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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 11:26
Subject: Usually it's the other way round
Security: Public
Cyclists often rightly complain that other road users don't always see them. This is a problem - a number of collisions occur when vehicles pull out or cut across in front of them.

But this case is different: Cyclist doesn't see stationary van.

nil nisi bonum and all that, but <cynical>I can only think that, the van being stopped at a pedestrian crossing, the cyclist was too intent on running the red light and knocking over a pedestrian or two ...</cynical>
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Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In particular a turn left on red is (I gather, I don't do it myself) not really dangerous at all,

To cars, not really, but it's a very hostile thing to pedestrians. The US has almost universal right-on-red (since we drive on the right side) and what I've seen.

1) Nobody actually stops to make a right on red, as required. Indeed, they glance to see if a car is coming, then whip into the turn, occasionally hitting a pedestrian or cyclist who was finishing a green crossing.

2) The most ignored traffic control sign in the US is "Speed Limit XX." The second most is "No Right on Red." So, you now have people turning into protected crossings.

3) In dense traffic environments, you end up double feeding a section of road -- all the traffic on the green during turning right *and* all the traffic turning right on red. If the next section of road can't handle the extra flow, you get grid lock.

It might work, if drivers paid attention and followed the rules. In the US, these are two staggeringly bad assumptions.

Right-on-red really didn't buy us much in terms of safety or traffic flow.
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Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 14:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, as a cyclist, I'm against it, because I know many cyclist's regard for traffic law. There will be places where a no-left-on-red will be validly post it, and they'll ignore it.

Of course, they ignore it now, but the answer there is simple enforcement. You are a wheeled vehicle, act like one. We'll all get along better if we all follow the same rules.

One problem here in the US is there is a large minority of drivers who are very hostile to cyclists. This, of course, leads to a large minority of cyclists being very hostile to drivers -- see things like Critical Mass.

I don't have a good answer here.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-04 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cycles don't mix well with motor vehicles. Nor do pedestrians.

And pedestrians don't mix all that wonderfully with cyclists.

Pedestrians have specific places where motor vehicles don't go (well, excepting backstreets of Japanese cities when you get a white painted line rather than a kerb). Separate paths for cyclists and noone else would be the answer, if there's enough space to put them.

There rarely is.

Absent that, no, I don't see a good answer either.
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Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a shorthand, and not that clear, so in that, it fails. Bikes move much more like cars -- they take time to brake and to reach full speed, turning radii and rates drop as speeds increase, etc, and inertia vs. drag is very high -- so a bike or a car will coast a long time with no power or brakes applied.

Pedestrians are very different. They can stop very quickly, reach full speed in very short order, and can basically turn in any direction at any time (see a runner in American Football or Rugby for how dramatically a runner at full speed can change direction.)

So, the statement "You're a wheeled vehicle, act like one" means "You move like a car, not a person. Act like your driving a car, not walking on the sidewalk. And *don't* ride on the sidewalk"

The problem with going from no-left-on red anywhere to yes-left-on-red generally is that the public as a whole changes the default from no-left-on-red to yes-left-on-red, and thus, they're primed to make the turn, even when explicitly barred. It doesn't change those who make the turn regardless, but it will cause many more people to make the turn in the cases where they are explicitly barred.

The right answer to left-on-red in the occasional case is an explicit signal that tells you to go left on red. The problem in the US is the several states. In some states, an explicit right arrow automatically negates right on red, in others, it doesn't unless a sign is posted.

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