Sunday, August 4, 2013

To Drivers: Don't Make Cyclists Pass On Your Right At Intersections

Another car tried to get me to pass him on his right side this morning (he wanted to turn right, but instead of hanging behind the group to make the turn behind us, he chose to pass us and then just hung at the intersection in the middle of the lane and irritably waved at the line of cyclists to pass on his right)...
If you are a driver and have tried doing that; thank you for trying to be nice, but please refrain from this maneuver in the future. It makes things MORE dangerous for the cyclists and not less. It doesn't matter that you see and know that we are there behind and to your right, you are blocking both our view of traffic and the traffic's view of us. There may be cars coming from opposite direction that want to turn left in front of (stopped) you... That left-turning car is the car that will hit us if we pass you on your right side! Don't get mad at the cyclists for refusing to enter that big blind spot on your right. Go ahead and turn right IN FRONT OF us when you see us yield.

Better yet, wait behind the group of cyclists and make the right turn behind us (it may only slow you down for just a few seconds, but at least you wouldn't be putting anyone in danger). If you had already passed many cyclists and are now 'stuck' in the middle, though, if the cyclists wave for you to make the turn in front of them, please GO ON and make the turn. There is a good reason why you should only overtake on the left... (picture yourself getting stuck between a semi-truck and his right turn... You wouldn't want to pass the truck on his right either!).

And to fellow cyclists: If you are riding in the middle of a large group and see a car front and left of you that want to turn right (look for turning signal), it is safer to slow and make room for the car to turn right in front of you (be sure to signal for the riders behind you to follow your deceleration, though) than for him to end up hanging there, stranded between other traffic, you, and the right turn he wants to make ('cause then he'll end up blocking your view of the rest of the intersection along with all the other cars' view of you).

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