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Thread: Army-Navy Drive losing a bit of the bike lane?

  1. #31
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    I like your thinking here Dismal.

    I have wondered recently about (something I've done) shoaling/passing to the front of cars at red lights. What do you all do? If streets are full and you're on a bike, do you use your "bike privilege" and ride in between lanes or on the right (door zone) to get to the head of the crowd, or just wait a few light cycles like all the cars.(I was biking to Gallery Place after work...btw don't do it!..and had this dilemma recently. The traffic was not moving).

    I believe I squeezed by on the right of some cara but still was held up by some turning right but waiting for peds.

    Maybe I should have sat at the back of all the cars and waited like a car?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Yes you are eliminating something. You are eliminating the "door zone" bike lane and "forcing" me to ride in the new, narrower traffic lanes! Since I can't cruise at 25 mph, this means that cars can no longer pass me while staying in the lane. This tends to piss drivers off (although that seems to be the goal of a lot of cycling behavior--i.e. shoaling cars at red lights). Personally, I don't like to piss drivers off and view transportation as a cooperative effort to get everyone where they want to go. Veitch is one lane in each direction and if I am in the narrow travel lane, it means cars cannot legally pass me at all. Drivers also tend to resent cyclist taking the lane when they see a piece of parallel bicycle infrastructure.

    Personally, I won't let MY kids ride in protected bike lanes. They are simply too dangerous, particularly at intersections. They are the moral equivalent of sidewalks with the same issues. I don't think my kids have a sufficient understanding of traffic patterns to know how to deal these situations.
    Well since cars are required in Va to give 3 ft when passing, and a bike is at least, what, 2 feet wide, and most motor vehicles at least 6 feet wide, I think in an 11 ft travel lane no cars can pass you legally (edit - in lane), and in a 12 ft wide lane an awful lot (most? almost all?) vehicles can't pass you legally (and if there is one truck or bus or very wide SUV behind you, all the Priuses and minicars will be stuck behind that).

    Now the reality is that some riders are comfortable being passed illegally, so I grant you that. As I said, its hard to satisfy all our constituencies, which is why we have to focus on the more likely pathes to safety and greater biking numbers.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 10-04-2017 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Dasgeh's point about crossing the yellow line

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetsmarts View Post
    I like your thinking here Dismal.

    I have wondered recently about (something I've done) shoaling/passing to the front of cars at red lights. What do you all do? If streets are full and you're on a bike, do you use your "bike privilege" and ride in between lanes or on the right (door zone) to get to the head of the crowd, or just wait a few light cycles like all the cars.(I was biking to Gallery Place after work...btw don't do it!..and had this dilemma recently. The traffic was not moving).

    I believe I squeezed by on the right of some cara but still was held up by some turning right but waiting for peds.

    Maybe I should have sat at the back of all the cars and waited like a car?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    I only shoal around if there is a bike lane coming up, or if I am close to a right turn, where I am going to get out of everyone's way. Otherwise I wait in line behind the cars. I have even waited in line in places in DC where a Leading Pedestrian Interval would have let me go out ahead legally. On G Street the other day, approach the right turn onto 4th SE, I waited for one light cycle, because the filter to the right looked unsafe because of what the cars were doing, but then filtered to the right turn (onto the bike lane) at the next light cycle. I think filtering can be done appropriately in ways that improve traffic flow, though some riders do it rudely.

    So er yeah, if you are going to be a vehicle be a damned vehicle. Wait in line. Take the lane. Do something else (like shoaling, or staying to the right) ONLY when its safe AND helps the flow of traffic ( generally assume that going to the right on a lane less than about 14 ft is NOT safe, so I try really hard to not do it though I see a lot of riders who do, and again, I try to only shoal/filter where I think it helps others, not just me)

    And yes, I will do things for the sake of optics. I will yield to jaywalking peds. With a flourish. I have tried lately to be more careful about yielding ROW correctly at four way stops, even after I have stopped (so the issue is not safety, but rudeness). I refrain from Idahoing almost all reds, even in circumstances where many cautious riders would Idaho them. But avoiding taking the lane and riding to the right in a 12 ft travel lane, which is not legally required and is not safer, is something I will not do for optics. (note, if there is a great alt I will do that - on Boundary Channel Drive when riding by myself I will usually take the sidepath which IMO is quite safe unless there are peds, and I am willing to yield and slow for them, rather than ride in the narrow general travel lane - if I were faster I might make a different choice, and when riding with a convoy I generally do)
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 10-04-2017 at 12:38 PM.

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  6. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Drivers also tend to resent cyclist taking the lane when they see a piece of parallel bicycle infrastructure.

    Well I don't when I am driving, because I ride. My wife doesn't when she is driving, because she has heard my lectures, poor soul That again is one reason critical mass of riders is important

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  8. #35
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    Here is the NACTO guide to vehicle widths

    https://nacto.org/publication/transi...idths-buffers/

    They assume a mid size car is 6 and a half feet wide, mirror edge to mirror edge. A cyclist is 2 and a half feet. Allowing 2 and a half feet buffer for the bike, means a lane needs to be 11 feet wide for passing in lane. Assuming 3 feet buffer, or a larger motor vehicle (box trucks are assumed to be 8 ft wide) at least 12 ft are needed.

    Note, some drivers like to scoot partway across the yellow line, but not all the way across. I guess not everyone is agreed if that is a rational or safe approach.

  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetsmarts View Post
    I have wondered recently about (something I've done) shoaling/passing to the front of cars at red lights. What do you all do?
    Like LOTM, I rarely filter around cars. I dislike biking in the door zone, and if the stopped cars get the green light and start moving while I'm still filtering forward, that makes me really uncomfortable. So yes, I generally take the lane and wait in line.

    The one situation where I will filter forward is if there's a lengthy Leading Pedestrian Interval that'll allow me to get ahead of traffic (e.g., on Madison Dr. crossing 14th St., heading toward the NMAAH). If the LPI is only a few seconds, I won't bother.

    I also plan out my routes to maximize the use of streets with bike lanes, even if that means taking a more circuitous route. In extreme situations when the traffic is totally jammed up, I'll hop up on the sidewalk -- riding my bike slowly (and yielding to peds) where it's legal to ride, and walking my bike otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by streetsmarts View Post
    I like your thinking here Dismal.

    I have wondered recently about (something I've done) shoaling/passing to the front of cars at red lights. What do you all do? If streets are full and you're on a bike, do you use your "bike privilege" and ride in between lanes or on the right (door zone) to get to the head of the crowd, or just wait a few light cycles like all the cars.(I was biking to Gallery Place after work...btw don't do it!..and had this dilemma recently. The traffic was not moving).

    I believe I squeezed by on the right of some cara but still was held up by some turning right but waiting for peds.

    Maybe I should have sat at the back of all the cars and waited like a car?
    You shouldn't filter. Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.

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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by komorebi View Post
    Like LOTM, I rarely filter around cars. I dislike biking in the door zone, and if the stopped cars get the green light and start moving while I'm still filtering forward, that makes me really uncomfortable. So yes, I generally take the lane and wait in line.

    The one situation where I will filter forward is if there's a lengthy Leading Pedestrian Interval that'll allow me to get ahead of traffic (e.g., on Madison Dr. crossing 14th St., heading toward the NMAAH). If the LPI is only a few seconds, I won't bother.

    I also plan out my routes to maximize the use of streets with bike lanes, even if that means taking a more circuitous route. In extreme situations when the traffic is totally jammed up, I'll hop up on the sidewalk -- riding my bike slowly (and yielding to peds) where it's legal to ride, and walking my bike otherwise.
    I told Komorebi to say all of this stuff.

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  15. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetsmarts View Post
    I have wondered recently about (something I've done) shoaling/passing to the front of cars at red lights. What do you all do?
    As I'm sure you've figured out by now, we call this "filtering". I generally filter, as long as it's safe.

    (1) It's legal.

    (2) It helps the overall flow of traffic -- more people get through the intersection faster if cyclists filter. Do I, as a cyclist, benefit more than folks in cars? Yep, I do. But I'm also the one in the small vehicle, while the ones who benefit less are the ones in the large vehicle. But people in cars benefit too, depending on where everyone is going, whether the lanes get wider or there's a bike lane, whether there's an LPI, etc. For example, I bike on Virginia Ave from 21 St NW daily. Westbound, I hit the light at E, a bit further west of which there's a crosswalk. There are often people crossing at the crosswalk in bunches that are far enough apart for a bike to get through, but not a car (because bikes are smaller). So I filter at the light at E, and may slow the cars I filter who are turning right before the crosswalk slightly. But usually, cars are caught at the crosswalk, while I bike on, and turn L at G. Because I filtered, all the cars who were behind me pre-filter aren't behind me once they start moving. And by the time they catch me, I'm often turning, so I slow no one.

    (3) "when it's safe" is important. I also don't like to be caught in the door zone, so if I'm not confident I'll get to the front before the green, I don't filter. I'm sure there are other examples of where it's not safe to filter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    They assume a mid size car is 6 and a half feet wide, mirror edge to mirror edge. A cyclist is 2 and a half feet. Allowing 2 and a half feet buffer for the bike, means a lane needs to be 11 feet wide for passing in lane. Assuming 3 feet buffer, or a larger motor vehicle (box trucks are assumed to be 8 ft wide) at least 12 ft are needed.
    Those calcs seem to assume that the cyclist rides with the edge of the handlebars on the edge of the lane. That's usually a stupid place to ride, because if you have to swerve, you can only swerve left. Given that most people ride at least a foot or two from the right-most edge of the lane and the 3 foot passing law, there are very few lanes in Arlington where a car can (legally, safely) pass within the lane.

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