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#1 2008-07-02 11:27:44

Chuck_McNeil
Member
Registered: 2008-06-05
Posts: 33

When bike lanes make motorists attack.

Ok so that's a slight exaggeration.  I wasn't "attacked", merely harassed.



I was doing loops of Shoal Creek and Great Northern on an ACA hosted ride.  The group was riding slower than I expected, so I rode off the front of the pack alone.  I was riding northbound on Great Northern Blvd in the northbound traffic lane.  There is a two-way bike lane, which I really don't like, next to the southbound lane of Great Northern.  On one lap, an old lady pulled up next to me and pointed at the bike lane.  She then pulled in front of me, drove slow for a block or two with her arm out the window pointing at the bike lane.  Annoying, but no real harm done.  Next lap, I'm riding in the same manner.  Motorist coming southbound on GN rolls down the window and yells to me to get in the bike lane.  More annoying but still no real harm done. 



If there is a bike lane, is one legally obligated to be in the bike lane?



That bike lane is really a terrible design.  It's designed so overly safe that it is dangerous.  I witnessed two families of three meet on the bike lane.  Neither family knew how to interact with the other.  The northbound family pulled next to the curb forcing the southbound family into the oncoming lane of the bicycle lane.  Granted they were the only ones beside myself within a few blocks on Great Northern, but it just illustrates how confusing that bike lane is.



FWIW:  The main pack, which used the bike lane on GN, was harassed by a motorist enough to warrant a rider dialing 911.

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#2 2008-07-02 13:24:51

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

Currently a cyclist does not have to use a bike lane, the law is worded such that the rider has a great deal of discretion on riding in a safe location on the road.  We need to make sure this does not change.

You can see my post here http://bicycleaustin.info/forum/viewtopic.php?id=7 to see my comments on exactly this scenario.

I would have immediately called 911 on that woman who drove slow pointing to the bike lane.  Given a licence plate and a full description.  Then bring the case number here so we can put pressure on the city to take action.

I am pretty sure that what she did was illegal.  I do not have time now to look it up.

Maybe we should start a website for a hall of shame, with the license plate numbers and things the driver did.

Even better would be if someone could turn those license plate numbers into names and phone numbers.

:)

Last edited by Adriel (2008-07-02 13:26:04)

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#3 2008-07-03 19:03:39

RonB
Member
Registered: 2008-05-28
Posts: 20

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

I really like the lanes on Great Northern.  I have yet to see a tie up on it.  And I really think the markings clearly define the traffic route.  And IMHO, I think they are pretty safe.  They put a buffer between the southbound bikes and cars.  And north bound bikes, they can see the oncoming traffic and have a really good idea of what is coming.

I agree the old woman was being a super dumb ... lady, and a blue hair protesting slow traffic is a big time oxymoron.

What happened w/ the motorist and cyclists - the 911 call?

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#4 2008-07-07 12:44:48

Chuck_McNeil
Member
Registered: 2008-06-05
Posts: 33

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

I'm fairly certain nothing happened with the 911 call.
My understanding is they need 3 calls on a motorist before they do anything about it. 
Too bad a couple other people in the group didn't call as well.  :(

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#5 2008-07-08 10:09:05

eraycollins
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 7

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

Are you serious!? Three separate 911 calls before any response? I certainly wouldn't expect any sort of timely response, but three separate 911 calls? In my own experience I have never had any response in Austin or other parts of the nation when reporting sleepy drivers, erratic drivers, or dangerous conditions.

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#6 2009-06-16 12:05:22

romanows
Member
Registered: 2009-06-16
Posts: 1

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

So, I was "attacked" today.  A man in a white SUV (License 918 XXX, can't remember the last 3 letters) pulled alongside of me as I was riding north and yelled that I should get in the lane.  I shouted back that I was a vehicle and could legally use the road just as he could.  No profanity, no gestures.  He pulled in front of me and braked, and I had to jam on my brakes to not rear end him.

In thinking about this, I suppose I shouldn't respond to any provocation while on the road, despite the fact that the driver was in the wrong.  However, I wished I could have pointed out that I was passing many more people in that dangerous bike lane than cars.  As a bicyclist going 25mph down a 30mph road, I shouldn't have been too much of an inconvenience.

Brian

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#7 2009-06-16 15:40:02

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: When bike lanes make motorists attack.

romanows wrote:

So, I was "attacked" today.  A man in a white SUV (License 918 XXX, can't remember the last 3 letters) pulled alongside of me as I was riding north and yelled that I should get in the lane.

If you haven't already done so, then be sure to report this to APD.  At this point, you should call police non-emergency (via 311 will work) to report it.  When something like this has just happened, you should call 911, even if you don't have 100% conclusive identifying information.  Lest you be concerned that it's not worth the 911 operators their time to receive your call, please note that APD Chief Acevedo and other APD officers recommend calling 911 for such incidents.

There is no bicycle rights militia, so in lieu of that, we need to utilize APD to protect our rights.  Reporting such incidents will help lead to reducing them.

By the way, what road were you on?  We should take note of bike lanes that are not adequate for road conditions.

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