Dancers Anonymous > the perils of sharing the roadways with cyclists, etc....

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by RiseNFall, May 17, 2016.

  1. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Jealous. Most of my trips are too long to bike, but this area is also very hazardous to cyclists' health. I used to cycle across the George Washington Bridge and down the length of Manhattan every day--before there were dedicated bike paths in Manhattan--and I felt safer than I do riding around here.
     
  2. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    That stinks. Quite a few local drivers are less-than-pleased to share the road with a cyclist, but the only time I felt unsafe was getting cut off by an SUV driver who decided they needed to be in the left turn bay after the light had turned green, didn't signal, and would have taken out the front half of my bike had I not braked in the middle of pedaling up to speed. I get honked at once or twice a trip, though, but a lot of that is just the general rudeness of North Texas drivers.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Many--but not all--cyclists just don't help their cause when they fail to obey traffic laws, which creates an amount of unpredictability in their behavior. Unpredictability helps cause accidents. Most other drivers are predictable, to a large degree.
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    personally, though I realize that this is off topic, I wish there was a minimum road width required for cyclists to be allowed on roads without cycling lanes....because, with all of the huge gas guzzling SUVS out there(which I would also like to see banned from narrow roads), between having to lean right due to SUVS and lean left to avoid bikes, I am forever freaked that I am going to sideswipe one or the other...and I am a really good driver
     
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  5. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I completely agree about there being arrogant cyclists out there and they annoy/anger me both as a driver and as a cyclist. We have the whole mix here: some arrogant cyclists, some roads with too many curves and no actual delineated shoulder, and some drivers so unaware that cyclists who were doing absolutely everything they should on well-designed roads (and who have been advocates for cycling safety) have been killed. The second one of those did it for me. I only cycle here in groups who ride properly. The cycling club I am a member of is very strict about following proper road use rules and I cheerfully turn in other members and leaders who don't do what they should. :)

    As a result of all of this, my bicycle is under-utilized but I am loving the gym I recently joined. Ai Chai--Tai Chi in the water--is my absolute favorite, but there are a slew of excellent classes. I'm trying out a bunch, and learning which classes and teachers I prefer.
     
  6. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Really? That statement reeks of confirmation bias. I know it's probably an inflated statistic, but something they always talked about in driver's ed was the fact that the average driver commits a ticketable offense every mile. In DFW, it's probably even higher given how rare it is for people to actually use their turn signals for lane changes or turns (or to turn into the correct lane when turning onto a multi-lane road).
     
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  7. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Fasc, totally agree. I'd personally like it to be a crime to be driving a gas-guzzling SUV or pickup truck without enough passengers and/or cargo to justify driving a natural-resource-and-money-wasting behemoth. It's kind of sad seeing three F-150's (from the most recent 2 or 3 model years) drive through an intersection in a row, each with just the driver riding in them. But that's just my environmentalist side talking.
     
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  8. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Joe and I live in the sameish area and there are plenty of cyclist here that run stoplights and stop signs. Take up the entire lane while going below the speed limit on curvey roads where there are bike paths that run along the same road. There should be equal cyclist Ed for those who choose to share the road with other vehicles. I have almost hit cyclists because of their stupid decisions and I don't want to do that... Let alone hardly any of the ones I come across (which is warm weather is a ton) use turn signals and a higher stat than cars that do not.

    I just would think those that choose to ride bikes and share the road would be on the defensive as they share the road with vehicles that way so much more than they do. Drivers have the same responsibility to keep our roads safe, I just wish more cyclists would put in the same effort
     
    Joe likes this.
  9. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    The thing here (which you are probably already doing) with the cyclist is to just slow down until it is safe to pass the cyclist. And endure the honking of the people behind you if need be.

    (The huge vehicles that go down narrow roads and come at you at full clip are harder to deal with, as there is only so far you can move over to make room for them, and if they are coming at you, you aren't in control of when you pass each other.)
     
  10. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    FYI, going at or below the speed limit, regardless of what type of vehicle you're using, is in fact the only way to comply with the law of the speed limit (going over the speed limit, even though nearly every car driver does it, is in fact illegal). And in every state I've lived in, bicycles have a legal right to occupy a full lane in the road (just like a no-wider-than-one-lane wide farm vehicle, horse-drawn buggy, or other slow moving vehicle). Simply being inconvenient to you, or any other person on the roadway, doesn't take away another person's legal right to access the same public accommodation you're accessing.

    And I'd also argue that many lanes aren't wide enough to allow a car (even a subcompact) to pass a cyclist safely without veering into the next lane over, so it'd be *more* unsafe for the cyclist to try to occupy only the rightmost portion of the lane (which also tends to be a repository for more road debris that increases the risk of a cyclist wiping out and being involved in an accident).

    For the record, I wholeheartedly agree that cyclists should be following all the laws of the road when occupying the roadway, including using hand signals for turns and slowdowns. And I have no doubt that some cyclists display a cavalier disregard for some of those rules to make their travel more convenient (just as some car drivers do). But I have to object to your perception that going under the speed limit and occupying a full lane of road are in any way violating the rules that all vehicles should be following.
     
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...I mean I navigate both...but it is still unnerving when a road is busy and too narrow for both bikes and cars to be on together......another reason why I love Portland ...because virtually every road has a bike lane...(and the Subaru is the state car :))
     
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  12. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Going 10 mph below the speed limit certainly gums up traffic even if it isn't "illegal". And yes, everyone drives over the speed limit, but for the most part, in a pretty predictable fashion. The predictability of other drivers is what helps traffic to flow. Bicycles are not as predictable. I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually seen a cyclist use hand signals before turning.

    Actually, around here at least, the law says cyclists and scooters are supposed to occupy the rightmost lane and portion of the lane and or the shoulder whenever possible and when there isn't a bike lane. I looked into the laws recently because I was considering getting a scooter. Regardless of if cyclists have "the right" to use the full lane of traffic, if they are inconveniencing many people behind them that "right" becomes less important and common courtesy needs to come into play.
     
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  13. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    I looked at probably the same laws you did (VA) just to research what I had said - they recommend / encourage a 3 ft distance between cyclist and curb (or more if there's a safety concern, plus allowing for cyclists to move over to the left when preparing for a turn) and that vehicles leave a 3 ft berth when passing a cyclist - which translates in all roadways I encounter to bikes taking a full lane for practical purposes; even a honda fit is just over 5'6" wide, and I have yet to be on a roadway since I've started keeping track that had lanes even close to 11'6" wide.

    And I would reiterate that no, someone's rights to use a public accommodation (roadway) don't disappear because other people feel that they're inconvenienced by that person using that right. That fundamentally defeats the purpose of public accommodations.

    You're a scientist, so I'd question - have you collected rigorous data for your "count on one hand" claim, or is your confirmation bias just influencing you to reinforce your going in opinion with "data" from your (flawed, like every human's) memory?
     
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    perhaps we should view them in the same way that we view every other SMV or every other extra wide.....it is just a necessary caution...still, I wish municipalities would invest in lanes because they are neither slow, nor do they come with a bunch of warning signs...personally, I am all for cyclists, I would just like for them to have better accomodations....just as I prefer municipalities to have sidewalks for walkers....I think I am going to now have to move all of this to it's own thread as it seems clear that we do not want to unhighjack it :)
     
  15. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The thing about confirmation bias that makes me laugh is this. Just because I am looking for a reason to be pissed does not negate the fact that I am genuinely pissed and invalidate my feelings. Nor does it negate the fact the the offense may indeed be piss worthy. Just because I have a hang up about something doesn't mean the other guys isn't genuinely wrong.

    And so with the cyclist that must live somewhere somewhat near me... he now is my image of all cyclists. He does not stop when he approaches the 4-way stop at the top of my hill, he blows right through it. More than often I see him whizzing down hill on my street right down the middle far faster than the 25 mile an hour limit. He also had the gall to yell at me one time when I was pulling a heavy trailer and very slowly rolled through the stop sign because I was heading up hill and didn't want to have to stop the truck and pull again from a dead stop. (And that image of this man FAR outweighs the image of my good friend who is a cyclist of the highest order who would NEVER not signal or speed or disobey any law while on his bike.) And so now every time I see a cyclist who is a jerk it only cements further my negative thoughts about cyclists, and I shake my head and decry that cyclists are a hazard on the road. And every time I see this guy in my neighborhood I wait and watch to see what he does wrong. Confirmation bias? Yes. Is he still a jerk on a bike. Yes.

    My husband is a Police Sergeant. And I deal with confirmation bias every day with regard to people hating on cops. But the deal is... they aren't wrong. Bad cops (and bad cyclists) DO exist. And unfortunately those are the ones we remember.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yep...it was the same with working for hospice...the entire team of 10 could be delivering awesome service for months on end, but that one person who said something stupid or gave the wrong meds, or didn't show up when they should have, and that was the lens through which the entire team was often evaluated...and it's hard to fault people for that particularly when the offense was significant
     
  17. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    You're throwing confirmation bias around a lot, but I'm not talking about taking statistically relevant data but my personal experiences. I also think it's easy to throw out the phrase "confirmation bias" and totally disregard someone else's experiences because it fits YOUR biases.

    I take note when cyclists use hand signals because it is so rare to see it. I have seen cyclists blatantly ignore stop signs, stop lights, and "no turn on red" signs far far more than I have seen cars, even with a greater majority of cars being on the road. Most of the time I am not the one driving either, I am taking the bus or being driven and notice these things.

    If ONE person using that "public accommodation" amounts to TEN people behind them being delayed by 10 minutes (I've seen a cyclist hold up as many or more people on a two lane road) because they are going slowly and taking up a whole lane, doesn't that seem wrong to you though? I'm not saying cyclists don't have a right to use the roads, but can't there be a compromise reached where they don't foul up traffic? Certainly more bike lanes would help that, and there are many where I live, but on some roads there aren't
     
  18. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    And then there's the problem that many motor vehicle drivers have no idea what a hand signal is. I was riding in one vehicle and the driver swore under his breath at a cyclist using a hand signal, saying something along the lines of - "why is that guy sticking his &*%$#@^ arm out like that when I'm trying to figure out where he's going next?"
     
  19. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    That is sad.

    I did have the equivalent of Driver's Ed for bicycling when I was a kid, but then I grew up in a time and place where we rode our bikes everywhere. Central Illinois decades ago. The roads were less congested, tended to be straight, drivers expected to share the road with kids and college students on bicycles, and we rode reasonably appropriately.

    I admit that even for me, the bad cyclists stick in my mind more than the good ones. If it makes all of you who are fuming over rude/dangerous cyclists feel any better, the message board of the cycling group that I am a member spends as much time talking about the rude/dangerous cyclists as they do the rude/dangerous drivers. The latter are more likely to cause a fatality, however.
     
  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I did a quick check on WA state law.

    RCW 46.61.755
    (1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780 and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

    RCW 46.61.425
    Minimum speed regulation—Passing slow moving vehicle.
    (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law: PROVIDED, That a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120 on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.

    At least now I know that I CAN blow by cyclists on the scenic Columbia River Highway.

    RCW 46.61.770
    Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
    (1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.

    I could easily ride my bike the 2.5 miles to work, but even in this suburban area, it requires at lot of attention to drivers who drift into and over bike lanes at intersections with stop signs, etc. There was one time I really really thought I was going to die or be seriously injured.
     
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