Uptown, Oakland–5th Ave. Forbes Ave.–Passing Buses

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zzwergel
Member
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Hi,

@mikhail, This is the new thread.

What was it you were trying to say about using traffic lights to pass a bus?


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Reiterating what others said (see http://www.bikepgh.org/message-board/topic/pg-plan-for-bus-rapid-transit-system-takes-next-step-forward/page/2/#post-340422), the bus’ average speed is higher than your average speed, so don’t bother to pass the bus at a traffic light, it will just pass you back. Since the moment of passing is the most dangerous moment, the fewer times you have buses or cars passing you, the more likely you are to survive.

Another thought: it would be safer to bike on Ellsworth Ave instead of Fifth Ave.

Besides your own safety, a secondary reason to not pass cars and buses on the left (lane splitting) as you did in the video is that drivers find it annoying, and may think ill of all cyclists if they see a few cyclists doing it, and a tertiary reason is that it’s illegal.


zzwergel
Member
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I did not want to have to wait for the traffic light to cycle as well. I want to get as many green lights as possible since the traffic lights on 5th Ave. are sequenced in progression from Tennyson Ave. to Halket St. That would not have applied on the two-way section. Yes, I should have taken Ellsworth or Centre Ave. as far as possible. Ellsworth Ave. is infested with stop signs as well.


Gordon
Participant
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I usually take Ellsworth, Amberson, Bayard, Craig, and then hop on Forbes’ sidewalk (this part of Forbes becomes one-way) to get to Pitt campus. It might be a lot of detour, but I’d rather take quieter routes than vie for space with high-speed motor traffic.


jonawebb
Participant
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Btw a friend of mine had some interaction with a group of bus drivers (some sort of transit advocacy) and their #1 issue with cyclists is when we pass them on the right while they’re stopped to pick up and drop off passengers. I can understand their concern. Not only does it put us in the position of slowing down the bus afterwards, it’s possible we might hit somebody who gets off unexpectedly.


Mikhail
Member
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What was it you were trying to say about using traffic lights to pass a bus?

I did not want to have to wait for the traffic light to cycle as well. I want to get as many green lights as possible since the traffic lights on 5th Ave. are sequenced in progression from Tennyson Ave. to Halket St.

Wait for the light to cycle. “Green wave” (as it called in Russia) on the 5th is timed for 27 mph speed. If you can maintain it — go ahead. It’s a good workout. But you used to pass bus way before the section where traffic lights are timed for a “green wave”. And speed limit is 35 mph before the section. It gets to 25 past Craig.

 

 


zzwergel
Member
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Does Grant St. have a northbound Green wave? If not, How are the traffic lights sequenced?

Does Fifth and Forbes Ave. through Uptown have a Green wave?

Watch this on Smithfield St. (Southbound Green wave?)

Are the traffic lights on Penn Ave. timed to facilitate eastbound bike traffic? I’ve noticed that the traffic light on 5th Ave turns red shortly after the light on 6th St. turns green.

I’ve also noticed that the traffic light on Penn Ave and 21st St. turns red a few seconds after the light on 22nd St.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  zzwergel. Reason: Add another video link

Benzo
Participant
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I’m just going to throw it out there. There are way better routes that don’t involve 5th ave. If your ultimate destination is downtown, ellsworth (also howe and kentucky to walnut to ellsworth if comin from further east) to neville to jail trail / eliza furnace trail is one. If oakland, ellsworth to neville to bayard to Bigelow (to ohare to bouquet to sennot if central oakland)

Bike-pgh map is a good resource for identifying these routes.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I haven’t said it in this thread yet but it bears repeating. My form of “best practices” is to look at the width of the straight-ahead driving lane as a number line, from zero to 100, and plant myself at 40. A shade left of center, a couple inches right of the left tire track. This places my from-the-rear profile directly in front of the eyes of a driver. Since I also spend a great deal of time on a motorcycle, this becomes automatic. It’s where you should be, without explanation or apology.

I do vary from that position, dependent on many conditions too numerous and subjective to explain here. But based on this, I can go anywhere, even very fast traffic such as McKnight Road. I do get the occasional horn, but that at least means they see me. It also means they’re ignorant assholes, but that’s a reflection on them, not me. As to allegations that I act like I own the road, again without apology I do indeed own the goddamned road, and they had better respect that. The rules are there for our mutual safety, not their perceived domination via horsepower.

In short, follow the rules, but demand respect.


jonawebb
Participant
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“I do get the occasional horn” = “I get the occasional take-the-lane signal.” Thanks! I’m already doing it!


zzwergel
Member
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Is this any better? One thing I noticed when I played back the footage was that I stayed straight while in the right turning lane on Centre Ave. crossing Penn Ave. toward Target.

My camera is a Sony mounted via its tripod mount to a handlebar clamp. Cars and other objects may seem closer then they appear. Tomorrow, I may try to ride from Lawrenceville to McKeesport via Squirrel Hill and Homestead.


zzwergel
Member
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P.S The camera is on the Right handlebar.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yes, much better. It helps to know the camera is positioned a bit right of center. I know from watching my own videos that my camera has been in various places, with very different effects. The last year or so, it’s been on a chest mount, so shows clearly my lane positioning.

Another thing you do well is the play-by-play. It helps in understanding what you’re going to do next, as well as knowing where you are. I should be doing more of that myself.

Sometime, you may want to consider getting a rear camera, too. What Colleen and I use is a Fly6, which doubles as an excellent taillight.

For a selection of my biking videos, a good starting point is my “Motorists behaving badly” playlist. When I have bad interactions with cars, they go here.


zzwergel
Member
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@stuinmccandless, I got that wrong, The camera is just left of center; about two inches from the center of the handlebars to the tripod screw. My bell, reflector, and light are on the right hand side.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  zzwergel. Reason: Add measurements

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