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Red light question(11 posts)

Red light questionPBWatson
Aug 6, 2003 1:39 PM
OK we all stop at red lights, right? But do you stop behind the car in front of you or do you ride the shoulder to the front of the intersection? Whats the law generally say about this?

I ride to the front unless I'm in the left turn lane where I sit behind whatever car was in front of me. But, I'm not sure if this is right.
Depends... you should keep your spot in lineSprint-Nick
Aug 6, 2003 1:55 PM
It depends on whether I'm just riding somewhere or want to do an actual workout where I'm trying to keep my heart rate up. If I'm riding somewhere or am on an easy ride normally I move directly behind a car in the middle so noone can come up along side me and keep my place in the line, not budding in front of people. However, if I'm on a harder training ride where I want to keep my heart rate up or I'm downtown where I know I can beat the cars then I'll cut to the front.

Its all a matter of how safe you feel and its important to remember that peoples pet peeve is coming around a cyclist before the lights only to have to do it again when they ride right to the front of the line.

I basically agree,TJeanloz
Aug 6, 2003 2:15 PM
If there's a narrow shoulder, which makes passing you something that the drivers have to think about and make extra maneuvers for, it's rude to move to the front - which requires them to pass you twice. If there's a full breakdown lane style shoulder, or a dedicated cycling lane, I have no problem moving right to the front.

For left turns, I always wait in line.
Always sparks debate...biknben
Aug 6, 2003 3:21 PM
For me, it depends on the intersection. If there is plenty of room, I'm going up to the front. Many times that is not the case. If so, I will wait in line.

Now, if cars are really backed up, I will be sure to move far enough up the line so that I will make it through the next green light. If I do that, I will move up as far as comfortable paying close attention to who might be making a right turn.

OTOH: Last week I had a guy give me serious attitude because I was in the lane amongst the cars. Even though I was keeping up with creeping traffic and not hindering him at all. He honked, swerved towards me and then motioned that I should move over. I motioned that he should sit on it and rotate! :-) I can never win.
I use your criteria...PdxMark
Aug 6, 2003 3:32 PM
I'd add that moving up among backed-up cars has a caveat if they can turn right. Then I get ahead in the line, but not all the way to the intersection. I stop a few cars back, just in front of someone so they can see me. I then ride through the intersection in front of them. That way I avoid a collision with a right-turning car.
Green Light Gochar
Aug 6, 2003 6:50 PM
For a stop sign or light when riding solo, sometimes pass on the left, but usually on the right. Group riding is another ball of chain wax.

What I really can't figure out is - why is there even a debate about this? Faster moving traffic passes the cyclist, now they are stopped so faster cyclist passes slower (or stopped) vehicles.

Of course one of the classic examples is/are vehicle(s) stopped in traffic and then hug the right side for whatever reason blocking cyclists forward motion. Luv ya too, baby, but I gotta get around.

Wow - I feel badUncleMoe
Aug 6, 2003 8:32 PM
Where do you all live? Everyone I see in San Diego rides up to the front, left turn or right. I've never seen anyone wait their spot as if they were actually in a car.

Maybe it is because we have a lot of bike lanes, or because motorcycles in CA are allowed to do that too in many instances (on the freeway mainly, cut thru traffic jams) but I've never had a problem (knock on wood).
Same in LAmickey-mac
Aug 6, 2003 8:38 PM
I never wait behind cars at intersections unless they're jammed right up against the curb and don't know anyone who does. We're supposed to ride as close as practicable to the right road edge, meaning cars are allowed to pass us in the same lane all the time. I have no problem returning the favor, even if the car will pass me again. In 20 plus years of cycling in southern California, this has never resulted in any disputes or close calls with motorists. The way traffic is in this town a 20 mile ride will take two hours if I start sitting behind cars at every red light.
Don't feel bad270bullet
Aug 6, 2003 8:46 PM
Same in OC. Ride up the right side on any light. If there is a right turn only lane and you are not turning right, we do what the motorcycles legally do, go between the cars. On left turns, if solo, most of us ride up the right side of driver's turning left and stop well into the cross walk. That way when the light turns green you can stay right as you turn left so those behind can cut the corner. However, on the larger Saturday group rides, the group takes up the left turn lane behind the car and yell at any rider who tries to go around the car - shouts of "let the car go". Other parts of the country are not as cycling friendly as SoCal. We are very lucky here. My worst cycling year ever was the 3 months one summer I spent in Ohio.
One exceptionCurtSD
Aug 7, 2003 8:28 AM
One exception to going 'between the lanes' on left turns is if the lane is a 'left turn or straight' lane, then I take the lane to make sure a car won't try to go straight and cut me off as I try to turn left.
Noticing a trend...biknben
Aug 7, 2003 4:32 AM
You guys are from Cali. The traffic engineers learned from all the mistakes they made in the East.

In jersey, we get off our bike and kiss the pavement in a bike lane. They began adding them to development in the last ten years. These development are small so we get a half mile of lane and then it's back to hell. We call shoulders bike lanes and we feel blessed when even have that. On many roads, the pavement is crumbling to the LEFT of the white line. Consider yourselves very lucky.

Many one lane roads will expand to two lanes at lights. One lane is turn only (either way depending on traffic patterns) and the other is to go straight. Keep in mind the road doesn't get wider, they just add a lane. It's not a bike friendly atmosphere.