Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Pete, 25 Jan 2008.

  1. Pete

    Pete Guest

    i.e. up on the nearside of stationary traffic at the lights. A big no-no for some, OK by others if it's safe...

    Sometimes I wonder. This morning I arrive at the ASL, to go straight on: there's a taxi waiting, quite correctly at the first stop line and signalling left. Nothing wrong with that. There's a feeder lane on the left, but I overtake on the right to enter the ASL box, as I usually do in this situation, for safety's sake. Common sense: if a vehicle is turning left, don't filter up on its inside. I assume he can see me. Then the lights go green. I can't set off promptly because two crossing cars are jumping the lights (a commonplace thing). But that doesn't hinder Mr. Cabbie, he undertakes me and zips off to the left, causing me to dodge and leaving inches to spare...

    *sigh* Perhaps I should have come up the feeder lane on the left, as he was probably expecting. And: anyone wanting to remind me that I was technically infringing by going into the ASL other than via the feeder lane - go ahead, I do know that. I wonder what's best sometimes...
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I favour staying in, with my knitting, a good film and a lot of chocolate... Much safer, until I fall on my knitting needles, the telly explodes or I die of immense obesity....

    If you must go out... Get a BMX and ride over the top of him in a series of bunny hops?
  3. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    Thought cyclecraft said it was OK??
  4. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    If you do up his right side then you should leave him space to drive through, starting from a filtering position is a bad idea, if you filter to the front you need a safe starting position

    I'd likely filter up the left if I knew there was time enough to get in front, the right if the junction suited or slow down and roll through in a gap or alongside a car that knows I'm there
  5. Cab

    Cab New Member

    For the simple reason that on many roads you're expected to be on the left, that is sometimes the safest place to be. On many occasions in Cambridge I'd love to filter outside, but I can't practically do so because motorists are (understandably) looking out and making room for the two dozen left filtering cyclists they can see.
  6. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    I tend to take a position in the ASL so that no car can drive past until I'm off. Directly in front of the middle of their bonnet normally. However I do then make sure I go the instant the lights go green, and tuck myself into primary (or secondary depending on the road) so that the cars can then go past once I'm safe.

    This would be difficult with RLJers still in the road in front of you.

    I filter up whatever side seems to have the most space - normally the inside, because being caught on the outside when the lights change is annoying for you and the other drivers.
  7. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    Yeah, filtering on the outside to get to an ASL can be a problem sometimes. Like when the lights turn to green before you get there. You're left in no-mans-land, indicating left, hoping someone lets you back in to the stream of traffic.
  8. Cab

    Cab New Member

    It frequently IS difficult with RLJers in front of me :smile:
  9. ASL's are imperfect whichever side you approach them from.

    There's one in Derby near the City Hospital on the approach to a huge roundabout. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put a cycle path across the middle of the roundabout. To get to it, you have to cross the road from left to right just in front of the ASL, for which purpose a ped crossing has been installed.

    What happens in practice is that when the lights are red, cyclists go past queuing traffic on their left, enter the 'forward' area (still not having gone through the red light) then cut right across the road at 90 degrees front of the waiting vehicles to get onto the cycle path.

    Are they doing anything wrong in law? What makes me ask is, if those lights changed to green while they were crossing in front of the traffic...
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    There is absolutely no obligation to filter on the left, most of the time you are safer on the right.

    If you choose to filter on the left, do it EXPECTING a car door to swing out on you suddenly and without warning, i.e. slowly and covering the brakes.

    If you filter on the left or the right you should KNOW that you can get past before the lights change. If you don't, STOP, get in behind whichever vehicle you can and wait.
  11. No-one can know this surely though, Dom - they can only guess?
  12. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    that reminds me, we're running low on filters for the coffee machine.
  13. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Can't work out why you would say this? If I see the lights turn to red and see the cars in the crossing carriageway start to move, I KNOW that I have time to filter. After twenty or thirty seconds I would start to think that it is probably time to pull in if I am not at the front.
  14. My point is that the approach to this particular light is on a corner, so the light could have been red for 15 seconds or 45 - the rider seeing a red has no way of knowing how long it's been red or when it is about to change.

    I accept what you say in general terms about if you've just seen it change, you have a better idea.
  15. OP

    Pete Guest

    These lights are on a traffic-operated switch defaulting to green the other way, so they could have been red for an indefinite time until a car (or I - my bike is steel and can trigger the switch) approached.
    I think the consensus (and probably in Cyclecraft too - should check) is: advice is to stop behind the first vehicle - on this occasion the only one. But it seems a shame, when there's an ASL box and the waiting car is obeying it, not to use it. Of course I didn't know I wouldn't be able to get away quickly...
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