PDA

View Full Version : Riding up Main on the way to Broadway


Cassiel240
08-07-2007, 03:04 PM
I hope this is the appropriate place to ask this question - I'm new here. I've been commuting from Gladstone to PSU for the past year and a half, and I've never quite gotten comfortable with how I ride this part of my route. Right off of the Hawthorne bridge heading West, things get crowded at rush hour, and while I feel at home in the traffic I'm not sure I ride this as courteously as I should. I've done it in a couple of different ways. One is keeping to the farthest-right lane and hoping I can get over into the left one so I can turn left on Broadway, which often results in getting stuck behind cars who are turning right earlier on (just past the statuary) or being unable to get over and having to ride up one more block to Park (not the end of the world but not preferable). Another is getting over into the lefthand lane as early as possible, usually before the statuary to avoid getting stuck behind right-turning cars, and riding in that lane all the way up to Broadway. This is usually ok because traffic isn't generally moving any faster than I can, but now and again that isn't true and I feel like a road hog. I'm probably splitting hairs here but not wanting to contribute to any anti-cycling milieu, I'd appreciate some input.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
08-07-2007, 06:00 PM
I hope this is the appropriate place to ask this question - I'm new here. I've been commuting from Gladstone to PSU for the past year and a half, and I've never quite gotten comfortable with how I ride this part of my route. Right off of the Hawthorne bridge heading West, things get crowded at rush hour, and while I feel at home in the traffic I'm not sure I ride this as courteously as I should. I've done it in a couple of different ways. One is keeping to the farthest-right lane and hoping I can get over into the left one so I can turn left on Broadway, which often results in getting stuck behind cars who are turning right earlier on (just past the statuary) or being unable to get over and having to ride up one more block to Park (not the end of the world but not preferable). Another is getting over into the lefthand lane as early as possible, usually before the statuary to avoid getting stuck behind right-turning cars, and riding in that lane all the way up to Broadway. This is usually ok because traffic isn't generally moving any faster than I can, but now and again that isn't true and I feel like a road hog. I'm probably splitting hairs here but not wanting to contribute to any anti-cycling milieu, I'd appreciate some input.

This is definitely the appropriate place to pose your question. I go on this route each morning, though I turn right at 4th, just after The Elk. If I were going your way past 4th, I would use the left lane. I understand your "road hog" feeling, but you can take the lane if you can keep pace with traffic. In this area, traffic actually slows me down. So I would have no problem with taking the lane.

The only question for you is whether you can keep up with the typical pace of traffic here. If so, you should take the lane. If not, then perhaps stay in the right lane longer.

On a bit of a tangential note, one of my pet peeves is motorists who can't wait even a few seconds behind cyclists. Apparently it's a sign of weakness or something. I don't think we should feel bad about making people wait a little -- how many times have you waited when driving for another motorist? And we don't have to according to the law. Slowing traffic for a few blocks at a time is probably a different matter. You're probably not supposed to do that. But so long as it's only a bit of a delay, I think you're fine. In fact, I think you help raise awareness that motorists need to share the road by making them realize that they can't harass or run over you simply because they experience a momentary delay. Of course, most people don't feel safe doing this, so go with what you're comfortable with.

And on a technical note, the left-turning traffic on 3rd may slow you down in the same way if you get to the left right after coming off the bridge. Unfortunately, you're not supposed to change lanes by The Elk (between 3rd and 4th), so it's a bit of a catch-22.

toddistic
08-07-2007, 08:52 PM
taking the lane is called "traffic calming" and i do it any chance I can get. people need to learn patience, a simple wave at the drivers behind you when you get out of their way speaks volumes about sharing the road.

Cassiel240
08-07-2007, 09:14 PM
Thanks! As a rule I don't have a problem taking the lane when I need to, I just wasn't sure if there was a better way to do this. I definitely keep pace with traffic down there - this afternoon I was often slowed down to the pace of traffic, in fact. It's only the rare occasion in which I find myself trying to scramble up toward Broadway with a car behind me and I feel a little bad.

I like the idea of "traffic calming" though. :D

dennis
08-07-2007, 11:56 PM
I've found that besides taking the lane, a simple signal of my intentions, speaks volumns to drivers for their consideration of my slowing them. It even makes some smile and it's also one of those silly laws that's suppose to make us civil.

fetishridr
08-08-2007, 10:50 AM
i know its illegal, but that is where the least amount of traffic is. there are usually 4 cars stacked up to turn right on fourth while waiting for peds, so if you can get around them its clear sailing up to broadway because all of the cars are blocked. pay attention to the light at broadway, because the gate is sometimes closed, and you can turn left from the right lane.

heres a secret too. if you can hold 15 mph and you hit the light after the bridge right as it turns green, every light is green as you go to PSU. The only hard part is the hill leading to broadway and then right after the turn. try it sometime. you'll make it up there without stopping, completely out of breath and drenched in sweat.

Tbird
08-08-2007, 10:56 AM
Go across Broadway ( or whatever street you're turning right onto...) and come to a stop at the far side crosswalk, wait for the light to change and continue South on Broadway in the bike lane. That's the way it's done in Holland, except they have the luxury of an existing bike lane in both directions with a divider for directing the turn...
I hope that made sense;)

Tbird
08-08-2007, 11:08 AM
Here's the kind of set up I was referring to....
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Koningin+Emmakade,+2517+Den+Haag,+Den+Haag+(Sout h+Holland),+Netherlands&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=60.551768,100.371094&ie=UTF8&ll=52.081748,4.28783&spn=0.000729,0.001532&t=h&z=19&om=0
I wish our city folks could figure this one out. Doesn't seem that difficult.

Cassiel240
08-08-2007, 12:00 PM
heres a secret too. if you can hold 15 mph and you hit the light after the bridge right as it turns green, every light is green as you go to PSU. The only hard part is the hill leading to broadway and then right after the turn. try it sometime. you'll make it up there without stopping, completely out of breath and drenched in sweat.

I noticed this once on one of my workouts while not commuting (which involves my commute + the addition of a route home through Lake O and Oregon City) - very nicely timed! Fortunately I wear bike clothes (spandex & coolmax) to commute in, so arriving with dripping sweat isn't a problem.

I'll try signalling more often; I know I don't do that enough.

Duncan
08-08-2007, 12:33 PM
I have no problem waiting for a bike, but... when its uneccessary, mean spirited or rude its another matter. Riding two abreast on a one lane street, weaving in and out of traffic forcing cars to slam on their brakes, the veer right to turn left trick, all just make it difficult for me to do my job as a driver- not kill anyone. Also if you run a stop sign, force me to stop please dont flip me off- my kids in the car and he doesnt need to see that.

My rule of thumb as a biker is that if there are to lanes, Ill take one as needed when I need it, and on one lane rds if I can go the speed limit (I can do 25 for a bit on flat, longer downhill), and I will ride two abreast on side streets or bike lanes, but not on arterials. YMMV, but the idea of "share the road" goes two ways. I also dont like feeling a SUV scraping my fender so the sooner they get by the better IMHO.

My bike pet peeve are car drivers who use bike ways as their own private race track. I live off Woodard, and ofetn drive down Clinton to get to my house, and when I do keep it slow... but some falks get on Clinton and scream around the rotaries like its the last turn in the Indy 500 and they are in second place.