Just happened on this article:
If I understand correctly, this is the same sort of scenario which claimed the lives of a couple cyclists in Chicago. They either pulled up alongside trucks in right-turn-only lanes, or were already there and weren't recognized as vehicles which were going to proceed straight ahead.
I don't want to get into a blame-the-victim discussion, but it seems short-sighted to pull up alongside a car or truck in a right- or left-turn only lane, even if you plan to turn.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
If the cyclist is riding on a 2-way street that has one traffic lane in each direction, it's not a right-turn only lane.
What if it has that big painted right turn arrow? Consider Asbury northbound at Church in Evanston (hopefully that link captures the direction of the Street View camera).
Closer to home for many readers might be Randolph westbound at Wacker. That's my route to Ogilvie from the office these days. I see examples almost every day of people pulling up to the curb when there are one or more cars already in the right turn only lane, often with their flashers blinking. When the light changes, the bike riders go straight. I suspect the only thing which saves bikies there is that there is so much pedestrian traffic crossing Wacker that drivers always have to look before turning.
I commute down Elston, which has a few right turn lanes in each direction. Every day, I see other cyclists pull up along the curb next to the right turn lane. Fortunately, the right-turning vehicles usually wait for the cyclists to clear their car before turning, but occasionally the drivers express their frustration through yelling or blowing the horn.
This was not the case at Damen & Addison, where Anastasia Kondrasheva was killed by a truck.
Whether it is a true right-turn lane, or merely a standard second lane where someone is making a right turn, makes a pretty big difference in many cases.
On Washington heading east into the loop, where there's a right turn lane near Wacker, the bicycle lane is specifically designed to keep cyclists out of the right-turn only lane. A cyclist at that intersection simply shouldn't be in the right turn lane unless they're turning right (yet cyclists do it anyway).
In many intersections, though, the bicycle lane dumps you out into the right lane of a 2-lane street immediately before the intersection. It's much easier in those cases to get on the right-hand side of a car turning right---especially if the car didn't signal the turn, or did so last minute when the cyclist was already in the car's blind spot. As Anne notes, that's apparently how Anastasia Kondrasheva was killed.
That said, as a cyclist, I think it's worth exercising caution in intersections where right turns from a standard lane are common (like Damen and Division, where I've seen more close calls than I care to think about). My rule of thumb is if I'm behind a car that has its right turn blinker on, I will NOT go to the right side of that car close to an intersection no matter what.
The cyclists in that video were wrong. I don't care whether you''e driving or cycling, you don't pull into a turn lane and then go straight. In Chicago, though, there's a huge problem with trucks that are too big to make a turn from the right lane -- and which shouldn't be on city streets, in my opinion. They make right turns from the second lane over, which creates a dangerous situation for anyone in the right lane and any cyclists in the bike lane. Not only are the trucks turning from the wrong lane, they have a huge blind spot on their right side.
Consequently, I stay out of that situation, period. I will either stay way back or go on the sidewalk or stop until they turn.
+1 Stay out of that situation. Whether you technically have the right of way or not, it's just too risky.
I sometimes think that city cyclists make decisions based on whether they're going to lose momentum, rather than based on safety. It would be nice to think that we can just breeze through the city without ever stopping or slowing, while cars are piled up waiting on our left, but sometimes it just has to be a series of sprints.
"Consequently, I stay out of that situation, period. I will either stay way back or go on the sidewalk or stop until they turn."
That is the only right answer for two reasons:
1. It is not about who is right according to the rules off the road, it is about getting home safely to your family.
2. You are the only person responsible for your safety. Don't rely on that driver to keep you safe.
A lot of cyclists need to learn the rules of the road and bicycle safety (these are not the same). Cyclists need to learn how to control the lane, signal their intentions, ride predictably.
I know we get that sense of freedom when on a bike, however we need to be safe, follow the rules of the road. We as cyclists want the motorists to respect our right to be on the road, so we we to follow the rules.
I'm not starting a debate about motorists with poor driving skills and behavior, we must remember that we are the most vulnerable!
The recent DePaul study, Policies for Pedaling, cites a London study that apparently found that "women are more vulnerable to truck collisions due to their tendency to be less likely to disobey red traffic signals than men. By going through a red traffic signal before it turns green, men are less likely to be caught in a truck driver’s blind spot. Instead, they get in front of the truck before it starts to enter the intersection."
Yeah, I thought I'd seen that mentioned in some article in the wake of Anastasia Kondrasheva's death.