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Making a Left Turn in a Left Turn Lane

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Making a Left Turn in a Left Turn Lane

Old 01-08-06, 05:48 PM
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spingineer
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Making a Left Turn in a Left Turn Lane

Just wanted to see what everyone thinks is kosher. Let's say you are at an intersection, two fairly busy streets. You go to the left turn lane, and there are about 4 or 5 cars lined up. Do you

a. Roll up to the last car, and when green, just follow the car in front of you and make the left turn
b. Roll up to the front, on the right side of the left turn lane
c. Roll up in front of the first car, and take up the whole lane at the crosswalk.

Sometimes I do a, sometimes b, but rarely do c. What's everyone else do?
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Old 01-08-06, 05:54 PM
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b always works for me
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Old 01-08-06, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by spingineer
Just wanted to see what everyone thinks is kosher. Let's say you are at an intersection, two fairly busy streets. You go to the left turn lane, and there are about 4 or 5 cars lined up. Do you

a. Roll up to the last car, and when green, just follow the car in front of you and make the left turn
b. Roll up to the front, on the right side of the left turn lane
c. Roll up in front of the first car, and take up the whole lane at the crosswalk.

Sometimes I do a, sometimes b, but rarely do c. What's everyone else do?
I usually ride up to the front of the line so I can get through the intersection as quickly as possible and so that I know everyone sees me. I am usually lined up right next to the right front fender of the first car at the light.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:54 PM
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Almost always A, very occaisionally B.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulBravey
Almost always A, very occaisionally B.
Ditto for me.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:59 PM
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Choice A seems the best to me. You won't save much time going to the front and it will just piss people off. I always get in behind cars but then the stupid car behind me always wants to get ahead of me. Oh well...they're bigger, so they win.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:00 PM
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I only have one turn where I have to do it. I don't trust the cars coming up from behind, so I go with "b".

The "b" option also allows me to get all the way across the road and into position on the right side well before any of the cars catch up to me. I try not to be in front of any car.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
The "b" option also allows me to get all the way across the road and into position on the right side well before any of the cars catch up to me. I try not to be in front of any car.
Exactly my reason for choosing b.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:15 PM
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B for me too.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:29 PM
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"b" is what I do. While I'm at the light, I will give a nod or wave to the passenger in the car just to make sure "somebody" knows I'm there.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:34 PM
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In Australia we drive on the lefthand side so over here it apply's to turning right and usualy I use option 2 however we sometimes have a situation where there are two turning lanes with one lane having the option of turning or going straight. In those situations I will position myself on the inside of the turn (in my case right or in your case left), go around the corner on the inside and when traffic has passed me move to the outside.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 01-08-06, 09:50 PM
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For some reason, some of you have an illogical fear of cars behind you. Cars are behind you all the time! The likelihood of being whacked from behind by a car are infinitesimally small compared to other bike/car accident scenarios.

Roll up to the last car in the cue and wait your turn like everybody else. Nothing pisses drivers off more than having to pass a bike they just got done passing. Keep that up and you MAY have to start worrying about the drivers behind you...
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Old 01-08-06, 09:50 PM
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I've done all three. I think my tendency is to take the lane to get through the turn as safely as possible (at least to me it seems safest, who knows).

A propos, today I got to take one of those left-turn lane left turns at 25mph (slihgt downhill before) because for some reason there was no oncoming traffic nor any cars behind me. It was so nice to take a nice line at speed through this one spot for the first time in years of riding through it.
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Old 01-08-06, 09:57 PM
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None of The Above...

In Taiwan, bikes and scooters are supposed to make 2-Step turns, in theory. I say in theory because everyone doesn't always obey the law. Most streets of some size have a "Scooter Box" that covers the last 10 or 15 feet of the curb lane as you approach the intersection. Larger streets would have a Scooter Box that covers 2 lanes. Only scooters and bikes are supposed to be in the Box when the light is red. Car drivers can be ticketed if they are in the Box, but that rarely happens from what I've seen in 2 years here.

Anyway, to make a left turn (assuming you have a green light) you ride across the intersection to the Scooter Box to your right and turn to face in the direction of your final turn. When the light changes, you ride forward, thus completing the motion. It may sound a bit confusing, but it would be the same path if you were walking your bike. You wouldn't be walking your bike in the middle of the intersection to make a turn. You would take it in 2 steps.

It is interesting to note that you still see elderly women walk their bikes across the street. I assume that is the way they learned and they have not deviated.
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Old 01-08-06, 09:58 PM
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A and B for me. Depends upon how lazy im feeling
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Old 01-08-06, 10:08 PM
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A or B, depending on circumstances. If B can be done safely, with lots of room to spare on both sides of me, I often take it. Otherwise, nothing wrong with A.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:21 PM
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I'll usually look for a large'ish gap between stopped cars and go there. If there's not really any large gaps, I'll just hang at the end of the line.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
For some reason, some of you have an illogical fear of cars behind you. Cars are behind you all the time! The likelihood of being whacked from behind by a car are infinitesimally small compared to other bike/car accident scenarios.

Roll up to the last car in the cue and wait your turn like everybody else. Nothing pisses drivers off more than having to pass a bike they just got done passing. Keep that up and you MAY have to start worrying about the drivers behind you...
It's the law where I live that you have to follow the same rules as cars
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Old 01-08-06, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsfan4life
It's the law where I live that you have to follow the same rules as cars
Is it legal for motorcycles to split lanes?
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Old 01-08-06, 10:37 PM
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Hmmm, guess I am the odd man out here.

I will either:

d) Roll up to the front of the line of cars and then without waiting for the light, turn left into the crosswalk against traffic. Roll against traffic for a while until it is safe to cross both lanes.

or

e) cross the street behind the line of cars waiting to turn left. Roll the opposite way on the road, then cross when it is safe.

Yes, I know this is all illegal and I may anger autos, whatever... For me, part of the beauty of being on bike is not having to spend a bunch of time sitting at lights or stop signs. I go when its safe and stop when its not.

-Z
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Old 01-08-06, 10:40 PM
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Cutting in front of the first car in line is rude and possibly dangerous. The car driver is probably watching the light and/or oncoming traffic and will not be looking for a bike pull up in front of him. If you're going to move up in line, you're better off pulling in between the 1st and 2nd car or even with the 2nd car. The second driver in line isn't doing much and will be much more attentive to a bike next to him.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
Choice A seems the best to me. You won't save much time going to the front and it will just piss people off. I always get in behind cars but then the stupid car behind me always wants to get ahead of me. Oh well...they're bigger, so they win.
+1
Really don't understand why you would do anything else. That is what I do in my car and my motorcycle. You are going to try and save 5 seconds. In the meantime, you are going to piss off the car drivers, who are going to try and pass you a second time. That is just asking for it. I have never come close to being rearended at a stoplight on my bike. I have been almost run off the road by a car trying to pass me.
If there isn't a left turn lane, I will get on the left rear bumper of the first car with its turn signal on.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
For some reason, some of you have an illogical fear of cars behind you. Cars are behind you all the time! The likelihood of being whacked from behind by a car are infinitesimally small compared to other bike/car accident scenarios.

Roll up to the last car in the cue and wait your turn like everybody else. Nothing pisses drivers off more than having to pass a bike they just got done passing. Keep that up and you MAY have to start worrying about the drivers behind you...
No offense but I think that's a load of bull. Maybe it's because most of the roads I travel have designated bike lanes, I don't know. Personally, nothing pisses me off more than a car stopped in the bike lane.

I think you have to take these things on a case by case basis. You can't just say that one thing is best for every situation. I think that getting through the intersection and being seen and being recognized by motorists is the most important thing to consider. If I'm at the front of the line I'm more likely to be noticed and I'll get through the intersection before any cars will.

If I rolled up and sat behind cars that would defeat one of the purposes of riding...commuting anyway.

Edit-It's legal for motorcycles to split lanes in CA and I can't see why some stupid cager would be angered by having a guy on a bike ride up along side of him. This kind of logic just annoys the crap out of me.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
Choice A seems the best to me. You won't save much time going to the front and it will just piss people off. I always get in behind cars but then the stupid car behind me always wants to get ahead of me. Oh well...they're bigger, so they win.
Choice A is fine if you are close enough to the front to make it through the intersection before the light turns red. You might not make it if there are 10 cars in front of you, then the 10 cars behind you might not be very happy because you made them miss the light.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
I only have one turn where I have to do it. I don't trust the cars coming up from behind, so I go with "b".

The "b" option also allows me to get all the way across the road and into position on the right side well before any of the cars catch up to me. I try not to be in front of any car.
Always B and never saw any other way for the reason stated above.

Last edited by sprcoop; 01-08-06 at 11:13 PM.
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