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Thread: My Evening Commute

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    I rarely go into Alexandria and try not to comment on things about which I know little to nothing.

    ooh, burn!

    Well I am glad to hear that in Arlington there are no intersections where red light running cyclists are a problem for pedestrians.

    In general I think putting in signs to warn of dangers caused by scofflaws is not the best approach. Fix the danger or enforce. I do enter Arlington a great deal - I cross Shirlington Road with regularity. Where you are supposed to have the ROW, but many drivers ignore it. Of course I stop and look carefully, but its a sucky intersection, it is a big deal, and thankfully ArlCo knows it, and is talking about creating a grade separation at significant expense, rather than consider it no big deal, because crosswalk users should just (GASP!) stop.

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    I'm not telling anyone to HTFU. I'm saying use common sense when approaching an intersection with poor sight lines that crosses an exit ramp where drivers are going fast.

    Could it be better? Yes. But - and I keep saying this - IT'S NOT. In the meantime, you can bike through there quite safely by slowing down (or stopping) OR take the route up Pershing and then down Fillmore or Edgewood (? Edge something or other). Three options - don't bike that way at all, take the path along 50 (once it's re-opened anyway) or the slightly longer detour (half mile ish I believe). But don't use "it should be safer!" and "we have right of way!" as an excuse not to exercise some care.

    I've give you another example. When I'm driving and I'm stopped at a red light which has now turned green, I'll look both ways and inch out into the intersection. I've witnessed too many cars blowing red lights. Should I have to do that? No. I've got a green light. Do I do it? You betcha. And it's saved me from being t-boned more than once.

    Getting all righteous about various rights-of-way won't help you much after you've been hit.
    Last edited by Tania; 05-05-2017 at 12:31 PM.

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  4. #1693
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    I don't see anyone here suggesting riding carelessly. I do see Alcova saying the infra is shameful, and that someone will get killed.

    If there is a road signed for 45MPH, and its really only safe to drive it at 25MPH, to me that is shameful. And likely to kill someone. Even if most people drive it at 25MPH. I am not comforted that the person to be killed is less smart and cautious than I am.

    There is a difference between advising someone how to drive safely, bike safely, walk safely, or even, say, lock up your bike securely, and addressing public policy regarding safety. I read Alcova and everyone else who commented as addressing public issues - appropriate infra, even appropriate notation on a comfort map. If such policy is poor, I think it is a big deal, even if there are ways to protect oneself.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 05-05-2017 at 12:46 PM.

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    Similar to door-zone bike lanes. Sure, most of us know not to ride in the door zone even when the bike lane tells us it's peachy, but some don't think about it until it's too late. The infrastructure is actually designed to get people doored. Whether the word for that is "shameful" I don't know, but it's certainly half-assed and second rate.

    Good design takes into account the carelessness of human nature. It's why there are guardrails on roads that most of us never run into, and breakaway street signage that most of us don't hit, and exit ramps posted at 25 mph when you could easily do 40. A person is smart, but in general, people are idiots. While highway engineers have become better about safe design for drivers, it does not yet seem to be especially relevant regarding cyclists. So we all do what we feel is the safest for us individually, and disagree on what that is and to what degree it's our own responsibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Similar to door-zone bike lanes. Sure, most of us know not to ride in the door zone even when the bike lane tells us it's peachy, but some don't think about it until it's too late. The infrastructure is actually designed to get people doored. Whether the word for that is "shameful" I don't know, but it's certainly half-assed and second rate.
    So. A friend of my daughter's apparently had a scary near miss. He was riding in Brookline, Mass, in a doorzone bike lane. Guy throws open the door, rider stops short and yells (this is not a calm controlled guy, like all of us here) at the driver. Driver - you should have been farther over. Rider - I was in the middle of the bike lane!

    As I discussed with my wife, when I ride a doorzone bike lane (which I do regularly, on Eye Street SW) I don't ride in the middle of the bike lane. I ride on the left edge of the bike lane. The white lane, unless there is a particularly large vehicle in the general travel lane. And I use other above and beyond safety practices in the DZ lane as well - I try to look over a block ahead for parking activity, and I generally do not ride as fast as I otherwise would. BUT - I still feel the driver's response was unacceptable. His obligation was to look. I still am glad I participated in lobbying for dooring legislation in Va. And I am still going to encourage the City, where possible, to avoid DZ bike lanes (we haven't won that, but I think at least any new ones will be relatively wide).

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    My SO is way smarter than I am about most everything, yet when we were using the bike share in Philly recently, she was riding just a couple of feet away from the parked cars in the door-zone lanes. I kept telling her how dangerous that was and that it was safer to ride on the outer edge of the lane, but coming from me, that's just a criticism and is not helpful. The parked cars are less scary than the ones driving by, and we aren't especially good at calculating long-term risk. (In other words, the odds of any particular car door opening into you are very low, but pass a few hundred of them, and those odds become high, yet they seem the same to you.)
    Last edited by huskerdont; 05-05-2017 at 02:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Similar to door-zone bike lanes. Sure, most of us know not to ride in the door zone even when the bike lane tells us it's peachy, but some don't think about it until it's too late. The infrastructure is actually designed to get people doored. Whether the word for that is "shameful" I don't know, but it's certainly half-assed and second rate.
    Exactly, it mystifies me why bike lanes on streets with so much room that the bike lane can include a buffer zone, like Williamsburg Blvd, have that buffer between the car travel lane and the bike lane rather than between the bike lane and the parking lane. Put that buffer in the door zone! (Overly-)Cautious cyclists will be more likely to hug the right side of the bike lane than the left, and the buffer on the right would remind them of the less obvious danger (moving cars usually make plenty of scary noise) of dooring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    Where else should I walk, if not on the sidewalk?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    Exactly, it mystifies me why bike lanes on streets with so much room that the bike lane can include a buffer zone, like Williamsburg Blvd, have that buffer between the car travel lane and the bike lane rather than between the bike lane and the parking lane. Put that buffer in the door zone! (Overly-)Cautious cyclists will be more likely to hug the right side of the bike lane than the left, and the buffer on the right would remind them of the less obvious danger (moving cars usually make plenty of scary noise) of dooring.


    I can think of several reasons, some justifiable, some not so much. You judge which is which.

    1. local DOTs get in more trouble for moving car incidents than dooring incidents (?)
    2. Buffered lanes are there not only for cyclist safety but for the comfort of motorists, and having the buffer on the traffic side does a good bit more for that
    3. Parkers will not respect a painted buffer where cyclists are not officially allowed to bike (even more than they disrespect current bike lanes). You will just end up with the same situation as now, but with a very wide parking lane. Worse, at times when there are no parked cars, that wide parking lane will encourage some drivers to drive there to get around traffic. Which will create all kinds of havoc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tania View Post
    i am not a man and try not to comment on things about which i know little to nothing.
    ftfy

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