Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strange encounter with a driver

So, I was riding home last night from the train station and was headed eastbound on Evelyn toward Sunnyvale from Mountain View. As I approached an intersection - I think it was Moorpark, the light was red. I was slowing and coming to a stop. A car pulls up on my left side and starts pacing me. The window was rolled down, and the lady inside says politely, "I'm going to need to turn right here." (of course we were about 50 feet from the intersection at this point, so one would have to yield to the other for her to get around the corner safely). I said, "normally, you should pull in behind me to turn right in this situation" as I was putting my foot down, and giving over the right of way. As I said that, the light turned green. She said "go ahead". I said "It's OK, you go ahead" (since my foot was already down and she was in front of me). Then, she said "thank you". Kind of weird.

Part of me was pleased that she was so polite and considerate. And, part of me was thinking that these interactions would be so much simpler if folks just understand the designated right of ways and abide by them - both cyclists and drivers.

So, just to review this situation and the proper response for everyone....When approaching an intersection on a road with bike lanes, the bike lane becomes a dotted line. This indicates that the bike lane is a right turn lane. While approaching the signal, straight ahead cyclists can indicate their intentions by moving out of the bike lane and into the middle of the lane (if it is safe to do so). Right turning cars should enter the bike lane (yielding to bikes in the lane) and turn right from there. If there is any doubt whether the car can overtake the cyclist in time for the turn, the car should slow and move behind the cyclist.

1 comment:

Groover said...

Wow, I'm impressed how polite this conversation was. More often than not in such a situation I get cut off and have to brake so I won't get run over ...