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Thread: Watch out for those left-turning drivers, since they're not watching out for you

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    Default Watch out for those left-turning drivers, since they're not watching out for you

    Yesterday, after putting on some new pedals on the bike (and replacing the four year old GoPro with a new one), I went out for a test ride. My loop takes me down Florida Ave to P Street, then up the Rock Creek trail to Massachusetts Ave.

    As I turned onto P Street, I had to slam on my brakes for a car that started to turn onto the northbound Rock Creek Parkway ramp. My front disks grabbed hard and I ended up on the ground instead of across the hood of the car. As I got up off the ground, muttering curses, the driver said I should be careful when turning. I (mostly) calmly replied that she was responsible for making a safe left turn.



    My only injury was a small scrape on the knee, but I definitely felt my helmet hit the ground. Not feeling any worse from wear (other than the aches from running a race that morning), I continued on my way. As I turned onto Calvert Street after climbing out of the park, I was almost hit by another driver turning left.

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    FYI, your link doesn't seem to work.

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    FYI, your video is set to only play on Youtube and not external sites like the forum.

    Sounds like the driver didn't even notice you were there because they didn't LOOK.

    This is not an excuse, but I can see how the driver probably waited for the last SUV to pass, looked to see that no one was coming straight-on from P St, and assumed it was clear before starting their turn. Then, when you avoided a collision with them and crashed, they probably were surprised to see a cyclist and thought that you were being goofy/imbalanced instead of perhaps realizing that maybe their actions were the reason for your reaction.

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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post

    Sounds like the driver didn't even notice you were there because they didn't LOOK.

    This is not an excuse, but I can see how the driver probably waited for the last SUV to pass, looked to see that no one was coming straight-on from P St, and assumed it was clear before starting their turn.
    If you watch closely, you'll see that P St. has a red light, so the driver in question wasn't yielding to traffic going straight through 23rd on P St. Rather, the driver was yielding to another car making the same move that Ken did (turning right onto P from 23rd)! So it seems to be not so much that the driver didn't look (because they properly yielded to the car who made the turn before Ken), but rather the driver was only looking for other cars.

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    It's a terrible traffic pattern - having an un-signaled left turn that close to a light. DDOT bears some responsibility here. But I think TwoWheels is right, the driver saw the other car and ignored the cyclist, either through inattention or deciding that Ken didn't have the right of way without a giant metal box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    DDOT bears some responsibility here.
    Evergreen post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    ...deciding that Ken didn't have the right of way without a giant metal box.
    Can we get Vicegrip to weld a giant metal box to Ken's bike? That should solve everything.



    In seriousness, I'm glad that Ken was able to successfully employ a harm reduction strategy.

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    No, the driver was cutting across an opposing lane so hebears all responsibility for ensuring that it is clear just like they would have had to check for peds in the crosswalk.

    It is an incredibly bad set up though for cars trying to make that turn though being so close to an intersection. Sigh.

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    Wow. That is perfectly designed for creating crashes. I'd be curious to see how many car-on-car crashes have happened there. I bet it's common. Mostly low speed fender benders I suspect, since the cars would mostly be in turning mode at the point of impact.

    The only real solution, given the way those roads are, is to prohibit that left turn. That is, only allow cars that are traveling westbound would be allowed to enter the ramp. Otherwise I see no way to eliminate the danger there.

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