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Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 22nd 08, 04:13 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
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Posts: 7,869
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

This afternoon we pushed the button to activate the light on minor cross
street of a four lane road. The light changed, the traffic stopped, or
so we thought, and we proceed across. About half way across, a Toyota
Corolla blew through the red light at high speed, about 12 feet in front
of me. If I had been two seconds or so faster it'd have been the end.

So I was thinking that it really was much more dangerous to cross on the
green, trusting that the cross traffic would stop, than to simply wait
for a break in traffic and run the red light.

This is a map of the location in Cupertino:
"http://i34.tinypic.com/2n9etqs.jpg" and it's a heavily used crossing by
high school students.

I think the driver was focusing on the next traffic light, a few hundred
feet south, though the left lane of southbound traffic stopped and you'd
think she'd have wondered about why the traffic in the left lane wasn't
moving.
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  #2  
Old September 22nd 08, 11:32 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Posts: 320
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

On Sep 21, 10:13*pm, SMS wrote:
This afternoon we pushed the button to activate the light on minor cross
street of a four lane road. The light changed, the traffic stopped, or
so we thought, and we proceed across. About half way across, a Toyota
Corolla blew through the red light at high speed, about 12 feet in front
of me. If I had been two seconds or so faster it'd have been the end.

So I was thinking that it really was much more dangerous to cross on the
green, trusting that the cross traffic would stop, than to simply wait
for a break in traffic and run the red light.

This is a map of the location in Cupertino:
"http://i34.tinypic.com/2n9etqs.jpg" and it's a heavily used crossing by
high school students.

I think the driver was focusing on the next traffic light, a few hundred
feet south, though the left lane of southbound traffic stopped and you'd
think she'd have wondered about why the traffic in the left lane wasn't
moving.


She probably had a case of 'recto-cranial insertion'.

Lewis.

*****
  #3  
Old September 22nd 08, 01:11 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Peter Cole[_2_]
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Posts: 4,572
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

SMS wrote:
This afternoon we pushed the button to activate the light on minor cross
street of a four lane road. The light changed, the traffic stopped, or
so we thought, and we proceed across. About half way across, a Toyota
Corolla blew through the red light at high speed, about 12 feet in front
of me. If I had been two seconds or so faster it'd have been the end.

So I was thinking that it really was much more dangerous to cross on the
green, trusting that the cross traffic would stop, than to simply wait
for a break in traffic and run the red light.

This is a map of the location in Cupertino:
"http://i34.tinypic.com/2n9etqs.jpg" and it's a heavily used crossing by
high school students.

I think the driver was focusing on the next traffic light, a few hundred
feet south, though the left lane of southbound traffic stopped and you'd
think she'd have wondered about why the traffic in the left lane wasn't
moving.


I'm not sure about the conclusion (safer to run), but given how little
protection a cyclist has in a MV collision, I think it's prudent to ride
more than defensively. One of my first lessons after moving to the big
city was to look both ways on one-way streets. I learned to assume that
traffic won't always be predictable (or lawful). A fender bender in a
car can easily be a fatality on a bike.

There are a few situations that I perceive to be riskier when complying
with the law. One is stopping in a mixed left/straight lane. I usually
won't wait for my left turn light, I'll just go ASAP, light or no, just
to get out of the kill zone.

I know of one particularly lethal crossing on a nearby bike path. The
cross traffic has a light, but also a yield sign for right turning.
Peds/cyclists in the crosswalk can easily assume that all traffic is
stopped for the light, but right turners can (and do) blow through
without even slowing. Since ped/cyclist traffic is crossing from the
right, motorists don't see them as they are looking left for merging
traffic (a common hazard in sidewalk cycling).

As a friend said when I complained about an oncoming driver not using
their turn signals: "I wouldn't have believed them anyway". Words to
live by.
  #4  
Old September 22nd 08, 02:16 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Jym Dyer
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Posts: 999
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

She probably had a case of 'recto-cranial insertion'.

=v= As illustrated by the great Nina Paley:

http://www.ninapaley.com/archives/20...on-drivin.html

_Jym_

  #5  
Old September 22nd 08, 02:43 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,299
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

On Sep 22, 8:11*am, Peter Cole wrote:

As a friend said when I complained about an oncoming driver not using
their turn signals: "I wouldn't have believed them anyway". Words to
live by.


Amen!
  #6  
Old September 22nd 08, 04:00 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
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Posts: 7,869
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

Peter Cole wrote:

I'm not sure about the conclusion (safer to run), but given how little
protection a cyclist has in a MV collision, I think it's prudent to ride
more than defensively. One of my first lessons after moving to the big
city was to look both ways on one-way streets. I learned to assume that
traffic won't always be predictable (or lawful). A fender bender in a
car can easily be a fatality on a bike.


What I see as really dangerous is four lane roads where you can't see
the far lane of traffic. Of the two lanes going in a certain direction,
one lane will stop, but the other lane won't. This is a big problem at
crosswalks where there are no traffi controls, you see it often. The
driver that blows through has his or her view of the pedestrian blocked
by the car that is stopped. I remember reading somewhere once that
pedestrian crosswalks are the most dangerous place to cross a street.
First, they are usually at intersections, so you have traffic coming
from four directions rather than two if you crossed mid-street. Second,
pedestrians get a false sense of security because the crosswalk is
marked, and third, you often get one lane stopping and the other lane
not understanding why the traffic is stopped.

The place this happened to me is a heavily used cross street during
school hours because it's right by a pedestrian/bicycle route that
crosses a creek and through a park, and it's a long way around to not
use this route.

I know of one particularly lethal crossing on a nearby bike path. The
cross traffic has a light, but also a yield sign for right turning.
Peds/cyclists in the crosswalk can easily assume that all traffic is
stopped for the light, but right turners can (and do) blow through
without even slowing. Since ped/cyclist traffic is crossing from the
right, motorists don't see them as they are looking left for merging
traffic (a common hazard in sidewalk cycling).


Yeah, a lot of bike path crossings of streets are really bad. The same
map I had a link to, ends at a street where there are no stop signs or
yield signs, or barrier, just a ramp that goes down into the relatively
busy neighborhood street.

We have a horrible public works department in this city that doesn't
believe in any sort of traffic calming. The next city over, Sunnyvale,
seems to take traffic calming very seriously.
  #7  
Old September 22nd 08, 07:10 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Leo Lichtman
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Posts: 767
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.


"Peter Cole" (clip) As a friend said when I complained about an oncoming
driver not using
their turn signals: "I wouldn't have believed them anyway". (clip)

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
It's kind of like the confession to a crime with no corrorative evidence.
Always look for things like the position of the front wheels, the angle of
the car to the lane, speed, where the driver is looking, etc.


  #8  
Old September 23rd 08, 01:52 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Tom Sherman[_2_]
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Posts: 9,890
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

SMS aka Steven M. Scharf wrote:
Peter Cole wrote:

I'm not sure about the conclusion (safer to run), but given how little
protection a cyclist has in a MV collision, I think it's prudent to
ride more than defensively. One of my first lessons after moving to
the big city was to look both ways on one-way streets. I learned to
assume that traffic won't always be predictable (or lawful). A fender
bender in a car can easily be a fatality on a bike.


What I see as really dangerous is four lane roads where you can't see
the far lane of traffic. Of the two lanes going in a certain direction,
one lane will stop, but the other lane won't. This is a big problem at
crosswalks where there are no traffi controls, you see it often. The
driver that blows through has his or her view of the pedestrian blocked
by the car that is stopped. I remember reading somewhere once that
pedestrian crosswalks are the most dangerous place to cross a street.
First, they are usually at intersections, so you have traffic coming
from four directions rather than two if you crossed mid-street. Second,
pedestrians get a false sense of security because the crosswalk is
marked, and third, you often get one lane stopping and the other lane
not understanding why the traffic is stopped.

I have had assholes [1] whip around me to the right when I stopped my
automobile to yield to pedestrian(s) crossing in a marked crosswalk.

The place this happened to me is a heavily used cross street during
school hours because it's right by a pedestrian/bicycle route that
crosses a creek and through a park, and it's a long way around to not
use this route.

I know of one particularly lethal crossing on a nearby bike path. The
cross traffic has a light, but also a yield sign for right turning.
Peds/cyclists in the crosswalk can easily assume that all traffic is
stopped for the light, but right turners can (and do) blow through
without even slowing. Since ped/cyclist traffic is crossing from the
right, motorists don't see them as they are looking left for merging
traffic (a common hazard in sidewalk cycling).


Yeah, a lot of bike path crossings of streets are really bad. The same
map I had a link to, ends at a street where there are no stop signs or
yield signs, or barrier, just a ramp that goes down into the relatively
busy neighborhood street. [...]

Even worse, the MUPs have stop signs and/or poor sight distances, so one
has to stop and then cross the street at a relatively slow speed,
increasing the exposure time to cross traffic.

[1] I wish I had a ruder and more offensive adjective for these sub-humans.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
Life is bad, then you die.
  #9  
Old September 23rd 08, 02:26 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Bob
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 513
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

On Sep 21, 10:13*pm, SMS wrote:
This afternoon we pushed the button to activate the light on minor cross
street of a four lane road. The light changed, the traffic stopped, or
so we thought, and we proceed across. About half way across, a Toyota
Corolla blew through the red light at high speed, about 12 feet in front
of me. If I had been two seconds or so faster it'd have been the end.

So I was thinking that it really was much more dangerous to cross on the
green, trusting that the cross traffic would stop, than to simply wait
for a break in traffic and run the red light.


An idiot running a red light endangered your safety so you conclude
that you'd be safer if *you* run red lights? I don't see how that
conclusion follows. A more logical course of action would be to
recognize that the brain dead are among us and continue to exercise
reasonable caution at intersections even when your light turns green.

This is a map of the location in Cupertino:
"http://i34.tinypic.com/2n9etqs.jpg" and it's a heavily used crossing by
high school students.

I think the driver was focusing on the next traffic light, a few hundred
feet south, though the left lane of southbound traffic stopped and you'd
think she'd have wondered about why the traffic in the left lane wasn't
moving.


Given that you said "the light changed and traffic stopped", I think
it is much more likely they weren't focusing on anything connected
with driving, period.

Regards,
Bob Hunt

  #10  
Old September 23rd 08, 04:04 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,869
Default Maybe it's safer to run red lights than to wait for green lights.

Bob wrote:
On Sep 21, 10:13 pm, SMS wrote:
This afternoon we pushed the button to activate the light on minor cross
street of a four lane road. The light changed, the traffic stopped, or
so we thought, and we proceed across. About half way across, a Toyota
Corolla blew through the red light at high speed, about 12 feet in front
of me. If I had been two seconds or so faster it'd have been the end.

So I was thinking that it really was much more dangerous to cross on the
green, trusting that the cross traffic would stop, than to simply wait
for a break in traffic and run the red light.


An idiot running a red light endangered your safety so you conclude
that you'd be safer if *you* run red lights? I don't see how that
conclusion follows.


Because I'd treat the red light like a stop sign, and only proceed when
there is no cross traffic, rather then depending on vehicles to stop
when I have the green light.
 




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