Monday, September 28, 2009

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #2

Sometimes it seems like no two cyclists will approach a situation the same way. In this scenario, you'll see several different approaches to a situation, and I would like your feedback on what you would do. Here's some lead-up:

In London Ontario there's a spot where the MUP (Multi-Use Pathway) joins York Street at Wortley Road. Lots of commuters and other cyclists hit that point after work each day. It's always interesting negotiating with traffic at this spot, but this time there was just one car in play.

Amazingly, all 5 cyclists aim to ride on the street, southbound on Wortley Road. The Private Drive I use runs next to a Law Office and a small apartment house. One of my questions is whether I should use it or not. It is marked Private Drive, but it also puts me in what I consider the best spot for crossing the intersection. The other 4 cyclists used the pathway, which is part of the reason they were piled up on the sidewalk in various spots.

So, here's the video showing what we all did:

What would you do if you were riding the bicycle?



Apertome said...

Very interesting video.

First of all, yes, I would use the private drive. If someone had a problem with it, I'd respect it, but I would go ahead and use it unless someone asked me to stop.

Then, I would wait behind the car. I would certainly not use the crosswalk, or (worse yet) go around the car on the left. I wait my turn in line and then go.

It's astonishing to see the different approaches, and consider how confusing this must have been for the person driving the car. Yikes!

Todd S. said...

I would do as you did. The crosswalk option is not too bad, except you have to cross in front of the vehicle to get to it. And the guy who sprinted out in front of the car has a deathwish.

The two who fell in line behind did what they could I suppose, but the design of the intersection makes it so their behavior is unpredictable to other motorists. Very dangerous.

All in all, you were the only one who behaved predictably to other motorists, which is 90% of keeping yourself out of harm's way.

The private drive seems wide enough for 2 cars, but is it only 1 way? If they ever complain about you riding through, you could always ride the path to that point and then just circle around into the private drive and line up there as usual.

RANTWICK said...

ToddBS, the drive is just wide enough for 2 cars, and is both ways.

I figure I'll do what you suggest if anybody ever asks me not to ride through the driveway.

Keri said...

What Todd said. All of it.

Your position was the safest and most predictable.

I had a similar encounter on Saturday — a rare event where there were 3 other cyclists at an intersection with me. I sure wish I had video. I may have to resort to Flash to describe it.

You've highlighted an excellent example of thoughtless infrastructure design. It's just so typical. Trail termination retardation seems to be rampant among North American infrastructure designers.

Thank you for that video!

ChipSeal said...

I'd take a left at horn street. Who wants to deal with the zoo at the trail's end?

You had much more sensible lane position on Wortly than those other cyclists. There are a considerable amount of junctions through there!

Big Oak said...

I would have done as you did. The public trail is simply in the wrong location at the intersection.

cafiend said...

Todd nailed the analysis. I would do what you did with the backup method described by Todd.

RANTWICK said...

Thanks everybody! I feel quite validated, as should Todd!

Chipseal - You may be on to something with Horn St... it might even save me time as well as hassle. I'm gonna try it next time.

You're also right about taking all of Wortley. That offramp tempts drivers to "beat you to the pass" and I've been cut off and crowded badly there if I stay right.

Anonymous said...

Odd that the private drive has a traffic light.

I hate this "corner" because the bike path dumps you in the middle left side of the light. Tricky, and dangerous.

I started taking Ridout instead. This avoids the Wortley/Stanley/York "intersection", all the Village pot holes and retarded drivers on Wortley Road.

Enjoyed the video.

Steve A said...

I've been waiting to get home and watch the video so I could cast my vote. While Rantwick's strategy certainly makes sense, as does ChipSeal's, they both ignore a solution that's a full 50 seconds quicker. It's also so obvious I'm SHOCKED nobody else suggested it.

That solution is to bomb down Thames Street, make a free RT onto York Street, and then make a left onto Wortley Road. That route avoids the extra distance of going the extra 500 feet to pick up Horn St, and the traffic signals will be friendly to the fast bike commuter, unlike either the path or the driveway.

This solution works best if you imagine Star Wars quotes as you execute it. FEEL THE FORCE, Rantwick. For a finishing flourish, yell "Pink Rules" to those trail dwellers as you vanish into the distance.

Rantwick does deserve a gold star for not inviting lane buddies on his Wortley leg. "Lane Buddy" is a sweeter term than "Crowded Badly," don't ya think? I sense Rantwick will do a "Lane Buddy" post before too long unless I beat him to it!

RANTWICK said...

Anon - Yeah the driveway has a goundloop sensor for the light that I never seem to trip as well.

I would take ridout too, but the transition from the path to ridout is almost as stupid. I'm not coming from downtown, but from the east.

Steve A - that's another good option. I've never done it that way either.

I'm usually doing this section because I'm stretching out my homeward commute, so my options are wide open.

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