May 10, 2012

Lane Splitting and Minor Updates

My blog post on Tuesday was about the lack of parking in German Village. One of my co-workers told me that I was mistaken. I initially interpreted the signs that said "2-hour Parking Between 10 AM - 8 PM except Permit A" meant that after 8 PM a parking permit would be needed. That's probably wrong. I still believe the on-street parking on 3rd Avenue should be re-purposed to street meters so most of my original post is intact. Interestingly, had I understood the signs correctly, I would have parked at the first sign that said 10 AM - 8 PM because I was there around 7:30 PM. In that event, I would have never written the post. Oops.

And yesterday, I posted about never talking with law breaking cyclists. There were two instances later that day that I almost yelled at bikers. Both cases involved "lane splitting."

Lane splitting is when a bicyclist weasels to the right of cars/bikes when the cars/bikes are stopped at a red light. It is illegal and is surprising to anyone stopped at the light. In the morning, it was a woman in cycling attire who passed me while I was stopped at Town and Front. It happened so fast I couldn't think of the best way to approach it. Yell at her? Talk calmly? Make a weird noise? If I could do it over I would have told her, "Please don't lane split."

On my ride home, there was an older man who has clipless pedals. Clipless pedals are pedals which are specialized for shoes with matching adapters to "clip" into the pedals. This allows a cyclist to apply a more constant force on the pedals throughout the pedal revolution. Anyway, there was a line of cars stopped with maybe 1' to 1.5' of room on their right. Wouldn't you know it the guy still snaked around on the right. I turned before I could catch up with him so I was unable to tell him about his poor technique.

What I've learned is that I'm going to start talking with law-breaking cyclists. Unless I don't.

Motorcycle lane splitting link of the day:

2 comments:

  1. I'm (somewhat) ashamed to admit that I frequently lane split. To be fair, I started doing so out of consideration for drivers, especially in intersections narrow enough to prevent cars from passing me.

    Here's the gist of my thinking when I started being such a badass....
    It must be the worst for a driver to be running late, idling at a busy intersection, waiting impatiently for the cars ahead to start moving so s/he can make it through the intersection before the light turns, only to be stuck behind some jackass cyclist - me - who takes (seemingly) forever to accelerate and is impassible due to narrow lanes.

    This has allowed me to sleep restfully at night despite my reckless road behavior. While for ethical reasons I cannot recommend such lawlessness, I will keep it in mind the next time I yell at a cyclist who blows through a red light.

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    Replies
    1. My main argument against lane splitting is that the worst part of interacting with a cyclist is passing them. If there's a constant game of leap frog, motorists will not be any friendlier to us.

      In your example, if the lanes are too narrow for passing, it sounds like you trade inconveniencing a couple of cars at the end of a stopped line of cars for inconveniencing the entire line of cars now unable to pass you. That trade-off doesn't sound particularly enticing if I were driving a car anywhere in that line of cars.

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