Re: Help with tricky traffic situation

Tim Wong <mistertimwong@...>

Hi Ted,

I agree, that's a tricky section of road and I always dread riding through that tunnel. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience there today.

My approach is to "take the lane," as they say. Before doing so, I double check that there is no traffic immediately behind me, signal my intentions, and then ride in the center of the right lane until the shoulder widens enough to safely return there. I generally turn this into a mini sprint as to minimize the time I'm mixed up with traffic, as well as to minimize the speed differential. Taking the lane in this area (as well as any other area where it is not possible/safe for both a bike and car to fit safely) is within our rights and is also the safer option in my opinion. The idea is that when it's not safe for a car to squeeze past, just remove the temptation for a driver to attempt to do so. The unfortunate practical side of this is that not all drivers are aware of this, and may be vocal about their objections. 

CVC 21202:
"ARTICLE 4. Operation of Bicycles [21200 - 21213]  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 479. )
(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable."

On Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 11:19 PM tburmas via <> wrote:
     I've had yet another dangerous encounter under the bridge on Mission Blvd between Stevenson traveling to Las Palmas.  The location is here:  For years I've dreaded this section as the bike lane narrows to inches.  Today a minivan honked me as I was entering then passed me (also inches away).  I was as far right as I could be with a flashing red LED during daylight - I wasn't doing anything odd.  The horn scared me and I got quite upset that the driver almost caused an accident.

    I'm looking for pointers on how to ride this section.  Going the opposite direction I momentarily hop onto the sidewalk as I feel safer (it also has a bike lane that narrows to inches).  I might have to do the same for the direction I had an issue with today and go into the mini tunnel. I generally don't do this as I never see an easy/safe entrance as most cars are trying to make a right on Mission from Stevenson and block the sidewalk ramp at the intersection.

Any suggestions are welcome,

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