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View Diary: Cycling: Air your grievances against drivers here (127 comments)

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  •  Turning right in front of cyclists (11+ / 0-)

    I have the right away and yet twice on my way home after worker, drivers thought they could go faster and turn right in front of me. First time this evening, I was going about 25 mph down hill and had to hard break and almost skidded out to miss hitting the passenger side of a white Toyota the woman was driving.

    The second time, some kid was talking on his cell (against the law here) and turned into his apartment parking lot. I'm glad I always look before that turnout and was expecting it.

    One of these days, I may not be so lucky.

    •  This one is confusing for drivers. If a biker is (4+ / 0-)

      behind you and you turn then shouldn't the biker stop and wait until you have turned.  I am not sure that you actually have the right of way if the driver gets to the corner first.  That really could use clarification for everyone's safety.

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:17:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the pass-and-turn that is the problem (12+ / 0-)

        Biker in front but in bike lane going straight through a light.
        Driver speeds past on the biker's left and then turns in front of the biker.

      •  Slow down (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        knocienz, luckydog, 2020adam, The Octopus

        The first driver gunned it to pass me by about 5 feet, so I guess she won. A steel cage and the gas pedal doesn't give you the right away or the license to kill.

        That said, it is one argument against bike lanes is because drivers are not trained to yield the right away to a forward traveling vehicle on their right. The bike lane is another lane of traffic. So, the motorist should yield (slow down) to the bicyclist, before making the turn. Turn behind the cyclist if it looks like it will be close or a tie.

        Of course, both the motorist and bicyclist should yield to the pedestrian crossing the driveway/street on the crosswalk or sidewalk.

        •  It's almost like we need to set up the idea (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckydog, DontTaseMeBro, The Octopus

          that to turn right, you need to merge into the bike lane.  You wouldn't (shouldn't) merge into a regular traffic lane and cut someone off, so the same should go for a bike lane.

          I wonder how it's possible to get that kind of thinking known?  Maybe they should sit a traffic cop at an intersection and hand out tickets for it, for awhile

          •  That is exactly what you're supposed to do (4+ / 0-)

            in California anyway. There shouldn't be any possibility that someone will pass you on your right when you're making a right turn.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

            by denise b on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 11:35:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, but cars don't always do that w/bike lanes (0+ / 0-)

              You're right, they should.

              But some cars don't think they have to merge over into a bike lane and follow all the normal rules for merging. They just barrel over it like it's extra space and turn.

              That's when the problems happen if there's a bike there that they didn't bother to notice.

              •  Driving habits can be hard to change (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BentLiberal, The Octopus

                If you've been driving for a long time so much of it is on autopilot. I've had to really work on making it second nature to think about bicycles, especially in my blind spot. Even without any bikes around it can be hard to be aware of everything going on in traffic.

                Something that's always bugged me is how you can get 30% (or is it 40%) wrong on your written test and still get a license. Which 30% of the rules of the road is it OK for you not to know when you're out there? There should be a section of the test that includes all the important stuff that you should have to get 100% on. As of now, in any situation there are an awful lot of people out there that don't know who has the right of way. And I would guess a lot of people who don't know that they're supposed to merge into the bike lane.

                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

                by denise b on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:07:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You are right about conditioning. I was taught (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Magnifico, The Octopus

          to never pass on the right so I don't expect passing on the right. Interesting. Maybe we need actual separate bike systems with signals that allow actual passing and turning. Clear cut, easy to learn right of way rules. Perhaps taking the bike lanes from the right and moving them to the center. Don't leap on me ... I am just trying out ideas.

          Maybe street signs that explain bike and vehicle interaction rules clearly. Yield Right turn to BIKE LANE. Tickets for violaters (bikes too). Bikes are going to be increasingly used in cities so we gotta get some fair rules. And none of that self righteous attitudes on either side. No one should get a pass to ignore safety laws.

      •  At intersections (11+ / 0-)

        At red lights, if I am first and there is room -- and there almost always is -- then I move FAR TO THE LEFT in the traffic lane.  Traffic coming up behind me can turn right on red, approaching from behind me.  But they don't ever turn in front of me, which is very dangerous.  Nothing like getting smooshed against the curb.

        If I am not first, I will hold my place in line.  I usually come into the lane so that no car comes to a stop directly to my left.  Not safe.  As soon as traffic begins moving, I move as far right as is practicable.

        "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

        by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:28:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your approach makes perfect sense. It is (0+ / 0-)

          the other situation, I pass you and move to turn right and a biker is behind me.  I usually move into the bike lane so they have to slow down, that way there is no way I can hit them, they may hit me but I am not going to hit them.

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:37:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If in passing a cyclist... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sja, luckydog, crose, peachcreek

            ...only to then turn right, the driver causes the cyclist to slow or change his/her path of travel, in my opinion, the passing maneuver was probably not safe and the driver should have waited for the cyclist to clear the intersection and then made the right turn behind the bicyclist.

            Think about it this way: a driver would most like NOT make this maneuver with the other vehicle being a car or truck.  If that's the case, it should not be done with the other vehicle being a bicycle.

            "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

            by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:43:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well not exactly, if it was a car, I would (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denise b

              move right so that I would be in front and clearly turning and the car would slow down or stop.  If I am in front and can move right after signaling, I think I would have the right of way.    

              "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

              by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:51:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is there a turn lane? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                luckydog

                If so, and if the cyclist is going straight, the cyclist should not be in a right turn lane.

                If there is not a turn lane, in most places I've driven, a driver passing someone only to then slow and turn right would get a big old horn honk, more often than not.

                "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:55:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, happens all the time but maybe we (0+ / 0-)

                  are not speaking of the same thing.  You never cut anyone off to turn. Intersections just are not set up to make everyone safe especially bikers traveling straight through when right hand turns are the norm at corners from the right lane.  If you are a car, you move to the left lane if you are moving through the intersection.   I have heard so many stories of bikers being injured by people turning in front of them or opening car doors..traveling in that narrow right lane just does not seem safe.  You would think there was a better solution.

                  "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                  by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 11:03:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Totally agree (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    luckydog, adrianrf

                    traveling in that narrow right lane just does not seem safe.  You would think there was a better solution.

                    It's very dangerous.  In that kind of situation, I'll come so far to the left that no car could reasonably turn in front of me.  If there is a bike lane, I'll leave it to do so (which is a legal move here in Florida).

                    "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                    by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 11:06:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your approach seems the safest and it is what I (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      The Octopus

                      would expect a car to do but for some reason drivers don't expect that from bikers and we should.

                      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                      by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 11:09:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Most cyclists I know won't do this. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        luckydog, lakehillsliberal, adrianrf

                        There are a lot of riders should would never do this.  They don't feel comfortable being that much in traffic (and I can understand that).  Or they don't want to do something that they see as aggressive or irritating to other road users.  And I can understand that, too.

                        I feel, at least with that lane positioning, the driver -- unless he or she is totally distracted -- will see me.  They might be pissed because I held them up from their turn for a second or two.  But at least pissed off people see you....  And if I have to choose between "pissed driver" and "accident victim"...  mot much of a debate there.

                        "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                        by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 11:13:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  How's the biker to know? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Octopus

        Unless you've already stopped and are signaling when the bike passes you, the bike rider won't know.

        Unless you have eye contact with the cyclist, slow down and wait before you turn right.  In effect, you are crossing into another lane of traffic, and you need to act accordingly.

        A Proud Member of the Professional Left® since August 10th, 2010.

        by mbayrob on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:02:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A driver should be signalling his intention so (0+ / 0-)

          a rider should be fully away of what a driver is going to do.  If that happens then everyone should proceed carefully and the biker should be expect a right hand turn by the driver and slow down..  If a driver does not use his signals as many don't, then he is completely in the wrong and should be ticketed at the very least.

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:45:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The dreaded "right hook" (7+ / 0-)

      Very dangerous.

      It's as if a driver believes that you're no longer there once they pass you.

      Drivers often times fail to realize how fast a cyclist if moving.

      They see a small object.  And they know, because they have passed you, that you are moving "slow" -- at, least, slower than they are.

      When I'm moving anywhere near the speed of traffic, I take the lane.  And I tend to come out into the lane more at intersections -- both to avoid the right hook and so that people turning right onto the street I'm traveling on do not accidentally pull out in front of me.  Remember, those folks are looking for something the size of a car, not a bike, in the lane in deciding whether it's safe for them to turn right.

      Be careful out there!

      "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

      by The Octopus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:25:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your positioning is very important..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckydog, The Octopus

        Sometimes you have to place yourself in such a way that they can't move around you.

        Voting for a republican because you are disappointed in Obama is like leaving your kids with a pedophile because you're pissed that the babysitter was late.

        by Azdak on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:30:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know maybe the bike lane should be in the (0+ / 0-)

      middle and not on the right.  Would that make travel safer, not sure.  

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:45:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I doubt any cars in the right lane (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckydog

        would allow bikes to merge in and turn right.

      •  I've been in one of those... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckydog

        middle of the road bike lane, 2 lanes of auto traffic on each side - drivers turning left don't glance over their left shoulders before turning, so it's just freaky from a whole different direction.

      •  Not sure what you mean, but in CA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckydog

        There are cases actually, where the put in a right-hand turn lane, and then they stripe the bike-lane, for that part only, right in the middle of the right hand turn lane and the next lane (the one going straight).

        That's okay, but it also has its problems. For example,  the bike has to manuever to merge left to stay in the bike lane.

        And another problem is if cars switch between the straight lane and the right hand turn lane illegally by crossing over the solid white line (and the bike lane)

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