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Megabeth
05-29-2015, 11:34 AM
Just a quick reminder that the next Arlington BAC meeting will occur on Monday, June 1st. Everyone is welcome.

The meetings are held at Court House Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. on the 3rd floor beginning at 7:00 PM.

Lt. Dennis from the Arlington County Policy Department will be at the June meeting. He will be updating the BAC on the following:
1. Bicycle Collision Reports - Types of Information Collected
2. Citations Issued to Bicyclists After a Collision
3. Enforcement of Cars Using Bike Lanes for Right Turns

More detailed agenda will be posted soon.

Thanks!

DismalScientist
05-29-2015, 12:43 PM
3. Enforcement of Cars Using Bike Lanes for Right Turns


I would hope you mean that right-turning cars should use the bike lane after a careful merge. Right turns should be made as close to the curb as practicable. Turning right across a bike lane means that a driver needs to simultaneously look behind and scan for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Turning right across bike lanes rather than in the bike lanes leads to potential right hooks.

RideTheWomble
05-29-2015, 01:01 PM
Agreed. The proper procedure is for the car to cross into the bike lane where the leftmost line goes from solid to dashed. When a car follows this procedure, it lets me know his/her intentions, allows me to slow behind the car or safely pass it on the left, and keeps the car from right-hooking me.

sjclaeys
05-29-2015, 01:38 PM
No, no, no. If the bike lane has a solid line at the intersection, it is unsafe for both cyclists and other drivers to use the bike lane as a right turn lane. Plus, it is a bike lane, not a right turn lane. If a right turn lane is needed at an intersection, then it should be formally created in accordance with the applicable standards, etc. If a right turn does not exists, it should not be created by allowing drivers to squeeze one in where they think it should be.

DismalScientist
05-29-2015, 02:03 PM
I would daresay that a bike lane with a solid line at an intersection is mismarked.

If this were the meaning of solid lines for bike lanes, than parking to the right of bike lanes would be inaccessible.

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2010/07/drivers-must-merge-into-bike-lanes-before-turning-right.html

Steve O
05-29-2015, 02:13 PM
Agreed. The proper procedure is for the car to cross into the bike lane where the leftmost line goes from solid to dashed. When a car follows this procedure, it lets me know his/her intentions, allows me to slow behind the car or safely pass it on the left, and keeps the car from right-hooking me.

Using the turn signal also helps to know the driver's intention.

If only.

lordofthemark
05-29-2015, 02:59 PM
I would daresay that a bike lane with a solid line at an intersection is mismarked.

If this were the meaning of solid lines for bike lanes, than parking to the right of bike lanes would be inaccessible.

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2010/07/drivers-must-merge-into-bike-lanes-before-turning-right.html

At least on Eye Street in DC, the lane is striped solid mid block, dashed for a few car lengths before the intersection, and solid for the last car length at the intersection. This is supposed to tell drivers that the place to enter the right lane to make a right turn is in the dashed part - not before it (because that would render the lane useless), and not after it (because then they would be right hooking across the bike lane) They are supposed to fit neatly to the right of the bike lane by the time they approach the crosswalk. I would say this works out as intented about 99% of the time.

Of course as this is a door zone bike lane, they must cross the solid mid block stripe in order to park - but that is a different movement than entering the lane to make a right turn. Similarly they may enter the bike lane at any point to avoid a collision, IIUC - and if there are no bikes present, they may even enter it simply to have more room from opposing traffic (or maybe that is Va law and NOT DC law, I do not recall for sure)

It may well be that this is all too confusing for some motorists, but again, it seems to work well on Eye Street, and most other places that I have observed.

sjclaeys
05-29-2015, 03:37 PM
Here is what Virginia law says:

46.2-846. Required position and method of turning at intersections; local regulations.

A. Except where turning is prohibited, a driver intending to turn at an intersection or other location on any highway shall execute the turn as provided in this section.

1. Right turns: Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

Seems to me that the question is whether the edge of the roadway is the solid line between the bike lane and the rest of the road. If it isn't the edge of the road, then what is the point of having a bike lane? I also do not see what the policy reason is to allow a car to use a bike lane as an impromptu right hand turn lane other than to appease drivers' desire to not let anything slow down their progress. After all, if you want to make a right hand turn, having to wait because the car in front of you is going straight or making a left is so inconvenient. Regarding right hooking, the solution is to require drivers to follow the law, make a complete stop at the intersection, make sure there is no crossing car or pedestrian traffic and looking to your right to make the bike lane is clear. Not hard, just requires attentive, responsible driving.

Steve O
05-29-2015, 05:31 PM
Not hard, just requires attentive, responsible driving.

There is no freaking way I am going to depend on this. There is also almost no way I am going to pass a car on the right that I believe is planning to turn right--even if I believe them to be attentive and responsible. I will always move out into the lane behind the car and let them turn. If they end up going straight, then I just slide back over. If they do turn right, then they are more comfortable that I am not on their right, creating a conflict, and I am way more comfortable knowing that I am not going to get run down.

dasgeh
05-29-2015, 08:38 PM
I also do not see what the policy reason is to allow a car to use a bike lane as an impromptu right hand turn lane other than to appease drivers' desire to not let anything slow down their progress. After all, if you want to make a right hand turn, having to wait because the car in front of you is going straight or making a left is so inconvenient. Regarding right hooking, the solution is to require drivers to follow the law, make a complete stop at the intersection, make sure there is no crossing car or pedestrian traffic and looking to your right to make the bike lane is clear. Not hard, just requires attentive, responsible driving.

So this is where your understanding (cars turn right from main travel lane) and mine (cars turn right after safely merging into the bike lane) differ. A bike lane isn't wide enough for a car to slide up to the right of another car. So a car shouldn't merge into the bike lane into basically one car length before the intersection, and then should merge over to turn only if there's no bike coming. Then the driver can look for pedestrians, without having to also look over their shoulder for bikes. A bike coming up behind a car that has already merged into the bike lane should merge and go around the car to the left.

Va law was written before va had bike lanes so isn't helpful

sjclaeys
05-30-2015, 07:25 AM
I still do not see why it is so hard to have the car turn from its lane. The only reason I am hearing is an excuse for inattentive driving. Here are the situations I have encountered due to the practice of cars using a bike lane as a right turn lane: 1) Riding bike in lane approaching intersection and stop at light. Wait for light because I am going straight. Car on my left also waiting at light because going to the left. Second car comes up behind me in lane and honks wanting me to get out of the way; 2) Drive car to intersection, stop at intersection to the left of the bike lane with righthand turn signal waiting for signal to change or for a safe right on red. Second car pulls up to my right in the bike lane to also make right hand turn because in such a hurry. I'd like to hear how either situation is ok and safe.

Amalitza
05-30-2015, 09:08 AM
I still do not see why it is so hard to have the car turn from its lane. The only reason I am hearing is an excuse for inattentive driving. Here are the situations I have encountered due to the practice of cars using a bike lane as a right turn lane: 1) Riding bike in lane approaching intersection and stop at light. Wait for light because I am going straight. Car on my left also waiting at light because going to the left. Second car comes up behind me in lane and honks wanting me to get out of the way; 2) Drive car to intersection, stop at intersection to the left of the bike lane with righthand turn signal waiting for signal to change or for a safe right on red. Second car pulls up to my right in the bike lane to also make right hand turn because in such a hurry. I'd like to hear how either situation is ok and safe.



Situation #1 the car should not honk at you; just as they should not honk at another car in the right driving lane when no turn lane is present and the car in front is going straight, but people do. Would you really have preferred that incredibly impatient driver making the right turn from the lane to the left of you? I certainly wouldn't.

Situation #2, if you had merged into the bike lane to wait for your right turn, the other car couldn't have come up to your right like that. The problem wasn't them using the bike lane, it's that the two of you were doing it differently, and therefore unpredictable to each other.

sjclaeys
05-30-2015, 01:33 PM
Situation #1 the car should not honk at you; just as they should not honk at another car in the right driving lane when no turn lane is present and the car in front is going straight, but people do. Would you really have preferred that incredibly impatient driver making the right turn from the lane to the left of you? I certainly wouldn't.

Situation #2, if you had merged into the bike lane to wait for your right turn, the other car couldn't have come up to your right like that. The problem wasn't them using the bike lane, it's that the two of you were doing it differently, and therefore unpredictable to each other.

I am surprised that so many want the rules set by what is convenient for inattentive and aggressive drivers. Oh well. Don't really see the need for bike lanes then.

bobco85
05-30-2015, 06:37 PM
I am surprised that so many want the rules set by what is convenient for inattentive and aggressive drivers. Oh well. Don't really see the need for bike lanes then.
I disagree. In my experience, a driver making a right turn pays more (not all) attention to their left (cross traffic and pedestrians) than the right (bike lane and/or pedestrians at the corner), so a cyclist coming up in the lane to the right of them is far less likely to be seen. It's a combination of an actual blind spot (right side of a vehicle has larger blind spots) and a driver's inattentiveness.

The guidelines for making a right turn with a bike lane are similar to those for parallel parking (vehicle signals, pulls into bike lane, parallel parks). I would much rather a driver merge into the bike lane (an inconvenience to me) first instead of right hooking me (much greater inconvenience to me) because they were scanning for pedestrians and traffic.

On your situation with the aggressive driver honking at you: if there is room, you can both avoid this nasty interaction and turn it into a positive one by moving slightly over to the left to give them room to turn behind you. I look behind me when stopped at intersections to check if the person behind me has their turn signal on, and if so, I will let them go behind me (a good 33% of the time they will even say "Thank you").

Steve O
05-30-2015, 07:51 PM
Oh well. Don't really see the need for bike lanes then.

Except for maybe those long sections of road that don't have intersections?

Amalitza
05-30-2015, 08:12 PM
I am surprised that so many want the rules set by what is convenient for inattentive and aggressive drivers. Oh well. Don't really see the need for bike lanes then.



That is an inaccurate and unfair characterization, and I suspect you know it. I disagree with you, but I understand and respect that you are arguing for what you believe is more safe. I would appreciate being accorded the same respect.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/6528/drivers-must-merge-into-bike-lanes-before-turning-right/

This is the reason. Not "convenience" for "aggressive" drivers.

dasgeh
06-01-2015, 03:52 PM
Agenda! Agenda! Hope to see everyone tonight. We will be missing both Dana and Megan tonight, so we need a note taker. I’m hoping someone will come prepared to type/write (I will literally have my hands full). Thanks.



7:00pm Call to Order; Introductions; Approve minutes Gillian

7:10pm ACPD Lt. Dennis

7:45pm

Arlington County Staff Updates

A. Parks

B. BikeArlington

C. Projects (50/Irving, Bluemont stop signs, Wilson in Courthouse)

8:15pm On-site with ArlCo staff: Clarendon Circle Chris Slatt

8:30pm Dooring-prevention stickers for taxis, Arlington County vehicles Gillian

8:45pm Issues to discuss with the County Manager Gillian

9:00pm Adjournment Gillian

mstone
06-02-2015, 05:02 AM
I am surprised that so many want the rules set by what is convenient for inattentive and aggressive drivers. Oh well. Don't really see the need for bike lanes then.
It's actually less convenient and requires more attention to turn in two movements (merging into the bike lane first) than it is to hang a right and fly across the bike lane. It sounds like you're torqued off about people driving along in the bike lane, which is not the same thing. Or you're upset that you can't sneak around a turning car--but that's the entire point as it's pretty unsafe to do so.

scoot
06-02-2015, 07:07 AM
2) Drive car to intersection, stop at intersection to the left of the bike lane with righthand turn signal waiting for signal to change or for a safe right on red. Second car pulls up to my right in the bike lane to also make right hand turn because in such a hurry. I'd like to hear how either situation is ok and safe.

Situation #2, if you had merged into the bike lane to wait for your right turn, the other car couldn't have come up to your right like that. The problem wasn't them using the bike lane, it's that the two of you were doing it differently, and therefore unpredictable to each other.


Confusion on this issue may be partially attributable to the fact that not all laws in other states agree on this point. Most states have adopted California's approach (e.g. "merge into bike lane before the intersection"), but Oregon ("don't drive in the bike lane at all, yield to everyone while turning across it") has a few followers as well. I cannot seem to find a reference that breaks this down state by state, but I'm pretty sure Virginia and DC are both in the California camp. IIUC, Virginia law includes bicycle lanes within its definition of roadway, and motorists should always merge into a right-hand bike lane before making a right turn.

IMO, the California method is far safer than the Oregon one. In drivers' ed, I was taught to separate hazards so as not to have to confront them all simultaneously. A practical example: if I see a stopped car close to the edge on my side of a two-lane highway, plus an oncoming car on the other side of the road, I adjust my speed so that I do not pass both vehicles at the same time. Because doing so leaves no room for error or reaction in case a third potential hazard presents itself also. The same concept applies to turning across bike lanes. When turning, drivers already have many other directions to look at the intersection itself, to ensure that they do not endanger pedestrians. Checking behind and merging into the bike lane in advance means that there's one less potential conflict at the intersection. If any bicycles then approach before the car has turned, they can safely go around to its left.

scoot
06-02-2015, 07:11 AM
It's actually less convenient and requires more attention to turn in two movements (merging into the bike lane first) than it is to hang a right and fly across the bike lane.

Not only that, but turning from nearer to the curb necessitates a smaller turn radius and consequently a lower speed. People that turn from the middle of the roadway don't have to slow down much to make it around a corner, and that's dangerous for everybody.

sjclaeys
06-02-2015, 11:09 AM
It's actually less convenient and requires more attention to turn in two movements (merging into the bike lane first) than it is to hang a right and fly across the bike lane. It sounds like you're torqued off about people driving along in the bike lane, which is not the same thing. Or you're upset that you can't sneak around a turning car--but that's the entire point as it's pretty unsafe to do so.


Not only that, but turning from nearer to the curb necessitates a smaller turn radius and consequently a lower speed. People that turn from the middle of the roadway don't have to slow down much to make it around a corner, and that's dangerous for everybody.

To try to clarify once again, the situation I am talking about is where there is a red light or stop sign, so the car should be stopping before making a right hand turn. So no, I am not "torqued off" about not being able to sneak around a turning car, nor talking about drivers making a right with a green light or an intersection without a stop sign. I am "torqued off" about cars driving in a bike lane with solid lines (which is different from crossing the bike lane to park). If that is allowable at an intersection, then why is it not allowable at any point along the road and, if that is the case, what is the point of having a bike lane? It was mentioned earlier that a driver turning right from a car lane rather than the bike lane might not see a cyclists to the right. Again, remember that I am talking about a car making a right after it has stopped at a red light or stop sign. While the driver should certainly look left for on-coming traffic, the driver should also look to their right in case of crossing pedestrians so the driver would see if there is a cyclist there also waiting at the red light or stop sign.

mstone
06-02-2015, 03:06 PM
To try to clarify once again, the situation I am talking about is where there is a red light or stop sign, so the car should be stopping before making a right hand turn. So no, I am not "torqued off" about not being able to sneak around a turning car, nor talking about drivers making a right with a green light or an intersection without a stop sign. I am "torqued off" about cars driving in a bike lane with solid lines (which is different from crossing the bike lane to park). If that is allowable at an intersection, then why is it not allowable at any point along the road and, if that is the case, what is the point of having a bike lane? It was mentioned earlier that a driver turning right from a car lane rather than the bike lane might not see a cyclists to the right. Again, remember that I am talking about a car making a right after it has stopped at a red light or stop sign. While the driver should certainly look left for on-coming traffic, the driver should also look to their right in case of crossing pedestrians so the driver would see if there is a cyclist there also waiting at the red light or stop sign.

Your clarifications aren't really helping this seem like anything but being mad about not being able to sneak around the car. If it's stopped at a red light waiting to make a turn, why do you care whether you're beside or behind it? You pull up behind the car, and when it's turned you move up--what's the big deal? The alternative would be for you to be beside it when it turns, possibly in a right hook situation depending on whether the light suddenly changes and you proceed. In answer to your repeated rhetorical, the "point of having a bike lane" is to make things safer for cyclists. Being right hooked is not safe. And cars should do this at any point along the road when they're making a right turn (e.g., into a driveway) for exactly the same reason. As someone else pointed out, it's not enough to say "he should look"--the goal should be to minimize the possibilities for conflict so there are fewer opportunities for costly mistakes. In this case it's simple for the driver to remove one conflict, and doesn't cost the cyclist anything at all.

Steve O
06-02-2015, 04:23 PM
To try to clarify once again, the situation I am talking about is where there is a red light or stop sign, so the car should be stopping before making a right hand turn.

I have started a new thread (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?8774-Right-turns-and-Bike-Lanes) specific to this issue to move it off the BAC thread.