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Thread: Bikers passing pedestrians on paved trails

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    If you do choose to ride on streets in gusty conditions, it's advisable to be more assertive about taking the lane than you would in calmer conditions. When you make it obvious to drivers that they need to use another lane to get around you, they almost always fully move into the next lane. As a result, you'll get much wider passing distances, as well as fewer passing drivers overall. When many drivers are already passing too close (a typical situation if one rides near the edge of the right lane), the extra uncertainty in your position due to the wind gusts can be disastrous.
    I was just told by a colleague that he takes the lane, until he can get to the start of the bike lane on Potomac Ave.

    I'll do that the next time I get caught on the road with strong wind gusts. It's a game-time decision after I pass S. Glebe, whether to stay on the street or switch to the (temporary) MUP that goes by Target and other stores. I usually stay on the street because getting to the MUP can be a pain, when there are oncoming cars in the opposite direction, as well as cars going in my direction; and there's no left turn lane. Once in a while I make the wrong call.
    Last edited by GovernorSilver; 06-10-2017 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
    I was just told by a colleague that he takes the lane, until he can get to the start of the bike lane on Potomac Ave.

    I'll do that the next time I get caught on the road with strong wind gusts. It's a game-time decision after I pass S. Glebe, whether to stay on the street or switch to the (temporary) MUP that goes by Target and other stores. I usually stay on the street because getting to the MUP can be a pain, when there are oncoming cars in the opposite direction, as well as cars going in my direction; and there's no left turn lane. Once in a while I make the wrong call.
    This thread is getting off topic but... oh well.

    This is mostly in my own head, but Potomac Ave is one of the heated battles in the rights of bikes to take a lane and not be forced up onto the MUPs. The more cyclists who opt for the road, the more drivers will see it as a bike corridor and treat it as such. First, the road is 2 lanes and 25mph! There is plenty of room to pass, and low enough speeds that on a good day we might even be able to ride at the same pace as the traffic. Second, Alexandria PD is heavily enforcing the speed limit on it right now. They are huge allies in this right now by keeping speeders and aggressive drivers honest. I biked it and drove it yesterday and saw 2 cops each time. Third, with a wide open road to ride, it's nice to leave the MUPs to the walkers, joggers, and families out for a stroll of which there are many. Lastly, if Potomac Ave can be established as a bike corridor then drivers will be less likely to use it as a shortcut to avoid traffic on Rt 1. They can have Rt 1. They can't have both!

  3. #43
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    I watched a rider on the CCT pass two walkers this morning at speed, so closely he actually brushed the sleeve of the closest one. I felt really helpless and frustrated, with no options other than to stop and apologize--which fixes nothing, really, and is kind of strange--or turn around, chase down the inconsiderate and foolhardy rider and chew him out, which generally does not end well.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    I watched a rider on the CCT pass two walkers this morning at speed, so closely he actually brushed the sleeve of the closest one. I felt really helpless and frustrated, with no options other than to stop and apologize--which fixes nothing, really, and is kind of strange--or turn around, chase down the inconsiderate and foolhardy rider and chew him out, which generally does not end well.
    I saw a guy do a six inch pass on a lady in a wheelchair yesterday as she was trying to negotiate the uneven transition and narrowing path on the 14th St. Bridge near the Jefferson Memorial. I gave the headshake of shame at the other rider and apologized for his behavior as I stopped to allow her to negotiate the transition.

    I gave thought of turning around to chat with the guy, but it's one of those things where I don't know if it does any good to do so.

  5. #45
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    Failure of cyclists to call passes is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I am embarrassed and ashamed on a daily basis by the behavior of "passholes" who don't seem to understand (or care) how unnerving it can be to be passed without warning.

    In my view, there is no excuse for not calling passes. Pedestrians who react by moving into the path of the pass? That's on them. Pedestrians intentionally impairing their situational awareness through use of headphones? On them. People who think you're being aggressive or rude? On them. And I simply don't care if I have to constantly warn people when the trail is busy - you gotta do what you gotta do.

    The way I see it, calling your pass - either verbally or with a bell - is just the right thing to do. Even if the worst-case scenario comes true, I'm at least able to establish (if only to my own conscience) that I did my part to avoid that scenario.
    Last edited by Drewdane; 06-13-2017 at 11:53 AM.

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  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    I watched a rider on the CCT pass two walkers this morning at speed, so closely he actually brushed the sleeve of the closest one. I felt really helpless and frustrated, with no options other than to stop and apologize--which fixes nothing, really, and is kind of strange--or turn around, chase down the inconsiderate and foolhardy rider and chew him out, which generally does not end well.
    I've gone with "Passing! In a more reasonable manner!" when passing pedestrians after another cyclist did a too-close, or thread-the-middle-with-oncoming-traffic type pass.

    For people headed the opposite direction, I'm more likely to make eye contact and do the shake my head, roll my eyes at the bad-behaving cyclist. It still doesn't fix anything, but I feel like a little shared sympathy and solidarity in the face of stupid behavior is better than nothing, and doesn't put me in the position of apologizing for something a stranger did, which would feel kind of strange.

    Unless I'm the bad-behaving cyclist, (I have been known to misjudge the timing of oncoming traffic), in which case I do apologize...

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  9. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
    I was just told by a colleague that he takes the lane, until he can get to the start of the bike lane on Potomac Ave.
    Take the lane! Made a YHUGE different in how closely drivers pass. Even the most aggressive gas pedal revers will fly by but at a safe distance in the other lane.

    I started calling my all of passes a few years ago, thanks to some insight from cyclist friend. Before, I would only call if I could not get by safely. Calling them all (bell with a good morning or evening or bike on your left) is a lot of fun and has generated some thank you's and/or waves from more than a few people walking and other cyclists.

    Riding year round, I have noticed that the most frequent users of the trail will usually call their passes, whether they are Lycranauts or not. The folks who don't seem to be less frequent users, sometimes sporting Lycra or newer and/or infrequent commuters. Not sure how to educate these folks though...

  10. #48
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    Saw some temporary signs today in Jones Point Park calling for cyclists to signal when passing among other reminders for trail users.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #49
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    I have resorted to using my shifters to signal passing. I click them twice; back and forth, when I am far away, then again when I get closer. It's not too loud(unless I am too close), and not too soft. So far no complaints. I use my bell when there are too many peds, cyclists, or kids.

    There are many jerks out there who triple pass within inches from kids and strollers. Sooner or later bad things happen. Like when two or three peds talking, and one of them bursts into laughter and moves a foot or two away all of the sudden. I like to give peds and joggers at least 2 feet, after all we ask cars to give us 3 feet. I also never pass them on the same lane, even the joggers that use the 1-foot area gravel path next to the W&OD. I treat these joggers as using the whole right lane. I have observed that some of them jump into the trail all of the sudden to avoid obstacles that I don't see, like a puddle of water, or a big rock. They are already exhausted from running and requiring them to look each time is tiresome, maybe except when making a sudden U-turn.

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  14. #50
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    Maybe I just need to get over it and take the lane but on some roads, I just can't. I'm thinking of Columbia Pike in Arlington and Independence Ave in DC. I don't generally exceed 20 except for in bursts (I don't ride my road bike for commuting).

    This morning, my commute was ruined by close passers on Independence Ave. I certainly didn't set off to take that route but a motorcade and trail closures near the Reflecting Pool steered me to Independence Ave. I was nervous about taking the sidewalk because a lot of people where using it and with the fences up, I wasn't sure where it would take me. How bad can 1/2 a mile of Independence Ave be, I thought? It was awful. Tons of speeding and passing within inches of me. I was hit from behind by a close passing driver on Columbia Pike this spring and I'm still not over it.

    Would appreciate advice on where to report this. NPS? I don't expect action but if NPS has enough resources to go after kids selling bottled water, they can at least read my complaint.

    Apologies for subverting the thread.

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