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Do you disregard traffic laws during your commute?

Old 11-22-19, 07:35 PM
  #26  
sweeks
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Yeah, waiting to cross a main road in the 6 am darkness with no traffic, and no prospect of the light turning green for me ...
In Illinois bicycles and motorcycles are allowed to proceed through red lights after waiting for two minutes and if there is no cross-traffic. The waiting period is ridiculously long, so I give the light 30 seconds, then I go. However, I will not go forward if cars are waiting: the optics are bad, and the light's going to change because of the cars' presence.
(Note that this law only applies in cities with populations less than 2 million... so not in Chicago. :-/
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Old 11-22-19, 09:22 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
In Illinois bicycles and motorcycles are allowed to proceed through red lights after waiting for two minutes and if there is no cross-traffic.
Yeah - I believe it's three minutes in North Carolina. It was 45 seconds in Wisconsin - that's reasonable. But three minutes for a light I know will never turn? Come on!

I generally follow all the traffic laws and try to present as a law-abiding cyclist whenever drivers are present. Good publicity, y'know. Others can do what they want, and I'm cool with that, so long as people know what they're doing and don't make a lot of bonehead moves.

Three times I break the law:
(1) Vehicle actuated lights. There's one on my inbound commute where a bunch of curbs are built up in the middle of the road and the pedestrian signal is on the other side. Getting to it would require either going the wrong way on a narrow road with no way for cars going the right way to get around, or going the wrong way a bit more briefly on a 55MPH thoroughfare.
(2) Low traffic nighttime situations in sketchy areas.
(3) Speed limits...on roads. So long as its safe (with respect to traffic, pedestrians, etc.) Cars are usually speeding on these same roads as well.
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Old 11-22-19, 09:50 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by marcus_ti View Post
no. The law is the law. Breaking it makes you "one of those ______ bikers" that everyone, not a cyclist, kvetches about incessantly claiming we need banned from roads---and you only prove their negative stereotype true.
+1
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Old 11-22-19, 09:52 PM
  #29  
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after going thru that red I decided that was a big mistake so it was a healthy reminder to stop when I see the yellow, or rather get ready to. in my car too
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Old 11-22-19, 10:58 PM
  #30  
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Okay, I confess, one of my bikes doesn't have a bell.
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Old 11-23-19, 07:14 AM
  #31  
rumrunn6
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yeah def. need a bell, or maybe a whistle?

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Old 11-23-19, 07:30 AM
  #32  
hefeweizen
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Originally Posted by justsaymint View Post
Why or why not


Do you?
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Old 11-23-19, 07:45 AM
  #33  
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I do what I feel is safest. I already propagate a negative stereotype by riding on sidewalks occasionally (usually when I have kids in tow). Riding on sidewalks is completely legal where I live (i and I usually donít encounter peds, but will stop or depart sidewalk as applicable.

I also strive to drive in the safest manner possible (and as little as possible, too). That almost always means observing all laws including speed limits to me and where I live.
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Old 11-23-19, 10:52 AM
  #34  
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I only obey laws that I agree with.
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Old 11-23-19, 05:56 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Necrohazard View Post
I treat my bicycle commute just like I would if I were in my car. The one day I choose to blow through a stop sign is the day I wind up hit by a car I didn't see in time.
I live in the suburbs so my riding style and strategy is a little different from somebody who lives and rides in a downtown area of a big city... If I treated my bike commute exactly like my car commute, my commute would take a lot longer, be less safe and it would become dull and boring very quickly...My priority is to make my commute as efficient and as safe and as fun as possible regardless of what the law says.
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Old 11-23-19, 10:16 PM
  #36  
Eric S.
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I do if there's no one around. Some of the lights I encounter won't change unless I get on the sidewalk and hit the pedestrian button, and even then it takes a long time, so I'll cross when it's safe. Nevada has some law about being able to go if a light ignores you for two cycles or something but I'm not going to wait that long unless there are vehicles there with me.
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Old 11-24-19, 12:03 AM
  #37  
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There are a couple of descents where I can tuck and surpass the 40mph speed limit on my 4 mile commute to the light rail. I think the most I've hit on that descent is about 51mph, but that is on a road bike, not my commuter hybrid with pannier and laptop. On the commuter I can just barely pass 40 if I really hit it right.

There is one stop sign on my commute, and I'd be crazy to blow it. There are six stop lights. They're all on busy roads, and it would be foolhardy to blow them. I actually can't think of a time I've ever blown a red light on a bike. Survival is more important to me than avoiding unclipping.

On the way home I take a slightly different route, and there is one residential stop sign that I may ride through if there's nobody near the intersection.
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Old 11-24-19, 02:41 AM
  #38  
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I make a point of riding lawfully, but I'm not a fanatic about it. Rolling through a stop sign when there's no traffic has zero consequence (including enforcement). There are several other scenarios.

If you're not disrupting traffic or endangering anyone, and provided your local police are reasonable, there's not much reason to be a stickler for every rule.
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Old 11-24-19, 05:12 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Falkon View Post
Disregard? No, I have full regard for traffic laws. I just don't always follow every one if it's not practical to do so. I'm not going to sit there waiting at a red light that does not detect my bike there and change just to be in compliance with the law. I'm not going to necessarily come to a full stop at a four way stop if I can clearly see that there are no other cars coming. I otherwise stay within the law.
Pretty much this. Traffic laws are geared towards motorists for the most part. So as a cyclist, you will find many of them unnecessary. In a car, you're cocooned in a sealed chamber where your view and sound are attenuated.

A cyclist, on the other hand, is "out in the open" and therefore, has an unobstructed clear view of everything around him. In addition, he can hear any hazards that might come his way but not yet be in view.

If I'm approaching an intersection, and can clearly see down the road in both directions, coming to a complete stop would be unnecessary. I do however, obey all traffic signals.

Now that you bring up the topic, one ride I decided to try an experiment. I would follow the traffic laws 100% according driver ed. specification. The ride turned out to be one of the most arduous and time wasting rides I'd ever been on.

A full 90% of all the intersections where I came to a complete stop had no cross traffic on it at all. It felt so peculiar when I'd stop completely and unclip even though I could clearly see ahead of time that it was just me alone on the road.

BTW, I tried this same experiment while driving once, and you wouldn't believe all the people that got pissed off. Suffice it to say, there were brights being flashed, horns, a couple of people tried to run me off the road, and more than anyone's share of obscenities received. But that's what you get for following the speed limit...exactly.

Last edited by KraneXL; 11-24-19 at 08:21 AM. Reason: word correcct
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Old 11-24-19, 05:37 AM
  #40  
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I have two lights right now that I routinely run. One is at a MUP/street intersection and the "Walk" sign is currently broken, so I would be there all day if I waited for it to change. That light would never change. I tried. So, I just wait until it is safe, and I go. The second, is a light that a cyclist cannot trip, I guess due to our low weight. I am usually there at around 5 in the morning most days. I treat it like a Stop sign and when it is clear, I go. Don't feel bad one bit.

Almost all Stop signs I come to a complete stop at, because, where I ride, these are places motorists routinely blow through. There is, however, one Stop sign on one of my routes that is in a deserted part of town. I am usually there at about 0520 or so. Every once in awhile, an early work person is there, heading out, but almost never. I can easily see fifty yards both directions and I routinely run this Stop sign because it is just a deserted area and there is no need to stop and re-clip. In my view, that is.

I don't like clipping out and in 5000 times on a two-hour ride. It seems unnecessary. But I do it. Am now very proficient at clipping in. It is a ton of starting and stopping in town. But it is required most of the time.
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Old 11-24-19, 06:22 AM
  #41  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
...Almost all Stop signs I come to a complete stop at, because, where I ride, these are places motorists routinely blow through. There is, however, one Stop sign on one of my routes that is in a deserted part of town…

I can easily see fifty yards both directions and I routinely run this Stop sign because it is just a deserted area and there is no need to stop and re-clip. In my view, that is.

I don't like clipping out and in 5000 times on a two-hour ride. It seems unnecessary. But I do it. Am now very proficient at clipping in. It is a ton of starting and stopping in town. But it is required most of the time.
Indeed it is a pain to clip / unclip/ clip / unclip… When I occasionally do a multimodal commute, bike ~ 2 miles to train in the city, train to an outlying suburban station, then cycle ~ 5 miles to work , I wear regular running shoes for the urban segment though the downtown, and bring my cycling shoes for the suburban segment.

Otherwise the full cycle commute of about 14 miles through MUP, residential, and early morning light commercial routes does not require many, sometime no stops.

BTW, I previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
'Clipless pedals or not?'

On further reading, I noted the right vs left unclipping discussion. We have plenty of curbs and I unclip right. In fact, when I'm on the left side of the road, left foot unclipping seems awkward.

I first to thought about it when I started riding with a regular companion, and he always unclipped left.
After a early few falls when learning to ride with clipless pedals, I now unclip the right foot when there is the least anticipation of stopping.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-24-19 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 11-24-19, 06:59 AM
  #42  
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Aha! Right, huh?

Well, I am right-handed all the way. But I always, always unclip the left. Wouldn't even know how to do the right.
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Old 11-24-19, 07:59 AM
  #43  
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For slow moving traffic I usually unclip on one side as well. I load my bike only with one pannier on the left side for commutting so I also unclip on that side (the imbalance makes it favor leaning to the left).

For following laws I am quite strict aside from four-way stops with no vehicles nearby. Even then I do slow down nearly to a stop but only for an instant so that I dont need to dismount.
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Old 11-24-19, 08:36 AM
  #44  
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No. I was taught to follow traffic laws and to not do so makes me uncomfortable. Even turning right on red causes some discomfort.
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Old 11-24-19, 09:07 AM
  #45  
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I ride the way I drive. I try to follow all the rules of the road but there are some that get a little bent.

.
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Old 11-24-19, 10:38 AM
  #46  
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I was waiting for big red capitol letters.......

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Old 11-24-19, 11:28 AM
  #47  
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Hello all. As a relatively new bike commuter, I was thinking about this just the other day. I came to the conclusion that to me the bike is a cross between driving and walking and so I use it as such. When on streets without either a bike lane or sidewalk (mainly the residential portions of town) I ride down the road (like a vehicle), but at intersections, I behave as a pedestrian, with safety (for me and the public) always a priority. Following the law isn't always the safest thing to do.
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Old 11-24-19, 11:49 AM
  #48  
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When commuting by bike, Iím seldom thinking about what is or isnít lawful. The laws of physics maybe. The law changes depending on whether Iím on the street or on the trail and has very little effect on whether I get to my destination safely and in a timely fashion. I never sat around thinking about what was lawful when I was driving a car. I kept my speed down, paid attention and obeyed standard right of way procedures. For safety of myself and others. I never got any tickets or caused any crashes. I never had to worry about the law. Same now on a bike. Safety first. Iím in charge of that, not the law. As a cyclist in the USA, the law comes up woefully short when it comes to my safety.
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Old 11-24-19, 11:50 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by billyO13 View Post
Hello all. As a relatively new bike commuter, I was thinking about this just the other day. I came to the conclusion that to me the bike is a cross between driving and walking and so I use it as such. When on streets without either a bike lane or sidewalk (mainly the residential portions of town) I ride down the road (like a vehicle), but at intersections, I behave as a pedestrian, with safety (for me and the public) always a priority. Following the law isn't always the safest thing to do.
Just so we're clear, you can only behave like a pedestrian if you are a pedestrian. That means full dismount bipedal movement.
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Old 11-24-19, 11:50 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Not if nobody sees you.

My thought process:
1. Is it safe?
2. Is it courteous?
3. If yes-yes, the law doesn't apply.
Precisely. This is why I never run pedestrian crosswalks when they are occupied.
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