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Filtering to the front? It makes sense...

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Filtering to the front? It makes sense...

Old 01-24-10, 09:15 PM
  #26  
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filter to the front when it makes sense and don't when it doesn't is my advice.

you'll be the best judge of it. sometimes I've filtered up on a truck in a bikelane near where right turns are authorized, it's all a matter of judgement but general advice is

don't pass a slow moving trucks bumper anywhere in proximity of a turn. stay behind that rear bumper.
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Old 01-25-10, 10:36 AM
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In Missouri there is a specific law I think applies to this discussion that is often overlooked and there may be a similar law in other states. You aren't supposed to pass any other vehicles within 100 feet of an intersection. It seems this law would apply to filtering up at any intersection even if there was plenty of room on the right.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by John E
If the queue of cars is relatively short, I'll wait my turn, but if the intersection is operating at Level of Service F, in which motorists are waiting through 1 or more full light-change cycles before being able to proceed across the intersection, I feel no obligation to share their frustration. I filter forward if I can do so safely, particularly if there is a bike lane or usable shoulder on the far side of the intersection, such that I am not constantly playing leapfrog with the motorists.
+100

This is cycling in an efficient and safe and co-operative manner. Queuing up when the traffic is light and the motorists would likely leapfrog you anyway one side of the coin; taking advantage of being on a bike when the the other traffic is bound up is the other side. This is what I do too. I don't like filtering unless there is a good reason, and getting to the front so motor traffic can just pass me again is NOT a good reason.

But taking advantage of being on a narrow vehicle IS one of the advantages of cycling... when "fat traffic" can't get out of it's own way.
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Old 01-25-10, 12:10 PM
  #29  
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I concur
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Old 01-25-10, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie
No more of a burden for you to wait than it is for the cars.
Disagree here. The operating characteristics of a bicycle are different from an automobile. An automobile is most stable when stopped, a bicycle is most stable when in motion. Applying the same rules blindly to both types of vehicles does not make sense. I believe that coming to a complete stop is a greater burden to a cyclist than it is to an auto driver.

Personally, if the road is wide enough for me to ride in a position where I feel comfortable sharing the lane with automobiles, then I will take a lane position which allows automobiles to pass me within the lane. When approaching an intersection or slowed traffic, I can maintain my lateral line, and pass autos on their right - as if there were two lanes there. When doing so, I am very cognizant of the danger of right turning vehicles and therefore ride slowly, and if there are vehicles that seem to be preparing for a right turn, either by their lane position or by their turn indicators, I will tend to pass them on their left. With a wide lane like this, it is no burden for the motorist to then pass me after the intersection, so my filtering forward should be a non issue to the motorists.

If the lane is not wide enough to permit sharing, I will position myself in the middle of the lane, and when approaching a light, will take my turn in the queue. Filtering forward in this circumstance would be unfair to the motorists due to the greater burden involved in passing with a narrow lane.
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Old 01-25-10, 02:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
not in my world we don't. Imagine a world where cyclists screamed obscenities at motorists for just using the road -- then we would be at parity. I think that would be fun "scream obscenities at innocent motorist day."
Sadly doesn't that happen to many cyclists in reverse? Motorists screaming obscenities at cyclists? Every now and then I even have pedestrians yelling at me to get on the sidewalk. You'd think that if any other group of individuals understood why cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk it's pedestrians.
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Old 01-25-10, 02:26 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
Sadly doesn't that happen to many cyclists in reverse? Motorists screaming obscenities at cyclists? Every now and then I even have pedestrians yelling at me to get on the sidewalk. You'd think that if any other group of individuals understood why cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk it's pedestrians.
Even more sad is that this happens no matter how legal and proper you ride... I can be setting the perfect example out there for cyclists, while "acting just like the driver of a vehicle," and along comes some driver that not only fails to "treat me as the driver of a vehicle" but berates me for doing exactly what the laws say I should be doing.

I have to agree with unterhausen... maybe we need a "scream obscenities at innocent motorist day."
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Old 01-25-10, 10:58 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
Sadly doesn't that happen to many cyclists in reverse? Motorists screaming obscenities at cyclists? Every now and then I even have pedestrians yelling at me to get on the sidewalk. You'd think that if any other group of individuals understood why cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk it's pedestrians.
Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
Sadly doesn't that happen to many cyclists in reverse? Motorists screaming obscenities at cyclists? Every now and then I even have pedestrians yelling at me to get on the sidewalk. You'd think that if any other group of individuals understood why cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk it's pedestrians.
The fact is, most drivers are not cyclists and do NOT know cyclist road rules. OTOH, most (actually, a HUGE majority) cyclists are also drivers and KNOW motorist road rules. There's the disparity. Even if I know I'm in the right during a conflict, I try to keep this in mind and keep my cool. If there's a chance I can educate them, I will. But sadly, often there is no opportunity.

Back on topic: I filter most of the time and know the risks I'm taking by sidling up to a car at an intersection. It makes the most sense to me, majority of the time. The only times I won't filter through is at a left-turn lane or at a stop sign controlled intersection where there's only 2 or 3 cars waiting. And yes, big trucks and buses are no-nos.

Last edited by NaBlade; 01-25-10 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:03 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by genec
Even more sad is that this happens no matter how legal and proper you ride... I can be setting the perfect example out there for cyclists, while "acting just like the driver of a vehicle," and along comes some driver that not only fails to "treat me as the driver of a vehicle" but berates me for doing exactly what the laws say I should be doing.

I have to agree with unterhausen... maybe we need a "scream obscenities at innocent motorist day."
Exactly, it happened to me today after I made my left turn going home. Some Bubba in a pickup yelled at me to get off the road. Before that after I left the pet shop with a couple of crickets. I had some moron in a pickup honking at me. This was on a narrow two-lane access road with a speed limit of 25MPH.

People need to brush up on and learn the changes in the law.
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Old 01-26-10, 12:56 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
Sadly doesn't that happen to many cyclists in reverse? Motorists screaming obscenities at cyclists? Every now and then I even have pedestrians yelling at me to get on the sidewalk. You'd think that if any other group of individuals understood why cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk it's pedestrians.
that's what I'm saying. When people in cars are screaming obscenities at me I am operating my bicycle legally and safely. Either they do it for fun or they are ignorant. The U.S. is not one of the many countries in the world where motorists commonly scream obscenities at each other. It's not even common for motorists to honk at each other to any great degree. But it's pretty common for people to scream obscenities at cyclists.
I agree about pedestrians. There is nothing I hate more than sharing a sidewalk with a cyclist, no matter how slow they are going. I have been known to weave.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:17 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by onyourback
In Missouri there is a specific law I think applies to this discussion that is often overlooked and there may be a similar law in other states. You aren't supposed to pass any other vehicles within 100 feet of an intersection. It seems this law would apply to filtering up at any intersection even if there was plenty of room on the right.
So tell me how well this law is observed or enforced at a traffic light on a multi-lane thoroughfare. Let's say there are 3 lanes in each direction and there are already 4 or 5 cars lined up in both the 1st and 3rd lanes waiting at a red light, but only one car is in the 2nd lane. Now another car comes up to the intersection in the 2nd lane. Are you really suggesting it'll stop way back in the lane so as not to 'pass' any of the cars in the 1st and 3rd lanes? That hasn't been my experience, nor do I see any reason why it should be required. Nor is the usual 'pass on the left' rule generally followed on multi-lane urban roads. If the righthand lane is moving and there's someone stopped or slower in the lane to the left then traffic in the right lane will keep moving and pass the traffic in the left lane.

That strikes me as the equivalent situation to most filtering done by cyclists. They're moving up alongside traffic that is stopped - either because of a traffic light or due to congestion. If done with proper care it can be very safe, but the cyclist has to remain aware that any of the vehicles might start moving to the right and be prepared for that situation.
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Old 01-26-10, 02:10 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by prathmann
So tell me how well this law is observed or enforced at a traffic light on a multi-lane thoroughfare. Let's say there are 3 lanes in each direction and there are already 4 or 5 cars lined up in both the 1st and 3rd lanes waiting at a red light, but only one car is in the 2nd lane. Now another car comes up to the intersection in the 2nd lane. Are you really suggesting it'll stop way back in the lane so as not to 'pass' any of the cars in the 1st and 3rd lanes? That hasn't been my experience, nor do I see any reason why it should be required. Nor is the usual 'pass on the left' rule generally followed on multi-lane urban roads. If the righthand lane is moving and there's someone stopped or slower in the lane to the left then traffic in the right lane will keep moving and pass the traffic in the left lane.

That strikes me as the equivalent situation to most filtering done by cyclists. They're moving up alongside traffic that is stopped - either because of a traffic light or due to congestion. If done with proper care it can be very safe, but the cyclist has to remain aware that any of the vehicles might start moving to the right and be prepared for that situation.
I think he was talking about one lane in each direction. You aren't allowed to change lanes in an intersection, and not allowed to pass. Being in two separate lanes is a different situation. One lane can move faster than the other. It's a different type of "passing."
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Old 01-26-10, 02:21 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by tadawdy
I think he was talking about one lane in each direction. You aren't allowed to change lanes in an intersection, and not allowed to pass. Being in two separate lanes is a different situation. One lane can move faster than the other. It's a different type of "passing."
But the multi-lane road is very similar to the situation of a cyclist on a reasonably wide street. Either he's in a bike lane, i.e. a totally separate lane, or there's an outside lane that's wide enough for sharing and the cyclist is being passed by cars or passing cars without either party having to leave their lane position on the road. That's much more similar to the situation of cars passing each other on a multi-lane road than it is to the situation where all passing is done by leaving the original lane and temporarily moving into the lane used by opposing traffic.
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Old 01-26-10, 08:55 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by John E
If the queue of cars is relatively short, I'll wait my turn, but if the intersection is operating at Level of Service F, in which motorists are waiting through 1 or more full light-change cycles before being able to proceed across the intersection, I feel no obligation to share their frustration. I filter forward if I can do so safely, particularly if there is a bike lane or usable shoulder on the far side of the intersection, such that I am not constantly playing leapfrog with the motorists.
+1, This, however, requires common sense, as such it is not a recommended approach for most.
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Old 01-26-10, 09:13 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser
+1, This, however, requires common sense, as such it is not a recommended approach for most.
Well, even if you do apply your experience and have good observation it can still go wrong.

Tonight I am riding along, in the dark but on a well lit street and I've got lights on. The traffic light ahead is red and the traffic slowing, stopping and backing up. I have half a metre of road, so it is easy for me to ride up to the front between the curb and the cars. There is even a hand rail on the curb to stop pedestrians wandering between the stationary cars.

I feel something brush my face and hit my shoulder just as I pass a mini bus (Toyota Coaster 20 seaters, popular flexible public transport in Hong Kong). I hit brakes, swear and look back.

Doors had opened (internally, so hard to see) and a girl was just stepping out as I passed. These buses will pick up and drop off anywhere along their route - not just as official bus stops. I did not see her at all until I was passed and looked back. She just walked along the gutter until she reached the end of the handrail and walked on her way.

If I was traveling a little slower or was a little later she would have been smashed down pretty hard.

So do I keep filtering to the front? Do I watch the mini-buses like a hawk (I thought I already did)? Who knows...
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Old 01-26-10, 09:13 AM
  #41  
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If I have been sharing the lane and willing continue sharing after the intersection I will cautiously filter forward on the right. When doing this I consider avoiding right hooks my responsibility.

If I have been taking the lane, I get in line with other vehicles. If motor vehicles have been backed up behind me, I take the stoppage as an opportunity to "step aside" and let them go ahead.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:04 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by tadawdy
I think he was talking about one lane in each direction. You aren't allowed to change lanes in an intersection, and not allowed to pass. Being in two separate lanes is a different situation. One lane can move faster than the other. It's a different type of "passing."
This is what I meant.

Originally Posted by prathmann
. . .or there's an outside lane that's wide enough for sharing and the cyclist is being passed by cars or passing cars without either party having to leave their lane position on the road. . .
I could understand and agree with filtering if this was the case. But if you mean filtering as in squeezing through a space that you wouldn't be comfortable with if you and the vehicle were moving full speed, and then the vehicle you just squeezed by having to wait to pass you again on the other side of the intersection, I think you should wait in line.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:39 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
Exactly, it happened to me today after I made my left turn going home. Some Bubba in a pickup yelled at me to get off the road. Before that after I left the pet shop with a couple of crickets. I had some moron in a pickup honking at me. This was on a narrow two-lane access road with a speed limit of 25MPH.

People need to brush up on and learn the changes in the law.
"Changes?!?" Heck people need to just learn the basics, period.

Had a long discussion with my hair cutter on Sunday... she had no idea that cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists... I gave her one of my cyclist's rights cards and she was astounded... "oh wow, really?" She has been around a while... and yet had no idea. I still contend that most drivers really don't know the laws... they only give us room as a favor.

I really believe if everyone really knew the laws, and acted properly to them, it would be a vastly different environment out there. As it is, I'd settle for just "Drive Friendly."
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Old 01-26-10, 12:58 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by genec
"Changes?!?" Heck people need to just learn the basics, period.

Had a long discussion with my hair cutter on Sunday... she had no idea that cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists... I gave her one of my cyclist's rights cards and she was astounded... "oh wow, really?" She has been around a while... and yet had no idea. I still contend that most drivers really don't know the laws... they only give us room as a favor.

I really believe if everyone really knew the laws, and acted properly to them, it would be a vastly different environment out there. As it is, I'd settle for just "Drive Friendly."
I've often wondered if it would do any good to go to say Kinko's and print out the relevant law pertaining to bicycles and go around to the various parking lots and slip it under the windshield wipers of cars. With the exceptions to the AFRAP highlighted. Or would they just be crumbled up and tossed aside like so many takeout menus?

I mean I think that as we've said it's really a lack of education that causes a lot of motorists to behave the way that they do. And as you've shown with your hair cutter I think that most are willing to learn. Which "papering" the cars in a parking lot would help with, that and trying to get more TV stations to air bicycle related PSAs.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:08 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
I've often wondered if it would do any good to go to say Kinko's and print out the relevant law pertaining to bicycles and go around to the various parking lots and slip it under the windshield wipers of cars. With the exceptions to the AFRAP highlighted. Or would they just be crumbled up and tossed aside like so many takeout menus?
I make it a point to look at stuff under my wiper only enough to determine if it's a ticket. If not, I fold it up and toss it on the floor of the car and drop it in recycling when I get home (I'm not enough of an a55 to throw stuff on the ground).
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Old 01-26-10, 01:13 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by sauerwald
Disagree here. The operating characteristics of a bicycle are different from an automobile. An automobile is most stable when stopped, a bicycle is most stable when in motion. Applying the same rules blindly to both types of vehicles does not make sense. I believe that coming to a complete stop is a greater burden to a cyclist than it is to an auto driver......
The same can be said for motorcycles. Do we allow them to filter?

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Old 01-26-10, 01:29 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
The same can be said for motorcycles. Do we allow them to filter?

roughstuff
in CA, yes.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:38 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by genec
in CA, yes.
Thanks Genec...I was wondering if ever this issue was specifically addressed. Of course all the willy-willies of filtering has to be taken into consideration.

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Old 01-27-10, 09:13 PM
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I modify my behavior at intersections based on numerous variables such as traffic volume, width of shoulder, number of lanes, etc. The bottom line for me is, if I am approaching an intersection with a red light and traffic backed up to the point that if I were to stop directly behind the last car I would miss the light, I am going to at least try to filter up farther in the line and make that light. this line of action is at its most deadly serious cutting across 2 lanes of traffic to get to a left turn lane with an advance left turn, lanesplitting past half the cars in both lanes line as the left turn lane begins to move, and then riding somebodys outside right fender through the intersection. I feel that as long as i'm not actually holding up the traffic in that lane, it shouldn't be an issue for the motorists i am cutting in front of, and like I said manuvers such as this are generally reserved for when I am likely to have to wait for the next light if I line up with everyone else. If I wanted to do that, I'd drive a car. sitting in rush hour traffic if for SUCKERS! does anybody actually do that?

For straight through situations in heavy traffic I am not above riding on the sidewalk, awkwardly shuffling my way forward, or lanesplitting to get up near the front at an intersection. I'm pretty much only passing people who arn't going to be moving very far any time soon anyway. My approach in light-medium traffic is usually to just line up with the cars unless there is a bike lane or really wide shoulder on that road. no sense in passing 6 cars that just passed you just so you can save the 10 seconds or so lead off time.
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