Two blogs have come out with lists on avoiding or defusing anti-cyclist road rage. Treehugger has a 6 point list and Planet Green has four. Please share your own! I find their tips a bit underwhelming:
- Obey all traffic laws. (Drivers hate "salmon biking" and cyclists running red lights.)
- Be courteous.
- Avoid daredeviling.
- Keep a low profile. (Even if the driver is wronged, don't exacerbate it. Concentrate on your biking instead. Ask yourself, are the potential consequences worth it?)
- Drive your bike. ("One drives a bicycle, a scooter, or a motorcycle, not rides one. People ride in things over which they don't have control.")
- Lobby for the Idaho stop (rolling stop).
- Arm yourself with a smile and a wave.
- Don your finest, brightest plumage.
- Remember biking as a bell curve. (Remember that cycling is not particularly dangerous, and in fact the health benefits far out weigh the risks. The Raise the Hammer blog looks in depth at all the cycling risks including that you're just as likely to die in an SUV crash as a bike crash.)
So let's think of some more. My significant other suggested:
"Carry a bouquet of flowers. Everyone smiled today as a I carried flowers in my backpack to work."
I would add:
Don't keep a low profile, instead command respect. Rather you want to look like you own that lane - give people a bit of room to pass you but don't let car drivers squish you into the curb.
Take quieter roads where possible. Find an alternative route that has much less traffic and provides room for drivers to pass.
Take a cycling skills course like CAN-BIKE. A little bit of training goes a long way towards knowing how to deal with tricky driving conditions.
David Juliusson (not verified)
Make your turn signals obviousThu, 07/16/2009 - 07:42
I would add making turn signals obvious. Many car drivers ae nervous about cyclists especially when they turn left. Give them as much information as clearly as you can
My recommendationsThu, 07/16/2009 - 09:35
Two of my recommendations in addition to the above.
I. Lane control. Never, ever ride in the door zone. Where the lane is too narrow to allow a car to pass safely within the lane, always take the lane.
A lane must be at least six metres wide to allow a car to safely pass within the lane. No downtown Toronto lane (that I am aware of) is that wide, so always, always take the lane in downtown Toronto and never, ever let a car pass unsafely.
II. If a car driver commits a serious crime of violence by driving unsafely or aggressively so that it is only through sheer luck that you were not killed or injured, always, always immediately call Toronto Police. Ideally with the car's license plate number and driver description, but call no matter what you have. Remember, you have been the victim of a serious crime of violence - a crime that the police take seriously, and you should too.
Many cyclists have more control over their safety than they consistently use. I am continually seeing cyclists riding in the door zone and failing to exercise lane control by failing to take the lane. This is dangerous behaviour. The people doing it must stop before they get hurt.
I repeatedly see "near misses" by car drivers who commit serious crimes of violence - and the cyclist victims refuse my offer to call police on my cell telephone. This "victim mentality" must stop. Otherwise one day our luck will run out. The car driver who should have been convicted for his previous crimes of violence will instead have remained free to kill or injure someone.
As cyclists, we have the power to make the roads a lot safer and calmer for ourselves. Two ways of doing so are to: 1. NEVER ride in the door zone and ALWAYS take the lane when it is unsafe for cars to pass in the lane. 2. ALWAYS call Toronto Police when a car driver commits a serious crime of violence.
We have the power. Let's use it.
Random cyclist (not verified)
More than cyclists action neededThu, 07/16/2009 - 10:44
lists like this frighten me - It somehow makes it seem like rage against cyclists is due to the individual acts of cyclists. There are times were this may be the case, but lost track of the number of times I've had obscenities hurled at me for no apparent reason. One of my recent favorites was "get the FCK in the bike" while riding on Danforth where, you guessed it, there is no bike lane.
Driving rage is the result of the cognitive dissonance of automobile operators being conditioned to believe that cars are "freedom machines." Instead they find them selves sitting *in traffic, complaining about traffic *and neglecting to consider that they *are traffic.
Lists like the one presented here also highlight a big concern of mine - a lack of basic education about cycling both to cyclists and motorists. We need education in the schools that cultivates a respect and enjoyment for cycling from an early age. For individuals who come to cycling as adults we need accessible, affordable, fun cycling education. While CAN BIKE is a good start - how many people are going to give up three Saturdays to take it? How many more can't sign up for a course because it is not offered in thier language, a location that's convienient or can't afford the cost or time associated with taking it. (not to mention one could not take one right now anyways because of the strike).
In tandem - we need to make getting a driver's licence as challenging as the skills required to drive safely and respectfully as well as reflect the true cost of doing so. (I'd be really curious to know if the fees of the liscensing process cover the operation of the entire process)
While individual acts will make a difference, it's bold actions that require political will that bring the best changes for cycling.
CAN Bike's equivalent is free/subsidized in the UK!Thu, 07/16/2009 - 22:46
Mad Jack McMad (not verified)
I'm not super concerned aboutThu, 07/16/2009 - 10:48
I'm not super concerned about driver road rage...if it's serious enough that I feel threatened, I'll call the cops. It's driver carelessness that freaks me out. The three times that I have been struck by cars this year, it was due to a driver entering the bike lane without looking. I swear I could be wearing a moisture wicking chicken suit (apologies to BikesnobNYC) and a driver would tell me that they didn't see me. Rule number one for cycling in the city is keep your head on a swivel.
That and the police need to start seriously enforcing the cell phone rule, and busting other minor traffic infractions (which turn out to not be so minor when contact with a cyclist or pedestrian is involved).
Greatest HitsThu, 07/16/2009 - 17:31
Mad Jack McMad,
So you've been struck three times by cars this year? I'm assuming you must be a courier?
If not, you may want to re-evaluate your cycling habits; or at least make yourself more visible (ref: Brown v Yellow)
I totally agree with Herb on his add-ons to the list, but there is one more I would add:
Anticipate the actions of drivers and be prepared to react as quickly as possible. Another poster here once advised to expect that all drivers will do "crazy" things - that's good advice.
jamesmallon (not verified)
Vehicular Cyclist PropagandaThu, 07/16/2009 - 11:15
That's what a list like this is. The only reason we have traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, and rigid **driving **rules is because cars are life-threatening: bikes and shoes are not. Before the car these rules largely did not exist, because speed and mass was low enough that they were unecessary. The ideal solution is to be rid of cars, but the species isn't equal to the obvious solution for human and environmental health.
So, instead of the ideal solution, cycle predictably and defensively, make yourself visible, cycle away from confrontations, and realise that few people are going to be on your side in a collision, including the police who drive in from homes in the 905. The exception is if some idiot in a white SUV jumps on you bike in Kensington.
My suggestionsThu, 07/16/2009 - 12:52
And, one of the best pieces of advice I ever read: think like a cyclist, not a driver. Add five minutes to your route if it means you can ride along side instead of main or busy streets. You'll arrive less stressed, and drivers on one-lane in each direction roads seem to be tolerant of cyclists.
Ed (not verified)
Staying out of the door zoneThu, 07/16/2009 - 15:46
Staying out of the door zone on Queen St. W is not possible, unless you want to ride between the streetcar tracks. This poses a whole other set of issues.
The funny thing is that I've ridden along Queen W from Spadina to Roncesvalles hundreds of times, daytime and evenings, and survived unscathed. It was on Royal York south, a quiet street with bicycle lanes, where a car hit me recently. (I don't think I'd ever been hit by a car in the previous 30 years. I did rear-end a car in about '83, when I thought I could blow a stop sign and the car in front of me stopped again for some traffic.)
The other funny thing is that I really haven't seen a whole lot of road rage directed my way. Perhaps even no rage. The last time I remember someone yelling "get off the road" was somewhere in east Mississauga in the 1980s. I certainly have seen clueless and aggressive driving, but I see the same thing if I'm walking or driving my 1970s Pontiac, so I don't think it's "anti-cyclist road rage" but general idiocy.
My recent riding includes taking the curb lane on busy industrial arteries such as Kipling, Islington, or Evans in south Etobicoke. I also use left-turn lanes to turn left, which is quite a challenge on the Queensway by the 427 (six busy lanes wide) or West Mall at Evans.
By the way, while I don't particularly enjoy riding on Queen West, or along Kipling or Islington, there are not a whole lot of "quiet side streets" that are an alternative. At least not if my goal is to get somewhere.
Re: Staying out of the door zoneThu, 07/16/2009 - 22:01
Be careful riding the Queensway near 427, it's a "car only zone", better to walk it. Two years ago a cyclist was struck and left at the side of the road there. When he came back to consciousness he was told that "he wasn't hit" and that he had just had a seizure. Unfortunately his bicycle was dented up pretty good(must have been quite a seizure). Police wouldn't file a report because nobody saw anything(he was sideswiped from behind) and the driver didn't stay at the scene. So they told him he had a seizure and crashed... nice.
Anyways, further to the cause I hope everybody knows there is no such thing as "road rage" just people who lose their tempers and commit violent acts.
Road rage is just a euphemism for psychopathic behavior. Nowadays this type of behavior isn't uncommon in our communities. Don't try to defuse a psychopath behind 2000lbs of steel and 300horsepower.That pretty list of boyscout rules you've got made up... they won't help when you encounter the real thing.
In other situations, follow the list, it is a good one. The best item being, stay to the side streets where things go nice and slow(usually).
Road rageFri, 07/17/2009 - 12:38
Electric, you criticize other suggestions but you don't offer up your own way of dealing with road rage. It's not fair to assume you're the only person who's experienced it, and to be condesending. I'm sure plenty of us have been faced with a raging driver who just wants to driver right over you so they can get to the highway.
As a previous commenter noted, when faced with this situation, don't be reactive. You want to get away from the situation, and definitely don't see it as an opportunity for revenge. You must ask yourself if you can live with the consequences to yourself: injury, death, criminal charge.
It doesn't take much to get charged with assault for even hitting someone's car and it being seen as threatening. Just get off the road and take down their info so you can try to get them charged.
It's not easy. I have pride, like many cyclists and a sense of right to the road. To be threatened makes me want to "teach them a lesson".
Not trying to be condescending...Fri, 07/17/2009 - 21:27
I don't have an answer for defusing "road rage" but, your suggestions about swallowing your pride and escaping the scene with no more drama are good. Yes, I agree that the list in the topic is a good list for cycling in general - as i said in the end of previous my comment.
I just don't think that first list has anything todo with real "road rage" because such acts are quite out of proportion... isn't our fault and we don't deserve to be such victims. I can liken the psychology behind that list to the husband in the popular movie "Sleeping With the Enemy" . You, the cyclist, are somewhat like Julia Roberts, forced to live with a controlling megalomaniac who beats and abuses you because you don't line the towels up after you finish drying your hands. A lot of cyclists think things will be OK if they just keep lining the towels up neater and neater. Which gets to my original point, that keeping things neater and neater on the road isn't going to help when you're dealing with the percentage of drivers who are going to be abusive to others.
Anyways, if you don't get what I'm saying you should watch the movie. It was entertaining!!
Ed (not verified)
"Be careful riding theFri, 07/17/2009 - 13:44
"Be careful riding the Queensway near 427, it's a "car only zone", better to walk it. Two years ago a cyclist was struck and left at the side of the road there."
So, one cyclist got hit two years ago and I'm supposed to avoid it? Should I also avoid Royal York north of Lake Shore because a car hit me?
"The best item being, stay to the side streets where things go nice and slow(usually)."
I'm actually trying to get somewhere, and those side streets take twice as long (where they actually exist). Now, I prefer taking Route 2 along the lakeshore in preference to riding along Lake Shore Blvd. if I'm going to/from downtown, but I know it's a bit further and slower (but much more scenic). However, there is no useful alternative to Queen St. W. between Roncesvalles and downtown. The side streets are littered with stop signs, and King is just as bad. Martin Goodman is an alternative on nice days, but it is significantly longer and slower.
I see quite a disconnect between "everyone should ride bicycles and shouldn't take crap" and "but for heaven's sake use the quiet side streets".
And a lot of the quiet-street bicyclists are the ones who zip through those quiet-street stop signs. Which is a peeve if I'm riding (or walking, or driving) along the intersecting quiet street: hey I stopped, now you are gonna whiz through your stop. (You see how "XXX rage" starts?)
Disconnect?Fri, 07/17/2009 - 15:05
I don't see a disconnect between claiming your rights to use the streets as a cyclist and opting to use quiter, safer roads. I'd love to be able to commute to work in the shortest/time distance possible, but that's not realistic. My idea of fun at 7:00 a.m. isn't getting into it with drivers. So I leave home 15 minutes earlier. It's not a sacrifice for me. May be for you, but I don't presume to speak for you.
And look at the mess around Yonge/Church to Yonge/Bloor... you really want to try to ride through that mess? If your answer is one or two streets up or down.* I only suggested taking side streets if possible, and if you want to. I wasn't advocating giving up your right to ride on Queen, Bay, Yonge, wherever as long as you feel safe.
Ride where you want, it's your right.Fri, 07/17/2009 - 21:24
As far as rights go, if you feel the need to make a statement(possibly unintentionally martyring yourself) then go ahead... ride the 427 on ramp right up there and stick it to the man. I'm not trying to intimidate you with the story of the rider who was hit. You have to exercise your own judgment, a subjective thing. It's your a** in the end - not mine.
People who ride quiet streets have rights and exercise them regularly. You don't have to be turning left across 3 lanes of traffic to make a statement.
A lot of cars zip through quiet-street stop signs also... it isn't a cyclist thing. TCU is trying to bring in Idaho stops because it isn't dangerous to others for cyclists to roll a stop-sign slowly(i.e. not putting a foot down)
Lastly, if you're going to have a violent outburst(use the road-rage euphemism if you feel it legitimizes you) because somebody whizzed through a stop sign in front of you, then you need to seriously re-evaluate things before you hurt somebody and ruin your life(i.e. jail). You are not the police or Ed, chief vigilante.
Ed (not verified)
Straw cyclistsSat, 07/18/2009 - 10:18
"As far as rights go, if you feel the need to make a statement(possibly unintentionally martyring yourself) then go ahead... ride the 427 on ramp right up there and stick it to the man."
You are crediting me with a position that I'm not taking, and then knocking it down. I think that's called straw-man argument.
I'm not trying to make A Statement by riding on the Queensway. I'm trying to get where I want to go (which may be Home Depot at Queensway/427, or the LCBO at Queensway/427, or the farmer's market at Queensway/427). As I have pointed out several times, there are no "quiet streets" that are an alternative, other than North Queen (which ends at the Queensway), or the mall parking lots north and south of the Queensway (parking lots are dangerous places to drive or bicycle; a low-speed collision will just dent your car, but it can seriously injure a cyclist same as on the Queensway).
Note that I have come out in favour, here and elsewhere, of putting an off-road path between North Queen and West Mall to let cyclists avoid the Queensway. I have also participated in the Kipling and Islington and Gardiner ramp EA, advocating changes to make those roads safer for cyclists.
And, I have no legal "rights" to use the 427 on-ramp with my bicycle; cyclists and pedestrians are clearly forbidden. Never mind that I have no desire to be killed to make some point you assume I want to be making (but I'm not).
"A lot of cars zip through quiet-street stop signs also... " Illegaly, of course. Do you consider it "road rage" on their part if they zip through or cut you off when you ought to have the right-of-way on your bicycle?
"it isn't a cyclist thing. TCU is trying to bring in Idaho stops because it isn't dangerous to others for cyclists to roll a stop-sign slowly(i.e. not putting a foot down)" Note that Idaho stops are yields. "Yield" does not mean "I can proceed through the intersection after slowing down", it means "I can proceed through the intersection if, after slowing down and checking in all directions, it is safe to proceed". Indeed, a yield requires you to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle (car, bicycle, e-bike....) which does not face the stop/yield. This is something that Toronto cyclists and drivers ignore. I'm in favour of banning all right turns on red in the city, because people seem to think that this means "I can sail through the intersection without a further look because I'm turning right", no matter if they're facing a red light or stop sign. As a pedestrian, and a cyclist, and a driver, I find this behaviour dangerous, from both cyclists and motorists. As I have pointed out in other comments elsewhere.
"Lastly, if you're going to have a violent outburst(use the road-rage euphemism if you feel it legitimizes you) because somebody whizzed through a stop sign in front of you, then you need to seriously re-evaluate things before you hurt somebody and ruin your life(i.e. jail). You are not the police or Ed, chief vigilante."
This is fatuous. After I have come to a stop, as is required by the stop sign, and then pull out, to be narrowly missed by someone who runs the stop in the other direction--whether it be a car or cyclist--I'm supposed to think "hey, I obeyed the law, but it's okay for you to ignore it, even though you are putting me and others in danger?" There's a lovely acronym "MFFY", originated on rec.autos.driving, and mostly pointed at other motor vehicle operators. The acronym stands for "Me First Fuddle-duddle You" (thank you Pierre).
Now, as an analogy, you're waiting in the express lane of the supermarket with your quart of milk and bag of organic carrots. Someone pushes in ahead of you with a cartload of groceries. Hey, they're clueless, and probably in a hurry, or at least impatient. I don't know how you'd feel, but I'd be pretty ticked. But the funny thing is, their pushing in ahead of you is neither illegal (which running a stop sign certainly is); neither is it possibly going to cause you physical harm (which running a stop sign possibly could do).
If only straw men could have brains...Sat, 07/18/2009 - 17:21
They'd realize that just because an individual thinks he is doing something "normal" doesn't mean his actions are perceived by others the same way. Many normal people think cyclists are trying to prove a point, be treehuggers, why I don't know. It seems whether you're trying to make a statement or not - you are! So to me and some others, riding that section of Queensway is nuts. Even in the mall parking lot it's nuts. As an aside, private property is a bad place to get into a collision because the HTA/Police won't have jurisdiction to help you. If we look up accident stats for that tiny area I suspect you'd find it a quite dangerous section of roadway. People come out of the mall talking on phones, fumbling with bags while driving, or zooming off/on the 427 wanting to travel 100km/h plus. Speaking of which I'm glad that you've confirmed you're not going to try your hand at the 427, the fastest way from the Gardiner to the 401 incidentally. Something tells me you know all of this already though...
No, I just chalk it up to ignorance and disrespect.
Sure, i didn't say anything about not yielding did i? Bring on the Idaho stops!
You may consider me meek for suggesting that car drivers shouldn't chase down cyclists who've run a stop sign. That's OK with me, I won't be playing road vigilante because I suffer from "road rage" or a violent temperament. In fact, Ed, the resulting easy provocation to rage from such a simple encounter is an indication of your own fatuousness.
Ed (not verified)
ScarecrowsMon, 07/20/2009 - 11:56
Herb's original post was about motorists being enraged by bicyclists, and what can be done to ameliorate that.
My original comment made two points:
1) I haven't really encountered motorists being enraged by my riding, even though a lot of the riding I now do is in car-oriented suburbia
2) I don't find the recommendation to "use quiet side streets" to be useful in many circumstances
Somehow this has wound up about Making a Statement and riding on the 427 and stuff. (I just now realized it's interesting that motorists don't appear to be enraged by my Making the Statement.) That's just way off the topic and heading further afield, so I'm at "Like, whatever, man. Have a nice day."
hamish (not verified)
bike lanes on Queen St. pleaseSat, 07/18/2009 - 18:13
This is an important point Ed makes:
"However, there is no useful alternative to Queen St. W. between Roncesvalles and downtown. The side streets are littered with stop signs, and King is just as bad."
So what about bike lanes on Queen St.? Likely difficult due to the streetcar tracks dominating the streets, unless one does a Montreal-style lane of two bike lanes in one traffic lane.
I think it's overdue - and we can offer four choices to the City for finally! solving a deadly gap in the bike lane network. The four choices are: north side of Queen, south side of Queen, North side of King, and south side of King.
It will be even more necessary to have a better bike facility with those new streetcars as they will come less frequently as they're longer and bigger. So the TTC and local politicians figger fewer of them means the same "service" by counting the seats.
Bikes offer competition to the streetcars, so we don't want to let them interfere with a transit monopoly, though these new streetcars are multi-millions each, far beyond the cost of a bike lane.
contraflowMon, 07/20/2009 - 14:58
They're actually planning on putting contraflow bike lanes in on Argyle. It looks like that will be the cycling street in the neighbourhood. Many people do stick to the arterials where there is more to do, so it's debatable how useful these will be, but they should have some positive effect for cycling in the area.
Interestingly, if you don't mind dicking around on back streets and alleyways, you can go from Gladstone to Spadina without actually going down to Queen or up to Dundas. If you don't mind hopping your bike over the ROW on Spadina you could go all the way to University.
South of Dundas and North of Queen
hamish (not verified)
yup, Argyle's something, but it's still inferiorMon, 07/20/2009 - 18:32
Hi Ben - yes, I'm aware that Argyle is being upgraded, or will be if Council meets and approves it, and some other measures. However, all these steps in the west end are more designed to limit the liability of the City I think vs. really providing a direct, safe and useful route east-west from the west end to the core. We don't ask pedestrians to go five minutes away to get to a safe route nor do we ask car drivers to do the same.
And yes, the alley trips are helpful sometimes, but there's a lot of extra roughness and broken glass to them.
Andre (not verified)
Follow the basic rules of theThu, 07/16/2009 - 16:39
Phil B (not verified)
Just my 2 centsThu, 07/16/2009 - 23:04
I think a few have covered things here....
Respect the rules of the road, not necessarily the law - this is akin to cars driving at 120 on the highway, even though the limit is 100 - it's safer to follow suit.
Having awareness for everything around you - you're riding on the road, don't be all daydreamy - save that for the bike paths/parks (though, best not to there either!) - respect the fact you're riding alongside big boxes of metal that can quite easily crush/injure/kill you.
Anticipate actions/behaviour and read the road ahead - plan accordingly. If you see a turn signal for a right turn, don't hug the curb, get the hell away from that turning car and go around to the left (assuming it's safe) - right-hooks are so easily avoided yet so many hug that curb/bike lane like it's going to protect them - it won't, and a lot of drivers don't use their mirrors.
Ride well away from the door zone, around 3 feet is good where possible, it allows you to adjust an extra 6-12" away if someone flings their door open.
Be courteous - if you see someone waiting for you to cross a light, even though you have total right of way, thank them - I like to make this gesture as a "thanks for seeing me" - similarly for people who check their mirrors before opening doors - re-enforce good behaviour.
Ride predictably and confidently, but not aggressively - use your signals where safe/possible (sometimes it's safer to leave your hands on the bars - don't jeopardize your safety for signals) - body language can often signal for you - shoulder checks and lane positioning, etc. help when making left turns or lane changes. If you ride predictably it will help assure drivers you're not going to do something crazy and erratic.
Riding in traffic scares a lot of people, rightly so, education for both sides would hopefully mitigate the fear and create a safer environment for everyone (let's not forget cars get in the way of each other too, there's no "bike vs. car" scenario - it's almost like a gauntlet run regardless, only cyclists have less protection for the "battle".
It'd be nice to see enforcement, but that works both ways - cellphones for all, rolling stop signs, etc. - and I don't see the TPS doing a great deal of enforcement other than their mandatory "bike blitz" each year. In my experience I've seen a good lack of general safety enforcement, even when I've blatantly broken traffic laws in front of officers myself. It would be nice, but I don't see it happening.
Of course, all of this is somewhat moot as a lot of the "cyclists" that cause problems on the road aren't interested in reading cycling websites - we're basically preaching to the choir here - we need education on both sides, possibly a cycling proficiency course in highschools to teach children the basics of road handling and traffic awareness skills.
These lists sure as hell won't stop people riding down my one-way residential street (Roncesvalles village) the wrong way ALL THE TIME, when there's a parallel street in the other direction 15 metres away, nor will it stop people riding on the sidewalks, or barreling along on the wrong side of the road expecting YOU to move into traffic to avoid them. Make a point to correct these people, I've been trying - as futile as it may seem, I always make a "wrong side" or "wrong way" comment where I can.
Nobody...Fri, 07/17/2009 - 11:52
has any right to fly off the handle and into a "rage", at least, minor cycling mistakes certainly do not constitute an acceptable provocation.
I believe in cycling as well as I can. That means following traffic laws, behaving with courtesy to other road users, and remaining within the bounds of prudence. It also means that I don't accept any unwarranted flak from drivers, which usually means I ignore insults and obscenities. But I don't do any of that to prevent the drivers (or the cyclists) around me from flying into a "road rage".
Claire (not verified)
Here's my contribution. Don'tFri, 07/17/2009 - 13:27
Here's my contribution. Don't proceed if you can't see any of the traffic lights.
This one caught me yesterday. I was behind a large cube van making a right on a green but waiting for the swarm of pedestrians. There was no way I was going to pass on the right as it wasn't safe (or apparently proper). The truck was already angled part way into the crosswalk. I checked over my left shoulder and waited for a gap to move left. At the time I turned my head and proceeded into the intersection, I realised I couldn't see any of the lights except the pedestrian signal and light off my left which was still red. I had to appologize to the pedestrian who needed to stop for me to get out of her way. Whoops.
Tanya Q (not verified)
Owning the laneFri, 07/17/2009 - 13:54
You have to balance off your own safety vs. road rage. Of course a driver is going to have more road rage towards a cyclist riding in the middle of a narrow lane than they are if the cyclist is cowering in the gutter where if they are lucky they can squeeze by their shoulder without crossing the white lane. Is this safe? No.
So I'll trade off a bit more comfort for a little more rage.
Some people will get upset at the stupidest things and there isn't much you can do about it. Some people are also inconsistent in what they expect. WHAAAA why are you taking up a lane instead of riding at the edge? WHAAAA why are you passing me on the right at a red light? (well what do you want? cyclists to ride in the gutter or ride like vehicles?)
Often time people will get upset at a cyclist taking a lane in traffic when its so congested that the cyclist is braking continually. ****
Random eCyclist (not verified)
Idaho stops - whats the point?Sat, 07/18/2009 - 18:33
What is the point of having a stop sign if people don't stop at it? Why not just replace most stop signs with Yield signs?
Why is it again that bicycles shouldn't stop at stop signs? I don't know what the arguments are for not stopping... is it just inconvenience? I can say it's dang inconvenient to stop the car, also.
I'm interested to know what the rationale is for Idahalting.
Random cyclist (not verified)
Dear random E-cyclist here'sSat, 07/18/2009 - 20:21
Dear random E-cyclist
here's a great video explaining the Idaho Stop Law http://www.vimeo.com/4140910
from a random pEdal-cyclist
Phil B (not verified)
Queen St. WMon, 07/20/2009 - 12:01
I should note that there's a city-wide bike path (some of which are actually bike lanes on streets) that you can use to circumvent Queen St W along the lake - the Martin Goodman Trail. If you don't want to ride on the roads between downtown and Roncesvalles, ride on the MGT - there's a bridge connecting the King/Queen/Queensway/Roncesvalles intersection with the path, and you can hop on it from anywhere - either on Queens Quay or further east when it becomes a sole path near HMCS York.
Another alternative could be College St, this has a bike lane from Bay St. right up until I think Euclid, and from there becomes a similar situation to Queen West.
It should be of no surprise there are massive disconnects in the bike path/bike lane network - and they're not going to put bike lanes everywhere to appease cyclists - riding on the road has to be done at some points, and we just have to live with that.
I personally prefer to take a more direct route, which the bike lanes/paths often don't provide (a bike lane on King or Queen is highly unrealistic and I doubt will ever happen) - so I ride on those roads, and regularly. There was a time I'd stay far far away, but over time I've become used to how to ride on those roads and how to effectively deal with crossing the tracks as needed - sometimes it's a hassle, but there's nothing preventing you from slowing down and stopping when faced with obstacles, instead of tackling the tracks/traffic. Motorists often have to do the same, there's nothing wrong with patiently (or not!) waiting until the way clears.
Ed (not verified)
Alternatives to Queen St. WMon, 07/20/2009 - 12:57
"I should note that there's a city-wide bike path (some of which are actually bike lanes on streets) that you can use to circumvent Queen St W along the lake - the Martin Goodman Trail. If you don't want to ride on the roads between downtown and Roncesvalles, ride on the MGT - there's a bridge connecting the King/Queen/Queensway/Roncesvalles intersection with the path, and you can hop on it from anywhere - either on Queens Quay or further east when it becomes a sole path near HMCS York."
Yes, the waterfront is an alternative. But it has limitations, so maybe I should have said "no really good alternative to Queen St."?
The major limitations are:
- getting from the waterfront trail to your downtown destinations and vice-versa: navigating the railway underpasses at Yonge, York, or Bay is not for the faint of heart, Spadina is an awful connection because of the Gardiner ramps, and the pavement on Bathurst is in terrible shape (I used Bathurst anyway)
- snow and ice: when I was riding downtown regularly, the trail wasn't cleared and was impassable from December to March
- plain bad weather is worse on by the lake: on a windy, rainy October night I'd rather be on Queen
- ya takes yer chances after dark: just because you have a light doesn't mean you'll see the unlit cyclist or jogger or bollard you crash into (riding westbound from Jameson is the worst, because the headlights of adjacent eastbound Lake Shore traffic are dazzlingly bright)
In fact, except when the path was impassable due to snow, I would use the waterfront trail west of Roncesvalles, out to Park Lawn, in any case. (The Queensway would be okay if the bicycle lanes were swept clear of glass and sand, but they're not.)
The real problem is that there are a lot of work, shop, and entertainment destinations in the Queen corridor, and a fair amount in the King corridor. Most of the destinations along MGT and Queens Quay are more weekend or recreational in nature. MGT is a great part of a ride on a nice day, but it isn't often the only part of a ride, therefore it's out of the way.
College can be useful for some people, although west of Euclid it's the same narrow street that Queen is. I've only ridden on Dundas a couple of times, but it seems like the narrowest and worst of all. (The rail corridor trail will be a great alternative)
Anyone riding from west of High Park has to go around it either to the south or north (or I suppose use some of the pedestrain accesses north of Grenadier Pond to cross to Howard Park or High Park Boulevard). Those who go around the south end are faced with MGT/connector, King, or Queen.
I've walked the length of Argyle St., and it's full of four-way stops and awkward intersections with N-S arteries. It'll be significantly slower riding, and cyclists will still have to connect with Queen to get to their destination as the Golden Turtle seems to be the only place on an Argyle route that I'd stop at. And anyway, an Argyle corridor does not extend the whole length of the Queen St. corridor, while obviously Queen St. does....