When driving, do you merge into bike lane on right turns?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    May 2008

    When driving, do you merge into bike lane on right turns?

    Like this - https://www.sfbike.org/news/bike-lanes-and-right-turns/

    I'm guessing the vast majority of drivers don't, but it would make it safer for us if they did

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Sort of. I don't think of it as such, but I do turn from as far to the right as practicable.

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  3. #3
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    If the curb lane/bike lane is labeled as "Bikes or Right Turn Only" then I will merge to that lane before turning.
    If it is not labeled as such I will not move my car over into the bike lane before turning. Also as a cyclist I get pissed off when cars use a bike lane as a turn lane or magically think because a single traffic lane is physically wide enough for 2 cars side by side that it is permissible for every intersection to have a "right turn lane".
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  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Aug 2011
    I look and use the turn signal, be aware for cyclists.

    Shayne, the idea is to prevent the right hook. Bikes use car/ vehicle lanes. In this instance, I think the car merging to the far right makes sense, yes?

  5. #5
    Trying to be helpful
    Reputation: Guy.Ford's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Living in Seattle, I'm very aware of cyclist and always merge into the bike lane to make right turns. However, a lot of cyclist here like to call you out when you do, even if your a block ahead of them when you do, some of them will vent their frustrations about you blocking their lane when they pull up beside you. However, like the link the OP posted states, it's the wisest & safest decision.
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  6. #6
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    I think either way makes 0 difference in regard to safety. Do you want to get clipped 250' before the intersection or at the intersection?

    If the driver is attentive then they will wait for the cyclist to pull through before either merging or turning. If the driver is unaware and just pulls over to the right when the dashed line appears.....
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  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    depends. locally, things are handled extremely inconsistently, which is frustrating.

    In some places, the bike lane merges with the right turn lane. In others, it doesn't. It might continue to the right of the right turn lane. Or it might continue between the right turn lanes and the straight ones (with some sort of crossing/merging zone for the right-turning traffic to get across). Sometimes, the bike lane disappears entirely at the intersection and becomes a sharrow. Sometimes in the right turn lane, and sometimes in the straight lane.

    All of these methods make sense for one reason or another. But for Christ's sake, keep it consistent to help cyclists and drivers be more predictable!

    In the above article, the road markings indicate that car traffic should merge into the bike lane to turn right. The dashed line between the bike lane and vehicle lane. Locally, this situation is actually not all that common. IIRC, we don't have a specific mention in the traffic code as mentioned for the San Fran situation. Here are some pictures that illustrate my point.

    These three pics are Google Streetview images from my commute. They're all within a mile of each other. The second and third are different directions on the SAME INTERSECTION (the second facing north, and the third facing west). These images are a little old. In the third one, it looks like there are two vehicle lanes going straight. There used to be, but not anymore. The right lane at the light is now a right turn lane, and the bike lane continues through the intersection. On the far side of the intersection, the road was repainted to include bike lanes. The first image (facing north, but focus on the southbound bike lane) indicates nothing about right-turning traffic merging with the bike lane to avoid right hooks. IIRC, state law says that vehicle traffic has to watch for bikes, allow the bike to pass through the intersection, and THEN make the right turn. Similar to ped traffic.

    When driving, do you merge into bike lane on right turns?-indybikelane1.jpg

    When driving, do you merge into bike lane on right turns?-indybikelane2.jpg

    When driving, do you merge into bike lane on right turns?-indybikelane3.jpg

    Unless I have a specific reason to ride through this intersection shown in the last two pics, I avoid it if at all possible. The lack of consistency introduces confusion for people who aren't as comfortable sharing space with bikes.

  8. #8
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Minneapolis has the dotted lines too, but with 15 different types of bike lane markings throughout the city it just confuses drivers who are already distracted by their kids while drunk and sexting.
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  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Nov 2016
    When you look at that info from San Francisco Bicycle Coalition it makes sense that you'd merge to the right although when you're on the road in that situation it's not that clear cut. If you're the cyclist and a car is in the bike lane and cars are shooting past on the left, I feel like it's safer to just stop behind the car if it's not moving. The problem is so many people will look at that situation differently. Cyclists will get annoyed the car is in the bike lane and motorists will get confused about where they should be and who they should give way to. I guess it's just about getting this type on info out there so everyone knows what to do in the situation.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I look and use the turn signal, be aware for cyclists.

    Bottom line, cyclists who also drive have a tendency to look to see if there are cyclists. Motorcycle riders do the same thing. Those of us who have high miles on both look out for everything, including the odd goat.
    Unfortunately most cage drivers don't ride anything but the driver's seat behind a steering wheel. They don't see you.

    If you think you're invisible, you may live.

    Tell yourself that no matter what mode of transportation you choose.

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