Friday, February 10, 2012
blog #100! paris bikers can treat red light as YIELD
Following a nationwide pro-cycling campaign, French lawmakers recently issued a decree allowing cyclists in some cities to disregard red lights at certain intersections, not merely because such regulations work against cycling physics, but because it actually makes roads safer for everyone.
The newly relaxed rules of the road for cyclists is now being tested across 15 intersections in Paris, though with it bike-commuters aren't given full liberty to blow through crossing points unreasonably. Law will continue to require that cyclists yield to pedestrians and opposing traffic, though that's quite likely consistant with the standards of etiquette and personal safety most cyclists abide to anyways.
D - most of us do that anyway. Cuz it IS safer, and we're lazy. Being lazy is much more tempting when it is YOUR muscle power and not gasoline that powers you.
A red-as-yield for cyclists lets them clear those killer intersections faster.
Besides, while most cars are moving at c. 60kph approaching intersections, cyclists are more like 15-30kph. By coasting to 15kph, assuming decent sight lines, that intersection is perfectly safe to coast through. Even more so on an incline.
There are times when the law should sensibly be ignored.
The other thing that renders a bike lane dangerous is straight lines of road followed by sudden angular changes. A car will 'round out' this angle - and cut off the cyclist in the bike lane at the pitch point.
There are also all manner of (particularly in Cambridge, and on Caroline in Waterloo) easy-to-miss painted guidelines in which the bike line is not flush right with the curb. This results in a cyclist apparently suddenly swerving to cut off the car behind them to the left. In other words, it is suicidal.