Author Topic: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)  (Read 4454 times)

shelivesthedream

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How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« on: July 31, 2014, 04:36:02 AM »
I've been building up to cycling to work since January and have been going all the way on and off for nearly two months. It's 6.5 miles each way with a lot of hills along fairly traffic-heavy but straight and predictable roads (I can cycle in the bus lane around three quarters of the way). However, there is one stretch which is still causing problems nearly every day and I have to get it sorted because my annual travelcard expires on 31st August and I am not paying 1500 for another one. I'm a moderately nervous road user by nature and,while I have found all buses and most cars to be fairly polite, there are one or two every day that are so aggressive I am seriously scared. Today it was so bad I got off, locked my bike up and took the bus the rest I the way.

I think I've attached a diagram. Xs are where I start and where I want to end up.

I'm bowling merrily along a three-lane road in the outside bus lane but I need to turn right. At one set of traffic lights, my bus lane turns into a left turn only lane. I switch to the middle lane. Then, left is bus, middle is straight ahead and right is right turn before another set of lights 150 yards ahead where I need to turn right and the straight ahead and right turn lights come on at different times due to traffic flow in the opposite direction.

I feel like my options are:

1. get back in the bus lane, get off at the lights and walk (but if the lights are green there is nowhere to get off)
2. Get into the right lane ASAP, which is often possible (but then I have to cycle 150 yards with some car driver tailgating me and honking all the way because if I left enough room for them to overtake I'd be in the middle lane - this is extremely distressing for me)
3. Try and skip across at the last minute, which is what I see all the MAMILs do (but it's sometimes impossible so then I am trapped going forwards, or I piss off all the car drivers by weaving around, and I feel like I am going to die at any second)

What am I legally supposed/entitled to do? And what should I actually do?

FIREman2036

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 05:11:12 AM »
The bottom line is you entitled to do exactly the same as a car i.e option 2, its also the safest. Its usually safest to get in position where the car can see you rather than nip into moving traffic at the last minute.

Don't feel scared about holding cars up for a few seconds when you would do that without thinking if you were in a car yourself getting into the right lane. When you start cycling more and get fitter you will be easily traveling at a similar rate as the traffic approaching the junction or find that they are holding you up.

kyanamerinas

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 05:50:02 AM »
definitely 2. you do have the right to be in that lane, in the middle so no one can easily overtake. you have as much right as a car and by trying to accommodate too much you actually make things more dangerous. make sure you are visible, go as fast as you can and as is reasonable and signal well. practice will build your confidence.

(that said, i've stopped biking one route because 2/3 of the time i did it i got abuse on one particular junction)

Louisville

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 05:57:36 AM »
Hey! I see the root of the problem right away. Everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road.

Ynari

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 09:33:38 AM »
I have a similar (not quite the same) junction on my way to work.  It's not terribly crowded so I only have a problem some days.

Most times, I can just get into the far lane as soon as possible (as if I were a car) and ride along the side.  Cars have to wait for the lights, too, so I don't end up slowing anyone down much.

Sometimes there's no option for me to move over because the cars are being aggressive  (I'm not very assertive, either, but with some lengthy signalling that I'm going to turn from a block a way, I'd probably be OK behaving like a car car every time).  I bike to the light, stop on the sidewalk, and wait for the light to change so I can "turn".  Basically, if I feel unsafe, I'd rather wait for the pedestrian option than take the risk. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 09:51:06 AM »
Is there any merit in me cycling along the inside of the right lane (I.e. Next to the railings in the middle of the road) so that they could overtake me between the right and middle lanes?

dorothyc

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 11:50:02 AM »
I would also say take option 2. Are you signalling right with your right hand as you move? And then maybe once again when you have an impatient driver behind you, so at least they know you aren't taking the right lane for no particular reason.

Eric

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 12:49:07 PM »
Is there any merit in me cycling along the inside of the right lane (I.e. Next to the railings in the middle of the road) so that they could overtake me between the right and middle lanes?

If they have to move into part of the next lane to pass you safely, they can move all the way into the next lane to pass you safely as well.  Take the whole lane unless there's room for both you and a car in the lane.

Also, if you can't get over in time to make the turn because of traffic, you can "turn left" at the intersection that you want to turn right at.  Do this by slowing down and moving across the traffic that's stopped at the light and into the bike lane that would be going straight if you were coming from that direction.  Then wait for the light to turn green and cross with traffic like normal.  I'm talking about option 3 below. (reversed because you're backwards :) )



Nancy

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 08:02:39 AM »
Is there any merit in me cycling along the inside of the right lane (I.e. Next to the railings in the middle of the road) so that they could overtake me between the right and middle lanes?

I would not do this. Cars could try to pass you while you are both in the lane, and they will come very very close to you. It will likely scare you. Also, you trap yourself if there is any debris on the side of the road.

I'd go with option 2- get into the correct lane as early as possible. They can wait. Take the whole lane.

I have a similar situation heading toward a left turn lane. Sometimes I get honked at, but that's okay with me since honks can't kill me.

Ynari

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 08:34:17 AM »


This is exactly what I do at my intersection!  1 if there aren't many cars, 2 or 3 if there's heavy traffic.  This picture is useful.

kyanamerinas

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 10:22:57 AM »
Is there any merit in me cycling along the inside of the right lane (I.e. Next to the railings in the middle of the road) so that they could overtake me between the right and middle lanes?

no. you do not need to make allowances for cars. you have every right to be there.

TrMama

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 11:13:04 AM »
Yes, option 2 is the safest option. However, I totally get how scary it is to be honked at from behind. Especially in the dark. It scares the crap out of me too.

My solution is to signal, including using the stop/slow down signal with a couple extra "pumps" of my arm towards the back. That one especially seems to get drivers attention. I think they see me making some weird arm motion and think I'm crazy. Which is fine since crazy people get more road space :-)

Another option is to try to find a route that avoids this set of intersections entirely. Can you find a parallel street one or two blocks over? Have you tried putting your route into Google Maps to find a more bike friendly route? When you do this make sure you select the bike option since the default is for driving routes.

daverobev

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 12:56:22 PM »
Same as a car - look over your shoulder, indicate, change lane when safe to do so. If the lights are red I'd change lanes then - get in the right place.

I would cycle to the left of the rightmost lane while turning. People aren't stupid - most will see you're in the right lane because you're turning right. If someone is beeping at you, try and take down their numberplate and report it.

Now here's my feeling on cyclists generally - if you act like you have a right to be there (which you have), people deal with it, it makes you feel better and more confident, etc. If you ride on the pavement, etc, etc, it is worse.

Hamster

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Re: How am I cycling wrong at this junction? (UK)
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 01:37:30 PM »
Is there any merit in me cycling along the inside of the right lane (I.e. Next to the railings in the middle of the road) so that they could overtake me between the right and middle lanes?

If they have to move into part of the next lane to pass you safely, they can move all the way into the next lane to pass you safely as well.  Take the whole lane unless there's room for both you and a car in the lane.

Also, if you can't get over in time to make the turn because of traffic, you can "turn left" at the intersection that you want to turn right at.  Do this by slowing down and moving across the traffic that's stopped at the light and into the bike lane that would be going straight if you were coming from that direction.  Then wait for the light to turn green and cross with traffic like normal.  I'm talking about option 3 below. (reversed because you're backwards :) )
[image not included...]

I just wanted to second considering this option - turn the "wrong" direction, then make a U-turn. This is sometimes referred to as a Jug handle turn, and can often be the safest way to turn across multiple lanes of traffic. Sometimes when they build good bike infrastructure, the road or bike lane actually has lanes/bump-outs to facilitate this. There are various other examples on the internet of how to do a jug-handle turn- mostly the mirror image of what you are doing.