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Old 02-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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Great letter Al, excellent, and the pictures clearly show the difficulties and dangers to cyclists on that stretch of road.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:09 PM   #22
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My goodness, Al! That's a terrible, terrible lane. Glad you are speaking up. Those pictures say it all.

Sometimes having something "half baked" is worse than having it all. Any cyclist unfamiliar with that stretch can get a rude surprise.

The curb-catching-pedal and steep slope are ridiculous!
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #23
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As a fellow cyclist, thanks for sending the letter.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:02 PM   #24
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Sending that letter was the right thing to do. It didn't get the government to change anything, but at least it gives the deceased's lawyer a better chance for compensating his family.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
area is dangerous. I understand what's involved in making changes to the highway; I'm writing to make you aware of the issue, so that the next time changes are made, perhaps some accommodation can be made for safety.
Thanks for listening.

Sincerely,
This doesn't even look like it would be safe for runners. I believe there are more country roads like this than not.

Ha
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #26
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I believe there are more country roads like this than not.
True, but this particular 'country road' is the famous California Highway 101...
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #27
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True, but this particular 'country road' is the famous California Highway 101...
Thanks, I missed that. What the heck are cyclists doing on HiWay 101 anyway? US 2 in WA has some similar stretches. Cycling is dangerous around high speed traffic, and too often around low speed traffic. I got hit in my car on a similar road, and I am still here. Different story if I had been on my bicycle.

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:14 PM   #28
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So sorry to hear about this.

I can't bring myself to ride on roads with regular car traffic. I stick to bike paths and state park roads.
+3. Too many distracted drivers for me.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #29
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As a fellow cyclist, thanks for sending the letter.
+1
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:23 PM   #30
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... What the heck are cyclists doing on HiWay 101 anyway? US 2 in WA has some similar stretches. Cycling is dangerous around high speed traffic, and too often around low speed traffic.

Ha
Agreed - there's something odd about this thread, a cyclist talking about how dangerous this road is for cyclists, and they know it's dangerous because they ride there? Well then don't ride there. FYI: I can't see the pic in your first post, you have to be logged in to that forum.

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It's hard to describe how it feels to be riding in these locations and having a truck passing you at 65 MPH. Some trucks will move into the center lane, but most do not.
Maybe I'm missing something, but that isn't an actual bike-lane on the road is it? It looks like just a shoulder. I gotta be honest, I absolutely hate it when bikes ride along the shoulder of the road. If there's traffic coming, I can't move over, and they end up a foot or two away from my car. I hate the thought that if I have to make a quick move, I might kill them. And this might sound harsh, but if I have to make a split second choice between hitting a car coming at me at 55 mph in the opposite direction head on, I'm gonna swerve and if there is a cyclist there, their gonna get hurt, maybe killed. But I would certainly be dead in a head on like that. Don't make me make that choice. It makes me super-nervous, I keep thinking, what if they hit a rock and fall right into the path of my car and I kill or maim them? I absolutely hate being put in that position, and I resent that they do it. If the place isn't safe to cycle in, then don't do it. It's not fair to drivers. Or to para-phrase the above quote:

It's hard to describe how it feels to be driving in these locations and having a truck passing you at 65 MPH, and there's a cyclist riding the shoulder. Some cyclists will move over and get further off the road, but most do not.

I feel the same about pedestrians that walk at dusk/dawn or night w/o highly visible clothing or lights. It's one thing if they put themselves at risk, but don't make me complicit in it if something happens, and I have to live with that the rest of my life, just because I don't have super-human see-in-the-dark eyesight.

If they were to create an actual bike lane there, with adequate space, I would view it differently. Related question - do cyclists in CA pay a road tax, or some other licence fee that goes to pay for the kind of upgrades that bike lanes would require?

-ERD50
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #31
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Maybe I'm missing something, but that isn't an actual bike-lane on the road is it? It looks like just a shoulder. I gotta be honest, I absolutely hate it when bikes ride along the shoulder of the road. If there's traffic coming, I can't move over, and they end up a foot or two away from my car. I hate the thought that if I have to make a quick move, I might kill them. And this might sound harsh, but if I have to make a split second choice between hitting a car coming at me at 55 mph in the opposite direction head on, I'm gonna swerve and if there is a cyclist there, their gonna get hurt, maybe killed.
Guess what, Sparky? A bicycle has as much legal right to the road as you do. If it is not safe to pass, slow down and stay behind them until it is.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:27 PM   #32
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I am amazed that more cyclists (motor & pedal) are not killed on 101 in Oregon. Add the fact that the highways was constructed in the 30s (or earlier), locals who want to get to their destination in a hurry and tourists focusing on the view... formula for disaster.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:56 PM   #33
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Guess what, Sparky? A bicycle has as much legal right to the road as you do. If it is not safe to pass, slow down and stay behind them until it is.
It may be legal, but it's still dangerous, and rude to the drivers.

From the Illinois "BICYCLE RULES OF THE ROAD - CyberDrive Illinois"

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• Motorists are required by law to allow at least 3 feet of space between them and a bicyclist when passing.
So that means if there is a cyclist riding just at the edge of the road, and I'm in a long no-passing zone (common around me), I have to slow down to a cycle-speed for miles if I can't give them 3 feet. I risk getting rear-ended, or the victim of road rage.

Or even in a passing zone, if there is steady stream of on-coming traffic, if I slow down and do not pass that cyclist, I'm gonna have a string of angry drivers behind me, and again risk getting rear-ended. Or I'm supposed to come within inches of the on-coming traffic?

Even with three feet, I get nervous. As I said, they hit a rock, and fall and tumble into the street, that could happen too fast for me to respond. I'd hate the thought that I was somehow involved, even through no fault of my own, of killing/maiming someone. And then maybe some ambulance chaser sues me because my running light was burned out or something unrelated, who knows where it goes?

Sorry, I've just seen too many cyclists (sometimes whole families) create dangerous situations for others, and they do make me very nervous. I wish, for their safety and the safety of others, that they would limit their riding to places that are reasonably safe. IMO, most roads w/o specific bike lanes are not a safe place to mingle these vehicles, regardless of any laws.

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Old 02-27-2013, 05:40 AM   #34
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Nice letter, T-Al.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:35 PM   #35
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For those wondering why bicyclists don't just use another route, there ain't one. At the northern end of California, US 101 is it when traveling between many towns. It's not a freeway. It's a narrow road, one lane in each direction, and the only road for many miles.

Oh, and if you're checking on a map, 'roads' like Georgia-Pacific Truck Road are dirt roads for logging trucks, not open for public access, and a great way to get killed. X-(
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:30 AM   #36
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For those wondering why bicyclists don't just use another route, there ain't one. (
+1. The nearest bike lane from my house is more than 25 miles away. The nearest trail starts 12 miles away. So I almost always ride in a vehicle lane, trying to take the safest routes at the safest times. Luckily traffic is usually light where a vehicle can easily pass me without any oncoming traffic. But drivers are more impatient now, and they seem to respect the rights of bicyclists far less than they used to.

Thanks for sending the letter Al.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:04 AM   #37
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Guess what, Sparky? A bicycle has as much legal right to the road as you do. If it is not safe to pass, slow down and stay behind them until it is.
I don't agree with this on a highway like 101 for 2 reasons -

1 - Bikes don't pay for the highways. At least in Minnesota highways are paid for by gas taxes. No general funds or property taxes (paid for by bicycle owners) go toward paying for a "right" to use the road.

2 - In Minnesota there are minimum speeds to travel on highways for any vehicle because driving slow (under 45 mph) is a hazard to others. Same thing should apply to a bike.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #38
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I wish there were a lot more roads that are bicycle friendly.

This probably sounds silly, but no matter how right one feels about using the road, one has to go with the laws of physics. No matter how alert and protected (helmets, etc), no way can a bike rider take on a car.

I take my bike mostly just for errands. Most car drivers are great. But sometimes cars buzz a little too close for comfort. Not a pleasant feeling.

p.s. Great letter Al
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:38 PM   #39
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This probably sounds silly, but no matter how right one feels about using the road, one has to go with the laws of physics. No matter how alert and protected (helmets, etc), no way can a bike rider take on a car.
I don't think it sounds silly at all. I am planning to move this year, and one thing I will miss are good bike riding conditions: flat, wide roads and a bunch of new good bike lanes.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #40
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This probably sounds silly, but no matter how right one feels about using the road, one has to go with the laws of physics. No matter how alert and protected (helmets, etc), no way can a bike rider take on a car.
I read an interesting snippet about risk from a Jared Diamond essay. When he was doing fieldwork in the New Guinea highlands, he was out with a hunting party when nightfall was approaching. They had some tents that could be strung from two trees, and he proposed setting camp under a large dead tree. The tribal woodsmen refused, saying that they never stayed under dead trees, or even dead branches, as it was too dangerous. Diamond argued that the risk was very small, and the tribesmen replied that it may be small each time you do it, but we are out many times, and overall the risk is large. As there were no other suspension points around, they slept cold, under the sky.


An interesting way to think, and I believe more reasonable than our "educated" way of looking at risks of frequent events, where we tend to downplay them probably because trying to give full weight to them is unhandy, or it would interfere with other goals that we may have, or just because we have done the risky act many times and nothing bad has happened (so far).

Ha
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