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Did I deserve a show of road rage?

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Did I deserve a show of road rage?

Old 04-01-10, 10:26 PM
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Did I deserve a show of road rage?

Every day on my way home, I come off a MUP and immediately enter an intersection with a 5 way stop. I typically go to the front right side of the lane for the direction I wish to head, and then split the lane/go with the front car as it goes. I have never seen any objection to this behavior until this evening. The truck I went with did not have a visible problem, but the truck I passed in front of, that was waiting to my right, seemed to have a problem with my sense of 5 way stop sign efficiency. I would also like to add that I, in no way, made any other vehicle wait longer for its turn. He next takes a quick right turn and revs up behind me and then with a squeal of the wheels passes me and then makes a quick left turn before he is forced to go over a bridge where I am headed.

I was briefly scared when I heard him behind me, but it was short lived. My next reaction was not much of one. I guess I have not learned my lesson here. I am going to continue my lane splitting going through the stop sign with cars as I always have. Is this wrong?

I need to emphasize that this 5 way intersection is excessively irritating to wait at as a car or any vehicle with most cars not taking their turns as they should. Perhaps the truck driver's anger was misdirected?
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Old 04-01-10, 10:35 PM
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Did you run a stop sign when it was safe to do so? Some motorists get upset by that, as if cyclists think they can do it and motorists can't (when the truth is that both groups can and do do it.)

Either way, who cares? People get upset about odd things. As long as they don't actually do anything about it beyond fret, no big deal ...
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Old 04-01-10, 10:41 PM
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I suppose technically I did run the stop sign as I did not come to a full stop before sharing the lane with the truck next to me.

For what it is worth, the cars in this satellite image don't seem to be taking the intersection very well either:

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...02049&t=k&z=19

Last edited by alr; 04-01-10 at 11:04 PM. Reason: added google map link
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Old 04-02-10, 05:27 AM
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I got blasted by a horn from behind when performing a similar maneuver just yesterday. The lady saw me roll past her and hang a quick right turn, not in anyone's right of way and in no way impeding traffic. I guess she was so upset that I didn't have to wait the extra 4 seconds that she did so she decided that honking would teach me my lesson.

Drivers are dumb. I think I can feel my I.Q. dropping when I hop in my wife's car and start driving.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by alr
I suppose technically I did run the stop sign as I did not come to a full stop before sharing the lane with the truck next to me.
This is just my personal take... I see two things wrong in that sentence.
  1. "I did not come to a full stop" - whether other cyclists or drivers do it doesn't matter, it is still wrong.
  2. "before sharing the lane with the truck next to me" - Everyone deserves their own place in a lane and by pulling next to that truck in his lane, you were encroaching on his/her space. No matter what I drive or ride, I still follow the same rules regardless... and just because I'm on a bike doesn't mean I'm entitled to a different set of rules unless specifically stated by law.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:08 AM
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Deserve? I don't think so but people can get all bent out of shape for any little thing that they think a cyclists should be doing but is not. Maybe the driver thought you should be riding on the MUP since it was so close (some drivers have no clue that bikes can be used to actually go places.)
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Old 04-02-10, 06:13 AM
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I get horned almost every ride. No big deal.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:49 AM
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Which intersection? (I'm just trying to picture where you're coming off the MUP) Not that it makes any difference as to how the guy in the truck acted. I don't think you did anything wrong; using another vehicle as a shield through an intersection is often a good idea.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:24 AM
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Would it be okay to pull up next to this guy in his car on your motorcycle and cross at the same time? The answer is no and if you were in your car you would be irritated.

If you want to ride the road, ride properly.
Come to a FULL stop
WAIT your turn
DON'T pass cars and go to the front of an intersection.

There is always an exception to the rule, but here I can see why the other driver got mad. Doesn't give him the right to act out at you in a threatening way though.

Last edited by day1si; 04-02-10 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass
This is just my personal take... I see two things wrong in that sentence.
  1. "I did not come to a full stop" - whether other cyclists or drivers do it doesn't matter, it is still wrong.
  2. "before sharing the lane with the truck next to me" - Everyone deserves their own place in a lane and by pulling next to that truck in his lane, you were encroaching on his/her space. No matter what I drive or ride, I still follow the same rules regardless... and just because I'm on a bike doesn't mean I'm entitled to a different set of rules unless specifically stated by law.
++++ 10

If we want to be treated like vehicles, we should behave like them..

Breaking the law is never the right thing to do, and always alienates other drivers.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:43 AM
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This is a bad intersection- 5 roads coming together and cyclists coming into the mix as well. It seems to throw most drivers off equilibrium, and they either get way cautious or ram through carelessly. As a pedestrian I've nearly been hit twice there in broad daylight. I would come to a complete stop there and proceed in turn, watching for cars that might jump in ahead of you.

Last edited by rnorris; 04-02-10 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:47 AM
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ride as you have been. sharing lanes to congested stops, and rolling with another vehicle as both shield and to minimize intersection delay is courteous and acceptable bicyclist behavior in bike friendly cities in seattle.

the problem is, there is a nut in every car just waiting to go ballistic at a perceived transgression. yester day, i was riding behind a group of a couple of cars- the front car had to slow down for oncloming traffic for a couple seconds before turning left - the trailing motorist wailed on the horn and raised his hands in disgust! It was literally TWO SECONDS OF SLOWING down.

one percent of the motorists will take EXTREME UMBRAGE at a bicyclist taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the vehicle in an urban setting. i get yelled at quite regularily by motorists that are upset i moved up 40 feet on them at a stoplight.

It is my opinion that driving a motor vehicle in traffic thing brings out the worst in people.

that specific five way intersection blows for safe bike/car interaction. what a clusterfuzzle and the recent curbwork at the Burke gilman has made it worse for commuters heading to/from the university.

Last edited by Bekologist; 04-02-10 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 04-02-10, 08:48 AM
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that is some crazy a*sed intersection man. any way to avoid it?
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Old 04-02-10, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by alr
I would also like to add that I, in no way, made any other vehicle wait longer for its turn. He next takes a quick right turn and revs up behind me and then with a squeal of the wheels passes me and then makes a quick left turn before he is forced to go over a bridge where I am headed.
You never know about motorists. This week I had a child open the passenger side door as the car went by, trying to hit me and screaming at me as he looked backwards to "get on the 'f'ing sidewalk." All I was doing was riding along the street.
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Old 04-02-10, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
that is some crazy a*sed intersection man. any way to avoid it?
There are ways around it, but those options aren't much better. Having ridden through there a bunch, I'm with Bek; keep doing what you're doing and use a car as a blocker. Too bad if someone else gets cheesed off about it; it's the safest way to do that intersection.

As for "would you do that on a motorcycle"? Of course not. And if my Cross Check could hit 35mph from the stop line to the opposite side of the intersection, I wouldn't think it necessary to use a car as a shield through there. Even if you sit in the dead center of the lane and "wait your turn", no one around here is going to let the guy on the bicycle go ahead of them. (No matter how courteous the Pemco commercial would have you believe we are at a multi-way stop.)
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Old 04-02-10, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
If we want to be treated like vehicles, we should behave like them..
Cars don't regularly perform rolling stops?

Originally Posted by Bekologist
ride as you have been. sharing lanes to congested stops, and rolling with another vehicle as both shield and to minimize intersection delay is courteous and acceptable bicyclist behavior in bike friendly cities in seattle.
I actually agree with Bek, here. When a lane is wide enough to share, you are sharing the lane. This doesn't mean only one person can go at a time - it's almost like you're creating your own extra lane, meaning as long as traffic is going in the same direction, it's okay for all to go at once, just as you would on a multi lane road. Unless I'm missing something (which I could be, I only glazed over it), I can't see anything wrong with what you're doing.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:04 AM
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rolling with another vehicle as both shield and to minimize intersection delay is courteous and acceptable bicyclist behavior in bike friendly cities in seattle.
Doing it this way you're shielded, but also inviting a right hook... I'm not criticizing this idea, you just have to choose your risk.

Last edited by rnorris; 04-02-10 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc
Did you run a stop sign when it was safe to do so?
Bad.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Cars don't regularly perform rolling stops?
It depends on where. It's very rare in my area. Some drivers might "regularly perform rolling stops" but no one has ever provided objective data that shows that most drivers do so in most cases!

======================

Whether or not the OP did anything wrong, it's possible that he isn't taking into account of how things looked from the perspective of the truck driver. Trucks have poor visibility and don't stop that fast. If a cyclist presents himself as a "surprise" to other motorists, he won't fair very well.

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Old 04-02-10, 10:47 AM
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let's all take a moment to laud the American motorist. (HH is that you?)
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Old 04-02-10, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rnorris
Doing it this way you're shielded, but also inviting a right hook... I'm not criticizing this idea, you just have to choose your risk.
to my local puget sounders-- thanks for the support and words of caution. In this particular case, I should be shielded from a right hood as well if I am using a car as a shield because you cannot actually make a sharper right turn as the street immediately to the right is a one way street going the other way. The only way to sort of change up this intersection is to jump off the MUP earlier and take the one way street into the intersection where I would then be able to make a right turn that doesn't cross any lanes of traffic. Perhaps I will try this approach out. In any case, this is the first instance of road rage I have felt since beginning commuting in the Fall. I have been rather spoiled I guess. For the most part, Seattle drivers are either clueless or courteous--rarely angry.
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Old 04-02-10, 03:07 PM
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I don't know that I have an opinion. My first question, though, is whether lane-splitting is legal there?

Also I think motorists are easily agitated by anyone who seems to gain an "unfair" advantage. People used to mixing with bicyclists probably just brush it off, but others...you just can't tell.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:55 PM
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It's a horrible intersection. I've had to drive through on my way to the Aurora Bridge several times, where it was only cars ( no bikes, peds, motorcycles ) and it's still utter chaos half the time. People can deal with four-way stops, but this five way stuff just confuses the heck out of people. It's as if no one knows when it's their turn. I've seen similar ( but not as bad ) confusion at the intersection ( I forget the names of the streets involved, as I only bike through ) where you leave the Burke to catch the University Bridge.

What time was this? If it's rush hour, people act up for almost no reason. Any impediment to getting home and being done with the work day, is a personal insult. Like someone else said, drivers having to slow down for a couple seconds because someone is making a left turn, sometimes treat this like genocide. Maybe the driver was upset that you got a "free" turn, and maybe you were just a convenient target to harass for a moment.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:21 PM
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I don't filter and this is one of the reasons. It pisses drivers off. Fact is if you filter and it is not grid lock then all those cars you just passed are going to try and pass you in the next 1/4 mile. It is irrational but they now have a "you cut in line and now you are holding me up" mentality.
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Old 04-02-10, 11:17 PM
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So, in the case of the original posting, I wasn't really filtering, as in the lane I was sharing with a car, did not have a line up. I do ackknowlege that I "broke the law" in not coming to a complete stop in my maneuver. I did try today to take an alternate approach: entering off the MUP earlier into the parallel road into the intersection (where my angry fella came from), where I did filter, a lot. Traffic in this 5 lane intersection primarily comes from 2-3 directions, yet people from the other directions get precedence into the intersection due to low volumes in their direction. I now know that my harasser, must have been waiting awhile to get to the front of his line, so my riding alongside another truck must have just set him off. After trying the other way... I am going back to my original path. The following bit is directed at people familiar with this particular intersection: What I really don't get is that the one way street that parallels the B-G trail here with one way car traffic to the west has a two direction bicycle lane on the left hand side of the road. I did not take this lane since I wanted to turn right at the stop sign-- so I filtered the crap out of about 20+ cars as I road to the right side of the road. I also noticed that none of these cars on this direction of the road wanted to go up to the bridge. Whereas, when I enter the road from the B-G as I did in my incident, I am in a lane the explicitly wants to go up to the bridge. That is why I am sticking to that plan.
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