Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

CrankNFurter
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Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby CrankNFurter » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:00 pm

I searched thru the rules summaries but couldn't find anything specific to this scenario... Daily commuting in the Melb inner Nth means cycling down many streets too narrow for 2-way traffic when cars are parked on both sides. When two cars come up to the narrowing one invariably gives way - but with a bike there is enough room for both to carefully squeeze past. This is such a routine experience I stopped really giving it a thought. Most motorists are quite courteous about this but tonight I could swear some driver was aiming directly for me without even trying to keep leftmost. My headlight etc was on so no BS about "not seeing me". Luckily I just avoided being hit by swerving to the extreme left and lightly sideswiping a parked car on my left.
The key fact is that I had already entered the narrowed section before the car - intuitively it seems to me that once someone is already in the tight lane the obligation is on the other to not enter until its clear if both can't safely pass by. Does anyone know whether this is actually the case? And is using these small streets a bad commuting idea altogether? Bigger roads have much more traffic but they at least avoid scenarios like above.

Bah77
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Bah77 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:17 pm

You give way if you cross the centerline, being a bike you probably wouldnt have crossed the center unless your side was the one with all the parked cars, so the car would have had to give way (assuming it crossed the centerline)

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:22 pm

CrankNFurter wrote:I searched thru the rules summaries but couldn't find anything specific to this scenario... Daily commuting in the Melb inner Nth means cycling down many streets too narrow for 2-way traffic when cars are parked on both sides. When two cars come up to the narrowing one invariably gives way - but with a bike there is enough room for both to carefully squeeze past. This is such a routine experience I stopped really giving it a thought. Most motorists are quite courteous about this but tonight I could swear some driver was aiming directly for me without even trying to keep leftmost. My headlight etc was on so no BS about "not seeing me". Luckily I just avoided being hit by swerving to the extreme left and lightly sideswiping a parked car on my left.
The key fact is that I had already entered the narrowed section before the car - intuitively it seems to me that once someone is already in the tight lane the obligation is on the other to not enter until its clear if both can't safely pass by. Does anyone know whether this is actually the case? And is using these small streets a bad commuting idea altogether? Bigger roads have much more traffic but they at least avoid scenarios like above.


I think this is covered by Australian Road Rule 139.

139—Exceptions for avoiding obstructions on a road
(1) A driver on a two-way road without a dividing line or median strip may drive to the
right of the centre of the road to avoid an obstruction if—
(a) the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and
(b) it is necessary and reasonable, in all the circumstances, for the driver to drive to the right of the centre of the road to avoid the obstruction; and
(c) the driver can do so safely.

In my opinion, when 2 cars, or a car and a bike, come to a narrow piece of road, and one had already crossed into the middle of the road, then the other cannot "do so safely". So the car was in the wrong.

As for your other question, I think side streets are generally safer because they have less traffic, despite your experience tonight.

Scott_C
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Scott_C » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:26 pm

In normal circumstances I agree it would be first in first served but as a bicycle would always actually be on its own side of the road a bicycle should always have priority through a narrow section of road as the bicycle is on the correct side of the road (i.e. left of the middle) and the oncoming vehicle is on the wrong side of the road (i.e. right of the middle).

Victorian Road Rule 132 is the applicable rule.

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:37 pm

CrankenFurther, regardless of who should have given way to who at the start, there is one fundamental and irrevocable truth - NO-ONE has right of way. EVER!

The various road codes are, I trust, consistent in not giving rights of way. Rather they will specify restrictions and prohibitions. And occasionally an "allowance" such as bikes allowed to use footpaths. But NEVER a right of way.

In simple terms for example, while a car or bike is prohibited from crossing through the red light, there is still no right on the vehicles opposed and having a green light to drive thru if you are in the way. Ditto pedestrians crossing when they should not does not given anyone right of way to just barrel over them.

In the WA road code I have not managed to find anywhere specifying a right of way. Actually, not quite true - In WA they have used RoW on headings presumably to assist searching. They tend to be for intersections such as controlled intersections, roundabouts, etc. For example, from the WA Road Traffic Code, section 45:
45. Right of way during turns at an intersection with traffic-control signals
(1) A driver who intends to turn, is turning or has turned, right at an intersection with traffic-control signals shall give way to any oncoming vehicle that is going straight ahead or turning left at the intersection (except a vehicle turning left using a slip lane).
Points: 3
Modified penalty: 3 PU

Note that regardless of the heading, nowhere does a clause of section 45 state anything about a right of way, just an obligation to give way. And this holds for all the other clauses covered in section 45.

If this guy just drove thru with no intention to avoid running you over he is clearly and legally in the wrong. He never had the right of way. EVER!

From your description and without accessing any legal source I would think that while you had no right of way HE had an obligation to give way.

(People may see a relevance to the case of Venus WIlliams and Mrs Barson whose lawyer for a while desperately claimed, in the media, a right of way.)
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g-boaf
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:48 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:In the WA road code I have not managed


The OP mentions dailying commuting in the "Melb inner Nth", so I'm unsure exactly what the WA road code has to do with a location across the other side of the country.

For the OP, I would say that irrespective of the rules - you just have to expect on narrow roads that cars will try to do silly things like racing lines through corners. Self preservation instincts kick in and you end up going slower and riding to factor this in. :(

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:09 am

g-boaf wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:In the WA road code I have not managed


The OP mentions dailying commuting in the "Melb inner Nth", so I'm unsure exactly what the WA road code has to do with a location across the other side of the country.


I'm not about to delve into the codes of the various jurisdictions every time someone asks a question (but for homework you can :mrgreen: ).

I didn't push the point other than to state that "The various road codes are, I trust, consistent in not giving rights of way." And without reason otherwise, I still trust that this is the case. With our generally consistent approach to road laws across the country, what applies in WA has a lot to do with other jurisdictions and vice versa. The same applies to many comparable jurisdictions outside of Australia (answer to NZ license test on "Right of Way"
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fat and old
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby fat and old » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:56 pm

I've found that in those situations, the amount of courtesy you receive is in direct proportion to where you are. Closer to the CBD, better it is. They're just more used to cycles. Try the outer north!! :lol:

human909
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby human909 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:02 am

fat and old wrote:I've found that in those situations, the amount of courtesy you receive is in direct proportion to where you are. Closer to the CBD, better it is. They're just more used to cycles. Try the outer north!! :lol:


Yeah it must have been somebody lost from the outer north or somebody attempting to find their way into the city on the weekend and avoiding Sydney Road. :P

In all seriousness I notice mostly polite and good behaviour on the minor roads in the inner north. The major roads less so because these attract a greater number of non locals.

JPB
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby JPB » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:29 pm

You encountered a bully and a generally not nice person.
They believe rules and courtesy are for the weak.

Tamiya
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Tamiya » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:16 am

I too am a regular going thru these stupid narrow streets around Brunswick & Fitzroy... jeez whoever designed them is a complete idiot - not even worth arguing with.

Simple solution? Vicroads should just change them all into one way!! Single middle lane for moving through, parking left & right lanes both pointing in same direction if that's what the residents need.

Would save so much unnecessary stress, worth the need to drive/ride slightly further around the block? I'm already doing that manyfold with the Metro Tunnel closures & diversions, half the roads around Carlton/NthMelb have been blocked off into oneways... for the next 5-10yrs?!!

human909
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby human909 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:59 am

Tamiya wrote:I too am a regular going thru these stupid narrow streets around Brunswick & Fitzroy... jeez whoever designed them is a complete idiot - not even worth arguing with.

I gotta disagree with you there. They were designed perfectly for the transport at the time. In fact that are still designed better for living and moving people efficiently around than most new suburbs. (Just not ideal for cars.)

There is a reason why these suburbs have some of the largest rates of cycling in Australia.

In my experience bullies such as CrankNFurter encounter are a tiny minority. I find that most drivers are quite courteous and deferential on these narrow streets, I think the typical Australia is so unused to narrow roads that their cautious and polite mode gets switched on!
Personally I'm more concerned about those behind and to my sides than oncoming traffic.

Tamiya wrote:Simple solution? Vicroads should just change them all into one way!! Single middle lane for moving through, parking left & right lanes both pointing in same direction if that's what the residents need.

Which will increase traffic speeds and make the streets LESS cycling friendly. It will also increase motorised traffic as people have to take circuitous routes. One way are used in various places to stop rat-runners though.

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London Boy
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby London Boy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:59 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I'm not about to delve into the codes of the various jurisdictions every time someone asks a question (but for homework you can :mrgreen: ).

I didn't push the point other than to state that "The various road codes are, I trust, consistent in not giving rights of way."

In technical terms what you have is a "superior right of way", i.e. the other vehicle must give way to you in the particular circumstance, though other road users might not have to give way.

A motorist, for example, must always give way to a pedestrian, regardless of what else should give way to that motorist. This applies regardless of whether the pedestrian is doing something unlawful, like crossing against the red man.

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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Scintilla » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:45 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:As for your other question, I think side streets are generally safer because they have less traffic, despite your experience tonight.


Main roads are generally safer as they involve the use of fewer intersections (the place where the vast majority of urban collisions occur), and in these intersections on main roads you generally get controlled intersections, or have priority in uncontrolled ones.

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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Scintilla » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:53 pm

human909 wrote:
Tamiya wrote:Simple solution? Vicroads should just change them all into one way!! Single middle lane for moving through, parking left & right lanes both pointing in same direction if that's what the residents need.

Which will increase traffic speeds and make the streets LESS cycling friendly. It will also increase motorised traffic as people have to take circuitous routes. One way are used in various places to stop rat-runners though.


One way streets for motor vehicles should always be two-way for bicycles!

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AdelaidePeter
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby AdelaidePeter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:30 pm

Scintilla wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:As for your other question, I think side streets are generally safer because they have less traffic, despite your experience tonight.


Main roads are generally safer as they involve the use of fewer intersections (the place where the vast majority of urban collisions occur), and in these intersections on main roads you generally get controlled intersections, or have priority in uncontrolled ones.


Yeah but sadly, controlled intersections do not always prevent crashes, nor does having priority always mean the car will give way! Anyway, safe riding whichever way you choose.

human909
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:41 am

Scintilla wrote:One way streets for motor vehicles should always be two-way for bicycles!

Image


Well I can't argue with that. And they've implemented several examples of that across the suburbs you mention. However even Holland has many narrow two lane streets with no bicycle infrastructure. The issue you are complaining about is more about behavior than infrastructure.

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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Top_Bhoy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:41 pm

I encounter the problem the OP has on an almost daily basis because some motorists do expect bikes to move out their road. Whether the cyclist has the right of way or not is a moot point so just be prepared to pull into the side and stop. I do get angry when a car pretty much drives straight at me at speed instead of waiting when it should have but unfortunately there's little else I can do and all part of the 'cycling experience'. For perspective, 80% of drivers I find do the right thing and either wait or slow -up significantly so are passing at walking pace.

Cars overtaking from behind are just as bad if not worse and after several close calls, whilst it's not a guarantee, the best thing I did to minimise that issue was to remove the option of overtaking by remaining in the centre of the road. This probably holds the motorist up for an additional 10-15 seconds on my uphill stretch of road.

Scintilla
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Scintilla » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:32 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:Yeah but sadly, controlled intersections do not always prevent crashes, nor does having priority always mean the car will give way! Anyway, safe riding whichever way you choose.

Sadly there are no guarantees in this life.

But the road collision data does show that intersections are the greatest risk, along with entering the roadway, in our suburbs. The rear-ender collision is a lesser problem in urban areas. Going through intersections with traffic lights, or main-road priority, is always going to be a safer prospect than negotiating uncontrolled intersections and crossing main roads without priority.

Just my experience over the past 40+ years of commuting.

Tamiya
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Tamiya » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 am

Scintilla wrote:One way streets for motor vehicles should always be two-way for bicycles!


You wanna ride two-way on a one-lane shared road? :P "temporary citizen" comes to mind

Scintilla
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby Scintilla » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:05 am

Tamiya wrote:You wanna ride two-way on a one-lane shared road? :P "temporary citizen" comes to mind

Believe it or not, this is completely the norm for bicycle riders in Italian towns, and the Dutch have many streets which are one-way, but have a contra-flow bike-lane (ie. cyclists ride with cars one way, and can ride opposite in a lane).

In fact there is just such a lane in North Richmond on Lennox Street, past the Housing Commission flats.

https://goo.gl/maps/bPYq1d442an

Open your mind and unchain your biases.

human909
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby human909 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:59 am

Tamiya wrote:You wanna ride two-way on a one-lane shared road? :P "temporary citizen" comes to mind


I at first gave you the benefit of the doubt of not understanding with the first comment. The second one is just insulting and used heavily against vulnerable road users as way of victim blaming. Poor form.

There are a tonne of one way roads with bicycles allowed to ride both directions in Carlton and Brunswick.

fat and old
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby fat and old » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:37 pm

In fairness, maybe old mate doesn’t realise that the contra cyclist lanes are marked very well?

There’s one in Preston. Tyler St. that was a surprise tbh

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:39 pm

Scintilla wrote:
Tamiya wrote:You wanna ride two-way on a one-lane shared road? :P "temporary citizen" comes to mind

Believe it or not, this is completely the norm for bicycle riders in Italian towns, ...

Consistent with the advice that used to prevail for pedestrians when I was a kid. Walk towards the traffic.
Of course, it becomes dangerous if you are the rare rider to be doing it.

It's one of those times that opinions for and against can be legitimately argued.

When I am riding (unicycling) in the country I usually will ride on the right on major roads without shoulders, lights flashing and eyes up.
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CKinnard
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Re: Almost Killed Again - Giving Way On Narrowed Street

Postby CKinnard » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:49 pm

OP,
what time of night did this happen?
how many lumens were you putting out from your headlight?

the reason for both questions is the later it gets the more inclined you are to meet aholes with drug effected minds, and a lot of drivers don't appreciate super bright lights in the face, especially flashing lights.

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