Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Share the road, part II...

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I got an e-mail from a bike industry friend of mine. He mentioned another thing cyclists can do that really goes a long way in the driver vs. cyclist relationship. At most intersections, the bike lane stripe becomes dashed. It is within this dashed section that the bike lane also becomes the right turn lane for autos. When my friend and I approach red lights, we both move to the left side of the line, next to the car in the right lane or just slightly in front and to the right of the car in the right lane. This allows space for a car to negotiate a right turn. Many cases, we've had drivers tell us "thanks."

It might seem dangerous to get in front of a right lane car at a light, but what this does is also signal to the car that the cyclist is visible and that driver sees that you are letting cars make right turns. This is a simple act of courteousness. All too often I see cyclists jamming up the right turn lane (it's not a bike lane at intersections) with drivers packed up behind them starting to fume. Cyclists - move to the left and let cars make right turns! I'm sure most cyclists who block right turn cars at intersections really have no idea what they are doing and once they know how to negotiate intersections like this, the world will truly be a better place.

The other thing I do at intersections where bike lanes are present and the light is green, is at the area where the bike lane stripe becomes dashed, I move to the left and put my bike just to the left of the stripped line. My moving out into traffic a bit, I am telling cars that I'm going straight and it reduces the possibility of being hooked by right turning cars.

Well, there you have it. Simple ways a cyclist can negotiate an intersection and have a driver think good thoughts about a cyclist. We cyclists don't want to become these guys:


(What's playing: KWMR)

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