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06/29/2011

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Alan M

I note that all of the video scenes were taken on a red light.

There is potential for problems on a green light scenario if a cyclist follows the bike lane to the bike box and then darts left to make a left turn from the box, cutting off an approaching motorist going straight through on the green light.

Cyclists will have to two alternatives when wanting to turn left on a green light. They can do a "chicken left" -- riding the bike lane up to the box, waiting for the light to turn red, moving into the box, and proceeding with the left turn when the light turns green. This action will disrupt the momentum and flow of the left-turning cyclist as well as any cyclists behind him/her wishing to go straight through on the green light.

The other choice is to follow the HTA, cycling left out of the bike lane well in advance of the intersection, when the lane is clear to do so, signalling the left turn, and then cycling left through the intersection on the green. The only problem potentially arising with this choice is that some motorists may be insufficiently familiar with the HTA to recognize that the driver (cyclist) is following the rules of the road to make a safe and legal left turn.


With Ottawa's new bike lane adjacent to the segregated car lane (we gotta change our language!), the "chicken left" boxes extend across the intersection on the right, parallel to the crosswalk. A cyclist in the bike lane wishing to turn left proceeds on the right, through the green light, to the opposite side of the intersection. Then the cyclist stops, turns the bike 90 degrees, and waits for the light to turn green before proceeding in across the second crossing of the intersection, to complete the left turn. Ottawa has also banned right turns on red lights all along this new lane to improve safety for cyclists.

gingerbeard

It only took 2 comments following that article before a driver starts complaining how cyclists flaunt the law, and how cycling infrastructure interfears with traffic flow.

Peter Parker

"What do you do with a right-turning car behind you when the bike box is full of cyclists waiting for the light to change?"

The same thing a car driver does when there's a right turning car behind them... nothing. If you're stuck behind someone going straight when you want to turn right, you just have to wait. No one complains about this when it's a car in front of you.

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