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Are you happier without bike facilities?

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Are you happier without bike facilities?

Old 03-26-08, 09:47 AM
  #501  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Uh John, more then 30 years ago when the "analysis" and "argument" was made, the typical auto did not have mandatory right hand side mirrors... which make checking a lane behind and to the right quite easy these days.

Your argument is therefore null and void. Times have changed. Give up the Hupmobile...
It is correct that when I first made that analysis I was thinking largely in terms of arc of vigilance. However, that also implies that the driver's mind has to consider what its eyes see. The turn across, rather than the merge first, still requires more mental consideration, starting with checking the mirror and then considering what is seen. Also, I know that I don't trust the outside mirrors to tell me that no traffic is present; they tell if some traffic is present, which is useful information, but, as the driving instructors teach, if nothing shows in the mirror, still make a direct look.

Therefore, I conclude that the direct turn across is still more dangerous than the merge before turning. And it is probably less effective, also, because with the merge first the turning driver does not have to stop, while with the turn across he must stop if bicycle traffic is there.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:06 AM
  #502  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
There is a bit of controversy on how motorists are supposed to execute a right turn when a bike lane is present. There is an animation of two methods here: http://blog.oregonlive.com/multimedi...animation.html

LAB endorses the California style (merge and then turn.) I believe the Oregon law requiring drives to cross a bike lane is not the standard model used in the states. So unless specified I personally feel that the merge and turn can be assumed but that's just me.
I take exception to describe merge and then turn as the "California style". Yes, that's what the law requires, but it's not how most drivers behave.

This is important because it illustrates that even when the law requires it, drivers tend not to do it, because this too is unnatural. That is, it is unnatural to merge into what is for all intents and purposes to the driver to be a striped shoulder or gore, even if the stripe is dashed rather than solid.

Yes, they will merge into that space if it's expedient to do so (just as they will encroach into a striped shoulder or gore when that's the expedient thing to do), but if there really is no apparent reason to merge into the bike lane, and, ironically, if any cyclists are present in the vicinity, they avoid it, and turn across it at the intersection, "Oregon/Arizona style".

So yes, if drivers in CA followed the law and merged into the bike lane prior to reaching their turn, they would not have to remember to check back on their right before turning right. But since it's unnatural to do that, they generally don't, and, so, even in CA drivers need to remember to do this in order to avoid right hooking cyclists who are encouraged by the bike lane to marshal on and pass the slowing motorist on the right.

None of us have the data to prove the behavior of cyclists passing slowing motorists on the right at intersection approaches would be reduced if bike lane stripes were eliminated at least 100 feet prior to any place where a right turn can be made, and that the behavior of right turning motorists leaving a 4-5 foot buffer space on their right until reaching the intersection would also be reduced by such stripe elimination, but it seems quite obvious to me that it would.

I am happier for the improved safety and treatment of cyclists at intersections without bike lane facilities as compared to intersections with bike lane facilities.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:08 AM
  #503  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
It is correct that when I first made that analysis I was thinking largely in terms of arc of vigilance. However, that also implies that the driver's mind has to consider what its eyes see. The turn across, rather than the merge first, still requires more mental consideration, starting with checking the mirror and then considering what is seen. Also, I know that I don't trust the outside mirrors to tell me that no traffic is present; they tell if some traffic is present, which is useful information, but, as the driving instructors teach, if nothing shows in the mirror, still make a direct look.

Therefore, I conclude that the direct turn across is still more dangerous than the merge before turning. And it is probably less effective, also, because with the merge first the turning driver does not have to stop, while with the turn across he must stop if bicycle traffic is there.
My mirrors allow me to have a very wide view of objects on the right side of my car; like most such mirrors, they are convex, thus allowing a wider angle of view then that offered by a flat mirror. Drivers need only develop the habit of actually using the mirror and regularly glancing at it, as they should all other mirrors, and indicators in and around their vehicle... of course this means they should not be distracted by such things as cell phones and Starbucks... neither of which was readily available 30 years ago. Of course they may need a bit more time to check all these mirrors, windows and gauges, so perhaps motorists should slow down... 30 years ago the mandatory speed limit was 55MPH and no higher; today even arterial roads may have speed limits over 55MPH.

Oddly enough, 30 years after the last "gas crisis" we are still having "issues" with gasoline...

Perhaps a better solution is needed. I tend to agree that a merge and turn is better than a direct turn... but then these traffic situations have only been studied for 30 years or so...
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Old 03-26-08, 12:24 PM
  #504  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
I take exception to describe merge and then turn as the "California style". Yes, that's what the law requires, but it's not how most drivers behave.
But that's only half the problem, things would be cool if we can get cyclists to merge with the motorists but that seems to be not how most cyclists behave either. It seems to me if there is space to the right most cyclists will filter to the front, bike lane or not. This is a major problem on how society in general views proper right hand turn behavior with a cyclists riding rightmost in a lane (bike lane or not.)

What I am wondering is if there is a difference between curbside bike lanes and bike lanes that come off of a parking lane as the latter sort of gets the cyclists in a better road position and motorists would generally feel funny making a right turn that far out.

So far my experience in the City with bike lanes coming off of a parking lane (I don't know if we have any curb side bike lanes) is a 100% compliance of motorists that wait behind me before getting into the right hand turn lane.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:40 PM
  #505  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
But that's only half the problem, things would be cool if we can get cyclists to merge with the motorists but that seems to be not how most cyclists behave either. It seems to me if there is space to the right most cyclists will filter to the front, bike lane or not. This is a major problem on how society in general views proper right hand turn behavior with a cyclists riding rightmost in a lane (bike lane or not.)

What I am wondering is if there is a difference between curbside bike lanes and bike lanes that come off of a parking lane as the latter sort of gets the cyclists in a better road position and motorists would generally feel funny making a right turn that far out.

So far my experience in the City with bike lanes coming off of a parking lane (I don't know if we have any curb side bike lanes) is a 100% compliance of motorists that wait behind me before getting into the right hand turn lane.
When, after the point where curb parking is allowed, a door zone bike lane stays "out there", to the left of the normal "right turn zone", and doesn't jog over to the curb, , then yes, it does do a relatively good job of encouraging cyclist behavior that makes right hooks less likely.

I think this illustrates that driver behavior is much less than half the problem. As most if not all of the participants in this discussion know, the behavior of the cyclist is what determines more than anything else the related behavior of the motorists around them, regardless of the presence of the stripe. But the majority of cyclists don't understand this, and the stripe misguides them into thinking all they have to do is ride in the bike lane, and let the motorists worry about the rest. They just luck out if the bike lane doesn't place them to the right of potentially right turning traffic.

I'm surprised that you're not sure if you have any curbside bike lanes. Most of our bike lanes are on roads without curbside parking, and so guide through cyclists along the curb up to the intersection (though the stripe usually becomes dashed about 30' prior to the intersection), placing the cyclist to the right of potentially right turning motorists in the outside "right or straight" lane.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:05 AM
  #506  
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and where would most bicyclists be without the bike lane stripe, head? THE EXACT SAME POSITION. not you and us assertive vc, but the vast majority of bicyclists.

however, if the intersection is big enough to call for RTO lanes, placement of a bike pocket to the left of all right turning traffic improves an intersection, EVEN for the most diehard of vehicularists, and does NOT contradict vehicular rules of the road while on your bike.


Happier WITH.

and Barry's mention of buffered parking bike lanes put most bicyclists out in a much better road position than weaving in and out of all the parked cars.

Happier WITH.

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Old 03-27-08, 10:07 AM
  #507  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
and where would most bicyclists be without the bike lane stripe, head? THE EXACT SAME POSITION. not you and use assertive vc but the vast majority of bicyclists.

however, if the intersection is big enough to call for RTO lanes, placement of a bike pocket to the left of all right turning traffic improves an intersection, EVEN for the most diehard of vehicularists, and does NOT contradict vehicular rules of the road while on your bike.


Happier WITH.

and Barry's mention of buffered parking bike lanes put most bicyclists out in a much better road position than weaving in and out of all the parked cars.

Happier WITH.
You make a good point about the problems of weaving in and out of parked cars. Do we have any good data or speculation on why mid-block fatalities are more prevalent then intersection fatalities?

JF makes an argument that bike lanes should have have a slightly higher crash rate then non-bike lane roads by adding a slight increase at intersections and subtracting a slight decrease in rear end-collisions. But if you start subtracting the improved safety for weaving, wrong way riding and sidewalk riding using JF's logic you should come up with that bike lanes should show a slight improvement in safety.
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Old 03-27-08, 03:53 PM
  #508  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
and where would most bicyclists be without the bike lane stripe, head? THE EXACT SAME POSITION. not you and us assertive vc, but the vast majority of bicyclists.

however, if the intersection is big enough to call for RTO lanes, placement of a bike pocket to the left of all right turning traffic improves an intersection, EVEN for the most diehard of vehicularists, and does NOT contradict vehicular rules of the road while on your bike.


Happier WITH.
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even with the positioning to which you refer. the bike lane contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
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Old 03-27-08, 04:47 PM
  #509  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even with the positioning to which you refer. the bike lane contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even without bike lanes to which you refer. Lane sharing/staying right contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
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Old 03-27-08, 06:00 PM
  #510  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even without bike lanes to which you refer. Lane sharing/staying right contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
Lane sharing/staying right does not contradict the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists, though it does for through and left-turning cyclists (contradicting the principle of destination positioning). But that's a cyclist behavior problem that's need to be corrected.

With bike lanes at intersections it's the facility, the engineering itself, that contradicts the rules of the road, and serves as an official sanction of behavior that contradicts the rules of the road (for right-turning motorists as well as for through and left-turning cyclists).

Can you really not see and appreciate the enormous difference?

Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-27-08 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-27-08, 07:37 PM
  #511  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even with the positioning to which you refer. the bike lane contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
How did you even qualify as an engineer? In all my years in the field, I've never come across anyone so rigid, dogmatic and devoid of imagination as you. Stay out of the subject if you're so incapable of recognising good design when you see it.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:38 PM
  #512  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
You shouldn't be presenting so silly an argument. Even without bike lanes to which you refer. Lane sharing/staying right contradicts the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists and left-turning cyclists, and, in most cases, contradicts the rules of the road for changing lanes.
Well, of course, a cyclist who doesn't follow the rules of the road disobeys them, which is what you are saying. However, without a bike-lane stripe to confuse the issue, there is no indication that the cyclist should disobey the rules of the road. With a bike-lane stripe, somebody with some movement has the choice of obeying the stripe and disobeying the rules of the road, or of disobeying the strip in order to follow the rules of the road.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:49 PM
  #513  
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Originally Posted by Allister View Post
How did you even qualify as an engineer? In all my years in the field, I've never come across anyone so rigid, dogmatic and devoid of imagination as you. Stay out of the subject if you're so incapable of recognising good design when you see it.
Well, Allister, I am pleased to learn that you have learned so much about my career. I have advanced knowledge in four or five different fields of science and engineering, and my work in engineering has been recognized as being the product of original thought beyond the typical bounds. It is precisely because I am an original and creative thinker that I am able to recognize the defects in the typical popular designs, and it is because I have the confidence in my knowledge and the personal security for doing right that I choose to present that which is better.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:48 PM
  #514  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
Lane sharing/staying right does not contradict the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists, though it does for through and left-turning cyclists (contradicting the principle of destination positioning). But that's a cyclist behavior problem that's need to be corrected.

With bike lanes at intersections it's the facility, the engineering itself, that contradicts the rules of the road, and serves as an official sanction of behavior that contradicts the rules of the road (for right-turning motorists as well as for through and left-turning cyclists).

Can you really not see and appreciate the enormous difference?
Right now what I see is 50% of bike/car crashes are our fault, with wrong way, sidewalk riding, weaving in and out of parked cars, pulling out driveways and running stops being the major contributers. In engineering you generally try and solve the big problems first and given the above problem set bike lanes are not an unreasonable attempt to solve (just) these major problems. Of course the real issue is the facts as we have them bike lanes have made no significant difference. The reason that has been put forth is bike lanes do nothing to significantly change the default behavior of cyclists. Or we could assert that the reason why bike lanes are placed the way they are is because that is the default position of cyclists. All I have come to appreciate is that there is no difference other then the comfort factor for cyclists.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:13 PM
  #515  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
Well, of course, a cyclist who doesn't follow the rules of the road disobeys them, which is what you are saying. However, without a bike-lane stripe to confuse the issue, there is no indication that the cyclist should disobey the rules of the road. With a bike-lane stripe, somebody with some movement has the choice of obeying the stripe and disobeying the rules of the road, or of disobeying the strip in order to follow the rules of the road.
Well of course a WOL disobeys the rules of the road, which is what you are saying. However, without a bike-lane stripe to clarify the issue, there is no indication that the cyclist should disobey the rules of the road to stay right. Without a bike-lane stripe, somebody with some movement has the choice of obeying the stay right and disobeying the rules of the road, or of disobeying the stay right in order to follow the rules of the road.

I bit awkward word replacement attempt but my points are:
  • It is a silly argument that bike lanes increase safety.
  • It is a silly argument that bike lanes decrease safety.
  • What is needed is to free cyclists' mind from the right side of the road or the bike lane stripe.
  • The same "think" of obeying/disobeying the implied engineering is applicable with and without bike lanes, nether is natural or the default behavior.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:15 PM
  #516  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
Well, Allister, I am pleased to learn that you have learned so much about my career.
I'm only going by what I see here.

Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
It is precisely because I am an original and creative thinker that I am able to recognize the defects in the typical popular designs, and it is because I have the confidence in my knowledge and the personal security for doing right that I choose to present that which is better.
If you say so. All I've seen is a cranky old man set in his ways.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:23 PM
  #517  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
Lane sharing/staying right does not contradict the rules of the road for right-turning cyclists, though it does for through and left-turning cyclists (contradicting the principle of destination positioning). But that's a cyclist behavior problem that's need to be corrected.
I forgot to answer this bit. There is a huge problem with a cyclists and motor vehicle sharing the same lane (traveling side-by-side) while executing a right hand turn, if you need more detail on this let me know.

Almost all of this conversation comes down to cyclist behavior problem that's need to be corrected, especially without bike lanes (and even with bike lanes.) No road design defaults to improved cyclists safety.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:01 AM
  #518  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
Right now what I see is 50% of bike/car crashes are our fault, with wrong way, sidewalk riding, weaving in and out of parked cars, pulling out driveways and running stops being the major contributers. In engineering you generally try and solve the big problems first and given the above problem set bike lanes are not an unreasonable attempt to solve (just) these major problems. Of course the real issue is the facts as we have them bike lanes have made no significant difference. The reason that has been put forth is bike lanes do nothing to significantly change the default behavior of cyclists. Or we could assert that the reason why bike lanes are placed the way they are is because that is the default position of cyclists. All I have come to appreciate is that there is no difference other then the comfort factor for cyclists.
I won't disagree with that.

My argument is that the solution must ultimately come from changing how people (primarily cyclists and potential cyclists) think about what is proper/appropriate/safe behavior when cycling in traffic, and the existence of bike lanes inhibits that from happening.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:11 AM
  #519  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
I forgot to answer this bit. There is a huge problem with a cyclists and motor vehicle sharing the same lane (traveling side-by-side) while executing a right hand turn, if you need more detail on this let me know.
I agree sharing a lane during a turn should be avoided, but starting a right turn near the curb (in the bike lane) is not violating the rules of the road. The problem with sharing lanes during turns, by the way, is another topic that I think Franklin covers better than Forester or Hurst.

Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
Almost all of this conversation comes down to cyclist behavior problem that's need to be corrected, especially without bike lanes (and even with bike lanes.) No road design defaults to improved cyclists safety.
We agree the root problem is cyclist behavior that needs to be corrected.
But the mere existence of facilities that encourage the behavior that needs to be corrected, and discourage the corrected behavior, both of which bike lanes do, hinder our ability to bring about these changes in cyclist behavior.

Perhaps more importantly, just as supporting bike lanes is symbolic or iconic for "supporting bicycling", opposing bike lanes is symbolic or iconic for recognizing that "bike lanes encourage/reinforce the very behavior that we should be trying to discourage".

In other words, the level of opposition to bike lanes within the cycling community is a rough measure of how well this problem is understood and appreciated. Right now it's looking pretty grim, but I'm optimistic.

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Old 03-28-08, 06:58 AM
  #520  
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
...my work in engineering has been recognized ...
You are like a writer who has written one of the best movies of all times and then wrote one of the worst movies of all times. One cannot conclude that you are a good writer or a good engineer from your past work.
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Old 03-28-08, 08:02 AM
  #521  
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Originally Posted by Allister View Post
If you say so. All I've seen is a cranky old man set in his ways.

"The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees, in every object, only the traits which favor that theory".

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thompson

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Old 03-28-08, 08:06 AM
  #522  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
You are like a writer who has written one of the best movies of all times and then wrote one of the worst movies of all times. One cannot conclude that you are a good writer or a good engineer from your past work.
Actually more like a writer who believes he has written the best book of all times; and further believes that all other writers' work should be written just like it. And the Original Great Writer shall be the one and only judge of what books are to considered "good" and which authors are "competent." Any book readers who disagree are to be considered suffering from some sort of psychological problem, inferiority complex, or superstition.
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Old 03-28-08, 08:15 AM
  #523  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
I agree sharing a lane during a turn should be avoided, but starting a right turn near the curb (in the bike lane) is not violating the rules of the road. The problem with sharing lanes during turns, by the way, is another topic that I think Franklin covers better than Forester or Hurst.


We agree the root problem is cyclist behavior that needs to be corrected.
But the mere existence of facilities that encourage the behavior that needs to be corrected, and discourage the corrected behavior, both of which bike lanes do, hinder our ability to bring about these changes in cyclist behavior.

Perhaps more importantly, just as supporting bike lanes is symbolic or iconic for "supporting bicycling", opposing bike lanes is symbolic or iconic for recognizing that "bike lanes encourage/reinforce the very behavior that we should be trying to discourage".

In other words, the level of opposition to bike lanes within the cycling community is a rough measure of how well this problem is understood and appreciated. Right now it's looking pretty grim, but I'm optimistic.

I hesitate to join this conversation but, in essence, I agree with most of what you say here.

I do have an issue with using bike facilities versus no facilities as the key to improved conditions overall. Certainly if all cyclists followed the rules of the road all the time( and motorists did so as well), there would be no need for any 'special' facilities.

I'm now preparing to be labeled for being anti-biker. My experience has been that the staunchest VC'ers as well as the staunchest BL'ers would do well to look inwardly.

I've been doing more group riding, for the sake of experiment, and find that with both types of advocates, rules of the road only apply some of the time. And the timing has mostly to do with convenience or laziness. Yeah, it could be argued that no biker is lazy but if that were true, how come so many have trouble doing something so simple as recognizing signs and signals?

I picked up a group yesterday and heard complaints that the the two-way stops on the route they were taking gets in the way of their progress. There have been occasions where they actually had to put a foot down and stop for cross traffic.

And how about the lead rider that thinks a hand signal indicating that a car should wait, even though it may have arrived at an intersection simultaneously, should be enough to authorize everyone following to proceed.

In instances where there is no bike lane, I've watched bikers move up along the right side of a line of traffic if there was any possible way to squeeze through. Is there something about priority that is confusing to them?

These are not the 'childish' cyclists described elsewhere. These are people that are out riding every day.

What looks most grim to me is the chance that motorists will ever think most cyclists will follow the rules when the 'regulars' constantly don't.

The misfortune is spending all this time talking as if it were a technical issue. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So who do we educate???
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Old 03-28-08, 08:33 AM
  #524  
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post

What is needed is to free cyclists' mind from the right side of the road or the bike lane stripe.
As long as there is an issue of "faster same direction traffic" and a mindset that slow traffic must keep to the right... cyclists will always tend to stick to the right side of the road, stripe or no stripe.

Get ride of "faster same direction traffic" and the problem is solved automatically.

Designing surface streets with 55MPH posted speed limits does not solve the problem.
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Old 03-28-08, 08:48 AM
  #525  
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Originally Posted by Script View Post

So who do we educate???
The interesting thing is that some that rant the most about cyclists' education are themselves hearty believers in exactly some of the very issues you mentioned... and they justify it by saying it is consistent with the "spirit" of the rules of the road.

***********************************************

To take another tack however, bear in mind that the laws of the road and traffic control devices are designed with motorists in mind, not cyclists. That bit of laziness you mentioned is not so much laziness, but an effort to maintain efficiency by preserving inertia. Every stop wastes energy. Now oddly enough, this has been somewhat recognized for motorists, and the result was "right turn on red." Of course those right turn on red laws, while reducing waste for motorists also increased the accidents between motorists and peds and cyclists.

Only one state that I am aware of has recognized the issue of the design of traffic devices being primarily for motorists and has modified the law for cyclists... Idaho.


See http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newi...id=490070020.K

TITLE 49
MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 7
PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLES
49-720. STOPPING -- TURN AND STOP SIGNALS. (1) A person operating a
bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and,
if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing
to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to
any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely
as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving
across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a
person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if
required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection
without stopping.
(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a
steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection
and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may
proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a
person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if
required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a
one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to
other traffic.
(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section
49-643, Idaho Code.
(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not
less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before
turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand
is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.
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