Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

uart
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Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby uart » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:55 pm

I was just making a mental summary of where strictly obeying certain road rules may somewhat increase your danger as a cyclist, and this one came to mind. I'm just wondering if other cyclists strictly obey these? I often just move over to the right hand extremity of the lane and go straight ahead. The alternative will often mean trying to merge into a lane of fast moving traffic.

Example courtesy of BJL.
Image
Last edited by uart on Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BJL
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby BJL » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:33 pm

uart wrote:I was just making a mental summary of where strictly obeying certain road rules may somewhat increase your danger as a cyclist, and this one came to mind. I'm just wondering if other cyclists strictly obey these? I often just move over to the right hand extremity of the lane and go straight ahead. The alternative will often mean trying to merge into a lane of fast moving traffic.


I do the same as you. Two near my place come to mind. Intersection of Mt Dandenong Rd/Canterbury Rd, Montrose, heading west so opposite the BP servo. It's a divided road with two traffic lanes with a wide shoulder that the 'turn left only' lane uses (turning into Gratten Rd). If I obey the road markings, I'd be forced to move into the adjacent traffic lane in a 70kph zone which is very dangerous given it's a very busy road that carries a lot of trucks.

(maybe google maps is a better way of describing it)

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.8120006,145.3373636,3a,75y,250.91h,99.07t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sCodNuytA0WRDPh5MwZQSqw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DCodNuytA0WRDPh5MwZQSqw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D174.1296%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

Just to confuse the issue, a little further away, (For those in Melbourne and know the outer east, the set of lights near Maroondah Hospital on Mt Dandenong Rd, heading east), there's a bike box in the 'left turn only' lane. So if you use the bike box, technically you have to turn left.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.8051966,145.2543904,3a,75y,33.29h,90.5t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sZO6L-8Asln1smZRwvCTjNA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DZO6L-8Asln1smZRwvCTjNA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D87.90187%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

I do whatever I deem is the safe option without stretching the rules too far.

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Cycleops70
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Cycleops70 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:46 pm

Usually, but you're damned if you do & damned if you don't.
Last week I went through a junction going straight & used the right lane (the left lane was left only) & got a blast of the horn from a driver coming up from behind for being in his way.

I've no doubt this will serve him many years worth of "bloody cyclists in the middle of the road" stories.

If there is a lot of traffic, I might apply a 'hook turn' principal. But I'm not sure how that would be perceived if it was seen by police.

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:20 pm

(When I rode a bike) After one collision with a car I ceased indicating any left turn off an arterial or significant road. It just tempts drivers who are unaware of how slowly they corner and how fast bikes do, to pass and then cut across me.
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Arbuckle23 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:22 pm

I ride on the R/H edge of lanes like that, safest place to be.

uart
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby uart » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:36 pm

BJL wrote:I do the same as you. Two near my place come to mind.

Those are perfect examples of the exact type of thing I was talking about BJL. (I've now included an image of that one in my OP)

In my opinion, intersections like that are designed with the very expectation that cyclists will ignore that painted arrow when going straight ahead. However now we have (especially in NSW) this push to make cyclists more accountable on the roads and fines on parity with cars etc.

It's bullchit of course, but I worry where it's going to stop. For decades police never even blinked at cyclists going slowly through stop signs, but now it's all the rage to give them $300+ fines. It annoys me because sometimes proceeding slowly without needing to stop and then re-engage the pedals is far safer. In the future police might start doing blitzes on intersections like this, pinging cyclist with huge fines for disobeying these lane markings, and trying to make cycling more dangerous? :x

BTW. That painted bike box in your second link looks like it might be there to actually legitimize cyclists going straight ahead! I think it's kinda there to pacify motorists, so that they acknowledge that it's ok for bikes to queue there to go straight ahead.
Last edited by uart on Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

uart
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby uart » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:39 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:(When I rode a bike) After one collision with a car I ceased indicating any left turn off an arterial or significant road. It just tempts drivers who are unaware of how slowly they corner and how fast bikes do, to pass and then cut across me.

That's interesting Colin. I've heard other cyclists say the same thing. From memory I think that (legally) left hand signals are optional (unlike right hand signals) is that correct.

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Scott_C » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:04 pm

uart wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:(When I rode a bike) After one collision with a car I ceased indicating any left turn off an arterial or significant road. It just tempts drivers who are unaware of how slowly they corner and how fast bikes do, to pass and then cut across me.

That's interesting Colin. I've heard other cyclists say the same thing. From memory I think that (legally) left hand signals are optional (unlike right hand signals) is that correct.

I believe you are correct with the exception of WA where cyclists are legally required to use hand signals for both left and right turns (and when stopping or suddenly reducing speed). Oddly enough, if you are driving/riding any other vehicle that is not equipped with indicator lights (including a motorbike or moped) you can make a left turn without a signal, it is only cyclists who are required to hand signal a left turn.

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby bychosis » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:58 pm

i prefer to ride in the straight through lane.

But having said that, I’ve bent quite a few different rules in the name of cycling more safely.
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby human909 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:08 pm

Depends very much on the situation. But in some situations using the left turn only lane markings just makes sense. Yet another situation of roads not being designed for cyclists and rule breaking by the cyclist being the optimal solution for all involved. (Which can all work fine if the police and the pitchfork wielding motorist get their knickers in a knot.)

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby fat and old » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:40 am

BJL wrote:I do whatever I deem is the safe option without stretching the rules too far.


This. If riding through, I'll get into the turn lane (so long as there's space on the other side of the intersection, and there's no cars/trucks wanting to turn left behind me or close). If the lights are going to go or are already red, I'll stay in the straight on lane.

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby queequeg » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:17 am

fat and old wrote:
BJL wrote:I do whatever I deem is the safe option without stretching the rules too far.


This. If riding through, I'll get into the turn lane (so long as there's space on the other side of the intersection, and there's no cars/trucks wanting to turn left behind me or close). If the lights are going to go or are already red, I'll stay in the straight on lane.


If it is a "Left Turn Only" lane, and there isn't physically anywhere to go on the other side of the intersection, I always use the adjacent lane. If it is just a "Left Turn Optional" lane, and the sequence of lights is such that the left turn gets a green arrow before through traffic gets a green light, if I know the light sequence I will move into the adjacent lane, then when the left turn gets the red arrow I will move back into the left lane.
I only do this so that I am not sitting at the front of the left lane blocking a line of cars who are all going left. It's of course not actually required for me to do this, just the same as a motorist going straight ahead could sit at the front on the green arrow and block everyone, but the last thing I want is a line of fuming motorists in peak hour traffic being "held up" by a cyclist who stopped for a red light (to go straight ahead)
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:29 am

uart wrote:I was just making a mental summary of where strictly obeying certain road rules may somewhat increase your danger as a cyclist, and this one came to mind. I'm just wondering if other cyclists strictly obey these? I often just move over to the right hand extremity of the lane and go straight ahead. The alternative will often mean trying to merge into a lane of fast moving traffic.

Example courtesy of BJL.
Image


In this example - where it is possible to safely ride straight ahead from the left lane (albeit by entering a bus stop area) - I will stay in the left lane, no question. Common sense and personal safety trumps the road rule here. As an added bonus, I'd be less likely to slow traffic down.

There is an example in Adelaide like this, except that bus stop area is replaced with a bicycle lane. So legally, I am expected to move from the left (left turn only) lane to the centre lane before the intersection, ride through the intersection in that centre lane, and then once I'm through the intersection, move back left into the new bicycle lane. Instead I stay in the left lane. There's a link to google street view here: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-34.924 ... 312!8i6656

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby kb » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:35 pm

uart wrote:I was just making a mental summary of where strictly obeying certain road rules may somewhat increase your danger as a cyclist, and this one came to mind. I'm just wondering if other cyclists strictly obey these? I often just move over to the right hand extremity of the lane and go straight ahead. The alternative will often mean trying to merge into a lane of fast moving traffic.

Example courtesy of BJL.
Image

That’s a try to gauge the mood of the traffic for me. Although, that exact spot I turn right. 1/4 by changing lanes, 3/4 as a hook turn.
Image

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby fat and old » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:25 pm

queequeg wrote:
fat and old wrote:
BJL wrote:I do whatever I deem is the safe option without stretching the rules too far.


This. If riding through, I'll get into the turn lane (so long as there's space on the other side of the intersection, and there's no cars/trucks wanting to turn left behind me or close). If the lights are going to go or are already red, I'll stay in the straight on lane.


If it is a "Left Turn Only" lane, and there isn't physically anywhere to go on the other side of the intersection, I always use the adjacent lane. If it is just a "Left Turn Optional" lane, and the sequence of lights is such that the left turn gets a green arrow before through traffic gets a green light, if I know the light sequence I will move into the adjacent lane, then when the left turn gets the red arrow I will move back into the left lane.
I only do this so that I am not sitting at the front of the left lane blocking a line of cars who are all going left. It's of course not actually required for me to do this, just the same as a motorist going straight ahead could sit at the front on the green arrow and block everyone, but the last thing I want is a line of fuming motorists in peak hour traffic being "held up" by a cyclist who stopped for a red light (to go straight ahead)


That's what I was trying to say :)

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Bunged Knee » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:51 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:In this example - where it is possible to safely ride straight ahead from the left lane (albeit by entering a bus stop area) - I will stay in the left lane, no question. Common sense and personal safety trumps the road rule here. As an added bonus, I'd be less likely to slow traffic down.

There is an example in Adelaide like this, except that bus stop area is replaced with a bicycle lane. So legally, I am expected to move from the left (left turn only) lane to the centre lane before the intersection, ride through the intersection in that centre lane, and then once I'm through the intersection, move back left into the new bicycle lane. Instead I stay in the left lane. There's a link to google street view here: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-34.924 ... 312!8i6656


I put up a pic of AP googlemap location.

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby chriso_29er » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:13 pm

The junction of Manchester rd and bellara dr in Mooroolbark is a classic example of this.
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.775 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Bike lane all the way up from Mooroolbark before suddenly changing into a left only lane and then back to a bike lane straight after the intersection. There is no left arrow at the lights so 99% of the time will just take the middle of the turn lane through the intersection.
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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Cardy George » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:39 pm

I'm another who sits on the right side of the left lane, but I'm also riding on a 100km/h highway

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby antigee » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:24 am

depends on traffic speed and number of lanes - 2 straight ahead lanes and ok traffic speed then middle of straight ahead lane, one lane then right hand side of left turn lane and just slow any left turners be prepared to avoid late turns and clearly indicate my intention as rejoin the straight ahead

at this junction I go very very very thin and then disappear:
Image

.......to reappear keeping my elbows well in as the left turn lane ends - for those that like badly designed cycle facilities then the raised brick centre section that narrows the straight ahead ahead lane exactly at the point a cyclist might choose to merge is a classic:
Image

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:42 pm

antigee wrote:at this junction I go very very very thin and then disappear:
That really made me laugh, thanks. It's a good strategy for coping with that intersection though. :D

Lucky that the designers of these roads understand that we cyclist can do these amazing feats, otherwise it would make their job a lot harder. ;)

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:25 pm

chriso_29er wrote:The junction of Manchester rd and bellara dr in Mooroolbark is a classic example of this.
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.775 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Yeah that's another really good example chriso.

No quite the same thing, but below is another example of some poor bike lane planning. I've noticed these springing up a lot in my area over the past few years. It's basically where the bike lane gets completely shunted off from the road to make way for left turning cars, and the cyclist are left to try and get back to their bike lane with nothing but a pathetic "cross here"(and give way to everything) sign. You used to mostly just see these on high speed sections like freeway merging lanes, but lately they've been popping up even on slow speed roads around here. :x

Take a look at the (green) cycle lane on the eastern side of Minmi road here (heading south) from the roundabout at Bunnngs to Sandgate road. Look at where it crosses Sandgate road, can you see the problem. At peak hour the cars are queued a km back there to turn left, so there is just no way you can proceed in that stupid bike lane. And to make matters worse, just after Sandgate road (which you cannot get past) is the main East-West bike path linking Newcastle to it's western suburbs. A nice safe path that is mostly separated from traffic. So near and yet so far!

Image

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.897 ... !1e3?hl=en

BTW. Street view mightn't work correctly here. The aerial view is correct but as yet some of the street view doesn't reflect recent roadwork (including the bike lane).

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby Tequestra » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:26 pm

uart wrote:I often just move over to the right hand extremity of the lane and go straight ahead. The alternative will often mean trying to merge into a lane of fast moving traffic.

That's a good point that I've always taken for granted to to do exactly as you have explained above. The reason being that left-turning lanes are not intended for passing, ergo there is no need for the cyclist to stay on the left of the turning lane, because there is no reason for any vehicle behind to try to pass when it has every practical reason to be braking to make that coming left turn. How would the average 4x4 driver feel if they are approaching that corner in the turning lane when some Lamborghini with 21" 4-wheel discs races past them at 150km/h and then power-slides around the corner before them? (I was making up the disc-brake size and have no idea on the diameter of Lamborghini discs, front nor rear).

I also shudder at the thought of rubbing shoulders with large metal objects by changing to the left of the centre lane. If there is nothing coming behind in that lane, then fine, but how reliably can the cyclist tell which side of them someone racing up behind is going to attempt to pass on, unless there is absolutely no large vehicles approaching from behind, I would agree that the right side of the left-turning lane, with right handlebar mirror in line with the white line must be the most sensible path to take most of the time. Circumstances are infinite, but I have to agree with you in general.

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby chriso_29er » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:08 pm

Further along the same bike lane as my previous example is this interesting bit.
Left turn lane but also with a bike symbol! Perhaps the bike symbol should also be added to my previous example intersection.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.762 ... 312!8i6656
Image

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby chriso_29er » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:13 pm

antigee wrote:depends on traffic speed and number of lanes - 2 straight ahead lanes and ok traffic speed then middle of straight ahead lane, one lane then right hand side of left turn lane and just slow any left turners be prepared to avoid late turns and clearly indicate my intention as rejoin the straight ahead

at this junction I go very very very thin and then disappear:
Image

.......to reappear keeping my elbows well in as the left turn lane ends - for those that like badly designed cycle facilities then the raised brick centre section that narrows the straight ahead ahead lane exactly at the point a cyclist might choose to merge is a classic:
Image


I would say that the designer of those markings actually expected bikes to stay in the turn lane. But the bike symbol could be located in a much better spot. God knows if that goes against the road rules or not.
Image

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Re: Do you strictly obey left turn only lane markings?

Postby BJL » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:14 am

chriso_29er wrote:I would say that the designer of those markings actually expected bikes to stay in the turn lane. But the bike symbol could be located in a much better spot. God knows if that goes against the road rules or not.


Without re-quoting the photos, what the road engineers meant for cyclists is completely unknown. I highly doubt that the engineers put any thought into what cyclists would do here at all. What you're seeing is priority being given to motorists. The same reason why so many bike 'lanes' end before intersections. Instead of the bike lane continuing through the intersection where motorists would have to give way to cyclists in the bike lane to make a left hand turn, they use the road rules to their advantage and simply end the bike lane for a short distance to give motorists the priority.

I was going to post this photo in the 'cycling signs' thread but it has some relevance here now and it demonstrates the lengths that roads authorities will go to in order to make sure motorists are given priority at every opportunity no matter how unnecessary it is.

Image

Have a look at the trouble the council went to to erect all the signage to end and start a shared path in order to give motorists priority. Then consider that this is a quiet dead end road that goes nowhere except the local golf course.

Sorry if I've gone off topic (this should be a topic on it's own) but while Australia continues to give motorists priority over other roads users at every opportunity even in contradiction of the road rules (other cases mentioned on these forums along the way), then I see little hope for other road users.

We have a long way to go yet.

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