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I thought we already could proceed when the pedestrian light was on.

Oops.

Can you clarify - is it points for failure to yield AND colliding, or failure to yield OR colliding? The WAMU article uses "or", but you clearly have more detail than they're providing.

I ask mostly because the law now as I understand it is that if there's no contact, the police have to see it or they can't take any action. I'm hopeful that this fixes that problem (I can't imagine a police officer witnesses even 1% of all failure to yield instances).

"And". That's right out of the bill.

That sucks.

Thanks for the clarification.

That pedestrian signal measure is interesting. It shows a willingness for the council to allow cyclists to act differently than motor vehicles by default. Typically we're only able to treat signs and signals differently when it's been noted such. A bit shocked that this passed.

I'm with Crickey7; it perplexes me that cyclists would not be allowed to go with a pedestrian signal if they're using the crosswalk. 18-1201.11 reads:

"A person propelling a bicycle or operating a personal mobility device upon and along a sidewalk or while crossing a roadway in a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except that the bicyclist or personal mobility device operator must yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk or crosswalk."

I think the crosswalk signal thing has to do with a cyclist who's in the road,not one crossing from the sidewalk. If you're in the street,you're traffic,and under the current law should only go when the traffic signal,not the ped signal changes.

Actually don't agree with removing the legal requirement for a bell. I'm not going to sign on with that previously posted lady's bikes-off-the-sidewalk-rant blog,but I do agree that cyclists need to do a better job of communicating with peds on the sidewalks,and bells seem to be understood more clearly than "on your left".

dynaryder, you're correct about the crosswalk signal thing. It applies to cyclists in the road.

I disagree with the bell. We don't make anyone else buy after market equipment. The bell as you've described it is at best a courtesy, and since there is no requirement to USE a bell, it seems odd to require having one. I doubt most people know it's required, I doubt it's ever enforced, I doubt it does any good and I doubt it would do any good if better enforced.

If I ride a CaBi bike and find that the bell is broken (which has happened), am I breaking the law?

Here is the text of the bill: http://dcclims1.dccouncil.us/images/00001/20130220111138.pdf

There are two new separate infractions:

1) Failure to yield the right of way to a bicyclist - 3 points (and $250 fine)

2) Colliding with a bicyclists while failing to yield the right of way - 6 points (and $500 fine)

These are based in the same infractions for drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians.

I find bells to be largely useless. At least on the trails I use, peds (without earphones) don't seems to realize what the sound means. Often they don't even look around then are surprised when I call out "passing on your left". Maybe I need a horn so I sound more like a motor vehicle and sound more dangerous.

re: bell.
when a bell is required, a cyclist w/o a bell might be found to be >0% negligent once trying to claim damages against a driver after an accident.

Was the bill amended during consideration by the COW? Any interesting discussion during the Council consideration of the bill?

Note - As introduced, it assessed 3 points for failure to yield and separately assessed 6 points for "Colliding with a person operating a bicycle in the process of failing to yield right
of-way" (not the greatest legislative language).

http://dcclims1.dccouncil.us/lims/legislation.aspx?LegNo=B20-0140&Description=%22BICYCLE+SAFETY+AMENDMENT+ACT+OF+2013%22.&ID=44377

atlas, i find bells highly useful. Maybe you just have a lousy bell.

So with respect to the pedestrian signal, i'm still a bit perplexed. Without the new law, a cyclist waiting on the right edge of the roadway could just drift right a bit and be in the crosswalk for the purpose of crossing with the pedestrian signal actually in the crosswalk. Now, presumably, he or she can cross with the signal in other positions in the intersection, such as in a parallel bike lane.

But just having a pedestrian signal doesn't mean one is not in conflict with cars. If i'm in a bike lane and a car to my left also wants to make a right turn on red, and the pedestrian signal changes so i can go, do i have the right of way over the right-turning car? And, if so, can we expect the car to know that?

Another marginal case: say i'm positioned to make a left turn at the next intersection so i'm in the left lane. Can i go with the pedestrian signal? If oncoming traffic has a green signal and an oncoming car wants to turn left, does the pedestrian signal give me right of way over the oncoming left-turner?

What about crossing at intersections with double pedestrian signals—one to cross to the median and another to cross from the median to the far side? Can i progress to the position of the median in a bike lane?

One way to partially clarify things for drivers might to add crosswalk markings to bike lanes where they cross intersections. But there will still be problem cases. And witnesses to an accident might only report the red traffic signal, not having noticed the pedestrian walk signal.

I'm not saying it isn't an improvement in some ways—it takes us a little further toward having an Idaho stop. But i think it's also potentially confusing.

If i'm in a bike lane and a car to my left also wants to make a right turn on red, and the pedestrian signal changes so i can go, do i have the right of way over the right-turning car?

Yes

And, if so, can we expect the car to know that?

Cars don't know anything. As for drivers, I think you know what you can expect from them. I'd make eye contact.

say i'm positioned to make a left turn...Can i go with the pedestrian signal?

Yes

If oncoming traffic has a green signal and an oncoming car wants to turn left, does the pedestrian signal give me right of way over the oncoming left-turner?

I don't understand. Oncoming traffic has a green, but you don't, but peds on your side of the street do? I think that's impossible but nonetheless, you have the ROW. You are just like a ped.

washcycle> As for drivers, I think you know what you can expect from them. I'd make eye contact.

That just makes them angry. ;^)

washcycle> I don't understand. Oncoming traffic has a green, but you don't, but peds on your side of the street do? I think that's impossible but nonetheless, you have the ROW. You are just like a ped.

I'm just talking about a regular green, not a green left turn arrow. It's certainly possible, tho i'm sure it's uncommon; traffic in my direction might not get a green because of light timing in a short block ahead of me, for example.

Wash,I would guess that CaBi would be breaking the law since they own the bikes and they must be in compliance with DC law in order to rent them. Also note;DC and many other jurisdictions require the use of lights at night,and most bikes do not come stock with them.

Bicycles do not have to be used on the street(plenty of MTB's never see asphalt),so I'm guessing that's why there's never been a challenge to the laws. Also look at it this way,motorcycles don't come with helmets,but in most places you need one to ride.

Here's another corner case (ha ha) for the ped light thing:

Say i'm traveling northbound, stopped at a light. The street entering from the east side, my right, is one way westbound, coming into the intersection. The same street on the west side, however, entering from my left, is two-way. Traffic approaching from the west has to turn either left (north) or right (south). The ped signal for crossing the one-way street entering from the east, in this case will be WALK at all times except when the westbound traffic on that street has a green. But when the eastbound traffic has a green, there's a clear conflict between my progressing straight north through the intersection and the left-turning traffic entering from that street, which has a left green arrow, and will not recognize that i have the right of way.

What i'm saying in this case is that pedestrian signals are not generally timed to indicate that it is safe to progress through an intersection. They're timed for the corresponding crosswalk. I think that either the law should require cyclists to progress along the edge of the roadway that is adjacent to the signalized crosswalk, or pedestrian signal timing will need to be revised in a lot of places, unless other signage is placed to prohibit cyclists from using the pedestrian signal, in accordance with the law.

antibozo, are there any such intersections in DC?

I think the law, if properly written, shouldn't depend on whether any such intersections exist, but 10th and K NW has a similar configuration. I'm sure there are others.

First and M NE as well, and connects to the MBT.

(I'm not sure of the light timing on those intersections, but they should be close enough in configuration to warrant some concern.)

I don't think the light timing at either of those intersections works that way. Nor do they match your initial scenario. I don't see how we could end up with the situation that traffic coming from two directions can both have the ROW, but where it could happen, it can be fixed with signage.

I think i pretty clearly explained the scenario. And i'm pretty sure there is such an intersection in D.C. but i can't come up with it at the moment. It doesn't actually matter whether the light timing does work that way in those specific intersecions; what matters is whether such an intersection is possible under D.C. law, and i'm sure that it is.

It can be fixed with signage, sure, but what will the signs say, exactly? I'm having a hard time coming up with wording that is clear and concise.

I don't think this change was very well thought out. It's a slightly useful change in some situations but the circumstances should be more specific, and the advantage isn't that great if it just gives cyclists an occasional 5-second lead because of advance ped timing.

I understand the scenario. I just don't think there is any intersection where that's an issue, and if there is, a sign that tells cyclists that they can't go on the ped light fixes it. So, Without a real world example of where this law fails, I don't share your concern that it isn't well thought out. But, it's not law yet. It's not too late to submit your comments to the council.

Whether I'm using my bell or calling out or both, I can understand the earphone brigades failing to notice. I can even understand the solipsists failing to notice. What amazes me is how many of the people who hear me and turn around and see me then proceed to take no further action. Man, woman and dog are occupying 60 to 75 percent of the path -- and they don't see the need to alter that at all.

I guess I just look like someone who can be trusted not to run into them.

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