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  #1  
Old 09-27-2006, 12:43 PM
jami jami is offline
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Default policeman with no turn signal

Just past the statue on SW Main this morning where the cars all turn right without signaling, I was pleased to see a cop waiting at the light, and no one with signals on. Surely no one would neglect to use his signal with a cop around, so I should be able to cruise through on the right with no trouble, right?

Out of hard-learned habit, though, I decided to hang back from the cop as traffic started moving. Sure enough, he flipped on his blinker as he pulled through the crosswalk and turned right in front of me. I shook my head and frowned and kept on keepin' on.

This wasn't the most dangerous thing that's ever happened to me, but if I were a cyclist who trusts cars to use their signals and zips on by, it would have been messy. I'm far from the kneejerk cop-hater one occasionally sees here, but I would think police would use their turn signals a little more effectively. The law says you should signal half a block in advance, if memory serves.

Tsk.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2006, 02:08 PM
Buckwad Buckwad is offline
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If you got the car number, you can file a complaint with the police department. My wife did the same for a police car that was driving slow/wobbly. It is important that the police set a good example of following the law if they are to enforce it.

http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=26646
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2006, 05:27 PM
JeffH JeffH is offline
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The thing is that you can never expect any motorist to follow by the rules. The same goes for cyclists, actually. Be aware and take every precautionary measure, and stay safe! The "hang back" trick works 75% (or so) of the time.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2006, 08:34 AM
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Attornatus_Oregonensis Attornatus_Oregonensis is offline
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Has anyone read "Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists"? Apparently, the general prohibition against "passing on the right" probably applies to cyclists (it's an open question of law), making it illegal to do what (maybe) jami was doing (and what I often do). That is, any passing cars on the right outside of a bike lane may be a violation of the law, meaning that you will be considered partly at fault if you collide with a non-signaling car that turns right in front of you.

Three disclaimers: I'm not sure exactly what the law is on this point (that was part of my point). Also, I don't know whether there is a bike lane where jami was on Main. Finally, I'm not accusing jami of doing anything improper. As I said, I do this all the time, think of it as one of the advantages of being on a bike, and think that this is another place the law needs clarification -- in this case, to make it legal for cyclists to pass on the right.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:16 AM
Rixtir Rixtir is offline
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I think the only way a cyclist could legally "pass" on the right is if the cyclist is in a bike lane. Otherwise, if the cyclist is in a traffic lane, the prohibition on passing on the right would apply to the cyclist.

And from a safety standpoint, that makes sense-- it lowers the likelihhood of getting right hooked.



EDIT: I think what I said above would only be true if you're taking the lane because it's not wide enough to share. If the lane is wide enough, and you're riding to the right, there's no reason you can't pass cars you're sharing the lane with.

Last edited by Rixtir; 09-29-2006 at 09:44 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2006, 09:23 AM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Question re: passing on the right:

If I'm going up the left-turn lane line of cars to turn left, is that illegal?

I'm passing the straight/right-turn cars on the left, but passing the left-turn cars on the right.

And I'm not in a bike lane, I'm riding the line between the left turn lane and the straight/right lane.

Thoughts??
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2006, 09:46 AM
Rixtir Rixtir is offline
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Are you planning on turning left also, or are you planning on continuing in a straight line?
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:58 AM
jami jami is offline
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Default passing cars

I read something that I think was Pedal Power a long time ago, but I haven't been able to find it online recently. Whatever I read, it gave me a great picture of my rights and responsibilities on a bike. The details have gotten murky and at least one thing has changed since then.

Ray Thomas (and others, I assume) just recently got a law passed so that bikes can always pass on the right. But since drivers don't learn to look right before they turn, it's not always safe to pass there, so I hope bikers stay alert regardless of their legal rights.

As for passing on the left in the same lane, I think it's the same as if you're in a car. If the road is blocked and it's safe to do so, you can go around them. I don't see why a line of big ol' cars wouldn't count as blocking the road.

Though I think it's usually legal, passing cars with signals on on that side is dangerous and kind of discourteous. I usually let them go first or I go around on the other side, assuming they bother to signal.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:50 PM
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Attornatus_Oregonensis Attornatus_Oregonensis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haven_kd7yct View Post
Question re: passing on the right:

If I'm going up the left-turn lane line of cars to turn left, is that illegal?

I'm passing the straight/right-turn cars on the left, but passing the left-turn cars on the right.

And I'm not in a bike lane, I'm riding the line between the left turn lane and the straight/right lane.

Thoughts??
If you're turning left, you're allowed to move as far to the left as necessary. So, you can go in the left-turn lane. Sometimes it's safer to stay to the right, stop when you get to the other side of the intersection, and use the pedestrian crossing once the light changes. But I would only do this if I could not get traffic to let me cross over to the left-side.

I don't think you're supposed to ride the line between lanes. If you're proceeding straight through the intersection and you're riding the line between the left-turn lane and the straight-right lane, what do you do once you clear the intersection and you're on the left side of traffic that also went straight through? That seems like a bad position to be in, aside from the legal status.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2006, 03:26 PM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixtir View Post
Are you planning on turning left also, or are you planning on continuing in a straight line?
Planning on turning left.

Sorry, I should have included that little tidbit!
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