Today’s Violation

I’ve said it before – strict compliance with traffic rules is not my #1 priority when riding in the city. And while I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my transgressions are driven by efficiency (sorry pedestrians; I’m not going to sacrifice my uphill momentum so you can lazily saunter across Pine), more often than not it’s because a driver is doing something stupid.

I’ve developed a radar for incipient driver stupidity. Catch even a whiff of it and I’m out of there, red light be damned.

Like this morning. Lady pulls up next to me in the curb (right turn only) lane on SB 15th at John. I’ve taken the center lane and am waiting for the light and she’s inching forward. I just know she’s going to cut me off so she can go straight.

So rather than let her try to gun it, cut me off and dodge pedestrians, I just pedal through the red light. And while I don’t go looking for rules to break, I probably end up doing something similar at least once every day.

So no, I’m no model of cycling rule obedience – but I’d rather be safe than right.

What rules do you break to stay safe when riding?

4 thoughts on “Today’s Violation”

  1. I don’t know if it’s technically a violation, but my most common “deviation” is hopping up onto the sidewalk when faced with waiting in traffic for a right turn at a red light. Often I’m behind a lineup of 10 or more cars doing a stop and go to turn right and that’s a real hassle and not real safe. So I’ll take to the sidewalk to get around the corner and then jump back down onto the road once I get around the corner.

  2. Ever since I had a close call with a tailgating suv, I’ve been pretty judicious with turn signals. The driver must have mistaken my left turn hand signal as a “come on around.” My experience is that oncoming traffic can judge your intentions better with eye contact/ signals, but for trailing motorists, avoiding sudden stops and making fluid directional changes seems to keep confusion minimal.

  3. I cross the U bridge every day and take the left onto Harvard up to Capitol Hill every day. The left is only a few dozen yards from the stop sign at the end of the bridge, which can collect quite a few cars waiting for the green.

    Rather than wait at the red and try to fight through the traffic, or stop and wait for it to clear, I run the red and cross the lanes to the left turn lane onto Harvard without issue.

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