Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cyclist Pedestrian interaction

This morning, riding to Caltrain. Turning right off of Bryant onto Division. There was a red light, which turns green. As I approach the intersection I see that several pedestrians are crossing Division. Division in this spot has 2 Eastbound lanes. The pedestrians are still in the first lane, so I whip by them and turn right into the farther lane, probably going 15 MPH or so.

Pedestrian shouts "Whoa!"

I motored on but this got me to thinking. I probably gave them 2 yards or so of space. That's 6 feet, "not even close" in my parlance - I mean, it's hard to get various states to institutionalize THREE feet be given to cyclists being passed by multiple ton vehicles going 65 MPH. Of course, a pedestrian in that spot is not expecting *anything* to be whipping into the further travel lane and is sure to be startled. Nobody wants their stroll to be interrupted with a heart attack.

Karmically speaking, should I have slowed, let them get across, and turned right into the rightmost lane behind the pedestrians? Or was there plenty of room and they should grow a pair?

I don't want to get into the whole "engendering relationships with pedestrians" thing - they entered the crosswalk at the exit of a parking lot, and it's doubtful they were spotting me 3 feet when they were behind the wheel of their car 2 minutes earlier...


trevorspoke said...

"so I whip by them"
check CA vehicle code 21950(c) and 21951. your wording doesn't sound like due caution. when passing someone you should slow down, not speed up.

murphstahoe said...

I guess technically I was "passing" them and then turning right. But as to whether I was speeding up or slowing down, since I was preparing a turn, I was slowing down, not speeding up.

Yokota Fritz said...

If you slowed to let them cross without you startling them, they would have noticed you, freaked out a little, stopped, and then you would have done the "you go first" dance.

Whipping by them is the correct action.