stop.
Or they sneeze, or some other tic that causes them to just run you over.
I also ride a motorcycle, and one of our main concerns is about being too slow when the cars are going too fast.
Anyway, again my point is that Jeff is doing a great service there and my policy is be safe rather than right and sorry.
dc
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Old 03-02-09, 10:51 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by David13 View Post
...It's not dangerous in front of the car...
VC-istas will tell you that positioning yourself in front of the car means the driver will see you. This may be true, IF the driver is not fiddling with the stereo, texting, grooming in the mirror, looking for something, looking at something, and so on. In those instances, assuming the driver sees you may be a fatal assumption.

On the other hand, if the driver does see you, the assumption is that the driver will slow speed and change lanes. This may also be true, IF the driver isn't driving too fast to react, itching to teach you a lesson, DUII, and so on. In those instances, assuming the driver will react appropriately may be a fatal assumption.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:20 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
So why is it that you think your qualification that "results may vary" changes the fact that you were making unfounded assumptions about where I ride?
I'm not talking about where you ride. I was just voicing an opinion on my experience. I hope that someone might take something away from it, hopefully be protected and safer because of it. I thought you were saying that riding there is not good just because you got honked at once, that would be silly because I too get honked at, but I'm safer there in the lane. That's my point. Nothing about you or you're riding, just a general post about being safe.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:52 AM
  #70  
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some of these conversations get a little silly. I saw a motorist drive almost full speed (45 mph) into the back of a stopped dump truck. If it's your turn to be the dump truck, there is literally nothing you can do because you would never be able to predict something so unlikely would happen -- even up to the last second. I used to work with a safety weenie that was afraid for us to do anything. He would say "someone is going to get hurt," and when no one got hurt, he would say, "you got lucky." If you hug the gutter, there is some likelihood that someone is going to forget the wide mirror hanging off the side of their truck. If you ride out in the lane, there is some likelihood that someone is going to be reaching into the back seat to smack the baby. If you're 8' off the road on a wide shoulder, there is some likelihood that a legally blind delivery driver is going to mow you down. Hopefully, none of these things happen to any of us.
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Old 03-03-09, 04:18 AM
  #71  
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^
i
i
i

cool, well said
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Old 03-03-09, 04:52 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
People pass on cross hatched areas, center left turn lanes, and left turn lanes all the time - whats wrong with right turn lanes IF you're positioned in the center of the thru lane? I'm not trying to spark a debate, but when there's a thru lane and a right turn lane, I typically ride the line between the lanes to avoid road rage and aforementioned unsafe passes.
How does riding the line between lanes in city traffic avoid unsafe/too close passing from either/both lanes?

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 03-03-09 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:25 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
If anything, the only difference that your lane positioning makes, in my experience, is that it infuriates some drivers enough to the point that they want to f with you when they pass.
That has been my experience as well. Tailgating is also an extremely common occurance while the motorist does not have the opportunity of passing.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:33 AM
  #74  
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Taking a lane position that I determine for myself is as far right as practicable leaves me, often, 50 feet from the curb in the middle of the street, riding the edge of the center turn lane on 4 lane neighborhood connectors with parking. motorists are free to pass to my right in these cases

Originally Posted by bikesafer
I don't use a mirror, but I would put my situational awareness up against anyone who does.
Jeff- you can put your situational awareness up against someone with a mirror and it will fail. The amount of frustration you are expressing in your videos isn't healthy, man. Get a mirror, control the lane a bit more perhaps, some hand signals, a little lateral movement in the lane, and your riding should become more pleasant. (oh my gosh, I'm sounding like good old HelmetHead!)

unlike HH and some of the zealous here, I have no illusions that controlling the lane eliminates agressive motorist behavior. Heck, I've had drivers get aggro on me after I passed them at a stopsign on a cross street! Didnt like the way I rode past, I guess.

Last edited by Bekologist; 03-03-09 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:17 AM
  #75  
AlmostTrick
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Cool, a lane positioning thread. It seems we were long overdue. I like to default to the center of the lane and only move right when it is safe to do so. I choose routes that lessen the amount of time I hold up motorists as much as possible, but they still get stuck behind me sometimes for 30 seconds or more. Most do not tailgate or mess with me for this. If they want to try, I always have space to my right to move into. If I notice someone not slowing behind me when it's not safe to pass, a slow stop signal gets thrown down, along with a look back. I find this works a lot better than doing nothing but holding a line and hoping they do the right thing. Lane position and hand signals do help control the motorists.
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