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Right turn only lane also the one with sharrows, what would you do?

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Old 01-12-18, 04:17 PM
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surak
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Right turn only lane also the one with sharrows, what would you do?

Situation: there are multiple lanes on a corporate campus. The right-most lanes always have painted bike sharrows, but at some all-way stop intersections they become right turn only. If you wanted to continue straight past an intersection, would you:
  1. Switch over to the lane to the left at some point before the intersection
  2. Hug the left side of the turn lane to indicate intent to go forward
  3. Snub the sharrow lane and use the lane to the left of it to begin with
  4. Something else
?


I included the fact that it's a private road network because I haven't personally encountered this sharrow->RTO lane configuration on public streets, where the RTO lane usually is a new lane that forks off the original lane at the intersection.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:22 PM
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Lane split, between right turn lane and through lane. Move back right as I clear the intersection.

If it's no turn on red, I'll simply position myself in the center of the right lane, since nobody would have a reason to beef.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:25 PM
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Sharrows are meaningless. I ignore them and do whatever I would normally do if they weren't there.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Sharrows are meaningless. I ignore them and do whatever I would normally do if they weren't there.

Agreed, you take what you need to ride safely, the inconvenience to vehicles is temporary.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Sharrows are meaningless. I ignore them and do whatever I would normally do if they weren't there.
Valid point re: sharrows, but begs the question.

So, as the OP asked, where do you position yourself e.g. a red where the right lane is right turn only?
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Old 01-12-18, 04:49 PM
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Really depends on the width of the lanes available. If the RTO lane is plenty wide, I will hug the left side leaving plenty of room for cars to pass me on the right and turn. If the RTO lane is too narrow to share but the thru lane is wide, I will go to the right of the thru lane. Both these are effectively lane splitting, which I'm fine with if there is enough room.

If the thru lane is also narrow, I will take that lane.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:00 PM
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I never hug the curb. I'll move over before the intersection to the right edge of the through lane.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Situation: there are multiple lanes on a corporate campus. The right-most lanes always have painted bike sharrows, but at some all-way stop intersections they become right turn only. ...

I included the fact that it's a private road network because I haven't personally encountered this sharrow->RTO lane configuration on public streets, where the RTO lane usually is a new lane that forks off the original lane at the intersection.
I'd think a letter to both the transportation and legal departments of the corporation would be in order noting that this configuration is contrary to normal engineering practice, could easily lead to injuries or worse from a cyclist being right-hooked, and could leave the corporation liable for significant settlements.

As a cyclist I'd ignore the sharrows and stay to the left of the right-turn-only lane.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:27 PM
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Acceptable options depending on circumstances:

1. Take the left-most right turn lane - flow with cars until you get to the front and then move to outside of go-straight lane. Works well for green right turn arrow while through traffic is stopped.

2. Take the right-most go straight line and hold your place with the cars. Works well if go-straight has green.

3. Lane split - works well if the lanes are wide and everybody's stopped.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I never hug the curb. I'll move over before the intersection to the right edge of the through lane.
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
As a cyclist I'd ignore the sharrows and stay to the left of the right-turn-only lane.
These ^^. And I would briefly take the lane if it looked as if cars were coming too close. A "traffic-calming" moment.
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Old 01-12-18, 06:10 PM
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Appreciate the responses, I wasn't sure if I was right in thinking that the lanes were odd and the correct approach to biking through was not obvious.

I wasn't clear in my original post, but these intersections have all-way stop signs, not lights, in case that makes a difference.

I started doing approach #2, staying in the lane that becomes RTO but keeping to the left at the stop, because the RTO designation surprised me the first time and I didn't want to change lanes (the situation reminded me of those RTO except transit lanes, which is how I excused my decision at the time). The habit's stuck, but if everyone had said that was a terrible thing to do then I would reevaluate.

The reasons I haven't done approach #1 are that the lanes aren't wide enough for splitting, so changing lanes involves some timing and care (rather than sidling up next to stopped cars in the queue), plus the lane dividers are ridged bumps that I'm wary of slipping over.

As for approach #3, I understand that sharrows are just suggestions and that I could use the left through lane (which unlike the right through lane would have left turn only lanes forking off at the intersection, so no lane changes necessary to keep going straight) but I don't want drivers behind me to be confused (or worse, upset) over why I'm using that lane when there's a full lane to the right.

I guess in my mind, without having the company restripe the lanes, every approach has potential safety issues.
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Old 01-12-18, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
These ^^. And I would briefly take the lane if it looked as if cars were coming too close. A "traffic-calming" moment.
Steve
The irony of this so-called calming is that I'm worried it would stir up indignation and rage. Only half-joking!
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Old 01-12-18, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
  1. Switch over to the lane to the left at some point before the intersection
  2. Hug the left side of the turn lane to indicate intent to go forward
  3. Snub the sharrow lane and use the lane to the left of it to begin with
  4. Something else
If it's a RTO lane and you're going straight the obvious thing to do is to be in the left lane--the through lane. If it's a stop sign you can either take the centre of the lane or stay to the right.
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Old 01-12-18, 06:58 PM
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This is a great example of why sharrows are almost always worse than nothing.
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Old 01-12-18, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
The irony of this so-called calming is that I'm worried it would stir up indignation and rage. Only half-joking!
I hear you. I think as long as the motorist is given the impression that I'm not just gratuitously hogging the lane, I haven't had any problems. This means that as soon as I can safely do so, I make a slightly exaggerated shift to the right. I'll often give the driver a courtesy wave as they pass me.

When I started commuting by bike over 15 years ago, I would be honked at a couple times a week (and not only in the scenario we're discussing). Lately, I can't remember the last time this happened.
FWIW, I heard someone in the Chicago cycling community use the "traffic calming moment" phrase many years ago.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:57 AM
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I would typically do this: 1. Switch over to the lane to the left at some point before the intersection And then move to the right after moving through the intersection.

How much traffic is there? If there is a long line of cars in the straight ahead lane, I would be tempted to use the right lane and proceed through the intersection after signalling intentions, but that depends on how much room there is to maneuver. As others have said, it's all situational.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:16 AM
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Sharrows remind drivers that cyclists are on the road and don't mean anything in particular to cyclists. I'd basically do what you're already doing -- get far left in the right turn lane making it clear you're continuing forward, and merge in fully wherever it makes sense.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Situation: there are multiple lanes on a corporate campus. The right-most lanes always have painted bike sharrows, but at some all-way stop intersections they become right turn only. If you wanted to continue straight past an intersection, would you:
  1. Switch over to the lane to the left at some point before the intersection
  2. Hug the left side of the turn lane to indicate intent to go forward
  3. Snub the sharrow lane and use the lane to the left of it to begin with
  4. Something else
?


I included the fact that it's a private road network because I haven't personally encountered this sharrow->RTO lane configuration on public streets, where the RTO lane usually is a new lane that forks off the original lane at the intersection.
"Sharrows" or "bike in the house" arrows or other painted road markings for bicyclists were originally supposed to be used in the car lane and were supposed to say to the motorists "bicycles are going to be riding on the road". They weren't supposed to designate where the bike was supposed to ride. (I know this because I know the guy who developed the "bike in the house" markings.) Unfortunately, people in various traffic agencies across the country haven't stuck to the original idea and have added them to painted bike lanes or smashed them up against curbs or done many other things with them outside of their original design.

That said, no matter if the markings on the pavement are sharrows or bike lanes, if the lane runs out at a right turn pocket, you should move over into the through lane and ride through the intersection. Don't get trapped in the right lane against the curb.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
The reasons I haven't done approach #1 are that the lanes aren't wide enough for splitting, so changing lanes involves some timing and care (rather than sidling up next to stopped cars in the queue), plus the lane dividers are ridged bumps that I'm wary of slipping over.
Considering that this is a 4 way stop, moving into the through lane is the best approach. If there are lane dividers that you could crash on, move far enough out into the lane to avoid them. This probably means that you can't filter or lane split but you really shouldn't be doing that anyway.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:56 AM
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depending on traffic, I'd stay in the right lane. I need video of the area to really decide

got an intersection like that which just has two bike lanes. there's still car traffic to contend with but at least it takes the guesswork out for everyone

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Old 01-13-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by diabloscott View Post
acceptable options depending on circumstances:

1. Take the left-most right turn lane - flow with cars until you get to the front and then move to outside of go-straight lane. Works well for green right turn arrow while through traffic is stopped.

2. Take the right-most go straight line and hold your place with the cars. Works well if go-straight has green.

3. Lane split - works well if the lanes are wide and everybody's stopped.
+1
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Old 01-13-18, 03:19 PM
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For me it would be some combination of 1 & 2. Really, the sharrow lane becomes turn only? If it's right/straight its easier to hug the left of the right lane.
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Old 01-13-18, 03:29 PM
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Ride to the left side of the left most turning lane (if two lanes are turning).

This usually allows turning cars to still get around, and sets you up to remain right of the straight through cars.

I also like to line up as far forward as possible (middle of the crosswalk if nobody is walking). This improves visibility, and gives more room for turning cars.

ALWAYS LOOK WHEN CHANGING YOUR LINE OF TRAVEL.


If it is an optional turn lane, then stay to the right, and watch for car's turn signals, or perhaps just "take the lane", there are sharrows after all.
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Old 01-14-18, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
Really depends on the width of the lanes available.
^ This.


On really narrow lanes that happen to turn into RT-only lanes, I stay there and go through when the signals/traffic allow.

On lanes with sufficient space to easily hold a car in that (now) RT-only lane, I'll happily move over to the next through lane. IMO, doing so on a narrow lane begs getting struck by an impatient driver who cares nothing for harming the cyclist "in his way."
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Old 01-16-18, 11:34 AM
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I encounter something similar regularly, where a separated one-way bike lane is interrupted by a separated RTO lane and then restarts at the far side of the intersection (westbound Randolph at Wacker in Chicago if you're curious). From the markings, it's clear the intent is for cars turning right and cyclists going straight to share the RTO lane. I usually keep to the left in this lane to give the cars a shot at a right turn on red and also to not get right-hooked or blocked by a car trying to edge through the pedestrians crossing Wacker.
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