Tuesday, May 4

Anonymous Points

Anonymous said...
Your position in the left-turn lane was a pretty effective signal in and of itself. Extending your left arm for the entire 8 seconds is not necessary (though it is a good idea to make that signal a couple of times.)

If someone waves me on, AND IT IS CLEARLY OTHERWISE SAFE, I graciously accept their courtesy. Rejecting courtesy for the sake of a stand on principle is also discourteous. The other guy doesn't understand my principle, all he knows is that he was trying to be nice and here this jerk is throwing it back in his face. So... I'm careful about that.


Item 1 - ME BAD! Without realizing it, I misled my loyal reader due to flatulent writing. In truth, the road south of FM1709 (facing toward the photo) is a simple two laner. The so-called "left turn lane" really isn't. It is ACTUALLY me being right next to the center lane so that any overtaking right turning traffic can do so while I wait for the light to change. Sloppily, I wrote as if being right next to the center line is a left turn indication rather than just being the smart place for a through/left turning cyclist to be. REGARDLESS, Anonymous made a luscious point, that being the protocol of a precise, but not tiring, left turn arm signal. If I understand him/her properly, I normally do pretty much the same; I hang my left arm out when pulling up to the stop, then I signal again periodically just so people remember I plan to turn left, and then I really hang the arm out again when I see the light is getting ready to go green so even those with really short memories know I'm planning on a left.
 
Item 2 - Anonymous makes a valid point, and PART of me agrees entirely with him/her. OTOH, insisting on giving up your accepted place in the traffic interaction in favor of someone who clearly intends to follow the regular rules is a bit discourteous as well. Who is worse, the one who insists on violating the rules to be "nice" or the one that insists on following the rules so that everyone moves along and gets along. That is part of the quandry I wrote about - the fine line before the cyclist acquires an offensive "chip.' It's also why I finally went, after making the point that "it's YOUR turn, go!" FWIW, there was enough other stuff going about (including crossing guards), that me going was not risk free, which the oncoming "nice" drivers probably did not notice, but I sure did.
 
THIS is why I tweaked my blog preferences to allow anonymous comments with captchas. Sometimes, the anonymous commenters give the rest of us things to ponder. Thanks!

5 comments:

Oldfool said...

Well said.

Doohickie said...

Your position in the left-turn lane was a pretty effective signal in and of itself. Extending your left arm for the entire 8 seconds is not necessary (though it is a good idea to make that signal a couple of times.)

This is incorrect. I was on a road, hugging the center double yellow line on a two-way road with very wide (more than 14') lanes, one in each direction. I had signaled to move over earlier. I went to signal my actual turn and.... almost touched the bus that had come up behind me and crossed the double yellow to pass me on the left! (Mind you, he had at least 12 feet to my right to pass me.) If he had been another second or two slower, he would not have been upon me until I started to make my turn!

I learned two things from this: Signal early, often, and constantly, especially when turning left; and, use a mirror so you can monitor traffic behind you.

Steve A said...

It would have been a churlish bus driver to pass across the double yellow line while I was stopped at a traffic light, waiting to turn left onto an FM road, but Doohickie makes a good point for those situations when movement is actually occurring in the vicinity of the cyclist. One CAN get surprised. When in doubt, signal!

ChipSeal said...

When turning left from a roadway without a center median, it always best practice to do a left head check for overtaking traffic prior to your turn- just in case.

If there is oncoming traffic this is not necessary, provided you are turning immediately after the oncoming traffic has passed you.

Steve A said...

Last week I made a new discovery about this intersection. Those motorists are a BAD influence on me!

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