23 Comments

  1. gabrielle

    Oh dear god, YES. The “courtesy stop” must dies.

    I’ve also had someone stop, wave me through the intersection, then gun it & try to hit me. WTF.

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  2. When drivers try and yield right of way, I’ve been known to say “I’m a big boy. I can wait my turn” while I stay in a track stand waiting for them to continue on their path.

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  3. Simon

    I’ve been thinking about your post about overly nice motorists who endanger cyclists with their courtesy. I was thinking about writing a comment but this seems overly long for that and I think that post’s comment thread is effectively dead anyway. So for what it’s worth here are a few thoughts on cycling safety from Madison.

    I’ve been thinking about this one since reading your post, and I think I have a somewhat different view. On the one hand there’s no doubt that you’re right about the safety hazards presented by the overly courteous motorist. Just yesterday I was standing on the median while crossing a four lane road. As I checked oncoming traffic a driver in the near lane, we’ll call him Car A, decided to respect the crosswalk and pedestrian right of way. And the driver in the car behind decided that this was a good chance to pass Car A. So there was suddenly the previously empty last lane to cross had a car bearing down on it. Yikes!

    But on the other hand I appreciate that overly courteous drivers at least see cyclists, and value our lives. I don’t think I’m overreaching to say all regular cyclists have experienced plenty of motorists making dangerous passes, unsignaled turns, and recklessly crowding us. Given the amount of times that motorists either don’t see me, or don’t seem to recognize that I am balanced on two inch wide pieces of rubber, with a pound of plastic and foam as my only protection, I appreciate that overly courteous motorists see that I’m there.

    I tend to think there’s a middle ground where motorists can modify behavior and increase rather than decrease cycling safety. There’s a spot here in Madison much like the road situation you describe in your post, though the speed limit it 35, not 45, but you’ve still got to cross an on ramp from the bike lane tom continue straigyht. I really appreciate it when motorists slow perceptibly which preserves a hole in traffic that I can easily ride through to continue on my way. It’s not the dangerous full stop you describe, but it is a way that a driver can modify their ordinary traffic behavior.

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