Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cars, Bicycles and Pedestrians

Before I cross the street, I take a look to make sure cars aren't turning against the light (in the US, cars can turn right after stopping for a red light). However, many motorists take this to mean that I've seen them and that I wouldn't dare cross the street in front of them.
If I ignore the car and cross the intersection, then motorists will stop to let me use the pedestrian crossing. But that's not safe! It would help if cars weren't allowed to turn right at a red light.

When I'm cycling I used to keep all the way over to the right of the road. But that only encourages cars to pass me without giving me any space. If I "Take the Lane", as the SF Bicycle Coalition encourages me to do, then motorists must cross the physical and psychological barrier of the centre line. It seems to me that motorists will try everything not to cross over the centre line. But force them to cross the line by a little bit, and then they're willing to cross over by a lot, and give me plenty of space. It is the safest way to ride.

Images of Tehran by Ali Torkzadeh

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