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How well do you adhere to traffic laws on your commute?

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How well do you adhere to traffic laws on your commute?

Old 03-14-09, 12:04 AM
  #1  
mechanicalron
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How well do you adhere to traffic laws on your commute?

Do you pretend you are a messenger or do you try to set an example?
Do you ride different when you are alone compared to when in a group?
Be truthful eh.
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Old 03-14-09, 12:53 AM
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I tend to adhere to laws. Not to be an example, but because that is what is expected. Also, when I'm a driver, and some idiot runs a crosswalk red, or rides their bike through on red, causing me to take evasive action, I'm reminded that those laws have reasons. That said, there are a few places I can think of, generally moving from an island in the middle of an intersection across a right-turn lane that sees long periods of inactivity, where I will go on red (bike lane). And as a pedestrian (and sometimes in the bike lane), there are a few other places where you must push a button to cross, where I just go without pushing the button. As a driver, again, I would rather people not push that button, especially since usually, they push the button, and then walk. I come along and have to stop waiting for nobody to cross. Those are the rare situations when the lights are more a hindrance than a help. But they are rather rare and obvious and not when I'm on the road. When I'm on the road, I generally obey all traffic laws. Here in Krakow, I've seen police write up cyclists going the wrong way on a one-way street. :-)

-Jon
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Old 03-14-09, 01:23 AM
  #3  
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So you never hold onto the side of a bus for a ride? OK that was a bad joke but I do see some odd ball things in this town on my way to and from work! We have no bike lanes here so we have to ride in traffic. The police in Detroit don't have a clue what the bike laws are and don't care so I see some people get a little goofy. I ride in traffic every day and am totaly car free 6 years now. I am not going to say how I ride just yet until I hear from other people. Should be fun.
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Old 03-14-09, 02:37 AM
  #4  
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My main abuse is sidewalk riding, sometimes the wrong way. I do this on major streets (3 lanes and everyone's going about 50 mph) that have no bike lanes. The wrong way stuff is for 1/2 mile in front of businesses that haven't opened for the day yet. Going back to the intersection would take more time and be less safe, in my scenario. (It would require additional sidewalk riding and/or making a U-turn after crossing 3 lanes full of fast, impatient, morning dirvers.)

If I were ever pulled over, my gut response would be, "And how exactly am I supposed to follow the law and be safe here? Paint me a picture, Picasso." (Not that I'd actually say that.)
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Old 03-14-09, 02:41 AM
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I roll through stop signs as if I were a car.
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Old 03-14-09, 03:12 AM
  #6  
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I occasionally run a red or do somewhat illegal things. Its just easier than crossing 4 lanes doing 80kmph.
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Old 03-14-09, 05:10 AM
  #7  
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I obey traffic laws most of the time. If I'm in a hurry will cut through parking lots instead of waiting for a left on red. Will also make a turn right then make a u-turn if I can't get to the left hand turn lane because of traffic.
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Old 03-14-09, 06:21 AM
  #8  
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I ride legally on the roadways with the following exceptions:
1) I roll through every single stop sign I encounter if there are no cars present.
2) I will run a red light after stopping if there are no cars present (my morning commute is early and traffic is generally very light).
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Old 03-14-09, 06:24 AM
  #9  
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I take any advantage I can get in traffic. Drivers are for the most part oblivious to bikes, and i've been cut off so many times I wouldn't even venture a guess how many. I look both ways at intersections, and if no one is coming, I don't stop. On the other hand, I try not to be an obtrusive jerk in traffic, because I'm dealing with vehicles that outweigh me 20 to one. The last thing I wan't to do is get into a p!$$ing contest with a skunk. But, yeah, I run lights and stop signs if nobody is around.
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Old 03-14-09, 06:43 AM
  #10  
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There are two "me's" when I commute. The "me" when there are cars around and the "me" when there are not. No cars means I don't even slow for stop signs and red lights. Cars around means I follow the laws most of the time.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:00 AM
  #11  
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Practical Cyclist not Vehicular Cyclist.

Roll stop signs when no cars. Lights if I have no choice or know they won't change for me. I'll take short bits of sidewalk to get home, mainly...Like two blocks worth.

GrinningFool has it pegged.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:51 AM
  #12  
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Depends...
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Old 03-14-09, 07:51 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by grinningfool View Post
I take any advantage I can get in traffic. Drivers are for the most part oblivious to bikes, and i've been cut off so many times I wouldn't even venture a guess how many. I look both ways at intersections, and if no one is coming, I don't stop. On the other hand, I try not to be an obtrusive jerk in traffic, because I'm dealing with vehicles that outweigh me 20 to one. The last thing I wan't to do is get into a p!$$ing contest with a skunk. But, yeah, I run lights and stop signs if nobody is around.
In a city people tend to be pushed and I have felt like this to servive and stay out of harms way. If you use a sidewalk in the city every intersection is a death match. I tend to ride in traffic and act like I am on a motorcycle and use hand signals. Traffic here can get grid lock slow and it is hard to stay true to traffic laws, you will get hit! One in every crowd when cars get jammed up.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:11 AM
  #14  
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I pretend to be a messenger. Whatever that means.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:29 AM
  #15  
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I generally follow all traffic laws. I have, on occasion, rolled through a stop sign, but it's not my standard behavior.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:53 AM
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Only rarely will I run a red light. That's if it's entirely obivous that there are no cars around, and it's a low traffic area. Sometimes I run stop signs in residential areas where I have a clear view both ways - but I usually at least slow down in case I have to stop.

The most important rule that I follow that I see other cyclists blow off is waiting my place in a line of traffic stopped at a red light. When you roll past all the other cars along the shoulder and wait right up front, this forces all the cars who just passed you before reaching the intersection to pass you once more when the light goes green. I only want any given car to pass me once on any given stretch of road. Safer for me, less hassle for them.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:00 AM
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Where the cars aren't, that's where I want to be. Specific behaviors resulting from this guideline may have greater or lesser bearing on overall safety, but I think it's a good way to approach the kind of commuting and utility cycling that I do.

So that means when there are no cars in or approaching an intersection, I want to be in the intersection, regardless of the light. Since there are no cars on a greenway, I want to be on the greenway (which is why we moved to where we now live). Since buses have no doors on the left side and can't jump sideways, I often want to be to the left of a bus. And so on.

I don't ride on the sidewalk unless I'm pulling my twin four-year-olds in a trailer and there's no MUP available. Then I do it courteously and slowly.

I ride legally until I think it conflicts with safety.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
I pretend to be a messenger. Whatever that means.
I am The Messenger, whatever that is.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:16 AM
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I try to set an example but many times I have traveled across town without uncleating. I have no patience for traffic lights that are activated by large steel cages. Sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes are dangerous; I would rather take my chances on the road. I don't hang onto Buses but I have used their draft. If work is a Rat Race I want to get there first.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jtwilson View Post
The most important rule that I follow that I see other cyclists blow off is waiting my place in a line of traffic stopped at a red light. When you roll past all the other cars along the shoulder and wait right up front, this forces all the cars who just passed you before reaching the intersection to pass you once more when the light goes green. I only want any given car to pass me once on any given stretch of road. Safer for me, less hassle for them.
I agree with you on larger or faster moving roads... but in a downtown situation you're often moving faster than the cars, so they're not actually passing you again- the cars are just moving 20m through the intersection and stopping behind the car ahead of them while you continue on.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:24 AM
  #21  
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I come at a different perspective where I feel more signage and rules cause more accidents then help. 90% of the time there is not a need for a stop sign but purely a yield. With that said I do not stop for signs unless I can not see the other road or there is traffic. If there is traffic I obey the rules because I feel it makes life easier when you do the expected and not unexpected. Also I feel it gives bikers a better image when we do not cut off vehicles.

Overall though I do not stop for much if there is no traffic, creates more havoc then helps.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by noteon View Post
I ride legally until I think it conflicts with safety.
Me, too.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:35 AM
  #23  
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I follow my own safety guidelines.

I don't do stupid things that would endanger drivers, but I don't really follow traffic laws.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:40 AM
  #24  
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I adhere to the right of way laws and traffic pattern laws pretty much 99% of the time. That 1% being chalked up to an accident or something where a detour going in the wrong lane may apply.

However, I probably only stop for about 75% of the lights and stop signs depending on where I am. For some intersections it is less dangerous to keep momentum and with great visibility over the intersection, it does not pose a threat of an accident.
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Old 03-14-09, 09:41 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
I pretend to be a messenger. Whatever that means.
See this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au0Zjn3eB9k
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