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  #1  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:26 PM
ephany ephany is offline
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Default Dear Fellow Cyclists

I traveled up Williams during rush for 10 blocks this afternoon and it was hell--not because of the cars, but because of the constant stream of inconsiderate fellow cyclists. *Maybe* 2 people who passed me actually gave any sort of verbal warning and all of them passed too close for safety, sometimes one on each side at the same time.

I want to stand out there with signs reminding people how to demonstrate basic courtesy to their fellow riders.

Can't we do better than this?
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:27 PM
maxadders maxadders is offline
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"On your left" is something I use defensively-- to keep you from weaving into my path. If you seem to be traveling in a reasonably straight line, and there's room to pass, I say nothing and just get it over with.

If you need to turn, it's up to you to look over your shoulder. If you need to know what's coming up behind you, get a mirror.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:40 PM
lazlo lazlo is offline
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If you pass close by while overtaking another rider, you're obligated to give some sort of warning, in my opinion. If you don't plan to give warning, you should take the traffic lane to pass. Even with a mirror, it's possible to be surprised by an overtaking rider if you're focused on what's ahead. And passing on the right is almost never cool. I agree with the OP that some courtesy is in order on Williams.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2009, 03:06 PM
OnTheRoad OnTheRoad is offline
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Passing on the right is almost never cool it is just not expected.

But slower cyclists should stay to the right just like any vehicle. If people are passing you on the right, it means that you are not going fast enough to take the position you are using in the bike lane.

You should move to the right, and then at least you'll know that if people are going to be passing you it will be on your left. And it will give them more room to do so.

I give warning if I'm passing extra close, and if I am passing a slower rider on the right I always loudly announce I AM PASSING YOU ON THE RIGHT no matter how close I am to them.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2009, 03:26 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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I haven't ridden the Williams Avenue route, nor have I had to ride any other route, such as the Hawthorne Bridge MUP during rush hour....and feel glad I don't have to. It seems that the Williams Avenue situation in terms of bike traffic, is rather extraordinary for Portland. Apparently, the limited width of this street's bike lane is so thick with riders moving at different rates of speed, that the effectiveness of commonly used forms of alerting people that they are being passed, is failing to meet up to the demands of the situation.

It's a new situation for Portland, perhaps for any american city. Too many bikes...too many voices calling out 'passing on left' in close succession. No lane for slower riders that would allow faster riders to stay in the bike lane and not be forced to repeatedly enter the main traffic lane primarily used by faster motor vehicles. Of course, if the abuses you mentioned, happened at a time when there wasn't actually much traffic present, there's isn't really any excuse for that.

ephany, did you happen to notice and read the two main page articles and comments on the Williams Avenue bike traffic situation? I think they ran earlier this month or late in July. Providing links to them here and/or going through the comments and possibly re-posting a couple of them here might be a helpful thing to consider.

Some commenters noted that because of the problems on Williams, they've opted to ride on a smaller street with less traffic just east of Williams.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:31 PM
lazlo lazlo is offline
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Then you are indeed courteous, ontheroad. I agree in principle with your lane positioning statement, but I've been passed there when I was riding in the bike lane to the right. This happens when someone chooses to go out of the bike lane on the right, when there are no cars parked there.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2009, 09:53 PM
ephany ephany is offline
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Unhappy Two Steps Forward, Eight Steps Back

maxadders:

Maybe you could post a picture of you and your bike so then I'll know at least one person to actively avoid when I'm on the road. I don't know where you learned the rules of the road, but here's a news flash: It's the responsibility of the person passing to do so safely. That goes for bikes as well as cars.

If you need to turn, it's up to you to look over your shoulder. If you need to know what's coming up behind you, get a mirror.

Nowhere in my post did I mention turning. I was traveling straight in the bike lane during the incidents that I talked about. I've been commuting by bike in Portland for 25 years and I think I'm pretty good at holding my line at this point. However I do often swerve suddenly to avoid potholes, debris, parked cars etc. On bridges and MUPs I also may veer left to avoid pedestrians, dogs, wobbly kids etc.

Inconsiderate riders such as yourself who blow by silently are a danger to yourself and others. The bike lane on Williams is not wide enough for bikes to ride two abreast and whatever my speed, I'm not obligated to cower to the right, in the door zone so you can get to your destination 30 seconds faster.

My partner has figured out a commute home on all low traffic streets except for a four block stretch on Interstate. It's rare that she goes those four blocks without a traffic altercation of some kind--like the racers on their way to PIR last week who passed within inches while an armored truck was also going by in a single lane next to the MAX tracks. The truck had nowhere to go to avoid the cyclists even if he wanted to. The driver honked in frustration at the racers, startling my partner and nearly causing her to veer off the road. When she confronted them at the stop light half a block later, all they had to say to her accusation of unsafe passing was, "We did? We said on your left!" I'm sure that would have been a great comfort had they actually caused her to wreck.

It'd be nice if the notion of courtesy was enough to change the atrocious passing habits of many cyclists, but seeing as it's actually a law, and people still can't be bothered to share the road, I suspect things will get much worse before they get better.

It just boggles my mind that cyclist get so irritated with car drivers who follow too closely on roads where it's clearly not safe to pass only to rev by inches away in frustration when it is--and then they go and do the same to their fellow bikers.


lazlo: Thanks for the support

wsbob: Good call, there is indeed at least one post on the Williams Ave debacle right here.


OnTheRoad: You should move to the right, and then at least you'll know that if people are going to be passing you it will be on your left. And it will give them more room to do so.

I give warning if I'm passing extra close...


First of all, you shouldn't be passing "extra close." See safe passing reference above. I think this comment from the story wsbob pointed out sums it up nicely.

Also, every time I hear "slower cyclists should ride farther over to the right so faster ones can pass"--I cringe. On streets with curbside parking (which it sounds like Williams is) the closest anyone should be to a parked car is three feet away. That three-foot space is called "The Door Zone". Just this morning a lady in my residential neighborhood opened her car door ahead of me without looking (or maybe just without seeing). Only because I was far enough over to the left did I not have to swerve, brake, or take a hit. Please don't expect or ask slower cyclists to take additional risks so you can more easily pass them.

All I'm asking is for people to follow the golden rule and play nice. Why is that so hard?
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:27 PM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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On the race track, it's up to the person doing the passing to pass safely.

Most of the cyclists around here act like they are racers.

Why should it be up to the slower rider to make sure you can zip by without breaking your momentum? If you want to get by, it's up to you to judge the safest point to do so, and then pass safely.

Look, don't pass on the right. It's unsafe. It's annoying. If you can't wait a couple of microseconds for it to be clear enough to pass safely on the left, maybe you are on the wrong route and need to find a route that doesn't have as many slower riders.

Sheesh. All ephany was looking for was a little common courtesy. Apparently, common courtesy has gone the way of common sense.
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:33 PM
steelsreal steelsreal is offline
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Cyclists are not required by law to give verbal warning when passing.

Repeat that to yourself over and over until it settles in.

Cyclists are also not under any legal burden to operate under your particular, subjective version of 'safe'.

By the way, how many of these unsafe riders made contact with you or your bike?
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:57 PM
maxadders maxadders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephany
maxadders: Maybe you could post a picture of you and your bike so then I'll know at least one person to actively avoid when I'm on the road.
Fair enough! Here I am:



Quote:
However I do often swerve suddenly to avoid potholes, debris, parked cars etc. On bridges and MUPs I also may veer left to avoid pedestrians, dogs, wobbly kids etc.
That sounds like dangerous behavior that threatens the bike community as a whole.

Quote:
The bike lane on Williams is not wide enough for bikes to ride two abreast
I disagree. It's the standard 5-6 feet in width, and by my estimation, one of the safer direct routes in town. The only time it's not wide enough is when someone is "cowering"-- from doors, in the middle of the lane. When I pass a bike on Williams, I'm usually doing so by hopping in the auto lane. Does this freak you out?

(edited for snippiness-- but seriously I don't endanger anyone when I ride. for real. sounds like the OP wants to condemn anyone who dares pass-- and I think that's a little silly.)

Last edited by maxadders; 08-31-2009 at 05:42 PM.
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