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Motorist Rant(25 posts)

Motorist RantHood Rider
Nov 25, 2003 11:00 AM
This morning on the way to class I was behind an SUV turning right. The SUV didn't realize that there were pedestrians at the intersection and stopped in the middle of the bike lane as I was coming up on him. I was able to stop on time, but the roads were wet and it made me nervous. I slapped the SUV on the rear quarter panel and gave him the finger as I rode past. He gave me a look like I had spit on his mother. Was I out of line? I'm just a lowly schwinn-riding commuter. How do you pros express your dissatisfaction when a motorist usurps your right of way?
The problem is...Marketing Dept
Nov 25, 2003 11:09 AM
that he may not know why some "hood" on a bike just messed with his high dollar ride.

Were you out of line, maybe, maybe not. However, one thing for sure is that this person is most likely not going to have happy thoughts when he passes the next cyclist.

But, at least your action may at least make them aware of cyclist in his immediate surroundings, so maybe your action will help keep someone else safe.
re: Motorist RantPEDDLEFOOT
Nov 25, 2003 11:11 AM
I never give the finger or yell at a motorist.I may give them a long stare but I try not to do anything overt.Theres to many crazy people on the road that can snap into road rage.On a bike you are rather defenseless and if you happen to cross the wrong person you never know what they will do.You can't only think of yourself but also of your familly if some creep decides they want to run you over.
give them a....PmbH
Nov 25, 2003 11:22 AM
...great big fat "thumbs up" and a huge fake smile!
give them a....MShaw
Nov 26, 2003 10:10 AM
I tell people all the time that you can say anything you want as long as you're smiling and waving. Why let an aggravated arsehole make YOUR day bad?

I've found that not reacting makes them even madder without giving them reason to react to you.

Grin! @%$##@! arsehole! $%#@$! Wave... you get the idea.

re: Motorist Rantbill105
Nov 25, 2003 11:19 AM
i spray them with halt then ride like hell. no really, i pick and choose who and when i give the bird. never to old people, always to young people then on a case by case basis with everybody else.
Did they do it on purpose?hudsonite
Nov 25, 2003 11:23 AM
It sounds like it was an honest mistake. I does not sound like the SUV driver meant to block the cycling lane. If it was a mistake it would be best to let it go in my opinion.
Does it matter?Hood Rider
Nov 25, 2003 11:30 AM
When a get a near miss on right turn (happens about once a week), I never let it go. I don't think they do it on purpose, but I don't care. My issue is I want them to know that they almost hit a cyclist so that maybe next time they'll look before turning.

(btw, my login is "Hood Rider" from the snowboard board b/c I ride Mt. Hood, not b/c I am a hood.)
yes it does matter..................Dave Hickey
Nov 25, 2003 11:51 AM
It certainly sounds like an honest mistake. You've never made a mistake on your bike? I was sitting at an interstection trying to make a left hand turn. I was on my bike and had 3 or 4 cars in front of me. We got a left hand turn only light and I proceded to follow the cars into the intersection. I had a total brain fart and never realized the light turned red. I proceded to turn left even though there was a car coming in the opposite direction. Thankfully he was more awake than me and he stopped before he hit me. It was totally my fault. I waved an apology to driver and continued on my way.

Mistakes happen. Be thankful nobody was hurt.
yes it does matter..................Hood Rider
Nov 25, 2003 1:09 PM
Yes everybody makes mistakes, but if someone hits you and you end up in the hospital would it matter whether they made an honest mistake or not? It wouldn't matter to me. And, it's my view that unless cyclists remind drivers of their mistakes, the drivers are going to keep making those mistakes (i.e. not looking for cyclists) and maybe next time it won't be a near miss.

But then again, maybe I'm just defensive because I don't have health insurance.
Maybe you could remindthem...PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 25, 2003 1:17 PM a less antagonistic and more mature manner.Giving someone the finger does not get the message across.It only serves to anger the person.
Legal questionKEN2
Nov 25, 2003 11:42 AM
You didn't have the right of way in this situation: in most if not all states, motorists are supposed to merge into the bike lane before turning right. Few do this, but the alternative (cut across the bike lane while turning) is far more dangerous to cyclists.

There is no other legal maneuver in which you can turn right from a lane that is not on the farthest right, except the infrequent situation of two right-turning lanes. And in that situation (unlike the bike lane one), the right lane is a must-turn-right one.

So I'd say your motorist was in the right, and you were wrong in this situation.
???rollo tommassi
Nov 25, 2003 3:00 PM
Please quote any vehicular law that supports your statement that cars are to merge into bike lanes before turning right?
Nov 26, 2003 8:07 AM
All states have laws that state that right turns must be made from the farthest right lane. The bike lane is not exempt, i.e. it's a lane too. Here's a reference from the Bicycle Transportation Institute:
Quote: "...a bike lane continued to an intersection encourages right-turning motorists to stay in the left lane, not the right (bike) lane, in violation of the rule requiring right turns to be made from the lane closest to the curb."

What this refers to is the AASHTO bicycle lane design guidelines, which suggest that the lane stripe become dashed approaching an intersection, specifically to encourage motorists to merge into the bike lane before turning right.

I know Massachusetts has the specific law that a vehicle must merge into the right curb lane before executing a right turn; most other states have something similar, and it's just common sense. Not merging just sets up the right hook maneuver, which these laws are designed to avoid.

Why create specific exceptions to accepted traffic practices for bicycles? We're better off if treated legally and practically as vehicle operators.
interesting.....rollo tommassi
Nov 26, 2003 11:00 AM
thanks for the info!
I'm feeling though that motorists too, aren't aware of this, and they just turn right from whereever they are, and they turn in front of a cyclist who is not turning, thus setting up the right hook again/anyway. It also seems that this particular motorist wasn't even looking out for the pedestrians either.....

I guess my concern about cars merging in to the bike lane is that the majority of motorists can't control their cars anyway, and have no idea how fast they are going in comparison to how slow a cyclist is moving. It worries me enough as it is when I have cars and motos using the bike lane whenever they feel like it. I'm sure I'm not being very clear in my arguement here, but would it make sense to have a law regarding turning/merging/lanes that addresses right of way and not just a physical "furthest lane to the curb"?

plus, if the bike lane 'is a lane too', I'd like to see enforcement of people parking in the bike lane, driving in the bike lane, valet parking services using the bike lane as 'parking', etc.
Nov 26, 2003 12:52 PM
What you say is true. Unfortunately, these are among the problems with bike lanes that make them less than ideal, despite the common wisdom among cyclists that they are what we need. I prefer what are called WOLs or WCLs, wide outside/curb lanes. These are basically the extra width outside lanes without the bike lane stripe.

With WOLs, the cyclist gains space on the road, the motorist can pass in the same lane more easily without conflict, the lane gets "swept" more by traffic (ever notice that bike lanes tend to collect road debris?), and there's no question about needing to merge: motorists and cyclists alike who are turning right head to the curb. There's also less conflict with motorists when you change lanes, i.e. to turn left, since some think you are "confined" to the bike lane.

Here's more on the subject from the bike lane contrarian:
Thanks!rollo tommassi
Nov 26, 2003 2:28 PM
glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks that white lines on the pavement mean nothing without good manners.
Driver still has to look...ochsen
Nov 26, 2003 6:44 AM
...and make sure it's clear. Cutting off the cyclist (or potentially hitting them) wasn't the correct choice.

Bottom line: everyone's wrong. Try it again tomorrow...
Nov 25, 2003 11:56 AM
If the SUV made a point of accelerating around you only to then stop in your path when his path was blocked, I'd be annoyed. Weather or not that is worth a "bird" is up to you. A long stare as I ride in front of him would be fine for me.

I regularly have people gun it past me only to jam on the brakes a moment later to make a right turn across my path. It's annoying but usually non-threatening. I've grown numb to it. I use my mirror to look out for this situation.
I've given up!Rich_Racer
Nov 25, 2003 1:40 PM
Sometimes, if as you say they accelerate around you then stop or turn, I might shout something, but incidents like this basically happen to me every day on my bike and it just teaches me to ride defensively.
Sometimes I...biknben
Nov 25, 2003 1:51 PM
I often look in my mirror when approaching intersections where lots of traffic makes a right. If I notice someone coming with their blinker on, I will move left (a little bit) to "discourage" them from cutting me off. It's a bold move but it usually stops them from thinking they can just cut me off at will.

I regularly have people cut it closer than I'd like. On two occasions this year, I've been forced to make a right by a turning vehicle. At that point, I'm ballistic!!!!
Nov 26, 2003 10:14 AM
If the driver that guns it past me to turn doesn't slow me down, I ignore it.

If they make me slow down, I usually rap the fender with my knuckles. In extreme circumstances I get the urge to yank them out of the car and beat the snot out of them. So far, I've managed to stifle that urge.

Heaven forbid slowing down for 30 seconds!

Way to think it through Frank.............BIG RING
Nov 25, 2003 3:04 PM
We are small, we will die. Do not flip off motorists. They will go down the rode, pissed off and give the next cyclist a hard time. Then they will tell their friends about the dickhead cyclist and they will have a negative view of the rest of us. Motorists do stupid things, I hear you. Touch a car with your hand and they may touch your rear wheel with their bumper. Guess who wins.
re: Motorist RantSaddle_Sore
Nov 26, 2003 3:30 AM
A difficult one this. In the States I'd never get vocal with a yokel in a car, who knows that the a$$hole has in his glove compartment. Thankfully in the UK the most serious altercation will still be settled with a decent road-side punch up, so you can usually vent your spleen as vocally as you like ;-)

I usually give first time offenders a big wave and smile to remind them that I'm there. If the same driver cuts me up again, I give his car a squirt with my Ribena (good in frosty weather as it freezes a deep sticky red on rear windshields and normally gums up the wiper blades too).

I generally find that most motorists consider cycle lanes if there is a cyclist in one. Of course, having a digital camera along and taking a pic of a transgressor also helps them to mend their ways, since they are 'on record' as being in the wrong!
If obviously done with malice. . .davidxy
Nov 27, 2003 10:43 AM
Rather than flip them off and then having the offender forget about it. . I like to give them something to remember me by. . A huge, well directed, ball of spit on their expensive ride.