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Crosswalks: dismount and walk? Or ride?

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Crosswalks: dismount and walk? Or ride?

Old 09-01-19, 05:24 PM
  #76  
wipekitty
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg
I much prefer the road, but sadly we have a few intersections where it would be foolish to attempt this.
Same here.

Unfortunately, I have a left turn across one of those suburban beauties in each direction on my new commute. Too much traffic, and a safe merge into 45 MPH traffic becomes impossible to complete safely. Too little traffic, and the vehicle-actuated green arrow never appears. Those are the only times I really resort to the crosswalk.

If there are actual pedestrians present, I dismount and walk. If there are no pedestrians, I will ride...slowly...before doing what I need to do in order to merge back onto the road.
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Old 09-01-19, 06:47 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
When I see someone riding on the sidewalk I remind them to obey the signs.
Do you do the same thing to drivers ??
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Old 09-01-19, 06:56 PM
  #78  
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Speaking of crosswalks...

The Silver Comet Trail is the second or third longest paved trail in the US. I rode part of it today and noticed something new.

Approaching a road crossing I slowed in preparation to stop. Then I heard a beep and found that the light had changed in my favor. As I crossed I noticed a camera which wasn't there a few weeks ago.





Watching this camera in operation for a few moments was really neat. It sensed several pedestrians and changed the light in their favor. Walkers and runners didn't have to stop or slow down.

Cyclists who slowed to about 12 MPH were able to trip the light and roll through.

I witnessed the inevitable cyclist attempt to blow through the red light and the light changed, but not until he was part or almost all the way through the intersection. All he had to do was slow down and he would have had the light.

So yeah, kinda renders this whole thread moot, or at lest the part about crosswalks on the MUP.


-Tim-
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Old 09-01-19, 07:21 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Do you do the same thing to drivers ??
Every day. What about you?

A simple eye contact and a point to where the safety stop line is. That's enough to get their attention and remind them others notice when they try and circumvent laws by driving into the crosswalk that put others in danger. Those lines aren't their for street decoration.
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Old 09-01-19, 07:58 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Every day. What about you?

A simple eye contact and a point to where the safety stop line is. That's enough to get their attention and remind them others notice when they try and circumvent laws by driving into the crosswalk that put others in danger. Those lines aren't their for street decoration.
FFS, go get a badge.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:41 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by sumgy
FFS, go get a badge.
Don't need one. I'm motivated by decency and morality, not by monetary gain or a false sense of power. What about you? What motivates you to do what you do?
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Old 09-01-19, 10:45 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Not by monetary gain or a false sense of power.
No, you have an unpaid false sense of power.
You must also like to have other members of the public laugh at you behind your back (or even to your face) I think.
If it is so important to you, you should do it properly. Take down their number plates and report the details to police.
But then you will also have law enforcement laugh to your face or behind your back I guess.
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Old 09-02-19, 11:46 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by groverdill
When I was a kid (about a thousand years ago it seems) we were taught to get off our bikes and walk them when crossing a street at a marked crosswalk. Is this still a thing? I donít even know if it was an actual state/national law, or just the neighborhood overprotective moms trying to keep us kiddos safe. I see current day examples of both, people riding in crosswalks and people dismounting and walking across and it has me wondering if there are laws dictating the proper way to handle a marked crosswalk. 🤔
Living in a city, with ever increasing numbers of bikes, I'm a firm believer in never riding my bike where there are pedestrians. So if the crosswalk were empty and it was a quick hop across I might ride, but if there were any pedestrians at all I would walk the bike. I'm sure it's a legal issue, but I also think it's an issue of civility - and of 'keeping the peace' between cyclists and non-cyclists. It can't be considered a hardship to walk a bike where everyone else is walking as well.
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Old 09-02-19, 12:40 PM
  #84  
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I normally cycle through intersections, claiming and ceding the right-of-way as per motor vehicle rules. However, if Iím in a hurry and/or escorting a young rider and it doesnít look like a break in the cross traffic is coming anytime soon, Iíll dismount and assert pedestrianís right of way.

Notes:

I see lots of cyclists play the pedestrian card while pedaling through crosswalks, which I consider a no-no if we want the respect of motorists.

Dysfunctional courtesy (e.g., motorists ceding the right of way when theyíre not supposed to, especially when itís one car in one lane out of, say, four) is endemic in Berkeley, and track standing brings this out even more.
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Old 09-02-19, 01:28 PM
  #85  
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I adjust to conditions

My view is circumstantial. There are times when dismounting is best, times when riding is best and times when halfway is best. The purpose of cycling is to get from point A to point B, where constant motion works better than frequent start and stop. There are risks in stopping where circumstances suggest the best practice is to keep moving and get out of a vulnerable location. This can include pedestrian walk zones.

My view is based on my three rules of cycling:
  1. The first rule in cycling is to stay alive and uninjured while using an infrastructure not designed for cycling.
  2. The second rule is to not hit another person, animal or property, or force another person to evade collision
  3. The last, and far less important, is not to break laws, noting that many are written by non-cyclists and, if followed to the letter, can violate rule number one
Following these rules, I gave up cycling and went to ebikes. I bought classic European 3-speed bicycles to which I attached a Bafang BBS motor kit including thumb throttle. See photos of two I built up, below. Very few people even realise I am on an ebike because it is a bicycle designed long before ebikes. It does not look like an ebike.

I also shifted to a "girl's" bike, even though I am a six foot man.

With the girl's bike frame, when approaching a pedestrian zone (in my case a four-lane intersection that stops all cars in all directions for 60 seconds so pedestrians can cross), while moving, I can swing my left leg through the frame, planting my foot on the right pedal and then standing up with the left foot propping me up and the right foot free.

In this way, I am using the bike more like a scooter, and if there are people around, I use the right leg to foot-drive the bike through the pedestrian zone. Or so it appears. My actual force comes from my thumb throttle, the swinging leg touching the ground is to make others feel more comfortable. As soon as I am through the zone, I sit on the saddle and swing my legs back into riding positioning, transitioning back to being a proper cyclist.

Some answers in this thread are what I would call German, even though they are probably written by Americans. The Germans will not cross a street at 2 a.m. where there is not a car anywhere on the road, if the "Ampelmšnnchen" (the "little man light" which means do not cross) is red. I have known Germans who will argue it is impossible to drive without a legal driver license because they cannot imagine breaking the law. Thread respondents who believe rule number 3 is paramount exhibit German thinking.

Me? Even though I have a German passport, I believe I have an obligation to my family to stay alive, uninjured, and not to crash into anyone or anything while going from point A to point B. I am acutely aware that I have almost zero protection between me and solid objects that can hurt me, with little confidence that my helmet will do much to protect me in the event I try to violate the laws of physics. Thus, while I appreciate that every place has its laws, I also appreciate that those laws won't keep me alive.

In the cycling world, we are like rabbits, not wolves or elephants. Our safety comes from reading our proximate physical environment every moment, and reacting appropriately. Knowing when to move, when to freeze and when to change course. The laws give some guidance, but mostly it is about constantly knowing what is likely to kill us.

In Europe, the roads are built for cycling. It is a relaxing, delightful way to get around. In the new world where cars are king, cycling is not so safe. Thus, each situation must be judged on its own merits, and what we were taught as children is not necessarily the best way to ride in 2019.

- - -

English Bike with Bafang Kit - Battery is under the basket


Dutch Bike with Bafang Kit - battery is in the leather pouch

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Old 09-02-19, 01:50 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Policing other cyclists is something that doesn't even enter my mind. It's not my job to police other cyclists for petty little violations.
I think 'nice' reminders are the way people learn or it reinforces that the offended did something stupid.
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Old 09-02-19, 02:05 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by groverdill
My original post was in regards to a recently developed bike/walking path that goes from one end of our small town to the other. Itís fully paved and crosses some bridges, parking lots, alleys, and (get ready: here it comes) busy streets. Iíve seen cyclists waiting to cross while still in the saddle, and Iíve seen them dismount and wait to walk their bikes across. There is no traffic light there, but there are signs that state ďtraffic must yield to pedestrians in crosswalkĒ. And by the way, Iím coming at this from a motor vehicle operator point of view. As I approach the crosswalk in my car, and a cyclist is still seated on the bike, I will stop for them. But I often wonder if theyíre supposed to dismount and walk, or if itís ok/legal to ride across a marked crosswalk.

Now that Iíve clarified my original post and reread it, most likely it varies state by state. Maybe. I think.
So it sounds like this cross walk is not at an intersection between two streets, but between two intersections. We have one bike path like that. What many have missed here, is with metal cleats on, it makes it pretty hard, and dangerous to walk your bike across 4 lanes of traffic! I ride those. What I hate is when there is one car coming in the far lanes, so you angle your crossing to pass behind the car, but they stop to let you cross in front. Grrr. Then it becomes a stand off for several seconds. Overall I think the cyclist should wait on traffic, not the other way around at these sort of crossings.

back to the original post
Originally Posted by groverdill
When I was a kid (about a thousand years ago it seems) we were taught to get off our bikes and walk them when crossing a street at a marked crosswalk. Is this still a thing? I donít even know if it was an actual state/national law, or just the neighborhood overprotective moms trying to keep us kiddos safe. I see current day examples of both, people riding in crosswalks and people dismounting and walking across and it has me wondering if there are laws dictating the proper way to handle a marked crosswalk. 🤔
I think it should vary between children and adults. Some kids don't have good coordination and probably should walk especially if its crowded with walkers. Hopefully adults have better control and can ride except where prohibited.
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Old 09-02-19, 02:37 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by buegelfrei
I normally cycle through intersections, claiming and ceding the right-of-way as per motor vehicle rules. However, if Iím in a hurry and/or escorting a young rider and it doesnít look like a break in the cross traffic is coming anytime soon, Iíll dismount and assert pedestrianís right of way.

Notes:

I see lots of cyclists play the pedestrian card while pedaling through crosswalks, which I consider a no-no if we want the respect of motorists.

Dysfunctional courtesy (e.g., motorists ceding the right of way when theyíre not supposed to, especially when itís one car in one lane out of, say, four) is endemic in Berkeley, and track standing brings this out even more.
I think you meant "Ö if I'm not in a hurry Ö"

I agree, except for " Ö if we want the respect of motorists." Of course we do. Problem is we are unlikely to get it, and certainly should not expect it. That is, however, another discussion, though related.

There are two crosswalks as part of a bike path I regularly ride. I always stop, obey ROW laws, then pedal across, yielding to pedestrians as needed. Traffic is moderately heavy and there are stop signs. Yet I routinely see cyclists blowing through at 15+mph even if cross traffic is present. I wonder why they bother with helmets (Nothing up there to protect. Perhaps they are a fashion statement Ö)

Cyclists should be constantly aware of everything around them. "It is the threat you don't see that will kill you," is very good advice. What one does in any situation involving other traffic, crosswalk or not, should be the product of full perception of the situation and thought. Just because you are walking your bike in a crosswalk does not make you safer. Seeing the whole situation does.
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Old 09-02-19, 03:31 PM
  #89  
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Generally, when I'm using a pedestrian crosswalk on a busy, four-lane street, I dismount from my bike and walk, because when I tried cycling across and a driver(s) decided to make a right turn on a red light, in front of or behind me (even though the pedestrian crossing sign was lit), it felt more dangerous because I wasn't able to brake as quickly and almost felt as though I could've been hit, if I hadn't seen the driver coming up into the far lane or hadn't been cycling across, slowly.

I don't have disc brakes. So, walking my bike across feels safer to me because I can stop more quickly, while wearing my sneakers, or move back, more quickly, in case a driver(s) pulling up into a far lane doesn't notice or can't see me in the crosswalk.

Last edited by anon06; 09-02-19 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 09-02-19, 03:32 PM
  #90  
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While on wheels, you are treated as a vehicle so you should travel in the same direction as the cars, but not in the crosswalk. If you are in the crosswalk, you should dismount and walk your bike to be treated as a pedestrian.
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Old 09-02-19, 06:04 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by groverdill
When I was a kid (about a thousand years ago it seems) we were taught to get off our bikes and walk them when crossing a street at a marked crosswalk. Is this still a thing? I donít even know if it was an actual state/national law, or just the neighborhood overprotective moms trying to keep us kiddos safe. I see current day examples of both, people riding in crosswalks and people dismounting and walking across and it has me wondering if there are laws dictating the proper way to handle a marked crosswalk. 🤔
It definitely isn't a thing in Portland, Oregon, where bicyclists routinely blow through intersections without even slowing down.
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Old 09-02-19, 06:28 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by ablang
While on wheels, you are treated as a vehicle so you should travel in the same direction as the cars
Impossible to do that. Most of our MUPS are two way traffic and run only along one side of the road . You will end up riding against the traffic depending on which direction you going and yes you will also have to ride through crosswalks.
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Old 09-02-19, 07:38 PM
  #93  
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I’m glad I posted this question because it gave some great insight as far as the thought process of the general cyclist, and the varied opinions as well. For a while there it was like The Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street”. Thankfully it didn’t turn violent!

It sounds like the bottom line is, it depends on each particular circumstance, and check your local laws. There is no clear cut blanket statement that would cover everything. At least that’s what I’m getting from it. Thanks all! Continue discussing if you have more to add.

Mike
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Old 09-02-19, 10:10 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by GlennR
You should be riding in the road, crosswalks are for pedestrians.
Thanks GlennR, for the best answer.
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Old 09-02-19, 11:07 PM
  #95  
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Really? There really are cyclists who absolutely want other cyclists (who might not be riding fast road bikes) to cycle on 45mph roads, with leftover car part debris from previous car accidents on that road, surrounded by several lanes of fast-moving vehicles (where motorists would definitely be unhappy, having only one full lane and honking at the cyclist, to tell them to get on the sidewalk) who will pass inches from them and won't give the cyclist enough room to avoid the potholes on the road--even though the sidewalk on those streets might be cleaner, safer and without pedestrians? Where there are blind curves with hills, and a risk of a fast driver--who definitely won't expect to see a cyclist in their lane--crashing into the cyclist from behind?

Sometimes, it's difficult for a cyclist to make the light, while cycling on the road, especially when, even though they're in front, drivers like to quickly move in front of them because the cyclist is slower, and they don't want to be stuck behind the cyclist. And, when a cyclist has their high gears because they were attempting to cycle faster to try to make the turn light, but the light doesn't last long and changes quickly to yellow, maybe the cyclist doesn't want to have to try to pedal in the highest gear, once the light turns green because it'll be slower and harder to pedal to make the light in time (and motorists behind the cyclist wouldn't be happy if they wouldn't be able to make the light, due to the cyclist being slower).

So, yeah, maybe the cyclist felt it would be better to use the crosswalk this one time, where there aren't any pedestrians that are ever there, using it. Not every place is crowded like the Northeast, New York area, etc., or has tons of pedestrians that use sidewalks; some places around the country don't have any pedestrians, or maybe one or two that use sidewalks in that area. So, cyclists aren't being a danger or a nuisance to pedestrians, when there aren't any there, in the first place.

So, that's why motorists and some cyclists might feel it's okay to use the sidewalks: no one else is using them, and motorists feel it'd be better for cyclists to be out of their way, on busy roads. Some cyclists might be tired of experiencing motorists honking or shouting at them, while they're cycling on the road; so, cycling on the sidewalk, sometimes, might also bring them a little more peace and a nice break from that.

Plus, not everyone rides a road bike that can keep up with fast traffic.

Last edited by anon06; 09-02-19 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 09-02-19, 11:16 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by groverdill
Iím glad I posted this question because it gave some great insight as far as the thought process of the general cyclist, and the varied opinions as well. For a while there it was like The Twilight Zone episode ďThe Monsters Are Due On Maple StreetĒ. Thankfully it didnít turn violent!

It sounds like the bottom line is, it depends on each particular circumstance, and check your local laws. There is no clear cut blanket statement that would cover everything. At least thatís what Iím getting from it. Thanks all! Continue discussing if you have more to add.

Mike
The question yes, but try and provide a visual next time. After all, one picture is worth a thousand words.
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Old 09-03-19, 06:44 AM
  #97  
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First, the law. Locally pretty sure we're supposed to walk it across.

Second, practicality. If it's a busy area, the safety implications mean you're better walking it across. You present a more obvious and expected visual object for cars. Cars expect slow moving pedestrians in cross walks, not quick moving bikes that suddenly appear. You're less likely to have an incident with a walker.

If there aren't any other pedestrians out, and the intersection is empty (relatively speaking)........I could see riding instead. But that's a judgement call based on your surroundings. Is it busy? Cars present? Pedestrians present?

This example comes into play here where a lot of greenway trails terminate into a sidewalk at an intersection which has a crosswalk. I enjoy taking this route for slower/easy rides. I just don't like the intersection it dumps me onto.

To avoid the Mexican standoff of the busy intersection/crosswalk/greenway terminus...........I exit the greenway 1/4 mile early and utilize a much less busy stoplight. Usually, I ride over and trip the crosswalk and then sit in the car lane to wait. Then when it changes, wiggle over one street to my original route.

I frequently will find a safe way to use a road instead of a crosswalk if it is a busy time of day.
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Old 09-03-19, 10:35 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by groverdill
When I was a kid (about a thousand years ago it seems) we were taught to get off our bikes and walk them when crossing a street at a marked crosswalk. Is this still a thing? I donít even know if it was an actual state/national law, or just the neighborhood overprotective moms trying to keep us kiddos safe. I see current day examples of both, people riding in crosswalks and people dismounting and walking across and it has me wondering if there are laws dictating the proper way to handle a marked crosswalk. 🤔
When I was a kid, also 1000 years ago, parents told their kids to ride against traffic. As far as crosswalks go - when I need to cross a major street when there are no cars waiting for the light, I ride over to the walk button, usually located on the sidewalk that is aligned with the crosswalk. If possible, I try to get back into the traffic lane, however it seems more often than not someone has pulled up to turn right. Now I'm stuck going across in the crosswalk if cross traffic doesn't allow a right hand turn on red. I do circle around sometimes, getting behind the turning care or into the through lane (if there is one) when it make sense to do so. When the light does change, I just make sure the turning vehicle knows I'm there and by law they have to yield to anyone in the crosswalk during the walk timer countdown. Most do, but some don't and the law is irrelevant at that point in time if they don't cause I cannot win that battle. As with everything else, one must use common sense.
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Old 09-06-19, 11:32 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Children ride toy bicycles bikes on sidewalk and use crosswalks.

Bicycles with wheels > 20 inches are vehicles and belong in the road, not in the crosswalk. The crosswalk is for pedestrians.


-Tim-
Depends on your city. In my city law states you can ride bikes on the road and sidewalk but pedestrians gain right of way. There is a stretch of road on my way to work after the bicycle lane ends and cars leave no space for bikes. I just ride the sidewalk going under 10 mph stopping and giving pedestrians right of way.

Crosswalks are the same as sidewalks in my city.

Last edited by Illgot; 09-06-19 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 09-06-19, 11:41 PM
  #100  
MikeyMK
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We don't ride on the roads here, i have to cross roads many times though. To dismount would be utterly ridiculous. I don't dismount for anything. If i'm amongst dense pedestrians i slow accordingly, even if that means riding at near walking speed. When crossing a road, we naturally have to give way to traffic. But as with any junction for any vehicle, 'Give Way' does not mean stop.
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