1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tricky junction - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by barq, 2 Aug 2007.

  1. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi

    I've recently started cycling a different way to work. Frankly I'm not used to using cycle lanes and I've encountered a confusing one. My route is shown by the red dotted line:

    commute_turn.jpg

    I ride up the cycle lane on the main road (shown on the right). What I want to do is turn left. However the cycle lane stops dead just as you start to turn. There is a dropped kerb and some white lines on the pavement which mean you are supposed to mount the pavement and then cross the minor road and using the traffic island (the grey trapezoid shape in my diagram) to carry on alongside the main road on a shared use pavement.

    Now my problem is that I'm trying to go left, not carry on. But in order to leave the cycle lane and ride on the main part of the road, I'm supposed to signal right (aren't I?). This confuses the hell out of cars because they assume I've got stuck in the cycle lane and want to come out in order to stay on the main road. But if I don't signal they seem to expect me to be following the cycle lane up onto the pavement and I nearly get squashed.

    Just to clarify the diagram: The end point of the cycle lane is more ambiguous than in my picture - it really is absolutely on the turn.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    don't be beholden to the cycle lane, get wide of it early, very early, make the cars notice you and think about what you're doing, bold left signal early on for the left turn and go round the left bend wide of the verge to stop cars coming round too close with you

    carrying on come wide of the lane to show you're carrying on, small right hand signal if anyone near behind you to show you continuing on

    early, clear and confident

    cyclecraft is dead good for all this sort of thing, I've got shags of experience and it was still a good read for attitude and ethos of road cycling
     
  3. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Well, my first and obvious comment is: why use the cycle lane at all? You're under no compulsion to be there. If this 'farcility' is as silly as it seems from your description, you'd be far better off approaching this junction in the main carriageway, making a left turn just as you would if it were a normal junction.

    But maybe you have some reasons for wanting to use the lane. Are you uncomfortable out in the traffic? Very heavy, high speeds maybe? If you can find a way to get out of the lane early, wait for a gap as you approach and move out, then you can do as above.

    It is not clear from your description, but I'm assuming that you have to do a 90° left to get from the lane up onto the pavement, then immediately a 90° right to continue on the pavement. This sort of arrangement is an accident waiting to happen. You only have to get toe overlap, or slip on wet leaves or gravel, hit a pedestrian coming up from your left etc., and you can be sent sprawling out into the road! Take extreme care with this sort of chicane! Then, once up on the pavement, I suppose you could either: (1) continue round the corner and along the minor road on the pavement, returning to the carriageway at the next dropped kerb (illegal but you could always argue "I thought this was the cycle path"), or (2) start to cross the minor road but immediately turn left along the carriageway.

    Or you could just ride off the painted-off end of the lane, and continue round the junction on the carriageway. Is there an obstruction there?

    I avoid these sort of lanes, but I often use bus lanes which also have a habit of suddenly ending at a junction (so that cars can enter the lane to turn left). One needs extreme care: if you are already in the bus lane you have right of way over a car trying to cut into you to turn left. But that's no comfort to you after he's mown you down!
     
  4. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    It might be interesting to find out if your local authority has a Road Safety Officer, or a Cycling Officer and write to them for advice. If nothing else, it would highlight the craziness of some of these farcilities.:rolleyes:
     
  5. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Tynans advice here is I think totally correct.

    Its a rubbish cycle facility by the looks of it. Contact your local cycle safety officer at the council, also the road planning people there, and expect to be fobbed off.
     
  6. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK

    Seconded. As far as I can see, it's been 'designed' to cater for what the (probably non-cycling) designer perceived to be the needs of cyclists going straight on, and badly designed at that. Maybe it didn't occur to them that a cyclist would want to turn left - we're an awkward bunch aren't we?:blush:

    Indicating right at that stage would simply be confusing. Simply ride the line you want, and it that means not staying within the lane, don't - you don't have to...

    I don't know any cyclist who indicates right to move out of a cycle lane (unless they are preparing to cross a whole traffic lane). I don't. If that's my worse misdemeanor, I'm not doing too badly...:rolleyes:
     
  7. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I usually do indicate to move out of a cycle lane. I wouldn't indicate right to move out if the reason for doing so was to make a left turn possible, though.

    Of course, there are plenty of cycle lanes in these parts where I don't indicate to get out of because I'd never be seen IN the lane.
     
  8. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Oh, I've also taken to indicating right when approaching a cycle lane I don't intend to use. That was advice from this forum, and so far it has proved useful.
     
  9. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I'll third what Tynan said. Get out of the cycle lane early, although I also tend not to use these lanes at the edge of the road at all.

    Generally if I want to pull out further into a lane and I am worried that a signal would confuse, I take a long glance back at the car behind me. This generally sends the signal that I am about to do something. If they react accordingly then I pull out. This works most of the time for me. If they keep coming then I signal out anyway. It's better that they end up a little confused and stay clear of me, rather than coming into conflict with me.
     
  10. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Yeah, a Paddington Hard Stare is a very useful talent...

    I often find that just turning my head frequently, as if I'm making a lot of short glances, can have a similar effect...
     
  11. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    uh huh, a look over the shoulder should warn any following vehicle of an imminent manoeuvre

    Tynan would like to credit cab with posting about cyclecraft so many times that in the end Tynan bought it
     
  12. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Thanks everyone. Lots of advice there. Thanks also for confirming what I already knew - that it is bad road design!

    There are several reasons I've been using that cycle lane: The main road is a dual carriageway with huge vehicles moving very fast. There are some traffic lights shortly before the junction and using the cycle lane allows me to filter past the queued traffic. Lastly the road is in very poor condition whereas the cycle lane has taken less battering from HGVs and doesn't have massive potholes (someone [not me] has alerted the council via the CTC website).

    I tried it again this morning. I used the cycle lane past the lights but then moved out into the primary position just before the junction. The only drawback is that in order to move out into a stream of moving traffic I do need to signal my intentions (i.e. right) at a time when I'm going off left.

    I think I might get onto the council over this and see what they say (thanks for that idea). I've seen madder cycle lanes, but this strikes me as one of the more dangerous. Really, if they are going to have a cycle lane, it should continue around the corner - not vanish because the road gets narrower.

    Cheers everyone.
     
  13. col

    col Veteran

    I have a similar junction that i use regularly,i used to do the right hand signal before changing to left ,but this tended to get a bad reaction from some people,so what i do now is watch for vehicles indicating left and wait ,once there are no left indicators i keep indicating left and carry on,but its still an uncomfortable feeling as im doing it,i dont know why?:rolleyes:
     
  14. atbman

    atbman Über Member

    I'm not sure I understand your problem. You are in a cycle lane which comes to an end, so do what you would with any other such "facility": continue on your route round the corner. There's no need to come out of it. If you feel the need to signal your intention to turn left, then do so, but otherwise follow your red, dottted line
     
  15. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    The cycle facility doesn't come to an end - it goes up onto the pavement. The problem is that if I don't follow that route I'm exiting the cycle lane which requires a right signal (when I'm turning left) and means that I have to negotiate with traffic coming up from behind.

    Anyway, I seem to be handling it better after some of the advice here. It still feels very comfortable which is a pity as otherwise that is the best commuting route I've got.