PDA

View Full Version : Bike Lane leaving curb for right turn lane, what do you do?


Martell
07-22-2009, 09:25 AM
Often when there is a right turn lane for cars, the bike lane leaves the curb and extends out into the road, passing directly through the turn lane.

Is there some standard safety advice on what to do when the lane does this? I usually stand up on my bike to make myself more noticeable (and to be ready to leap at any second), turn my head so I can get a good view of who's coming in to kill me, and generally try to get through as quickly as possible.

I had an incident yesterday when a lady talking on a cell almost ran me over as I was passing over the turn lane (following the bike lane of course). She didn't even notice me when I pedaled up to get her attention at the light.

It seems like these situations are common for me.

Haven_kd7yct
07-22-2009, 10:01 AM
There's a good example of this right over here by Bridgeport Village, where the bike lane moves from the curb on one side of the intersection to between the right turn lane and the straight lane, midblock past the intersection and before the next intersection.

What do I do? I get out of the bike lane before the first intersection and get in the car lane.

I look back first, and signal my intentions, and wait for an opening, of course. Then I cross the intersection with the rest of the traffic and keep pedaling into the bike lane.

I've only had one guy yell at me "you belong in the bike lane!" to which I yelled back, "I am". :)

This sort of intersection also exists westbound Durham Rd at Hall blvd. In that instance, the bike lane with dashed lines moves between the turn lane and straight lane mid-block before the intersection. If I'm going straight, I look back, the stay in the bike lane. Most car traffic is good about signaling for the turn and waiting for me to clear. Most of the time, though, I'm also turning right, so I just stay right and signal my turn.

RonC
07-22-2009, 03:36 PM
Martell, it sounds like you've got a pretty good start on what to do. I semi-frequently ride through the Bridgeport Village shooting gallery that Haven described above, and what I usually do is extend my left hand out with palm back and arm angled slightly down, sort of a combination stop/merging left hand signal for trailing vehicles, to let them know they need to slow while I'm following the bike lane to the left. You need to ride with a little confidence and nerves of steel to make it safely through these areas, and also be ready in the likely event someone just doesn't see you.

I use a glasses-mounted rear-view mirror, which lets me anticipate whats going down, and time my actions based on where the trailing traffic is. The gloves I wear in the summer are bright yellow for visibility of hand signals. In winter, I wear gloves with reflective panels for visiblity at night.

wsbob
07-22-2009, 08:12 PM
In Beaverton, one example of the bike lane continuing on through the intersection, that crosses over the right turn lane, is on Jenkins Rd between Murray and 158th. It's clearly designated with wide, white lines a good distance from the intersection....guessing 150'. Motor vehicle drivers should have no trouble figuring out what those lines are telling them about where the bike lane is going.

A person on a bike in such a lane, hand signaling as RonC notes, should get the message to an attentive driver that the person on the bike will be taking the indicated lane. Everyone commenting here so far seems to recognize it's still necessary while preparing to cross the turn lane, to keep an eye out and make sure the driver of the motor vehicle actually is actually getting the message....before proceeding.

I don't think I'd want to risk confusing the road user behind by using a hand signal that's halfway between the 'stop' and the 'left turn' signal. I'd probably just give them the arm straight out left turn signal...or maybe alternate between the two signals while making the merge.

RonC
07-23-2009, 09:01 AM
Hey ws bob! I don't mind confusing the drivers a bit if it keeps me from getting wiped out. If a driver yields for me I usually give them a friendly wave or thumbs-up to acknowledge their courtesy. If they cut me off there's another digit that can be raised, though I've found it does little to decrease tensions between drivers and cyclists who likely will encounter each other again, being the creatures of habit that we are.

biciclero
07-23-2009, 10:24 AM
Heh--all this advice from Beaverton/Tigard...

There are two examples of the right-only-with-bike-lane-crossing that I encounter frequently; each is in a different style:

One, at the north end of Murray Blvd, at the US 26 crossing/entrance has lines painted that pretty much keep the bike lane on a straight path that gradually eases across the growing right turn lane. IMO, this is the best style for this situation. The main benefit of having stripes that merge across the right turn lane is so motorists get the idea that you WILL be merging across, and you are SUPPOSED to merge across. Otherwise, 9/10 of them think you are an arrogant, suicidal maniac who deserves to get run over for "darting into traffic". Don't get me started.

The other example, Eastbound on Barnes road as you go up the hill past the newer "Professional Center" that is just west of Cedar Hills Blvd, has lines that keep the bike lane against the curb until the right turn lane is fully developed, and then the bike lane stripes make a 45-degree angle turn left across the right turn lane, then right again to resume a path along the shoulder once past the right turn lane. This is a crappy style of lane marking. Fortunately, traffic into the Professional Center is extremely low, so I never really have any problems here. It sounds like this latter style is the kind that martell is dealing with.

If the right turn lane you must cross is one that slowly "grows" out of an existing lane, then you should stay on a line that keeps you going straight as the right turn lane grows wider to your right--even if you have to leave the bike lane early to do it. Sometimes we have to color outside the lines. Of course, check your six before doing so (btw, +2 for the rear-view mirror! I use a "Take-a-Look" glasses-mounted mirror. It is life-changing when you make the adjustment to using a rear-view mirror.) If you are continuing in a straight line, it seems kind of funny to signal a move to the left; you would have to play that by ear.

If your right turn lane is just an existing lane that at some point becomes right turn only, then you will have to monitor traffic and pick a good gap where you can move over early and then stick to your guns. Just check and signal like any other lane change--the key is to do it early enough to avoid getting squeezed. In these situations I tend to move over when a gap presents itself, rather than wait to be some "appropriate" distance from where I really need to be in another lane. It might feel like you are moving over super early, but so be it. IMO, it is better to "make" everybody possibly slow down a little rather than make drivers have to stop to let you over after it is too late. The slower the traffic, the earlier you can merge. In slow traffic situations, I will just merge in with auto traffic in whatever lane I want, knowing that I will be going the same speed as cars--I essentially pretend I am a car. It sucks when you are behind an exhaust pipe, but it is only temporary. Just remember that passing on the right is legal, but lane-splitting is not; that's why I will take my place in line as though I were in a car.

Sorry to ramble on; good luck with your travels!

p.s. RE: signaling in the dark--I have started wearing two reflective leg bands around my left arm: one just above my elbow, and the other around my wrist. You can also get reflective "snap bands" that are generally sold for runners, but work great for cyclists as well. These make my signaling arm more visible in the dark.

RonC
07-23-2009, 11:39 AM
p.s. RE: signaling in the dark--I have started wearing two reflective leg bands around my left arm: one just above my elbow, and the other around my wrist. You can also get reflective "snap bands" that are generally sold for runners, but work great for cyclists as well. These make my signaling arm more visible in the dark.

That's a great idea! Thanks.

q`Tzal
07-23-2009, 03:21 PM
p.s. RE: signaling in the dark--I have started wearing two reflective leg bands around my left arm: one just above my elbow, and the other around my wrist. You can also get reflective "snap bands" that are generally sold for runners, but work great for cyclists as well. These make my signaling arm more visible in the dark.

Great success with GloGlov (http://www.gloglov.com/).

Stretchy enough to fit over XXL light winter gloves.

Actually IS as bright as the pictures on their website.

http://www.gloglov.com/Jessrevisedfullhand606.JPG

Mostly use it durring the winter when my commute is in the dark.

biciclero
07-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Stretchy enough to fit over XXL light winter gloves.

Ah, so they are stretchy, eh? That's been my biggest reason for not checking these out, since I wear some pretty thick winter gloves during the dark season and was worried they wouldn't fit over.

Do you know if these are available at the former Pedi-Green (now "Roadway Safety Store", or something like that) in Hillsboro?

q`Tzal
07-24-2009, 03:50 PM
The PediGreen physical storefront seems to be closed.
This Roadway Safety Store you speak of is news to me. I can see it in Google Maps but I did not know about it. There is also no indication from the PediGreen website that the two are affiliated in any way.

Realistically, these gloves should be carried by every bike store that also sells helmets. Even during daylight these gloves make hand signals easier to identify against the clutter urban visual backdrop.

Alan
07-24-2009, 04:13 PM
http://www.gloglov.com/order_gloves.html says that in Portland you can get them at Coventry Cycle, Clever Cycle or United Health & Safety, and it has phone numbers. I'd been meaning to try a pair so I picked them up at Coventry yesterday, even before I read this thread. They are made of a lycra-like fabric and fit over large, insulated ski gloves with stretch to spare. They stay nicely on the glove when I take the glove off. They're slightly loose on my bare hand but they won't fly off even if I shake them hard (large hand, slim fingers).

I also have a pair of Luminator brand reflective gloves (http://www.mcrsafety.com/gloves/leather/luminator-multi-task.html or google: Luminator gloves for distributors). They are a rugged full-finger glove with reinforced leather palms and leather inside fingers, with bright orange stretch mesh and silver reflective tape mostly on the backs with only a single patch on the palm side of the velcro wrist closure. So, slightly different focus and purpose, but still a nice product that gets me seen at night.

BTW, this thread has drifted away from the original "Bike Lane leaving curb for right turn lane" topic. There are several of those cross-overs in east Vancouver. I try to signal my intention to move left well in advance, check over my shoulder and make eye contact with approaching drivers. I will also point at the bike lane, especially if slowing. As others have said, I'll also moved into the through-lane early if that feels safer.

q`Tzal
07-24-2009, 10:01 PM
BTW, this thread has drifted away from the original "Bike Lane leaving curb for right turn lane" topic.

OH MY! A forum thread that has veered off topic!

How uncivilized. :)

BTW, in the least preachy way possible, Martell should look in to Effective cycling (http://books.google.com/books?id=0n2t7P1v2M8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0)By John Forester.

I found that I was already doing about half, or more, of the techniques that he describes and that by implementing the rest that I get more respect on the road and more predictable behavior out of motor vehicles.

More directly to the topic: I think my favorite example of unsafe bike lane layout in a right turn is the eastbound SW Baseline just after SW 185th.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2478/3754142158_b621248fd7.jpg

Now the line in red represents the path laid out by the DOT. As the bike lane terminates inside 2 right turn lanes to continue on Baseline you must cross the turning lanes in an uncontrolled intersection, transition to a sidewalk only to immediately cross another uncontrolled intersection. There are no marked crosswalks here but you are mandated, by signage, to stop being a cyclist and behave as a pedestrian.

The green line represents the path that is safest for the vehicular cyclist. And because we are legally designated as vehicles in Oregon you are too. I merge over before the right turn only lane. It is legal to continue forward in the middle lane. Since that lane is dual purpose, right turn or forward, I position myself in the middle so that it is obvious from my lane position that I am not turning right ahead.
Once I pass the two turn lanes I take up the right side of the lane again and merge back to the bike lane once it is safe to do so.


... Luminator brand reflective gloves ...

I don't know if anyone else's hands sweat or they encounter strange moisture from the sky but nothing leather is easy to clean out. Repeated exposure to wet and dry cycles destroys leather gloves VERY quickly. They certainly look like good gloves and as we all know the 3M brand name pasted all over the page must mean that the product is the very best.

Alan
07-24-2009, 11:31 PM
OH MY! A forum thread that has veered off topic! How uncivilized. :)

*chuckle!* Imagine that! ;)

BTW, in the least preachy way possible, Martell should look in to Effective cycling (http://books.google.com/books?id=0n2t7P1v2M8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0)By John Forester.

Looks like a very good recommendation. Thanks!

I don't know if anyone else's hands sweat or they encounter strange moisture from the sky but nothing leather is easy to clean out. Repeated exposure to wet and dry cycles destroys leather gloves VERY quickly.

I thrash gloves quite badly, particularly in woods, brush and dirt, so yeah, soggy leather is familiar. After rinsing off excess mud in cool water, inside and out, I clean them with saddle soap according to directions on the can, let them air-dry, then rub plenty of either mink oil or SnoSeal into the leather. I just use my hands to rub it in, inside and out; gloves and hands both come out nice and soft. Yeah, no oil for chrome-tanned boot leather (wax only) but it works fine for me on soft glove leather. I do that whenever the leather starts feeling stiff and like dry skin; generally I get 5 to 8 very abusive days out of a good clean/oil. I usually lose gloves before the leather wears out (years). I've only had the Luminators since May, only worn them a few times so far, so I'm not sure how that will all work out with the fabric backs on them, but it seems like it will work OK. My guess is the fabric will wear out before the leather.

NA_CA
07-29-2009, 09:29 AM
This in response to a side discussion on Pedigreen and Glo Glov's.
Pedigreen (Pedestrian and Safety Products, Inc) did close their storefront in December of last year. We are doing business as an on-line store only. We do have some of our products in the Frans Pauwels Memorial Community Bicycle Center if you would like to drop by and try them on. This is the location link.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=21785+SE+TV+HWY,+ALOHA+OR,+97006&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=44.52365,99.228516&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr

10% of all our sales goes to the WashCo BTC.

Glo Glov's are in stock at the FPMCBC or you can order them on line at www.pedigreen.com. (Mention BikePortland and I'll pay shipping) :)
Pedigreen is a stand alone company and is not affiliated with Road Safety in Hillsboro.

biciclero
07-30-2009, 11:22 AM
I think my favorite example of unsafe bike lane layout in a right turn is the eastbound SW Baseline just after SW 185th.


Ugh. I rode through here the other day, never having gone through it before. Thanks to Google maps, though I knew it was coming and I moved over to the second (middle) lane even before the light (on the west side of 185th). The intended bike path has a couple of problems:

It designates the first crossing only after you are already slightly around the corner, making you less visible to drivers making the right turn.

It takes you out of a lane where drivers turning from the side street onto Baseline would see you and be more likely to yield, as they would to any other traffic. Instead, it turns you into a pedestrian (nobody on a bike is going anywhere important or concerned with travel efficiency, right? They don't mind having to dismount and stop or walk while other traffic gets to blast right through, right? Grr) and puts you in a position where motor vehicles are supposed to yield, but are much less likely to yield, leaving you sitting there until a break in traffic comes--which is hard to see because you have to look behind you to see who might be wanting to turn the corner.