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Thread: Intersections

  1. #1
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    Intersections

    I wasn't on a commute, I don't commute yet, and I don't usually ride on the roads or sidewalks, but I figure you guys would have some answers for me since you probably have encountered this at least once if not many times.

    Two situations both having to do with those "you may walk now" lights across the intersection. the light is the red mark, I'm the blue one, and the green arrow is the path of the cars.

    1.) In the first picture, I pushed the button, waited until it said you may walk, but all of the people in the lane marked just started turning right on red, which I know is legal, but only if the way is clear and free of other cars/pedestrians. I had to wait through 3 cycles until there was no one in that lane finally, not one person was decent enough to let me cross. How do you get by?

    2.) Second picture I pushed the button and once it turned to the "you may walk" I started across. But so did the car in the lane marked. I can only assume he had a green so I pointed up at the you may walk light and he shrugged and yelled sorry out the window. If it had been someone who wasn't as nice or vigilant, I could have been hit. The correspondence of the green light for both of us shouldn't even happen should it? To be honest I believe that it is more dangerous then the first thing because anyone can make that mistake of going on green and not seeing the biker, both in the right of way. Not just the pricks who want to make their right on red.

    Any thoughts?

    Den.
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  2. #2
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    Scenario 1...get in traffic behind...or better...alongside the white car in the straight/turn lane. When he gets a green light...nobody else will be moving across the intersection except the cars turning right. You will have a free path across.

    Scenario 2...Same thing happens to me daily. I have a Dinotte 200L helmet mounted light that I shine in people's faces as soon as my walk signal comes on. They see me and they wait for me to cross. Mine is a big intersection and I move pretty fast so I'm usually well out of the way before they get far.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tweezak,
    I'm usually in the mountains/trails/dirt so the thought of mixing in with cars never occurred to me, but it seems that's the safest route. As for the second intersection, I go across that daily on my ride to class (1/2 mile ride on a campus road so I don't consider it a commute). Perhaps I'll invest in a light to do the same as you. If it is standard to have the walk and car lights go green at the same time, why in the world would they time the lights like that?

  4. #4
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    call this in to your city police/campus police dept. your description and diagram should help as well. that may help get a little attention on the problem...

  5. #5
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    It is common for turn lanes and walk signals to coincide. Cars are supposed to yield to peds in the crosswalk even if they have a protected turn. Of course, that doesn't mean they will.

    I cross the intersection below daily. I am at the lower-left (southwest) corner of the intersection heading east in the crosswalk directly in the path of cars coming from the east in the "left turn only" lane. I get a walk signal and they get a green arrow at the same time. I've had no issues yet (knock wood).


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  6. #6
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munin2889
    Any thoughts?

    Den.
    Contact the City and let the Traffic Department and Police Department know that cars are not yielding to pedestrians at intersections, as the law requires. Use the specific intersections you show here.

    Escalate it to a traffic attorney, they would have a ball with this one.

    See who wants to work that corner and make sure the law is upheld, the city / cops or attorney.

    This is seriously unsafe, the the City is failing it's residents and roadway users.
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  7. #7
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    While it is a valid problem for a pedestrian, I would cross those intersections on my bike the same way that I cross them in a car. Get into the lane that goes where I want, wait my turn in line for a green light, and go. Nothing complicated about it, just work with the system

  8. #8
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Yup...be a car. That's the easiest way for Scenario 1. For the second, you're already acting like a pedestrian since you're pushing the button...eye contact (or headlamp contact) with the drivers is the only way to ensure that they see you. Remember that the drivers are probalby expecting walkers (if anyone), so if you get out there too quick on your bike you'll scare them.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Scenerio 1

    I carry tennis balls in my jersey pockets for just such a situation.
    Turning right on red is a privilage, not a right.
    I've hit cars that turned in front of me in this manner, as well as numerous near misses that have resulted in crashes for me. Anyone that cuts me off gets a tennis ball bounced off their door/windshield.

    I'm done messing with motorists. I obey all the rules of the road. If any of them break the rules the effect me they're going to know about it.
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  10. #10
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    In the first scenario, I get out into traffic and proceed through the light as if I'm a car. If the light turns red, I pull to the left of that right lane, that way car's turning right can still go by, but I'm still in the traffic lane and still visible. I just act like a vehicle, and get treated by a vehicle.

    Go by the traffic lights, not the pedestrian signs - you are not a pedestrian.

    Stay safe!!
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