Monday, July 8, 2013

the Right Hook to Java

Some intersections get their own name, and this one at Ash & Boone is called the Right Hook to Java.

There's a busy coffee stand on the right just after the intersection.  I know a biking guy who a few years ago was bumped by a blue mini-van heading into the driveway to the stand.  The van suddenly slowed down in front of him and turned, knocking him off his bike.  Shook him up a bit, but no injuries.

So I'm usually careful here and try not to pass cars on the right while they're stopped at the light.  Instead I stop behind them, over to the right.  If traffic is moving slowly through the intersection, I don't pass them.  There's plenty of room on the right, but there's always that last second right turner to watch out for.  I've learned to time the light now so I usually don't hit the red.  (Another tactic is to get to the front and be ready to hit the gas when the light turns green.)

Because of this incident, at busy intersections I stop behind the car in front of me instead of snaking up to the right of a line of cars stopped at a light.  I'm not totally against filtering, but I don't do it much anymore.

I was reminded why last week at Broadway and Monroe.  I was stopped behind a couple cars when a cyclist passed me on the right.  Neither of the cars had their turn signals on and the biker was about to pass them also.  Suddenly, he slammed on his brakes, flipping his rear wheel out.  Yep, one of the drivers turned unexpectedly and cut in front of him.

So I'm especially wary of the last second right turners. And blue mini-vans.

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