Not all drivers are idiots!



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A

Archer

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I was out for a short exercise ride last night after work, and had an interesting experience. I was
tooling along at probably 17 - 19 mph on the shoulder toward a light-controlled intersection. The
light turned green while I was still quite a ways from it, so I didn't have to slow down, and I
caught up with the end of the line of cars. As they accelerated, the lady at the end of the line
pushed it fairly hard, though at the time I didn't see why. A few seconds later, I saw why: she
slowed down and turned on her right-turn signal to turn at the intersection where the light was. At
the time her turn signal went on, I was a few feet behind and to her right. When I saw this, I hit
the brakes, expecting her to go ahead and turn, risking hitting me with a right hook. Imagine my
surprise when she turned her head and waved me on by, and then waited while I passed before
completing her turn.

I am speculating that she initially underestimated my speed, and thought she could make the turn
without affecting me, but once she saw that I was pretty much pacing her, she realized she needed to
wait. Even if she had gone ahead and turned, she wouldn't have hit me because I slowed down in a
hurry when I saw her turn signal go on, but it was nice that she waited for me once she realized I
would have to take evasive action to avoid her if she didn't.

This road has a lot of bicyclists of all types: transportational, recreational, and hard-core
roadies on it, so the drivers are pretty used to seeing us around, which helps a lot when it comes
to situations like this.

--
David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
 
R

Richard Kaiser

Guest
On Thu, 29 May 2003 05:31:47 -0700, archer wrote:
> she slowed down and turned on her right-turn signal to turn at the intersection where the light
> was. At the time her turn signal went on, I was a few feet behind and to her right. When I saw
> this, I hit the brakes, expecting her to go ahead and turn, risking hitting me with a right hook.
> Imagine my surprise when she turned her head and waved me on by, and then waited while I passed
> before completing her turn.

This situation shows multiple errors by you, the traffic engineers, and maybe the driver.

If you are not familiar with John Foresters 5 rules get thee browser to www.johnforester.com and
look around. It is also on other sites that I do not remember at this time. You may also want to
read JF's Effective Cycling as well as Street Smarts. SS is on the web, do a google|whatever search.
Note that about 25% of car-bike accidents are cars turning right in bikes to their right. Kudos to
the driver for noticing this conflict. (Note: EC is not a comfortable cozy read, but it is the most
complete source on this topic available. Think about all the jerks JF has had to deal with before
dismissing his rants.)

Then, take a look at your state traffic|vehicle code. Note the rules about passing on the right, it
probable states that you do so at your own risk

If there had been a bike lane I would have launched into a rant about the stupidity of putting
cyclists to the right of potentially right turning cars. Even if a bike lane goes dashed and the
state vehicle code requires it (CA), few cars actually merge into bike lanes before turning right.
Since few drivers actually know about and obey this law and use of turn signals is very poor (CA),
being in a bike lane as you enter an intersection is asking to be hit. If your state make bike lanes
mandatory and the presence of an intersections is not justification to leave the lane then get the
law changed.

If you are in a shoulder the situation is even worse because there are no visual clues to the
conflict and the some drivers never register a bicycle on the other side of the line. Again, if your
state requires you to ride on the shoulder and does not include an exemption for intersections then
get the law changes.

Knowing this conflict exists, do not ride to the right of any car that could turn right into you. A
passing car is OK because they have just seen you. Passing on the right, riding to the right of a
car at the same speed, and sharing a right turn lane are all risky. If there is a right turn lane
stay on the left side of to the left of the right turn lane. Lots of cyclists still "filter forward"
at red lights, but they must be aware of the danger.

> I am speculating that she initially underestimated my speed, and thought she could make the turn
> without affecting me, but once she saw that I was pretty much pacing her, she realized she needed
> to wait. Even if she had gone ahead and turned, she wouldn't have hit me because I slowed down in
> a hurry when I saw her turn signal go on, but it was nice that she waited for me once she realized
> I would have to take evasive action to avoid her if she didn't.

You may have implied, but did not say that the lady had just passed you. If she had then she made a
major unsafe and incomplete pass.

This situation is very close to one of my pet pieves. Instead of merging behind bicycle traffic
(when there is insufficient room to merge ahead) they pull up along side or even ahead and then wait
for the cyclist to pass on the right. Whenever this happens I immediately think "Come into my lair
said the spider to the fly". If the pass is incomplete I prepare for an instant turn (see JF's
Effective Cycling). If the car, but usually a SUV, completed the pass then your only safe and legal
path is to pass the %#*%@! on their left. These drivers should be cited for an unsafe pass, improper
position for a turn, and obstructing traffic.

> This road has a lot of bicyclists of all types: transportational, recreational, and hard-core
> roadies on it, so the drivers are pretty used to seeing us around, which helps a lot when it comes
> to situations like this.

Someday someone will be able to measure this often observed phenomenon. The more cyclists there are
on the road (that actually know what they are doing) the safer cycling is for the cyclists.

Richard "Not in CO anymore" Kaiser.
 
A

Archer

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

...

> Then, take a look at your state traffic|vehicle code. Note the rules about passing on the right,
> it probable states that you do so at your own risk

I already have; it's illegal unless the vehicle ahead of you is turning left.

...

> Knowing this conflict exists, do not ride to the right of any car that could turn right into you.
> A passing car is OK because they have just seen you. Passing on the right, riding to the right of
> a car at the same speed, and sharing a right turn lane are all risky. If there is a right turn
> lane stay on the left side of to the left of the right turn lane. Lots of cyclists still "filter
> forward" at red lights, but they must be aware of the danger.
>
> > I am speculating that she initially underestimated my speed, and thought she could make the turn
> > without affecting me, but once she saw that I was pretty much pacing her, she realized she
> > needed to wait. Even if she had gone ahead and turned, she wouldn't have hit me because I slowed
> > down in a hurry when I saw her turn signal go on, but it was nice that she waited for me once
> > she realized I would have to take evasive action to avoid her if she didn't.
>
> You may have implied, but did not say that the lady had just passed you. If she had then she made
> a major unsafe and incomplete pass.

My memory is a little fuzzy about the events leading up to it, but I believe that is what happened.
She passed me, apparently thinking she would have time to safely complete her turn. When she
realized I was going too fast for that, she motioned me on by. I was far enough behind her at the
time to see her rear right-turn signal (at least she used it!!!).

...

> > This road has a lot of bicyclists of all types: transportational, recreational, and hard-core
> > roadies on it, so the drivers are pretty used to seeing us around, which helps a lot when it
> > comes to situations like this.
>
> Someday someone will be able to measure this often observed phenomenon. The more cyclists there
> are on the road (that actually know what they are doing) the safer cycling is for the cyclists.

This road would be a good case study, Unfortunately, too many of the cyclists blow right through the
red lights, usually after riding up the shoulder alongside a long line of stopped cars. Gives all of
us a bad name...

--
David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
 
T

Terry Morse

Guest
archer wrote:

> My memory is a little fuzzy about the events leading up to it, but I believe that is what
> happened. She passed me, apparently thinking she would have time to safely complete her turn. When
> she realized I was going too fast for that, she motioned me on by. I was far enough behind her at
> the time to see her rear right-turn signal (at least she used it!!!).

The right, legal, and safe thing to do in that situation is to pass the car on the left. If there's
no room to pass, get directly behind the car.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
 
A

Archer

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
> archer wrote:
>
> > My memory is a little fuzzy about the events leading up to it, but I believe that is what
> > happened. She passed me, apparently thinking she would have time to safely complete her turn.
> > When she realized I was going too fast for that, she motioned me on by. I was far enough behind
> > her at the time to see her rear right-turn signal (at least she used it!!!).
>
> The right, legal, and safe thing to do in that situation is to pass the car on the left. If
> there's no room to pass, get directly behind the car.

I was too close behind her and going too fast to get stopped and go around her on the left; I could
get stopped before reaching the intersection, but not before going up alongside her. She stopped in
the travel lane and waved me by on the shoulder, so my choice was either to stop on the shoulder and
let complete her turn, or continue on as she asked me to do.

--
David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
 
J

J. Bruce Fields

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:
>I was too close behind her and going too fast to get stopped and go around her on the left; I could
>get stopped before reaching the intersection, but not before going up alongside her. She stopped in
>the travel lane and waved me by on the shoulder, so my choice was either to stop on the shoulder
>and let complete her turn, or continue on as she asked me to do.

I'd exercise caution there. Even if you're sure of your communication with her, noone else at that
intersection expects you to come popping out on her right. So there's some risk, e.g., from
left-turners from the oncoming lane crossing your path.

This is a little like the classic pedestrian accident where a driver in the near lane on a 4-lane
road stops to wave a pedestrian across the road, preventing the pedestrian and traffic overtaking
the stopped driver from seeing each other. Some favors are best declined....

--Bruce Fields
 
A

Archer

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
> In article <[email protected]>, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:
> >I was too close behind her and going too fast to get stopped and go around her on the left; I
> >could get stopped before reaching the intersection, but not before going up alongside her. She
> >stopped in the travel lane and waved me by on the shoulder, so my choice was either to stop on
> >the shoulder and let complete her turn, or continue on as she asked me to do.
>
> I'd exercise caution there. Even if you're sure of your communication with her, noone else at that
> intersection expects you to come popping out on her right. So there's some risk, e.g., from
> left-turners from the oncoming lane crossing your path.

That's for sure; I was watching the oncoming traffic, and for the right- turn-on-red people from the
cross street as well.

....

--
David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
 
J

Jasper Janssen

Guest
On Thu, 29 May 2003 08:31:47 -0400, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:

>gone ahead and turned, she wouldn't have hit me because I slowed down in a hurry when I saw her
>turn signal go on, but it was nice that she waited for me once she realized I would have to take
>evasive action to avoid her if she didn't.

The woman was an idiot for not having her turn indicator on in the first place. By the time you're
stopped in front of the light, you should already be flashing.

Jasper
 
F

Fritz M

Guest
[email protected] (J. Bruce Fields) wrote:

> Some favors are best declined....

I was going up a hill, woman passed me, right-turn indicator on. I fell into line behind her, but I
guess she expected me to do the moronic and pass her on the right and she STOPPED. I had to slam on
the brakes to keep from rear-ending her. She looked at me and waved me forward and I just yelled
"GO! You have the right of way!"

RFM
--
To reply, translate domain from l33+ 2p33|< to alpha. 4=a 0=o 3=e +=t
 
O

One Of The Six

Guest
"Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Thu, 29 May 2003 08:31:47 -0400, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >gone ahead and turned, she wouldn't have hit me because I slowed down in a hurry when I saw her
> >turn signal go on, but it was nice that she waited for me once she realized I would have to take
> >evasive action to avoid her if she didn't.
>
> The woman was an idiot for not having her turn indicator on in the first place. By the time you're
> stopped in front of the light, you should already be flashing.
>

She also should have been moved all the way to the right not giving room for him to pass
(even/especially if there was a bike lane).

This is such a common scenario I don't even think about passing on the right when there is an
intersection. I either take the lane, move to the left, or stop.
 
J

Jasper Janssen

Guest
On Thu, 29 May 2003 20:16:21 -0700, "one of the six billion" <[email protected]> wrote:

>She also should have been moved all the way to the right not giving room for him to pass
>(even/especially if there was a bike lane).
>
>This is such a common scenario I don't even think about passing on the right when there is an
>intersection. I either take the lane, move to the left, or stop.

I usually do pass on the right, if there's room, but never at speed, and I never continue past the
stop light, until it's very clear that I can safely do so. Around here though, where such an
intersection usually gets 3 to 10 bikes every single iteration of the lights, rather than maybe a
bike once every couple of iterations, people do tend to look for bikes, and, probably out of
deference to their paintjobs (lots of sharp metal on a bike..), usually let you pass, as you're
entitled to.

Jasper
 
C

Chris Freeman

Guest
It's a good thing there wasn't an accident, which it sounds like you would have been cited. I could
just here someone in a car saying, "sorry officer, but I was just too close behind that car and
going too fast to stop, so I just went around them instead."

I don't think that would fly.

CF

archer wrote:

> I was too close behind her and going too fast to get stopped and go around her on the left; I
> could get stopped before reaching the intersection, but not before going up alongside her. She
> stopped in the travel lane and waved me by on the shoulder, so my choice was either to stop on the
> shoulder and let complete her turn, or continue on as she asked me to do.
 
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