Tuesday, March 18

Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

This is a pretty valid commercial. In Eagle River, the small tiny commuter town just outside of Anchorage, I've already seen several cyclists almost get splattered on the road at one of the few intersections. This is one of the problems of living in a state where the pedestrian has less rights than the drivers.

I almost got creamed a few times in Eagle River at that particular intersection. Not a car moving, nobody going anywhere, then out of nowhere somebody decides score a few points by running me over. Thankfully I heard them coming and zipped out of the way. Instead of zipping I would have much rather been focusing on the cars on the other side of the street who, while still stopped, could just as easily pop their car forwards in an attempt to trip the light.


Anonymous said...

Never trust the other guy dude.

whardier said...

My dad has a simple solution for this, he's been hit by three or so cars now and has had time to heal and give his approach some seasoned testing. Eye contact is absolutely critical if you want to live. This doesn't work so well when the car is coming from behind you.

There was a lot of chatter on IRC about this (freenode/#GnuAK) and the conclusion was pretty simple. In most situations where the intersection sucks you need to put yourself in the car lane and wait for the light. Expecting people to hesitate just because there is a biker in the crosswalk is just a fantasy.

Yup. Bikes are vehicles to most people you'll talk to. But thanks to crappy pedestrian right of way laws any biker on the road is in the same class as a pedestrian when it comes to safety. Drivers don't have to pay attention to pedestrians at a crosswalk, there is no right of way.

As far as bike lanes up here are concerned I rarely see any that allow bikes going straight to easily blend into traffic and become part of the straight/left turn lane. Most of the time bike lanes follow the almost non-existant sidewalks and bikers appear to motorists as somebody simply wanting to use the crosswalk - and they have no right of way on a green light.

That helpfull pedestrian crossing signal does nothing to drivers up here that don't think twice before turning right on a red. As far as the majority up here is concerned thats their God given right damnit and they shouldn't have to take it under concideration before executing it.

I walk everywhere in the summer since I work downtown. I always keep my eyes on their eyes. For the most part its a graceful dance through downtown with minimal errors, wonderful hand gestures and approving nods from myself and motorists directing the orchestra of fuel consumption. Once I leave downtown it becomes a bit more complicated and people are much less aware of their surroundings, pedestrians, bikers, and of course the occasional moose.