Vehicular Cycling

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cbobc
Participant
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Found this surfin random bike stuff. Its a pretty well thought out way to city cycle. I don’t agree with everything but there’s alot of good info here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_cycling


crcd
Participant
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For the sake of discussion, I’d be curious to hear what you disagree with.

It seems like the article includes filtering both as a non-VC activity and then talks about it in the Lane Sharing section as something VCs do. Coincidentally, filtering is about the only thing in their description I have mixed feelings about. There are situations where I’ve done it, but I really don’t think of it as Vehicular Cycling. I class it along with the times when I do something that a predictable road vehicle shouldn’t do, but a bicycle can, in some situations, safely do.

Like that right turn onto the sidewalk so I can go straight through an intersection on the crosswalk rather than make a difficult left (or a left with a difficult to trigger light). Or that one stretch of grass along a one (wrong) way street I used to use in order to avoid a left at a busier intersection that could add 5 or 10 minutes to my commute.


Lyle
Participant
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look out for the religious war!


crcd
Participant
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What fun is a community without a little civil war?


cbobc
Participant
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Ignoring designated bicycle lane stripes when choosing where to travel on the street.

That’s the one thing that I would disagree with.

Also, as long as we have to share the road with cars vc seems a good way of doing things, as it were. I am also of the mind that a bike should not be considered legally the same as a motor vehicle.

Stop signs=yield should be the law for bikes.

But, until a separate enforcement code for bikes is written AND, dedicated bike lanes that allow travel anywhere in the city, sharing the road and “taking the lane” are, to me, legitimate cycling procedures.

Also if bike lanes are created and people ride in the car lane how many more bike lanes will be made?


netviln
Participant
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I believe State law says something to the effect that if bike lanes are provided, then using the motor lanes is illegal. I might be wrong but I thought I read that somewhere.


salty
Participant
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Not true. You are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk when there is a bike lane but there is no prohibition against riding on the road, thankfully.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/BIKE/WEB/bikelaws.htm


Lyle
Participant
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If that stripe indicates that I should ride through a pothole, broken glass, or a sewer grate, you can bet I’m going to ignore that stripe.

If that stripe indicates that I should ride in reach of a swinging door, or to the right of a right-turning motorist, or somewhere that I’m invisible to conflicting traffic approaching from an intersection or a driveway, why should I put myself at unneccessary risk?

Or if I’m turning left at an intersection, but the bike lane is over to the right, you think I should turn left from all the way over at the curb lane? Or should I dismount and use the crosswalk like a pedestrian? Those are the only two options I can see, unless I am willing to ignore the stripe.

Limiting cyclists’ options to use the roadway in the safest way they know how is not pro-cycling, it’s pro-motoring.


netviln
Participant
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Ah yes.. sidewalk. not lane.. thats what it was.


cbobc
Participant
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I would never imply that someone should confine themselves to the bike lane when it would be safer to ride in the street. That said, forsaking all bike lane travel to ride in the road seems short-sighted to me. Also some cities are painting in bike boxes to allow for turns.


Lyle
Participant
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sorry about the religious war, but crcd made me do it.

“foresaking all bike lane travel” misrepresents the principle and isn’t what the Wikipedia page actually says. “ignoring the stripe” just means that you choose the best place to ride based on other factors like speed, visibility, and destination. It sound like maybe you didn’t disagree so much as misunderstand. Only the most militant car-hating idealogues would refuse to use a good bit of pavement if it were available. Well, car-haters and people with a dogmatic political agenda of maintaining our access to the roads.

I’m not crazy about bike boxes for a couple of reasons:

1. Cyclists and motorists have to be taught how to use them, and you can’t reach everybody.

2. The technique for using a bike box is quite different from the technique for making a left-turn that people learn when they’re taught to drive a car.

3. Bike boxes can’t be used anywhere that right turns on red may occur, else you’ll have cyclists coming up on the right of a right-turning car all the time.

4. Bike boxes should not be used anywhere that right turns on green may occur, or you’ll have straight-through cyclists coming up on the right of a right-turning car, anticipating the light being red, but just then the traffic light turns green and presto, right hook.

5. Bike boxes introduce an extra delay for cyclists who arrive during the green, because they then have to wait for the *next* light in order to make their left turn. If they don’t wait, but try to shoot a gap in traffic after they’re already in the box, they don’t really have room or time to negotiate, signal and do it safely.

I understand that some people are intimidated by making the vehicular-style left turn, and feel exposed out there in the middle of the road. In that case, I think they’re just as far ahead to use the crosswalk in two stages, like pedestrians, or to push the walk button and cross catty-corner.


cbobc
Participant
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mea culpa.

When it said “ignore” I interpreted that in a more cynical and ominous way. Meaning, “Don’t ever use that bike lane”.

And yes, while bike boxes require extra education for drivers and bikers alike I think that eventually and inevitably the roads would be safer with them.

As to no. 4, Do you think urban areas should even allow rights on red? (btw I’d say your right in your assessment of bike boxes)

The real debating point, in my opinion, is whether bikes should be treated the same as cars legally. Anyone like to chime in?


BradQ
Participant
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Forget it. Nothing to see here. I’ve nothing to add.


rsprake
Participant
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Right turn on red in high pedestrian areas can be dangerous for pedestrians but for a car it’s silly to sit at some red lights. The trouble is when cars start expecting to be able to right turn at any cost.


eMcK
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I’m with Brad.


jym
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=v= Some years back I tried contributing information to Wikipedia about various road treatments, only to be shouted down and edited out by vociferous VCers. I wasn’t even contradicting them very much; it was simply the the fact that I wasn’t 100% in line with their views.


crcd
Participant
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“The real debating point, in my opinion, is whether bikes should be treated the same as cars legally.”

You mean as far as stop signs and traffic lights? I’d be curious how well this works in the parts of the US where it’s in effect now.

I’ll admit that when I’m at an intersection I know well, has good visibility, and there is *no* traffic around, I’ll treat a stop sign as a yield. Especially climbing. I tend to figure if I got caught and ticketed, I obviously wasn’t looking carefully enough anyway.


Lyle
Participant
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Dogma is a bitch. Karma gets you in the end. It’s time for bikema.


rsprake
Participant
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crcd, in Idaho it’s been working just fine since 1982.


cbobc
Participant
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You mean as far as stop signs and traffic lights?

Yeah, like the laws mentioned above in Idaho.

I cannot for the life of me think of any reason not to have similar laws. It seems to me this isn’t discussed enough. Also, I’m about sick of hearing “those damn bikers don’t stop at stop signs” from drivers.

Disclaimer: I purposely take some back streets to blaze through stop signs. (Unless a car is coming.)


rsprake
Participant
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Heh, well the law won’t ever allow you to blast a stop sign, you still have to yield and if a car is coming you are supposed to stop.

This video does an outstanding job of describing the way it works and why it should be allowed.


rsprake
Participant
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I also really like this argument for the Idaho stop, “A cyclist, beginning from rest, who has not yet gained his or her balance, is not agile and not safe. A rolling stop maintains balance, and allows the cyclist to pass through the intersection ready to react to threats.”


salty
Participant
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Doing some reading, it sounds like OR, AZ, and MT have similar bills pending – what is the best way to go about getting something like that introduced here?

I don’t know if I buy that it’s safer, but I don’t think it is any less safe.


netviln
Participant
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I agree that the safety issue is arguable.. but it does take ammunition away from motorist in their gripes that cyclists dont obey the laws.


Lyle
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The tricky part is framing the issue so that motorists don’t see it as “special rights” for cyclists. I don’t know if that’s been done in ID, AR, AZ and MT. The key would be to argue that it is a special benefit for motorists so they aren’t delayed, but that has its own downside in that it legitimizes the argument that cyclists should get out of the way and not delay motorists.

I favor “yup, sometimes you have to wait for other road users who were there before you. Them’s the breaks.”

So, I don’t have a good answer.

FWIW, the League of American Bicyclists’ position is in favor of equity and non-discrimination based on vehicle type. Same roads, same rights, same rules, essentially. It has the advantage of being clear and consistent.

I might also point out that stop signs are overused, and cyclists aren’t the only ones inconvenienced. Most places that use stop signs could have yields or roundabouts instead, and everybody would win.

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