I came home today along Frome Street, across North tce and then down Frome Rd. There are at least two car lanes in the Frome St section, plus the bike lane. As I coasted in to the end of a queue of cars stopped at the North tce lights, ( ie in the left “car” lane) a car driver came down on my right and used his horn on me as he overtook – then stopped in the car queue, immediately in front of me. I pulled up alongside and asked him what was wrong.
“You cyclists should be on the left ”, he said, together with some other offensive remarks. I contradicted him, explaining that, the bike lane notwithstanding, I was going straight ahead, so why would I be on the left of the traffic stream – some of which is turning left itself, which would be right across my forward path ! This logic escaped him, and we dismissed each other in mutually abusive terms. ( memo to self : try to avoid scatological language in these cases, it’s unbecoming.)
However, thinking about it, I can see his point : There IS a bike lane at that place, a rather inadequately narrow one, but a bike lane after all. It’s just a particularly useless one : no good for straight ahead bike traffic, and little better for even left turning bicycles. To even travel in that lane is (IMO) technically illegal, as it almost always involves “under”taking/overtaking left-indicating motor traffic, which is itself illegal [ for very good reasons], apart from being dangerous – you can easily get squashed.
Now, it’s made me realise that , whenever I use intersections like that, I ignore the bike lane in favour of common sense, ie that “…any vehicle should position itself in the lane appropriate to its direction of travel…” So, when turning right, take the RHS; when turning Left, take the left lane; when going straight ahead, take the left-centre for that.
As far as I remember, it used to be the law that a bicycle – like any other vehicle - was required to “keep left” where the road is NOT divided into lanes ( ie you only had to Keep Left on single lane roads, few of which exist in city traffic arterials). To tell the truth, I am not sure if the new requirement to “use a bike lane where one is provided” [ even if it’s inadequate! ] trumps that old provision…. If so, it’s more evidence for the inadequacy of the bike lane syndrome, whereby traffic engineers manage to get bicycle “advocates” off their backs, even at the expense of bicycle safety.
FWIW the “bike lane” on Frome Road west side is an abomination : narrow and rough, so I rarely use it. It’s quite a dangerous one, not least b/c of fast bicycles zipping past me way too close for their speed. But that’s a different story …
Oh yeah, when traveling straight across an intersection RHS when you have general traffic speed - absolutely.
Unusual to get hassled by a car but it does happen - similarly when taking the lane with a round about - amazing that motorists actually get the idea "get out of my way" and try to physically push you out. At times the dehumanization we cyclists have to put up with really is criminal.
"“under”taking/overtaking left-indicating motor traffic, which is itself illegal" - its only illegal if they are moving. It is legal to pass a stationary vehicle on the left even if it is indicating a left turn.
If I am coming up to a Red light then I tend to stay in the bike lane and go to the head of the line, far enough ahead so the driver next to me can see me. When the lights go green I go straight ahead and the cars turning left wait which they will be doing for pedestrians anyway.
If the lights are green I use my common sens (which seems to be different to most other peoples) and merge with the traffic. I see no need to "take the lane" at that intersection going in that direction.
I travel across that intersection daily and almost always use the bike lane. If you approach the intersection with a red light (almost always the case) I feel it's pretty safe. The left turning traffic has a delayed green that enables you to clear the intersection without being cut off by turning traffic. If the light is green then I will file in with the left traffic lane and attempt to cross with the flow of traffic, but the lights usually change before all the left turners have cleared.
The problem I have with the intersection is the left turning cars improvising a third lane blocking the bike lane.
Another problem is cars illegally parking/picking up passengers along the west side of Frome Rd forcing you to stop or merge with traffic.
“You cyclists should be on the left ” - "yeah and monkeys shouldn't be driving cars".
Anyway, I was very nearly run over at that intersection by a driver who was coming up Frome Rd and turning right into North Tce. He had stopped to turn right and waited until I was in the intersection before gunning it and missed me by a couple of centimeters, if I hadn't swerved violently it would have been a direct hit. I don't go that way anymore its a bad intersection. The bike lanes both up and down the hill on Frome Rd aren't much good.
Strictly speaking, you are required to use the bike lane unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so. If you're turning right at that intersection, rather than risk getting squashed by a bus, why don't you stick to the bike lane and then use a hook turn.
Your experience is common and one of the reasons why so few people choose a bicycle to get to work - or indeed anywhere.
Bike lanes here are pretty hopeless and more often than not funnel you into positions of danger and conflict. A further problem is that the road layout does not clearly show who belongs where and that leads to misunderstandings like the one you experienced - or worse.
Proper infrastructure would avoid that because each type of road user would use their part of the road in a safe and predictable way and, you'd hope, conflicts would be minimised. ACC's Integrated Movement strategy appears to recognise that the few painted lanes we have do not cut the mustard. Here's hoping they've watched one of markenlei's videos on YouTube.
A solution would be dedicated traffic lights for cyclists. Six or seven seconds to turn left, right or go straight ahead, all of which you could do from the LH lane if you wanted. Could work with green cycling boxes too.
Love the guy crossing the tram tracks @ 2.23, barely waits for the tram to clear, then just gets through before the other tram. Just can't see our nanny state allowing that much freedom in mixed use.
Most of the cycling depicted seems to be casual commuting, which is fine, but does the infrastructure allow for anyone wanting to cycle at faster speeds?
+1 for a hook turn when turning right much safer and busy intersections
Frome Road has a bicycle path on the eastern side but no bicycle lane (on the western side). It is a 'cycling area' and does not have the required signs on posts of a 'bicycle lane'. Rather it has multiple signs of 'no standing' that numerous drivers cannot read or understand. ACC said that the width is too narrow (near Victoria Drive -- I measured there and at North Terrace) to be made into a bicycle lane. There is no legal requirement for you to ride in this 'cycling area'.
Earlier this year I quoted on AC the requirements of a bicycle lane, and when / when not required to ride in it. Will quote something different this time.
AS 1742.9-2000 - Manual of uniform traffic control - Part 9: Bicycle facilities - Page 16
2.4.4 Unsigned facilities
The following facilities are not signed as bicycle facilities but may be suitable for use by bicycle traffic. Where bicycle traffic is expected, bicycle pavement symbols may be placed on the lane or shoulder to encourage its use by cyclists and to warn other traffic of the possible presence of bicycles.
Being a cycle courier in the city for many years taught me that it doesnt matter what the rules are as long as you ride smart and assertive. Relying on rules is secondary to paying attention to what is going on around you IMHE.
'Flowing' with traffic is one of the best interval sessions around. I love TT'n in the middle of the road at 50 with the 'team cars' following behind. ;)
Ive never had a drivers license cos Im just having too much fun on my flash bikes in traffic. ;)