Instructables

Intersection Problem (Riding a Bike)

So here's my problem: I ride my bike to school everyday, but there is one intersection that I can not figure out how to ride through safely. I drew a picture of the intersection down below. The blue and green lines are cars, and the red line is the route that I usually take. If anyone could tell my where to ride , it would be greatly appreciated.
(Click the little "i" in the corner of the image to view it at a higher resolution)

Picture of Intersection Problem (Riding a Bike)
caitlinsdad2 years ago
Is it not safer to ride up one more block, stop, then go left? I might be a little more out of the way and there might not be a light at that intersection but at least you aren't trying to merge and cross traffic at speed. Is this a busy road and cars like to drag race on it? Be careful.
ItsTheHobbs (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago
I tried this today, and it is not as bad as I thought it would be. It's a bit of an uphill climb, but I suppose that's better than getting hit by a car.
I agree the slight detour looks like a better route.

One other suggestion I have is to make yourself visible to the drivers, especially if you typically wear dark clothing. Most of them want to avoid hitting you if possible, so adding a neon + reflective band (sold at bike shops for keeping your pant leg out of your chain) to your back pack, arm, and leg would help keep you safer. They slip off quickly and stow easily in a pocket if you don't want to wear them around school.

Reflector tape on your helmet is also a good idea. When my son was young I cut it into flame shapes. As a teenager he wanted discreet stripes that only stood out when hit with headlights or a flashlight.

Small clip-on lights make drivers notice you at twice the distance they would without the light, especially in the early morning. There are a wide variety available. Frogs don't require any special mountings: http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Light-Twinpack-Headlight-Taillight/dp/B002MA48GI

Sorry this is long. I am a mom and have been biking for 40+ years. I wear a neon jacket and have a big flag on the trailer, and the dog wears a yellow bandana when I bike, which I refer to as my PleaseDon'tSquashUs outfit.
+1
kelseymh2 years ago
Augh. That's an accident waiting to happen (actually, it's probably a lot of accidents which have already happened). Is there any traffic control to deal with the northbound green line colliding with the southbound right-side blue line?

If there is traffic control there, either a stop sign or signal, then what you've indicated in red is probably the best you can do. Split the two northbound lanes, so that the northbound blue cars pass you on the right, and the left-fork green cars pass you on the left. You then parallel the green cars and end up on the shoulder of the left fork.

The right answer is for you (or even better, for you and your city's bicycling organization) to go to the Planning Department, Public Works, or City Council, and get them to (a) put in marked bicycle lanes, or/and (b) traffic control at that fork which is bicycle-triggerable.

Good luck, and ride safely!