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#1 2012-09-05 10:42:01

savanni
Member
From: Austin
Registered: 2011-04-30
Posts: 82
Website

Bikers running the intersection

So, this morning I'm sitting at a pretty major intersection (hint, it's a road crossing a freeway) minding my own business.  I'm at the front of the line with a bunch of cars behind me.

Some idiot splits the right and left lanes, comes up from behind me on my left side, and then zips on through the intersection without even slowing down.

Is it kosher for me to yell at these people?  I certainly wouldn't do it from a car, but when I'm sitting there on my bike trying show that bikers can obey the traffic laws too, I get really frustrated when I see some idiot giving the drivers yet more excuses to hate me.  Almost as frustrating as having one car try to ram oncoming traffic by passing me in a no-passing zone.

This morning I was worried about a low pressure tire and a screwed up pump, but on a normal day I would have easily outrun him, even after waiting for the light to change.

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#2 2012-09-05 16:18:58

jmayson
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Bikers running the intersection

It probably wouldn't do any good.  I did this once and I got a response that started with "F" and ended in "you".  And unfortunately it's cyclists like him that motorists remember, not cyclists like you and me.

Last edited by jmayson (2012-09-05 16:19:18)

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#3 2012-10-08 01:07:13

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Bikers running the intersection

I will take a guess and say it's Manor Rd. Tough intersection for cyclists who don't want to wait more than one traffic light cycle behind lots of cars. I don't normally split lanes, but I will if there are over 6-10 cars at the light. It's a grey area to me. Yeah it's not the safest thing to do, but it can be done with relative safety. Running the red light looks really bad though.

All I can say is if you do split the lane to get to the front, you better haul a$$ once it turns green. Jumping to the front and then holding traffic up at 15mph is really lame. I saw that at Manor/35 a few weeks ago.

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#4 2012-10-08 13:32:06

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: Bikers running the intersection

rich00 wrote:

I will take a guess and say it's Manor Rd. Tough intersection for cyclists who don't want to wait more than one traffic light cycle behind lots of cars. I don't normally split lanes, but I will if there are over 6-10 cars at the light. It's a grey area to me. Yeah it's not the safest thing to do, but it can be done with relative safety. Running the red light looks really bad though.

All I can say is if you do split the lane to get to the front, you better haul a$$ once it turns green. Jumping to the front and then holding traffic up at 15mph is really lame. I saw that at Manor/35 a few weeks ago.

  Splitting the lane seems kind of selfish to me.  The last car in the line might have to wait through two lights, why should you on your bike have greater privilege?  The lead car won't go, or better not go..., until you do, so everybody behind you is held up one start regardless of how quickly you try to take off.   And, no, its not safe.   

Don in Austin

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#5 2012-10-22 11:39:37

Imatk
Member
Registered: 2012-07-12
Posts: 7

Re: Bikers running the intersection

Donald Lewis wrote:
rich00 wrote:

I will take a guess and say it's Manor Rd. Tough intersection for cyclists who don't want to wait more than one traffic light cycle behind lots of cars. I don't normally split lanes, but I will if there are over 6-10 cars at the light. It's a grey area to me. Yeah it's not the safest thing to do, but it can be done with relative safety. Running the red light looks really bad though.

All I can say is if you do split the lane to get to the front, you better haul a$$ once it turns green. Jumping to the front and then holding traffic up at 15mph is really lame. I saw that at Manor/35 a few weeks ago.

  Splitting the lane seems kind of selfish to me.  The last car in the line might have to wait through two lights, why should you on your bike have greater privilege?  The lead car won't go, or better not go..., until you do, so everybody behind you is held up one start regardless of how quickly you try to take off.   And, no, its not safe.   

Don in Austin


To me this is a matter of situation.

I think sometimes it's safer to split the lane and go to the front. If I go to the front and can get out of everyone's way (cars) that are behind me when the light turns green then it's better than sitting in the line and holding up the cars behind me and preventing them from making the light because I can't move out of their way in the lane.

Just depends on the intersection.

Also the idea of it being "selfish" really has nothing to do with it. Is it "selfish" that cars pass you when you're biking down a road? I mean you were ahead of them right? So why shouldn't they just ride behind you and not pass you?

Cars are faster, that's why they pass us which totally makes sense, it's no more "selfish" to split the lane and get out of that traffic when you (the bike) is faster.

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#6 2012-12-04 18:54:32

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Bikers running the intersection

Donald Lewis wrote:
rich00 wrote:

I will take a guess and say it's Manor Rd. Tough intersection for cyclists who don't want to wait more than one traffic light cycle behind lots of cars. I don't normally split lanes, but I will if there are over 6-10 cars at the light. It's a grey area to me. Yeah it's not the safest thing to do, but it can be done with relative safety. Running the red light looks really bad though.

All I can say is if you do split the lane to get to the front, you better haul a$$ once it turns green. Jumping to the front and then holding traffic up at 15mph is really lame. I saw that at Manor/35 a few weeks ago.

  Splitting the lane seems kind of selfish to me.  The last car in the line might have to wait through two lights, why should you on your bike have greater privilege?  The lead car won't go, or better not go..., until you do, so everybody behind you is held up one start regardless of how quickly you try to take off.   And, no, its not safe.   

Don in Austin

You want to talk selfish? Driving a vehicle as large as a car or truck is selfish, considering how much space it takes up.

IF I split traffic at Manor/35, it doesn't hold anyone up because when the light turns green I am off the line faster than any car and up to 25mph very quickly. I do nothing to inhibit traffic in this situation. I move with the front car, because usually I will wait behind the front car. I use the space between the cars. The second car might be slowed 0.1 second more than normal, but that's it.

Don't get me wrong, a slow cyclist moving to the front WILL hold up traffic.

Every time I go through this intersection, I am slowed by auto traffic because they take up so much space and move slow.

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#7 2012-12-04 18:59:30

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Bikers running the intersection

Imatk wrote:

Also the idea of it being "selfish" really has nothing to do with it. Is it "selfish" that cars pass you when you're biking down a road? I mean you were ahead of them right? So why shouldn't they just ride behind you and not pass you?

Cars are faster, that's why they pass us which totally makes sense, it's no more "selfish" to split the lane and get out of that traffic when you (the bike) is faster.


Thank you!



The difference being that cars are slow because there are too many of them. Bikes are slow because they don't have a motor. Does it really matter why? If I can pass you without endangering YOU, what is the problem?

It just boils down to jealousy.

Bikes should not be subject to congestion caused by autos when they can get around it without endangering others!


I'll give the lead car the benefit of being first there. I'll wait behind or next to them. 12 bikes take the space of one car.


To the objectors - let's not remove a huge incentive to NOT BE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

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#8 2013-11-01 09:06:23

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 42

Re: Bikers running the intersection

Time to resurrect this thread...

Has anyone actually made any progress talking to jerk cyclists? You all have any tips?

The first cyclist I talked to about running reds (perhaps 3 years ago) seemed offended by the suggestion that he was enforcing the stereotype that cyclists break the law. He pulled over and we had a brief chat. He called me a hypocrite because he claimed he once saw me slowly roll through a stop sign. Okay, I can't prove that I didn't, but that'd be the exception to the rule for me. Anyway, slowly rolling through is a lot better than blowing the stop, especially if the cyclist that blows the stop doesn't yield or look like this guy. This guy didn't seem to think going through reds posed any problems at all. He didn't really let me speak, as he left before I could say much (as I recall).

Yesterday I tried to talk to a cyclist who ran a red light. Unfortunately, to get his attention I had to be in front of him because he also was wearing earbuds and couldn't hear anything (This is also illegal and a lot of drivers know it, though I don't think it's that bad). I asked him why he ran the red light if he's going to go slow anyway. I caught up with him and I didn't run the light. I suggested that if he wants to save time, just go faster. He laughed and didn't say anything else. A 4-way stop came up. I was turning left, so I got in the turn lane and stopped. This guy turned left from the right lane without stopping or even yielding. Best I could tell he barely even looked at the intersection. I tried to start talking to him again about how he shouldn't do that, but he made it clear that he didn't care what I thought. He then ran another stop sign and turned away from me.

I don't know if any bad bicyclists have changed their behavior from my encounters with them, but I'm going to keep trying.

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#9 2013-11-01 10:48:31

cycling74
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 61

Re: Bikers running the intersection

btrettel wrote:

Time to resurrect this thread...

Has anyone actually made any progress talking to jerk cyclists? You all have any tips?


Do any drivers (outside New Jersey) do this to other drivers? I'd imagine it would not go so well.

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#10 2013-11-01 12:50:57

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Re: Bikers running the intersection

cycling74 wrote:

Do any drivers (outside New Jersey) do this to other drivers? I'd imagine it would not go so well.

Exactly what I was thinking.

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#11 2013-11-01 13:36:05

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 42

Re: Bikers running the intersection

cycling74 wrote:

Do any drivers (outside New Jersey) do this to other drivers? I'd imagine it would not go so well.

I've seen drivers police other drivers before. Often these comments are angry. Heck, a few drivers make a point of chatting with me sometimes when I'm on my bike. Usually it's to the tune of "get off the road", but sometimes I get supportive comments.

When I've asked other cyclists to follow the rules of the road, things don't go so well as I explained. Still, I think this is an important thing to do. My main goal would be to make those cyclists follow the law. But I have other goals. If the cyclists who make impressions are those who break the law, I'd hope that I can help counteract those impressions in the minds of some drivers by publicly showing my displeasure.

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#12 2013-11-01 22:01:10

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Re: Bikers running the intersection

I am not at all interested in policing other cyclists.
I do split lanes, sometimes, particularly in snarled traffic downtown and S Congress.
Safer than filtering right in the outer lane of traffic, for sure.
Safer maybe, than some painted bike lanes at some intersections.
Bluebonnet and Lamar eastbound is another example.
MLK, Pleasant Valley, when clogged.
Not for everyone.
Watch front wheels, drivers heads, know your traffic patterns.
Move out, prompt and strong, when you know you're clear.

Also, splitting lanes is a lot less easy, convenient, safe, tempting, than
taking an alternate parallel route separate from cars
or at least heavy traffic,
when that choice is available nearby.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-01 22:20:42)

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#13 2013-11-02 12:32:56

daveintex13
Member
Registered: 2010-01-07
Posts: 21

Re: Bikers running the intersection

I used to blow lights and stop signs on my bike. Then I grew up. I don't confront other cyclists. Each person has to make his or her own choices. I do support ticketing these folks, though. Many years ago, a cyclist confronted me one time by hollering at me. I deserved it, but I wanted to ask him if hollering at people ever persuaded them to his side? I'm doubtful. Calm discussion might be better, but no one likes to be told off, especially by someone not in authority.

Now, I just follow the laws, stop at stop signs and red lights, and let my actions speak for me.

~dave.westenbarger~

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#14 2013-11-05 11:51:00

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Bikers running the intersection

A few weeks ago near the convention center I among other cyclists were on the bikeway waiting at the red river red light. A fixie dude blows by us, right towards a car going through the intersection. He did his skidding to slow to not collide with the car.

Brakes may be a good idea if you're going to ride like that, eh?

Last edited by rich00 (2013-11-05 11:51:19)

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