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Left turns?

Old 08-03-20, 11:32 AM
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bikeme
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Left turns?

Most of my riding is in So Cal, so I'm posting this traffic question here because I'm not sure how the other States' roads are set up. Anyway, If you're going to make a left turn and there are two left turn-only lanes onto a two lane street, which one would you use if you're going to turn left again and that second left turn is 200-300 yards after that? That is, would you use the outer left turn lane, go into the bike lane/far right, then merge back across to make the second left OR would you use the inside left turn lane, go into the far left lane, then make your second left turn? I've done the first scenario a lot until yesterday when my riding companion set us up in the second scenario (using the far left turn lane). At first, I didn't get what he was doing but it sort of makes sense now. Your choice?
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Old 08-03-20, 11:49 AM
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Elvo
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I'd take the left most turn lane and the far left lane but do it as fast as possible.
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Old 08-03-20, 12:23 PM
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mackgoo
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200-300 yards? I'd take the outside lane and merge over a 100 yards 50 yards to go. I guess traffic would also come into play.
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Old 08-03-20, 12:35 PM
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skidder
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Similar to what mackgoo mentions. In 200-300 yards the traffic should have passed by me and I'd have a pretty clear shot into the next left turn situation.

However, it would depend on how the layout of both intersections and the volume of traffic at each particular one at the specific time of day I'd be going through there. If it was a time of day with significant traffic I might just "play pedestrian" and cross with the 'walk' signals for a reasonable degree of safety.
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Old 08-03-20, 07:13 PM
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ooga-booga
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where exactly is this scenario? freeway onramp/offramps, heavy pedding, street parking, mutliple driveways, street width (shoulder/bike lane), speedbumps/humps,
neutral center area between opposing lanes, trucks/busses and time of day all figure in.
200 yards+ is an eternity in an urban setting. riding solo? i'd set up in the outside lane probably 7 out of 10 times. riding with someone else? the outside lane 10 out of 10 times.
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Old 08-03-20, 09:08 PM
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adamhenry
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What is the speed limit of the street you make the first left onto?
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Old 08-03-20, 09:30 PM
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CAT7RDR
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A box left turn from the cross-walk is likely the safest. A distracted driver not expecting cyclists 200 yards from a left turn lane sounds higher risk.
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Old 08-04-20, 12:59 AM
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bikeme
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Originally Posted by adamhenry View Post
What is the speed limit of the street you make the first left onto?
Supposed to be 45. But when through traffic is flowing across, it could easily be 55 if they have the green.
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Old 08-04-20, 01:44 AM
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adamhenry
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Supposed to be 45. But when through traffic is flowing across, it could easily be 55 if they have the green.
I'd be using the outer turn lane for sure and then merging back across the lane when safe in that situation.
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Old 08-05-20, 03:08 PM
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mattcalifornia
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Right-hand turn lane and then wait to merge to the left again when the coast is clear. Or, as somebody implied above, if it's a crazy busy street and intersection, you might use a cross walk for the second left turn. The only way I'd consider staying in the left-hand lane is if it's rush hour and traffic is backed up to a stop. Otherwise, I don't want to be pedaling in the left lane in a 45-55 zone. It's dangerous and obnoxious.
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Old 08-07-20, 04:01 PM
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I've been losing sleep over this question for years, glad you asked it. Usually, I do the following: As I approach the intersection to make the left turn, I split the lanes and get in front of the cars. While waiting for the light to turn green, I track stand to provide some entertainment for the drivers. When it turns green, I go into the leftmost lane, hammering on the pedals as hard as I can. I used to do 0 to 45 mph in 4.2 seconds, but now, as I'm getting older, it takes me up to 6 seconds. Still, the drivers always cut me some slack, I even get some thumbs up when they eventually pass me.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
Right-hand turn lane and then wait to merge to the left again when the coast is clear. Or, as somebody implied above, if it's a crazy busy street and intersection, you might use a cross walk for the second left turn. The only way I'd consider staying in the left-hand lane is if it's rush hour and traffic is backed up to a stop. Otherwise, I don't want to be pedaling in the left lane in a 45-55 zone. It's dangerous and obnoxious.
The answer is what you suggest. Its the facts and circumstances of the traffic conditions at that time. The old cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude.

Riders know conditions change as fast as the bike makers & accessories introduce new models. iPhone 12 is on its way!
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