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Thread: Beware: Open season on cyclists at the Intersection of Doom

  1. #21
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    I *never* cross that intersection unless I have the white walk signal. Never ever ever.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Since most people don't know that the flashing hand means don't enter the intersection, and they probably also don't realize that when the flashing starts, motorists no longer have the right-turn prohibition, it's a situation set up for accidents. It's a little better than before the prohibition, but it really needs improvement.
    Sorry, but I still sometimes enter this intersection with the countdown, just like I do at places like Columbia Pike & the WOD and plenty of other intersections where the countdown is timed for people on foot, not people on bikes. Particularly if there are people on foot crossing and holding the cars anyway. Once the countdown goes to zero and the hand stops flashing, the light remains green for Lee Highway traffic for quite some additional time. I do not enter during this phase even though I could theoretically make it across with plenty of time to spare.

    Although the no-turn-on-red light turns off, drivers are still obligated to yield to persons in the crosswalk, just as they are at every intersection anywhere.

    That said, I wouldn't recommend what I do to others. So, Jeanne, don't enter this intersection on the countdown.

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  5. #23
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    Yes, it would be a lot more sensible if the code were rewritten to prohibit entering on the countdown if you can't clear the intersection before the countdown hits zero. The current language doesn't reflect the fact that the countdown is often the majority of the cycle since the federal rules changed on how long it needs to be (to accommodate really, really slow pedestrians). I don't expect the code to change to reflect reality in my lifetime.

  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Technically, the law says you have to cross in the crosswalk.
    Citation, please? What I recall is this "wherever possible" language:

    " 46.2-923. How and where pedestrians to cross highways.

    "When crossing highways, pedestrians shall not carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. They shall cross, wherever possible, only at intersections or marked crosswalks. ..."

  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Sorry, but I still sometimes enter this intersection with the countdown, just like I do at places like Columbia Pike & the WOD and plenty of other intersections where the countdown is timed for people on foot, not people on bikes. Particularly if there are people on foot crossing and holding the cars anyway. Once the countdown goes to zero and the hand stops flashing, the light remains green for Lee Highway traffic for quite some additional time. I do not enter during this phase even though I could theoretically make it across with plenty of time to spare.

    Although the no-turn-on-red light turns off, drivers are still obligated to yield to persons in the crosswalk, just as they are at every intersection anywhere.

    That said, I wouldn't recommend what I do to others. So, Jeanne, don't enter this intersection on the countdown.
    I have done it, but I don't do it when cars are present. (At my time of the morning, sometimes cars aren't present--maybe once a week or so.) To me, it's not that I mind doing something a bit against the rules; it's just that if one of those cars hits me, the cop is going to write me up and it's going to be "my fault." Even though drivers are supposed to yield, we've all read the stories of cops going to the hospital to give the ticket to the cyclist.

    ETA that this is just about the only intersection I can think of where I don't enter when it's flashing. It's the double right turn lane what does it.
    Last edited by huskerdont; 06-29-2018 at 07:21 AM.

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  9. #26
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    Ha!

  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    ....it's just that if one of those cars hits me, the cop is going to write me up and it's going to be "my fault."
    Based on this, one should never, ever cross that intersection at all, then.
    Last edited by Steve O; 06-29-2018 at 10:04 AM. Reason: even on the walk signal...still your fault, no doubt.

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    I *never* cross that intersection unless I have the white walk signal. Never ever ever.
    That is my policy too. I can wait.

    As this incident shows, even crossing with the white walk signal can be hazardous.

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  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Even though it was the early 90s, I can still remember the look on the lawyer-type's face, but it's just not worth getting that worked up at this point if I can help it. I find the casual middle-digit salute to be much less stressful.

    Today at the intersection of doom, I *could* have made the signal, but the person in front of me was dithering and I didn't feel it was safe to pass. So, the flashing-no-walkie hand started, and she went anyway as I stopped. The two lanes of cars mercifully yielded to her even though they no longer had the right-turn prohibition. Then another cyclist passed me and went through with maybe 2 seconds on the countdown, and they also yielded to him. I was cringing for their safety.

    Since most people don't know that the flashing hand means don't enter the intersection, and they probably also don't realize that when the flashing starts, motorists no longer have the right-turn prohibition, it's a situation set up for accidents. It's a little better than before the prohibition, but it really needs improvement.
    I think we need a bicycle control light there instead of just a pedestrian light--a light for bikes only that has the standard green/yellow/red, with no countdown. Cyclists who know they can zip through at the last second shouldn't be controlled by lights designed for slower pedestrians. It's not safe and it makes it even harder for car traffic to get through, which makes the motorists even more desperate to get through at the last second, adding to the safety hazard.

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  15. #30
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    That's a dangerous intersection. I am very cautious entering it. I did the math years ago (started bike commuting 24 years ago), and thought that if I want to live through hundreds of times crossing that intersection I'd better be cautious. I have never been hit there yet (though I did end up on the hood of a car just two blocks from there, at Oak St.).

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