Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota
i haven't ever ridden or driven in cali to know.
but, others have described to me that when filtering in cali, you stay between the cars on multi lane roads and, so, you and the cars still pull away at the same time...so, you aren't holding the cars up at all. you aren't skipping line, you are creating another line. is that correct?
if so, that is different from what the OP asked. (he asked about the kind of "filtering" i see from time to time around here...where you go around cars and then cut back in front of them.)
if not, and you are actually pulling in front of the lead car so that the car that was 1st in line is now 2nd in line, the 2nd in line is now 3rd in line, etc. how do you surmise you are not having an effect? how did you measure how many cars would have made it through the light had you and several other bikes not skipped to the front of the line? have you timed how long it is between when the light turns green and when the first car starts accelerating (in cases where no line skipping has happened vs. in cases where line skipping has happened)?
obviously, the 2nd person in a line cannot begin to accelerate until the 1st person has pulled away. the 3rd cannot begin to accelerate until the 2nd has pulled away, etc. so, obviously, moving someone from 1st in line to 2nd in line (or 2nd in line to 3rd in line, etc.) is going to delay them to some extent.
I don't want to say never, but I've never seen a rider filter to the front, only to move back over and wait in front of the first car, in the crosswalk or the intersection, for the light to turn green.
Occasionally, two people will filter to the front and one rider is somewhat at the mercy of the first rider to clear out. But typically when the light changes, the gap between the cars are excruciatingly massive and tend to shrink as the time to yellow winds down, another reason why it's safer to be at the front of the light as opposed to far in the back.