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Counterflow

Old 02-15-12, 08:03 AM
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Micheal Blue
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Counterflow

What's your experience with counterflow - going "the wrong way" on an one-way street (when it's safe to do, of course)? On my way to work there is this one way street by condo buildings that I take when the bike path is snowy and icy (they don't clear that stretch of the path). I meet very few cars there, but a dog-walker shouted at me a couple of times that I was going the wrong way. If I were to go "the right way", it would be quite a detour. From some Dutch videos I could see that bike traffic counterflow is used there quite normally.
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Old 02-15-12, 08:09 AM
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MichaelW
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In the UK, there are some streets that have bike right of way in the contraflow direction.
In some larger cities, esp central London, whole quarters are designed with one-way to prevent rat-running (cars sneaking short cuts though the small streets). Usually there is a small section of connecting one-way that prevents through-traffic. Sometimes this is legal for cyclists to use, sometimes not. Being illegal seems to have no effect and I would happily ride illegal contraflow on an narrow , empty street rather than play dodge the bus on main roads.
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Old 02-15-12, 08:09 AM
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nelson249
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I don't generally do it BUT there is one spot on my commute where I have the choice either going straight across a busy street onto a one way or turn right and attempt to make a left (sans turn lane) on to the next side street in order to not go the wrong way. Considering that the stretch I want to use is only one block long and there is virtually no traffic I use it all the time. No one has ever said anything to me and it is far safer than attempting the left turn.
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Old 02-15-12, 09:53 AM
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id say its more of a case by case basis. Just be extra aware as cars/cyclists/pedestrians may not be looking in that direction for you.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:43 AM
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wphamilton
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I admit it, there's a two-block stretch where I'll do it sometimes to avoid the cramp in the right side traffic especially with inclement weather. One block against the flow and a block on the sidewalk. It makes me nervous though and a little guilty because I know that any incident would be my fault.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:13 PM
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MilitantPotato
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It's sketch. Drivers turn off cross streets and leave parking spaces without expecting ya, people walk into the road without looking your way. I'd not do it regularly, but if it's a better option, then just keep your head up.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nelson249 View Post
I don't generally do it BUT there is one spot on my commute where I have the choice either going straight across a busy street onto a one way or turn right and attempt to make a left (sans turn lane) on to the next side street in order to not go the wrong way. Considering that the stretch I want to use is only one block long and there is virtually no traffic I use it all the time. No one has ever said anything to me and it is far safer than attempting the left turn.
I just learned that city council wants to put a dual bike lane on this street. So it will have two way traffic for bikes and one way for cars.
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Old 02-15-12, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by audi666 View Post
id say its more of a case by case basis. Just be extra aware as cars/cyclists/pedestrians may not be looking in that direction for you.
This.
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