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

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    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.
    Yep. Riding that close to the curb doesn't allow enough space for you to maneuver if there's some sort of unexpected road obstacle. In my experience, it also encourages cars to pass within the lane.

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    Sigh. I wasn't saying that people SHOULD ride to the right on a 12.5 foot lane (IE that cars could pass in lane on them). I was trying to show that even with assumptions favorable to cars being able to pass in lane, likely the lanes under discussion were not wide enough, pre lane diet. Making a conservative case for the lane diet, not a case against it. (but of course I think the real reason people feel comfortable riding to the right on 12 foot lanes is not because they think passing in lane is safe, but because they expect drivers to cross over the yellow line to pass, and think crossing over a couple of feet will be done more than crossing all the way over the yellow line if they take the lane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    You shouldn't filter. Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
    Disagree. Cyclists fare best when they remember they are not actually driving an automobile and act accordingly. Often this means acting as though they are, but sometimes not (LPIs in DC being a prime example; riding on a wide shoulder being another).
    Filtering is legal. It is one thing we people riding bikes can do that advantage us over cars, which already get almost all of the advantages. So when we get a tiny advantage that makes life better for us, we should take it.

    "Fare" can mean both "be safe" or "be more convenient." My not filtering makes me slower, so I fare worse in the second sense of the word.

    I had virtually this same discussion with the WABA Education director last year. He got stuck in Georgetown traffic and was late for an event. At that time WABA had a staff directive to wait in line with the cars.

    This is what I wrote:
    Hi Doug,

    I’ve been thinking about your quandary on M Street last Wednesday and the information about WABA’s staff policies.

    I must say I strongly disagree with the policy of having WABA staff act differently than the law allows, for several reasons.

    1 – Unless WABA supports the elimination of laws allowing lane splitting and filtering, then they must allow staff to do so. Imagine if anti-bike legislators, attempting to make life even harder for people riding bikes, learned that WABA’s policy was to not behave in ways that are perfectly legal (but those officials may not like). That would give them powerful ammunition to change the laws so that those behaviors are outlawed. How easy it would be for them to say, “Even the local bike advocacy organization doesn’t allow their own staff to do these things. Of course they should be illegal.” Ouch. That would hurt.

    2 – Drivers already are confused about what people riding bikes may or may not do. The more people on bikes act consistently, the more drivers will come to expect it. Imagine you and I were both riding on M Street in Georgetown and you were wearing a WABA Staff jacket. If I were to legally filter, all the drivers around me would assume I was being a scofflaw, which works contrary to our efforts.

    3 – It acquiesces to uneducated drivers. I don’t like the idea that because drivers are uneducated, that we have to somehow inconvenience ourselves to meet their expectations. This is essentially handing the power to decide what is correct and legal back to them—precisely the opposite of what we need to be doing.

    4 - Once in a while, hopefully, a driver will see people riding bikes and will think, "Hmm, I could get where I am going better and faster if I rode a bike. There are circumstances where I would have a big advantage." One of those is Goergetown. You or I on a bike can get across Georgetown in half the time or less than someone driving a car. But not if you sit there in line with all the cars. The biggest advantage of riding the bike is lost. And so is the opportunity for others to observe that advantage.

    Thanks for listening. Feel free to share with your colleagues.
    Last edited by Steve O; 10-04-2017 at 01:33 PM.

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    Note I was not so much thinking of places where filtering helps me, and neither harms nor helps drivers. I am thinking of the polar cases of A. Filtering up to a right turn, or to a bike lane, where filtering helps me, but also helps traffic flow by pulling me as a vehicle out of the line of cars B. Where a rider is riding slower than other traffic in the lane as it moves (and is passed) , filters ahead when its stopped, then is passed all over again. AFAICT that does impede the smooth flow of traffic, and with little point. I suppose there are instances in between (especially for faster riders, or where other traffic is slower, so the rider is basically at the pace of the other traffic). I suppose its fair there to filter, though many of us find it uncomfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Note I was not so much thinking of places where filtering helps me, and neither harms nor helps drivers. I am thinking of the polar cases of A. Filtering up to a right turn, or to a bike lane, where filtering helps me, but also helps traffic flow by pulling me as a vehicle out of the line of cars B. Where a rider is riding slower than other traffic in the lane as it moves (and is passed) , filters ahead when its stopped, then is passed all over again. AFAICT that does impede the smooth flow of traffic, and with little point. I suppose there are instances in between (especially for faster riders, or where other traffic is slower, so the rider is basically at the pace of the other traffic). I suppose its fair there to filter, though many of us find it uncomfortable.
    To B. I don't think it's so clear cut that the situation describes does impede the smooth flow of traffic. And it certainly has a point.

    To the flow of traffic - often a cyclist that filters can get up to speed in a way that has less impact on the flow of traffic - for example when there is a LPI or when the intersection is wide enough that the cyclist can accelerate in the right-most lane (that has parked cars or right-turning cars pre-intersection), then merge into traffic when he/she is up to speed. You can imagine many examples where the cars behind you get where they are going faster (e.g. when they are turning right, so you're out of their way sooner) because you filtered.

    Because you can't know where are the cars around you are headed (in most situations), I think we should act in a way that gets the most people through an intersection in a cycle. Filtering is almost always the answer there.

    To the point of filtering - see Steve O's post -- it makes cycling faster, which makes it more attractive, which is good for everyone because bikes take up less space when moving and when parked, do less damage to our roadways and environment, and are good for business, public health and community building (did I catch everything?). It can also be safer to filter, because it gets drivers' attention, and, when paired with an LPI, allows bikes to get up to speed before interacting with cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    To B. I don't think it's so clear cut that the situation describes does impede the smooth flow of traffic. And it certainly has a point.

    To the flow of traffic - often a cyclist that filters can get up to speed in a way that has less impact on the flow of traffic - for example when there is a LPI or when the intersection is wide enough that the cyclist can accelerate in the right-most lane (that has parked cars or right-turning cars pre-intersection), then merge into traffic when he/she is up to speed. You can imagine many examples where the cars behind you get where they are going faster (e.g. when they are turning right, so you're out of their way sooner) because you filtered.

    Because you can't know where are the cars around you are headed (in most situations), I think we should act in a way that gets the most people through an intersection in a cycle. Filtering is almost always the answer there.

    To the point of filtering - see Steve O's post -- it makes cycling faster, which makes it more attractive, which is good for everyone because bikes take up less space when moving and when parked, do less damage to our roadways and environment, and are good for business, public health and community building (did I catch everything?). It can also be safer to filter, because it gets drivers' attention, and, when paired with an LPI, allows bikes to get up to speed before interacting with cars.
    I am not trying to say its clear cut, judgement is needed, and different situations are different. But I think its hard to deny that there is SOME pointless shoaling going on.

    As for the critical mass issue, I kind of suspect that few of the concerned but interested riders are going to be doing much filtering. Note also, I was not suggesting a change in law or policy wrt filtering, but responding to a question about safe and polite ways to ride.

    As for Vietch, y'all had me confused. I see it already has HAD a lane diet - it has a buffered bike lane. A lot of the issue there, aside from protection from crazed swerving cars, is the benefit of putting cyclists to the right of the cars vs just to the left. Dismal knows all about dooring, and also how to swerve safely into the general travel lane when he has to (or I suppose at every intersection since he wants to be most visible) but a lot of newb cyclists are going to stay in that lane, and won't even ride into the buffer to avoid door risks. (I go on the assumption that passenger side doors will open less frequently than driver side doors).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post

    "Fare" can mean both "be safe" or "be more convenient." My not filtering makes me slower, so I fare worse in the second sense of the word.
    To be "fair", "fare" (homonym party) in this sense means "get run over less" and not "gets to places slightly faster."

    Though filtering may be legal, my view is that it tends to put one in more situations where a motorist isn't expecting you and also in situations where the traffic situation changes during the filtering process. I feel like I don't have much moral high ground when cars don't pass with three feet if I insert myself into situations where a car can't pass with three feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Though filtering may be legal, my view is that it tends to put one in more situations where a motorist isn't expecting you and also in situations where the traffic situation changes during the filtering process. I feel like I don't have much moral high ground when cars don't pass with three feet if I insert myself into situations where a car can't pass with three feet.
    My beef is with your statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    You shouldn't filter.
    directed, presumably, at everyone. If you want to say, "I prefer not to filter for ABC reasons," then I have no beef with that.
    Last edited by Steve O; 10-04-2017 at 03:55 PM. Reason: I ride a bike, so I already have all the moral high ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    My beef is with your statement: directed, presumably, at everyone. If you want to say, "I prefer not to filter for ABC reasons," then I have no beef with that.
    You should not filter, Steve O and if I see you doing it again, I'm installing bollards, angled ones that are painted pavement colored and also filled with ill tempered venomous snakes that escape if you touch them. And also Jeanne should not filter. I actually intended it as a direct response to Jeanne, because she was asking and everyone else has already made up their mind.

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    I'm both a safety weenie and a rules weenie, and I filter in certain circumstances. First, only when traffic is stopped or nearly so. And second, I'll usually not filter if I'm only a few cars back from the light, or if the light is about to change, especially in both instances if the road ahead is sufficiently clear that I would expect to me passed pretty quickly. I will readily confess these are my own guidelines, and I judge no one for other choices as long as they're not egregiously dangerous or illegal.

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