CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Commuting

Beeped and Swerved at this morning

(39 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from Min

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  1. I got swerved at on the bike this morning! Well… I say swerved at, he slowly drifted into my lane coming to towards me to effectively play chicken all the while leaning on his horn. You see, he thought I was going the wrong way down a one-way street. And it is. For cars. There’s a contraflow bus lane with taxis and bikes can also use.

    Stupid old goat.

    As he moved back into the lane I swung my arm to indicate the dividing line and shouted "Bus lane! Contraflow!"

    I doubt he got the message. Might have done when he got to the end I guess. What really gets me is how unobservant people are allowed to be behind the wheel. There are traffic lights in the direction I was headed which wouldn't be needed if that wasn't a contraflow; and a big 'BUS LANE' painted on the road facing the opposite way to normal travel.

    When I was taught to drive I had to be aware of signs and road markings. Has that changed?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. Min
    Member

    "What really gets me is how unobservant people are allowed to be behind the wheel."

    And how willing they are to use their car as a weapon to correct behaviour that they only disapprove of through their own stupidity.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. Nelly
    Member

    " When I was taught to drive I had to be aware of signs and road markings. Has that changed?"

    No, but even more than that, driving is about adapting to conditions - was driving peebles to traquair yesterday, on a road marked with the most impossible cycle lane - ie, 2 cars could just about negotiate it not bikes as well.

    However, that DOES NOT mean that one should harrass a cyclist in the lane, clearly your chap this morning doesnt understand what 1 ton of metal can do to a person.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. wingpig
    Member

    It might have "BUS LANE" written in it but all most drivers see is "OVERTAKING LANE IN CASE YOU STILL HAVEN'T GOT PAST THAT BIKE WHICH GOT TO THE ASL OUTSIDE SWIP IN FRONT OF YOU AND WHICH YOU COULDN'T GET PAST BY USING EITHER THE LEFT OR RIGHT TURN LANES AT THE END OF MORRISON STREET"

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. gembo
    Member

    Anth was it the one at the point hotel? That is a bad one as although we can go down it, often cars parked and few buses use it to enforce its use. I avoid that one and do a little loop round to the south side of the hotel.

    Obviously your one could be elsewhere so to be clear I am now making a general point not connected to anth's unobservant driver.

    Yesterday after the usual cut ups and squeeze pasts it popped into my massive Heid that sometimes it is better to be alive than right.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. @Nelly, I know the lanes you're talking about - they certainly are a bit bizarre!

    @min, exactly. There's some switch that, on seeing someone doing something you think is wrong makes it okay for you then to do something more (and really) wrong to correct it.

    @wingpig, I could almost have understood the move across if he'd been overtaking such as in those circumstances (daft though it still is). As it was the road was perfectly clear but for me and him!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. @gembo, yep, it's that one. I prefer using that lane (one person pulling out of a side street without looking in my direction; and today's muppet) to the loop round Fountainbridge (virtually every morning wondering if the car coming from the Grassmarket direction is going to stop as I make the 180 degree turn; been punishment passed a couple of times as I have to ride in the right hand lane to make a safe transition to Semple Street; have to either sit behind a queue at the lights, or time a safe filter to the front).

    Horses for courses. I know to keep an eye out for the unobservant on my contraflow; but it still feels less 'cluttered' than the alternatuive (to me, other personal experiences are allowed... ;) )

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. custard
    Member

    get the regi?
    I would be reporting that one
    well actually thats a lie
    Theres a good chance I would have lost it and went ballistic :o

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. No, slightly annoyed with myself. Although we all know where that would have got me - really need to re-invest in a headcam.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. wingpig
    Member

    "...popped into my massive Heid that sometimes it is better to be alive than right"

    Needs of safety are always evaluated well in advance of needs of moral-and-legal-high-ground-maintenance but occasional mentions of the odd tale of deliberate motor-threat will still beget an "oooh, be careful" from my wife (even when I've thoroughly anticipated a stupid move by a vehicle and can then watch it perform it dispassionately from a safe vantage point).

    Do other countries (particularly those with mainstream bicycle cultures) have this thing we have here where motorists will 'playfully' accelerate their tonnes of pointy metal deliberately towards extremely vulnerable road users, whether it's to get them back for some perceived road-use slight or to warn them off doing anything too cyclisty?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. gembo
    Member

    Anth I hear what you are saying about the loop, I tend to do that route in the middle of the day with lower volume traffic so not so hair raising on the 180 turn.

    Funny that I was able to guess the place as I don't know your commute route

    I was swerved at and abused several times on the cut through from eyre place to canonmills which is one way for cars but not bicycles when this was my commute.

    I fear better signage would not help such drivers. Fortunately the canonmills route had the pavement if the beer lorry wasn't parked up. Tho sometimes it was the beer lorry swerving at me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. Ah yes, I've ridden the Eyre Place one a few times - that whole thing is a nightmare to use. Parked beer lorry as you say, people overtaking you as you try to cross to access the dropped kerb (indicating seems to do nothing as in the driver behind you's head he sees no entry so you can't possibly be turning there so he'll just ignore your arm), pedestrians wandering about into the lane, and all to be faced with a crossing with no bike light giving you the choice of dismounting and walking across or riding across on the ped phase.

    The Point Hotel contraflow is a piece of cake in comparison! :P

    @wingpig - I've promised Mel not to tell her of such things anymore. If something is sufficient for me to post on Blipfoto then she'll find out, but she's happier not knowing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. Min
    Member

    I have not actually had any bother at the Eyre Place contra and I do use it fairly frequently. Maybe I am just lucky? Drivers do drive straight at me to start with then move across at the last minute but if you watch they do drive in the cycle lane anyway even if there isn't a cyclist there so I don't take it personally. I think it is because of the parked cars.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. splitshift
    Member

    some might say i am over the top but , handle bar mounted surface to car missiles are the answer !
    some one did say its better to be alive than right !
    yes , but sometimes, just sometimes.....................
    be safe ! Scott

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. DaveC
    Member

    anth, Get in touch with the roads dept and write a snotty letter asking for them to paint arrows showing the correct direction on the lane. Tell them you regularly ride that way and see if often. The way cars and vans park only goes to re-inforce the wrong direction assumption by drivers heading east along Bread Street.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. Dave, good idea! Will put it in a 'danger' context copying in councillors.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Its_Me_Knees
    Member

    @splitshift: handle bar mounted surface to car missiles are the answer !
    Always the pacifist, I vote for USS Enterprise-style deflector shields instead.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. Darkerside
    Member

    I'd settle for a handlebar mounted megaphone that would allow me to illustrate their error in a kind, considerate and above all loud fashion.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. slowcoach
    Member

    The Bread Street contra-flow bus lane has always struck me as strange, if not wrong. I haven't checked recently but from streetview taken in 2008 there were no signs to tell eastbound traffic entering Bread Street that buses and bikes are allowed to contraflow/ travel westbound, nor were there signs to say it is one-way eastbound for cars etc.
    According to the Traffic Signs Manual "Where cycles are permitted to use contra-flow bus lanes, markings to diagram 1048.1 BUS AND (cycle symbol) LANE must be used in place of diagram 1048." And “BUS LANE road markings to diagram 1048 (or 1048.1 if cycles are permitted to use the lane), together with direction arrows to diagram 1038, should appear at both ends of the lane, so that they can be read by drivers approaching the contra-flow lane.” Neither seems to have been done here.

    The “impossible” cycle lanes on the B7062 Peebles and similar ones eg on A1087 Dunbar and B910 Clackmannan aren’t impossible. Cars etc are allowed to enter an advisory cycle lane if that lane is clear of pedal cycles and can cross or straddle the warning line in the middle of the road if it is safe to do so. If there is bike in the lane or something coming the opposite way drivers should follow the appropriate line. If there is both a bike and oncoming traffic they have to keep far enough back to be clear of the cycle. If drivers were sensible none of these lines would be needed, but we know that isn’t always the case.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. "If drivers were sensible"

    You've hit the nail on the head, adn that's what makes the lanes 'impossible' (or rather, puts a cyclist in an impossible position).

    This came up last year when the Daily Wail got its knickers in a twist over a similar bike lane down south. "How are drivers supposed to keep out of it??!?" was the cry.

    It seems odd, but drivers need the lines, but then don't understand them. They think the lines mean they have to stay out, but then they disregard them. Large bike lanes encourage a 'this is a riduclous lane therefore I definitely don't have to abide by it' mentality. Which can lead, ironically, to drivers passing closer to cyclists than if the lines had not been there.

    Essentially the drivers are saying 'there's no chance I can stay out of that lane, so if I am 'forced' to drive in it then effectively it doesn't exist as it shouldn't be there'.

    Psychological responses are responsible for many reactions that seem, on the face of it, to lack any sense to them at all (viz. my experience yesterday whereby the way to show displeasure at a perceived (but incorrect) wrongdoing is to drive your car directly at a supposed cycling miscreant).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. bax
    Member

    Many times I've explained to bus drivers and motorists that they really must drive in relation to where i am positioned on the road, and not merely where they think i ought to be.

    Naturally the motorists just stare straight ahead in bubble mode while I firmly administer the lecture, but sometimes bus drivers do deign to understand my viewpoint.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. Dave
    Member

    The “impossible” cycle lanes on the B7062 Peebles and similar ones eg on A1087 Dunbar and B910 Clackmannan aren’t impossible. Cars etc are allowed to enter an advisory cycle lane if that lane is clear of pedal cycles and can cross or straddle the warning line in the middle of the road if it is safe to do so.

    These are top-quality and should be strongly encouraged. As you say, the point isn't that drivers shouldn't be in the lane at all, but to delineate a 'safe zone' the cyclist can effectively claim when moving past the obstacle. The motorist has to deliberately enter into the cycle zone and hit the cyclist which is quite different to the usual squeeze...

    I love riding along that road through Dunbar!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. "The motorist has to deliberately enter into the cycle zone and hit the cyclist which is quite different to the usual squeeze"

    For some reason that's not a phrase which fills me with much confidence... :P

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. Dave
    Member

    Probably wouldn't feature in the branding material for the design, no...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. I can see the advertising campaign.

    [Cillit Bang Voice]
    "Drivers, with normal cycle lanes you could only hit cyclists with a glancing blow that may not cause them much damage, but with all new and improved Enormo-Lanes you can now drive straight into the back of a cyclist with as little effort as it takes to re-tune your stereo to the Jeremy Vine radio show."
    [/CBV]

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. Roibeard
    Member

    Re Dunbar islands - I'm most definitely in the "anti" camp on this one.

    These islands are designed to make cyclists into mobile road calming devices, and quite frankly, I am not street furniture!

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. crowriver
    Member

    it doesn't exist as it shouldn't be there

    Alas this appears to be the attitude of many drivers towards cyclists.....at least to judge by their behaviour!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. Dave
    Member

    @roibeard, out of interest, then - do you prefer the islands on the Penicuik main road (which do have tiny cycle lanes and white "move in towards the kerb" marks for drivers)?

    I guess I don't disagree with you if you're trying to argue against islands altogether, but I can't believe anyone prefers the "death" versions to the oversize ones?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. Roibeard
    Member

    @Dave - anti the islands in the first place! With or without the "do not overtake cyclists at islands" signs, the goal is to slow traffic down to the speed of any passing cyclists and I object to being used in this fashion.

    They usually can't be argued as being required to aid pedestrian crossing of the roads, they are often purely traffic calming devices...

    Having been squeezed once too often at islands, I tend to leave the cycle lanes behind and plonk myself halfway between the kerbs. Even in Dunbar (without having cycled there), this might leave me on the white line.

    Which of course, results in boy racers skidding to a halt, overtaking on the wrong side of the island, or providing punishment passes after the island.

    Engineering conflict between road users just to slow traffic seems incredible, particularly where the conflict is designed to include the most vulnerable...

    I was about to say, "can you imagine anyone doing this with pedestrians", but that does appear to be happening with the "shared spaces" concept. Pedestrians seem to have more sense than we cyclists though, as they appear to not attempt to use the supposed shared bit!

    Hmm, I appear to be in rant mode today - despite having a lovely few days pottering in Wigtownshire with the Pino and drivers that don't need much encouragement to overtake properly!

    Now, if only the wind could be so easily bent to the will of cyclists...

    ;-)

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. gembo
    Member

    Any chance of turning this into a constructive way forward? I feel there is a palpable menace amongst a minority of Edinburgh drivers. They don't feel cyclists should be on the road and appear to deliberately swerve at you or rant at you for existing or overtake inappropriately. This is different from bad driving which affects all road users. Plenty of that too. Can we develop Love a Cyclist bumper stickers? At one end of the spectrum and push for tougher enforcement of the law at the other end? Unless I am being paranoid this group of cyclist haters need targeted specifically as pro cycling campaigns have hitherto been linked to general benefits to all, which this faction disputes, fuelled by EEN vitriol. People do change their views but they need to be worked on in a specific way. This forum is good at describing issues but the harder task of doing something about them is perhaps not our function? Please feel free to ignore me, I am just putting off the decorating I am supposed to be doing on my holiday

    Posted 2 years ago #

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