Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Bike lanes are just for bikes... right?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Bike lanes are just for bikes... right?

Old 12-13-10, 01:33 PM
  #1  
L.L. Zamenhof
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 291

Bikes: Rampar R-One

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike lanes are just for bikes... right?

I was driving home from work today (bike is out of commission until I get new rear wheel) when I got to this intersection:



There were cars in both lanes going straight already waiting at the red light. Behind me a girl was tailgating, making it clear that she was intending to turn right from the bike lane. So because I could, I put myself a couple feet in the bike lane, so she was unable to go around me and turn from the bike lane. She was none to pleased with me doing this.

I'm not sure it's illegal to turn from a bike lane, but it sure as hell is discourteous, whether or not there are bicyclists in the lane. I mean, it's a bike lane, not a "right turn lane, unless someone happens to be on a bike." There are a lot of places in Fort Collins where bike lanes are wide enough to do this, and this behavior is something I see fairly frequently.
L.L. Zamenhof is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:38 PM
  #2  
exile
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 2,894

Bikes: Workcycles FR8, 2016 Jamis Coda Comp, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I understand how it can be upsetting seeing people do things, but do you really think the person behind you knows what you were doing and why?
exile is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:39 PM
  #3  
chrisb71
Senior Member
 
chrisb71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 248

Bikes: 09 Jamis Aurora, 4 Giant ATX 870, 64 Schwin Traveler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
yes, in most states the car is supposed to move all the way to the right before turning, and you pass them on the left. So she was probably following the law, except for the tailgating you part (if she was tailgating you while moving not just stopped behind you - it was unclear).

Otherwise if they did not move to the right, you'd be forced to pass them on the right - which obviously you don't want to do.

At almost every intersection by me the bike lane paint stops about 10 yards before the intersection, probably for this purpose, and the right lane becomes a shared lane. But in that picture the lane is painted all the way up so I'm not sure what to do there or what the law says where you live.
chrisb71 is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:44 PM
  #4  
Scheherezade 
12mph+ commuter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oak Park, IL
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think in most cases where there is a bike lane on the right side of the road coinciding with a right turn lane, the motorists are to yield the right of way to cyclists. So, it seems you were both pretty much doing what you were supposed to.

To avoid this situation, move to the right hand traffic lane if you notice a car behind is going to turn right during a red light. It's not necessary, but it's a nice courtesy that most drivers seem to appreciate.
Scheherezade is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:45 PM
  #5  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Depends on the street here but I think most new bike lanes switch to dotted lines near intersections and cars are supposed to move to the right.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:46 PM
  #6  
aarider
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't know how it is in the US, but in Switzerland cars are supposed to go stop on the bike lane when they want to turn right. The idea is that a bike is not allowed to pass a car on the right when the car is turning right.

Things are a bit different though because cars are not allowed to turn right on red. If there is a separate light for right turns, then there are usually two bike lanes: one on the shoulder for right turns, and one inbetween the lanes for going straight.

In my experience, many cyclists and drivers don't know how to behave in these situations.
aarider is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:50 PM
  #7  
neil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In general, I'd prefer that cars safely move into the bike lane to turn right, as otherwise the risk of right hooks significantly increases.

Whether it's legal or not depends on the right of way setup of the lane. Many bike lanes change to dashed lines near the corner, allowing straight-through bikes and right-turning cars. Other places deal with the right hook problem by adding bike boxes. Either solution is fine by me, but that intersection you posted has neither, and looks downright scary as a result.
neil is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:52 PM
  #8  
mnemia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's actually safer for bicyclists for cars to make a right turn AFTER merging into the bike lane. If they would all do that, it would greatly reduce the possibility of right-hooks. Of course, they cars would have to yield to bicyclists every time they changed lanes, just like any other lane change. And they definitely don't have a right to get angry because you're not getting out of their way while waiting to go straight in a bike lane that they want to use as a right-turn lane.

Actually, it's quite possible to interpret many state laws as saying that cars are REQUIRED to merge into the bike lane before making a right turn. Most states have laws saying that you have to use destination positioning, ie you have to turn from the right-most lane (in this case the bike lane). Unfortunately, few drivers think of the bike lane as a true lane...instead, they just see it as a place to get bikes out of their way and occasionally a makeshift right turn lane when they want to go around another car.
mnemia is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:56 PM
  #9  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,328

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2723 Post(s)
Liked 2,442 Times in 1,130 Posts
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Depends on the street here but I think most new bike lanes switch to dotted lines near intersections and cars are supposed to move to the right.
Yeah, that's the way it is around here. I'm surprised to see a solid line all the way to the intersection. Either poor planning or a lane painting error, I would suppose.

In any case, I don't have any issue with drivers doing as the OP described. They're supposed to use that lane and they are supposed to wait for the cyclists. If it's safe, I'll do as Scherezade and scoot over to the through lane so right turners can proceed.
caloso is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 01:58 PM
  #10  
mnemia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neil View Post
In general, I'd prefer that cars safely move into the bike lane to turn right, as otherwise the risk of right hooks significantly increases.

Whether it's legal or not depends on the right of way setup of the lane. Many bike lanes change to dashed lines near the corner, allowing straight-through bikes and right-turning cars. Other places deal with the right hook problem by adding bike boxes. Either solution is fine by me, but that intersection you posted has neither, and looks downright scary as a result.
It seems like this is an ambiguity in the law, to me. You have to be in the right lane to make a right turn, normally. So the question is whether the bike lane counts as a "lane", legally, if there are no dashed lines. What does the law say happens when the intersection is improperly designed like that? Are cars banned from using the bike lane because it's a bike lane, or are they actually required to use the bike lane because it's part of the roadway and is the right-most lane? I'm actually not sure how that should be interpreted.

Either way, I'd much prefer either the dashed lines, the bike lane markings ending before the intersection, or a dedicated right-turn-lane to the right of the bike lane.
mnemia is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 02:14 PM
  #11  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,030

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Its better than cars parked in the bike lanes.
pallen is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:01 PM
  #12  
AdamDZ
Bike addict, dreamer
 
AdamDZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In NY cars must yield to bicycles in bike lanes, there are even signs saying so, although no one does, of course.
AdamDZ is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:04 PM
  #13  
wunderkind
Pro Paper Plane Pilot
 
wunderkind's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The stupidity lies with your municipality. Cars should merge to the right side for turning.
In my city, the bike lane either ends metres ahead or becomes a dotted line for shared usage.
wunderkind is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:26 PM
  #14  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,223

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 393 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2308 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 519 Posts
In Oregon, it's illegal for cars to move into the bike lane before turning, but in California it's required and a lot of our population are ex-Californians, so it happens a lot.

My daily commute begins with a road that has one auto lane and one bike lane, and the auto lane backs up as much as half a mile at rush hour. Just as this road gets to the main interection where everyone is headed, it passes the entrace to a strip mall (on the right) and simultaneously splits into three auto lanes (one going straight and one for each turn direction). Motorists, anticipating the split, regularly pull into the bike lane as much as a quarter mile before the split as soon as traffic starts moving. I'm not sure you could design a more hazardous place for cycling if you tried.
Andy_K is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:30 PM
  #15  
mustachiod
Senior Member
 
mustachiod's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 699
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
in similar intersections, i've had cars turn right from the middle lane and in front of me in the bike lane. i'd much rather have them fall in behind me than kill me.

i've also had irate drivers blow their horn or yell at me for being in the bike lane. there's no telling what goes through people's heads
mustachiod is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:36 PM
  #16  
Titmawz
Senior Member
 
Titmawz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637

Bikes: Raleigh Record Ace, Windsor The Hour

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As far as it goes in Florida, bicycle lanes can have motorized vehicles as in scooters, golf carts, etc.... And its all ecause of HB 971.... Fail.
Titmawz is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 03:48 PM
  #17  
CACycling
Senior Member
 
CACycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Posts: 4,567

Bikes: 2009 Fuji Roubaix RC; 2011 Fuji Cross 2.0; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
I beleive the California law is that the first one to the section where the dashed line begins has the right of way, bike or car. If the solid line goes all the way to the corner, or if a car is pulling into a driveway, they are to turn from outside the bike lane and cross it at a 90 degree angle.
CACycling is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 04:05 PM
  #18  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,991

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5093 Post(s)
Liked 1,804 Times in 1,076 Posts
Correct what others say, drivers turning right merge right. (except in AZ and OR unfortunately)

But that may not even be a true bike lane unless you have confirmed it is by markings on the pavement or roadsigns.
noisebeam is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 04:21 PM
  #19  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mountain View, CA USA and Golden, CO USA
Posts: 6,341

Bikes: 97 Litespeed, 50-39-30x13-26 10 cogs, Campagnolo Ultrashift, retroreflective rims on SON28/PowerTap hubs

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Liked 315 Times in 221 Posts
Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
I'm not sure it's illegal to turn from a bike lane, but it sure as hell is discourteous, whether or not there are bicyclists in the lane.
California law requires you to turn from the bike lane:

21717. Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle
to cross a bicycle lane that is adjacent to his lane of travel to
make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the
bicycle lane prior to making the turn and shall make the turn
pursuant to Section 22100.

and recently painted roads delineate the bike lane with a dotted line as it approaches intersections.

I mean, it's a bike lane, not a "right turn lane, unless someone happens to be on a bike." There are a lot of places in Fort Collins where bike lanes are wide enough to do this, and this behavior is something I see fairly frequently.
I'd rather see motorists turning from the bike lane than right-hooking cyclists from the right driving lane.

OTOH, stopping hundreds of feet from the intersection in the bike lane is pretty rude.
Drew Eckhardt is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 04:21 PM
  #20  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,223

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 393 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2308 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 519 Posts
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Correct what others say, drivers turning right merge right. (except in AZ and OR unfortunately)
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. It's definitely unfortunate that the law isn't consistent from state to state. Being right-hooked really sucks, but I'm not sure having cars merge into the bike lane fixes it or even helps. Either way, you have a large obstacle appearing in front of you, often without warning.
Andy_K is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 04:30 PM
  #21  
paperback rider
Devourer of bread
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Local ordinances may vary, but where I am the lane is even explicitly signed, Bicycles and Right Turns Only. The reason should be obvious: the only thing that should be on the right of rightward turning vehicles is other rightward turning vehicles.

Sorry, despite any good intentions, you were simply being a jerk.
paperback rider is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 04:58 PM
  #22  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 832 Posts
Usual practice is to pass on your left then immediately cut in front of you ,
and see if you can stop
before you T-Bone into their right Door.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 05:04 PM
  #23  
wunderkind
Pro Paper Plane Pilot
 
wunderkind's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Usual practice is to pass on your left then immediately cut in front of you ,
and see if you can stop
before you T-Bone into their right Door.
Had a school bus did that to me. I guess she must be in a rush to drop off some rowdy kids.
wunderkind is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 05:07 PM
  #24  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,991

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5093 Post(s)
Liked 1,804 Times in 1,076 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Usual practice is to pass on your left then immediately cut in front of you ,
and see if you can stop
before you T-Bone into their right Door.
If you are at a place where vehicles turn right you shouldn't be to the far right in the first place.
noisebeam is offline  
Old 12-13-10, 05:26 PM
  #25  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,030

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Of course, we could avoid all this by doing the lane striping properly
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Carlane.jpg (98.8 KB, 327 views)
pallen is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.