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Old 02-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #16
bensgone
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Both Oregon and Washington would have to make a real effort at getting the word out that this is now legal if it did pass or Mort's video will be all too common. I just can't see this going well in the NW and anyone who plans to do this should invest in a gopro to help prosecute cagers with the intent to kill riders.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #17
SF_Hooligan
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Originally Posted by bensgone View Post
Both Oregon and Washington would have to make a real effort at getting the word out that this is now legal if it did pass or Mort's video will be all too common. I just can't see this going well in the NW and anyone who plans to do this should invest in a gopro to help prosecute cagers with the intent to kill riders.
I'm an outsider (from California) but have been in contact with Rob G - I run a li'l site about lane splitting as well, sort of a PSA for motorists that it's legal since lots of folks don't know that - just 52% of CA drivers know splitting is legal according to a recent study (PDF).

I've been splitting lanes in CA for over 25 years. Like many folks in California, it's a pretty big part of the reason I ride. I wanted to weigh in on the whole "intent to kill riders" thing. I often hear folks saying this and the reality (from years of experience in super gnarly SF bay area rush hour traffic) is just like all the other stupid shit that motorists do - they're just not paying attention. I know you get the occasional idiot running his mouth on some forum about his standard response is to open his door, but most folks don't think that way and even fewer will actually do it. I can count on my ten fingers the number of times I've thought someone intentionally blocked or otherwise impeded me while splitting over the years. The rest of the time - just not paying attention.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #18
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Interesting Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF_Hooligan View Post
I'm an outsider (from California) but have been in contact with Rob G - I run a li'l site about lane splitting as well, sort of a PSA for motorists that it's legal since lots of folks don't know that - just 52% of CA drivers know splitting is legal according to a recent study (PDF).

I've been splitting lanes in CA for over 25 years. Like many folks in California, it's a pretty big part of the reason I ride. I wanted to weigh in on the whole "intent to kill riders" thing. I often hear folks saying this and the reality (from years of experience in super gnarly SF bay area rush hour traffic) is just like all the other stupid shit that motorists do - they're just not paying attention. I know you get the occasional idiot running his mouth on some forum about his standard response is to open his door, but most folks don't think that way and even fewer will actually do it. I can count on my ten fingers the number of times I've thought someone intentionally blocked or otherwise impeded me while splitting over the years. The rest of the time - just not paying attention.
Yup inattention and letting their cars drift around within lane or darting into a small space between cars to advance a few feet is the real hazard to those riding in the space between the cars. No matter the reason, get clipped and it could ruin your day.

What I found interesting was the statement that "many folks in CA" ride motorcycles because they can split traffic [if I read that correctly]? Really? Man, if they buy bikes to run between lanes of slow or stopped cars to save on commute time, well that just doesn't seem too bright, but I could be wrong.

Must admit I split lanes just North of Golden Gate Bridge many decades ago in stopped traffic on a very hot day riding my FJ1200 in a Dakar 3/4 length leather sauna and it felt like I was playing Russian Roulette...even at a much younger age, a wink of wisdom shined through and that was the last time I did it. I got off and headed to the coast for a fun ride North.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #19
SF_Hooligan
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Yup inattention and letting their cars drift around within lane or darting into a small space between cars to advance a few feet is the real hazard to those riding in the space between the cars. No matter the reason, get clipped and it could ruin your day.

What I found interesting was the statement that "many folks in CA" ride motorcycles because they can split traffic [if I read that correctly]? Really? Man, if they buy bikes to run between lanes of slow or stopped cars to save on commute time, well that just doesn't seem too bright, but I could be wrong.

Must admit I split lanes just North of Golden Gate Bridge many decades ago in stopped traffic on a very hot day riding my FJ1200 in a Dakar 3/4 length leather sauna and it felt like I was playing Russian Roulette...even at a much younger age, a wink of wisdom shined through and that was the last time I did it. I got off and headed to the coast for a fun ride North.
Let me clarify the "ride because I can split lanes" thing. I don't really have any data on this, but many people I talk to, especially here in the bay area where there's a pretty significant year-round, moto commuter population, cite lane splitting as one of the big reasons they ride so much. For example, my commute from Oakland into SF is about 15 miles each way across the Bay Bridge and takes about 25 minutes when I'm splitting swiftly but sanely (roughly in accordance with the CHP guidelines). I've done this commute exactly three times in a car (I ride every day, rain or shine unless I specifically need the car) and it was at least 60 minutes each way in call cases. Once, it took 90 minutes.

So while I don't know too many folks who got a bike specifically to lane split, I do know lots of folks who cite lane splitting as one of the top reasons they ride every day. I love riding, and even though it's sketchy as hell, rainy days on the Bay Bridge are a real blast.

For reference, over the years I've done various commutes ranging from 25 miles through urban environments to Sacramento to the Bay Area - 110+ miles each way, every day.

But if I couldn't split - and my commute would take as long as it does in a car - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't gear up every day. I'd still do it a lot, but probably not all the time. For me, commuting by bike is worth it because of a combination of speed, ease of parking, better MPG (of course outweighed by increased tire costs, etc but never mind that ) and just plain fun, balanced against increased risk. If the increased speed component (very significant advantage here in the bay area) were removed, I might be tempted to stick to riding on sunny days and saving my tires for weekends and longer trips.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:27 AM   #20
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The lanes in the bay area are also a minimum of 2 wider than pdx. We also have the corner on regulators. You know, the asshat doing 53mph in the left lane and throwing hard looks and brake checks in a prius.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:04 AM   #21
SF_Hooligan
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The lanes in the bay area are also a minimum of 2 wider than pdx. We also have the corner on regulators. You know, the asshat doing 53mph in the left lane and throwing hard looks and brake checks in a prius.
Maybe - the lanes on the major freeways are pretty wide in some areas. On the other hand, surface streets in the city and other more "urban" areas in the bay area are often extremely tight.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #22
Rob.G
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Lane widths vary wildly, even in California. In SoCal, the lanes are hugely wide, much wider even than in the Bay Area. BUT, then in some places, those super wide lanes don't exist, so splitting has to be done very carefully, if at all. As for the idiot in the left lane, that's where I just go past them.

Wallowa, I appreciate your opinion, but please don't hamper our attempts to legalize it. Just because you don't think it's safe doesn't mean it isn't. I started riding BECAUSE of lane splitting. And from there it turned into a passion, and now I commute daily by motorcycle, even up here in cold, wet, rainy Oregon. I do occasionally split up here, and most of the time, people don't even notice.

Something you learn as a splitter is to watch for cars that may make sudden moves. It becomes a sixth sense. I have never been surprised by a car doing something stupid, whether splitting or not... why? Because I've anticipated it. Even the few times cars have tried to squeeze me (whether intentional or not), it's not been a big deal, because I always have an out. Any good rider will always have an out.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #23
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No Intent To Try And Stop It..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
Lane widths vary wildly, even in California. In SoCal, the lanes are hugely wide, much wider even than in the Bay Area. BUT, then in some places, those super wide lanes don't exist, so splitting has to be done very carefully, if at all. As for the idiot in the left lane, that's where I just go past them.

Wallowa, I appreciate your opinion, but please don't hamper our attempts to legalize it. Just because you don't think it's safe doesn't mean it isn't. I started riding BECAUSE of lane splitting. And from there it turned into a passion, and now I commute daily by motorcycle, even up here in cold, wet, rainy Oregon. I do occasionally split up here, and most of the time, people don't even notice.

Something you learn as a splitter is to watch for cars that may make sudden moves. It becomes a sixth sense. I have never been surprised by a car doing something stupid, whether splitting or not... why? Because I've anticipated it. Even the few times cars have tried to squeeze me (whether intentional or not), it's not been a big deal, because I always have an out. Any good rider will always have an out.

Rob
Rob,

No my personal choices for assumption of risk do not encumber others. The implementing of statues to keep people safe is absurd on it's face.

To me starting to ride "BECAUSE" of lane splitting defies logic and common sense; but that call is up to the individual. To each their own until it infringes on the freedom of others.

Hopefully any medical care costs as a result of personal choices are paid by the individual making those choices and not the rest of us.

Good luck, but don't bet the farm on "Any good rider will always have an out". That is tantamount to saying you will never be involved in an accident on your motorcycle. Obviously a false premise and a delusion.

Just my opinions and I could be wrong.

Take care.

Phil
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:22 AM   #24
Rob.G
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Consider this...

I took a job in Southern California and was living in an RV park in Torrance. I worked in El Segundo, nine miles to the north.

In my car, it was taking 45 minutes each way, to get to and from work during normal commute hours.

While sitting in my car, I would watch the bikes zip on by while I'm stopped or moving at a snail's pace.

Having had enough, I went bike shopping one day. I found a bike and got financed. I immediately hopped online and managed to get into the BRC course for the very next weekend. The bike was delivered a few days later, and I parked it under the overhang of my 5th wheel trailer until I completed the course. Soon as my certificate came in the mail, I went to DMV and got my endorsement.

Then I spent a few days riding around the local neighborhood and getting comfortable on the bike. I would ride after work, and would venture onto the busier streets to get used to traffic. Then I would slowly and carefully start doing some basic filtering.

Finally, it was time to ride to work! It was great. I'd filter to the front of traffic lights for the couple miles up to the freeway. The on-ramp would be backed up, but I would zip right on by and onto the freeway. Carefully, over to the left lane (the carpool lane in fact), and would move right along. When traffic woud slow, I'd hop over to the double-yellow and carefully motor right on by at 10-15 mph over.

My new commute time was now 15 minutes each way. I also discovered just how much fun riding was. I had already bought all of the safety gear, and found myself riding everywhere. It was more fun, and faster no matter what. In SoCal, traffic tie-ups can happen at any time, even on weekends or the middle of the night.

Once that job concluded, I found myself taking my first job up in Oregon, with ODOT. I towed my trailer up there, and started riding to work. Part of the problem I got the job was BECAUSE I ride -- there's a two-year waiting list to get a car parking permit, and they're $60/mo. Motorcycle parking is $6/mo and there's plenty of it. I added waterproof gear, and would ride rain or shine. Only once did I NOT ride, and it was because it snowed. I took my truck that day, and paid the $6 daily parking fee.

But one thing I noticed right away... the lack of lane splitting! I don't care of Salem is a "small" town... it can still benefit from lane splitting. There are several roads here that get very backed up during peak times, and they're perfect for zipping up the middle.

When that contract ended, I went back to Southern California... ahh, back to the Land of Lane Splitting! It was heaven again. That lasted another year or so, and then here I am again back in Oregon. And thankfully, there's another movement to legalize the practice.

BTW, thanks to Surj, I just updated my blog with some awesome PDF documents that help to illustrate just how SAFE lane splitting really is, compared to NOT being able to. I encourage you to check them out. In particular, the first document, read all eight pages. Then the third document, skip to the last few pages -- the Discussion and Conclusion. The point is, accidents that have occurred while lane splitting occur in fewer than 1% of motorcycle accidents, and that's a WORLDWIDE figure, not just California.

So, I'm sorry that riding because of lane splitting defies logic and common sense to you. Maybe those documents will help put things into perspective.

Rob
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:44 AM   #25
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...
The on-ramp would be backed up, but I would zip right on by and onto the freeway.
...
This is one situation I have wondered about: When splitting on signal-controlled two-lane freeway ramps, does the rider try to convince someone to let him in back in line at the signal? or does the rider just blow the light from between the lanes before the next guy starts out?

I would think the law probably would require getting back in line, but how is it usually done in practice?
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #26
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This is one situation I have wondered about: When splitting on signal-controlled two-lane freeway ramps, does the rider try to convince someone to let him in back in line at the signal? or does the rider just blow the light from between the lanes before the next guy starts out?

I would think the law probably would require getting back in line, but how is it usually done in practice?
I'm not actually sure how it's "supposed" to work; I just go right on by and go onto the freeway. Now, if there's a cop around, I just stop at the front of the light, still at the side of the lane, and go when it goes green. The cars never much seemed to care.

Oh and btw, this was on a single-lane ramp with the metering light. I'm not about to sit behind a bunch of f'ing cars when I can motor past them. :)

Rob
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #27
Rob.G
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LA Times has a Poll on their website now asking if motorcycles should be allowed to split lanes. A the moment we're on the losing end of the poll. Please go vote YES!

http://www.latimes.com/business/auto...0,561731.story

Rob
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #28
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When I ride up from California to Oregon, the MOST annoying thing is NOT being able to lane split when I hit Portland. I have ridden up there three times last year from the Bay Area, and the Highways are actually not too congested in southern Oregon. That said, there are some huge traffic delays at different places on the highway and definitely in and around Portland. I REALLY hope that you guys get lane splitting and more than that, get the CAR driver to understand that it is NOT an offense to them!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #29
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No argument there!!

I just saw a news article the other day, and Portland is in the Top 10 of Most Miserable Cities with regards to traffic (LA was of course in there too). My thinking was, gee, legalize lane splitting and then it will reduce congestion!!

I wish I could get Senator George's office to return my calls about SB541. I'm about ready to go over there in person.

Rob
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #30
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This is great, guys. Thanks for the info. I will certainly send an email to my representatives.
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