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Who Gives Way on Sandford St?

By wildturkeycanoe - 28 May 2013 54

sandford street

I stopped at the left turn on Sandford St. turning into Flemington Road to go toward Franklin this afernoon. The sign said “left lane must turn left” so when the lights went green I proceeded to turn left. Unfortunately there was a poor guy on a bike in the bicycle lane to my left who started pedaling until I cut him off. I think he was going straight or turning right, but in either circumstance he was in dire straights when people like me do not know what to do in this situation. Does a car have to give way to a cyclist on his left that wants to turn across in front of the path of the car? This doesn’t make sense to me at all. The road rules on the web/TAMS do not shed any light on this.

If we are to assume cyclists turning right should use the right hand lane with vehicles turning right – imagine the chaos!!! Especially when they want to go left to rejoin the cycle lane. Putting bikes on the road with cars is the worst ever conceived idea anybody ever had and this intersection is the culmination of that craziness.

Could someone please tell me and cyclists out there what to do at this intersection before there is a serious accident?

P.S. – Sorry to raise another car vs bike argument – I just want to find out the rules for this one.

P.P.S – The guy wasn’t wearing a helmet either….


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54 Responses to
Who Gives Way on Sandford St?
Leon 12:00 pm 28 May 13

BicycleCanberra said :

You must give way to the cyclist in the cycle lane if the cyclist is going straight ahead along Sanford St. And also to pedestrians and cyclists on the Shared path crossing the intersection on a green walk signal.

If the cyclist is travelling straight ahead on the road, turning motorists must give way for the same reasons that they may not turn across the path of any other vehicle that is travelling straight ahead on the road.

Rule 62 requires a turning driver to give way to “any pedestrian at or near the intersection who is on the road the driver is entering.” It does NOT require a driver to give way to a cyclist who is crossing between footpaths or shared paths.

I have been trying for years to interest the bicycle lobby in addressing this anomaly, which particularly affects the one in four Canberra cyclists who is too young to ride on the road.

BicycleCanberra 11:44 am 28 May 13

Lederhosen said :

This is not great design and is typical of the type of environment which confronts people choosing to ride in Canberra (and the confusion for drivers which can lead to conflict). As you can see in the Flemington road approach the cyclist has a green lane to the right of the left turning traffic, this is a better alternative.

This best design is to keep cyclists on the left but advanced and protected with a small island not between two lanes of motor vehicles. We are so far behind in intersection design . In Copenhagen you would see painted lines through the intersection, which are blue. Also you would have bicycle lights that give the cyclists an advance go green light before other traffic lights.
The Dutch design is more advanced keeping all modes seperate and safer http://youtu.be/FlApbxLz6pA

simplechick 11:22 am 28 May 13

I think the cyclist should definetly be using the turning lane. If they are turning right they are not only at risk of being hit by a driver turning left but also drivers continuing straight through onto old wells station road. Is the cyclist then at fault for crossing the path of a driver going straight?

Lederhosen 11:05 am 28 May 13

This is not great design and is typical of the type of environment which confronts people choosing to ride in Canberra (and the confusion for drivers which can lead to conflict). As you can see in the Flemington road approach the cyclist has a green lane to the right of the left turning traffic, this is a better alternative.
The painted lines on Sandford Street indicate a moderately advanced stop line for cyclists, this is designed to improve the visibility of the cyclist and give them a change to get moving ahead of left turning traffic.
If I was going straight ahead I would probably take the centre lane, but that also aggravates motorists and certainly feels vulnerable.
If I was turning right then you could either execute a ‘hook’ turn or just take the lane. I’m not sure how allowing a bike to go through the intersection before re-joining the bike lane would lead to chaos though.

p1 10:15 am 28 May 13

So the sign “left lane must turn left”, does it apply to all lanes or just car specific lanes? Cause in this case, the bike lane is the left most lane, and presumably the lane which the sign refers to?

Holden Caulfield 10:12 am 28 May 13

If a car is going to turn left and hit a cyclist, then by definition, the car has to be in front of the cyclist (or as good as), otherwise it couldn’t “cut off” the bike.

I understand that is not the road rule, but to me common sense, in this context, says it would equally make sense for the cyclist to give way to the car, even if just for self preservation reasons.

m@ 10:09 am 28 May 13

A bit unusual that the bike lane is positioned to the left of the left-turn-only lane rather than between it and the first straight-ahead lane, as at Northbourne/Mouat for example…

Anyhow; yes, you must give way to cyclists when crossing the bike lane.

If not confident to move into the right-hand lane before the intersection, right-turning cyclists can perform a hook turn from the bike lane.

chewy14 10:00 am 28 May 13

On second look, the bike lane doesn’t end so it is a strange one, although I do still think it would be smarter for the bikes to move into the middle lane.

chewy14 9:56 am 28 May 13

TheBusDriver said :

Oh ffs. The OP should know this one. Yes, you give way to the cyclist. For two common sense reasons. First, if you don’t you will cut them off and run them over. Second, if you are in multiple lanes of traffic, and have to turn to cross over one lane, then yes you always give way to whatever is in the lane of traffic you need to cross. In this case, the bycical lane is a lane of traffic.
Honestly, if you don’t know that, you should not be driving.

The bike lane clearly ends at the intersection so he is not turning across the lane.

The signs say left lane must turn left.

If the cyclist is going straight or right then surely he should be in the middle lane?

Felix the Cat 9:45 am 28 May 13

Generally at a normal intersection say controlled by Give Way signs the vehicle (which includes bicycles) going straight ahead has the right of way and the turning vehicle has to give way so I imagine the same rule would apply in the situation you’ve just described.

BicycleCanberra 9:44 am 28 May 13

You must give way to the cyclist in the cycle lane if the cyclist is going straight ahead along Sanford St. And also to pedestrians and cyclists on the Shared path crossing the intersection on a green walk signal.
If as you say he way planning to do a right turn from the cycle lane in front of you, that wouldn’t be a smart move. The cyclist needs to do a hook turn in this situation which means that the cyclist stays left and waits in front of the opposite traffic stopped at the intersection on Flemington road. Then can proceed once there is a green light. You still need to give way to the cyclist that is proceeding forward from the cycle lane.
Always look in your side/rear mirror for cyclists and give way. They are more vulnerable that someone in a car.
If the cyclist was riding ‘vehicular style’ then the cyclist would already be in the right lane turning right and not from the cycle lane. This is known as ‘taking the lane’ which is legal to do.

Felix the Cat 9:42 am 28 May 13

If the bike lane is painted green then the motorist is supposed to give way, not sure if different rule applies when the bike lane isn’t painted green.

bundah 9:41 am 28 May 13

If one is riding a bike along sandford and wants to turn right into flemington they’ve got two options.

Option 1 would be to assertively manoeuvre themselves into the right turning lane which in heavy traffic is not going to be easy or;

Option 2 would be to get off their bike and use the pedestrian crossing.

Personally if I was a bike rider I would favour the first option coz the second would be a pain in the arse.

TheBusDriver 9:37 am 28 May 13

Oh ffs. The OP should know this one. Yes, you give way to the cyclist. For two common sense reasons. First, if you don’t you will cut them off and run them over. Second, if you are in multiple lanes of traffic, and have to turn to cross over one lane, then yes you always give way to whatever is in the lane of traffic you need to cross. In this case, the bycical lane is a lane of traffic.
Honestly, if you don’t know that, you should not be driving.

Jardeath 9:06 am 28 May 13

“Who Gives Way on Sandford St?”

Nobody.

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