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Matt P.
05-10-2006, 09:44 AM
Traveling westbound in the bike lane on SE Caruthers, came to a full stop at the stop sign at Water Ave. near the Portland Opera. A gray SUV stopped in the traffic lane next to me at the same time. As I started across the street, the lady in the SUV attempted to turn onto Water Ave in front of me at the same time. She did not use a turn signal. Roughly 7:00am, Wednesday May 10th, 2006.


Soapbox moment: I really hate the fact that drivers do this, as if they're totally ignorant of the Oregon Vehicle Code (maybe they are). I am one of those cyclists who obeys the rules of the road, even when there is no traffic - I signal, I wear a helmet, my bike has proper lights and I don't wear headphones. I ride in the bike lane if it's present and safe to do so, and I don't weave in and out of parked traffic if there is no bike lane. I take a lane if necessary, but always stay to the right as far as practicable. What the %&$#* is up with the motorists? When I drive, I don't get aggressive with every other motorist because one guy cut me off, or ran a red light - why is it different with cyclists.

Note - these are rhetorical questions - I'm just venting steam.
(End Soapbox)

-Matt P.

Israel
05-10-2006, 11:18 PM
Matt, I couldn't agree more. It's a hard truth that signaling means way more to cyclists than to drivers, and that needs to change. One thing though: When you need to take up a lane while biking, TAKE UP A LANE. I mean ride to the left side. Otherwise, you're creating two potential dangers: 1. car doors. 2. I ALWAYS get some aggressive jerk trying to teach me a lesson by seeing how close he can miss me while gunning his engine and passing, so, just don't give them the chance. Remember, if you have no better option it's completely your legal right.

Matt P.
05-12-2006, 02:03 PM
That's part of what irks me so much about this particular incident. I was in the bike lane, there was no cross-traffic, the bike lane extends all the way to the intersection, and the vehicle coming up behind / beside me had no signal on. There was no reason to take the lane, and since this was (presumably) safe, there was no legal right to do so (the traffic code presumes that a vehicle approaching an intersection with no signals on will continue straight). I was completely in the right, riding safe, and doing everything I was supposed to do.

I know, this stuff happens every day - I realize that part, but that doesn't stop me from feeling rightfully irritated about it.

Thanks for the advice, Israel.

peregrine
05-12-2006, 02:28 PM
Are you sure she even saw you? I can imagine a driver doing a ton of things other than driving and being alert to the surrounding traffic.

Matt P.
05-12-2006, 10:54 PM
Well, I wasn't masked by other vehicles or by any poles, mailboxes, or other obstructions. I was solidly in the bike lane and right up at the intersection. I was in motion when she was catching up to me. There's no reason why she shouldn't have seen me in normal circumstances, and I certainly saw her in my glasses-mounted mirror.

Just because I was clearly visible doesn't mean she saw me, though - so I can't really answer your question.