Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NRS 484B.270 Wha....?

When the bike lane ends at intersections and I have nowhere else to go but ride in the motor vehicle lane, @cityofsparks it seems the drivers on N. McCarran Blvd. this morning are clueless or have no regard for NRS 484B.270 and passing riders in the bike lanes safely.  I KNOW the drivers see me in the lane yet they approach at full speed as if I am not there or will turbo out of their way.  It would kill them to slow down for three measly seconds until I clear the intersection to get back in the bike lane and out of their path and off their road.  Next time I will overtake the entire lane so they cannot squeeze past me in the same lane.  To the unfortunate asshole who hits me, I will sue for everything they own because the law is on my side.

Traffic laws apply to person riding a bicycle (NRS 484B.763) and upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle except in NRS which by their nature can have no application. I drive, I ride. I give the same courtesy to other drivers as I do to non-motorists but I sometimes forget, there are also inconsiderate and oblivious drivers that I have to share be on the road with.

It is the only thing I do not like about living in Sparks, NV is that there are less (safe) access to bike lanes for commuting to Reno except on roads where cars travel 50 m.p.h.

== Update: 5:56PM ==

I guess what it boils down to is inconsiderate and rude people.  It does not matter if they are drivers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, riders of bicycles, or just waiting in line at the grocery store and I apologize if I made it sound as if it was cars against bikes in the post above.  In every city or town, these people are out there and while there is not much I can do about them (except resist the urge to stoop to their level), it is inevitable that I will be on the same road with them in my car, on my scooter, or on my bike.  It is one thing to make mistakes on the road.  I admit, I have made my share.  I am a (damn) good driver but I am not perfect.  It's another thing to intentionally drive without regard for others on the road.  To act in malice without consideration of the consequences.

I arrived home safely on my scooter but the trip wasn't without incidence. In fact, a minute after I started my departure from work, I experience this CASE IN POINT:

Evans Avenue was quiet and no cars were on it as I entered the road and headed north. As I ride I always check my rear view mirror.  Then I saw a vehicle on the road way back behind me.  I was already going 29 m.p.h in a 25 m.p.h. zone. (yes, breaking the speed limit) but if we were going the same speed, that vehicle would never catch up to me. The person must've been driving pretty fast to catch up to me on the half mile stretch of road to McCarran.

Now the driver was right behind me swerving within the lane which I can only guess to mean that they're in a hurry and debating on passing me because they just couldn't wait the few seconds until the intersection where there is three lanes in each direction.  Evans Avenue is a two-way street with one lane going each way.  It serves campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.  Every one should know to drive cautiously because students are always crossing the street and there are bicycles and golf (service) cart traffic on the road.

When a driver tailgaits me on my scooter, I yield to the bike lane so they can pass but there is no place for me to go in the already narrow lane--no shoulder, no bike lane.  I am almost at the intersection of McCarran Blvd and would be out of their way soon in 1/8 of a mile.  I take over the lane instead of riding on the far right of the road, so that I don't send mixed signals to the driver behind me who might think they can pass in the same lane.  When a motorcycle or scooter or bicycle takes over the road, it means, "it is too narrow and unsafe for me to allow you to pass in the same lane (by the way it is illegal to do that to a motor vehicle or motorcycle)".  Do you know why I don't ride against the curb when the road is narrow on a two-way road going in opposite directions?  Because if that car passes me in the same lane, and there is an oncoming car, the driver in my lane will react by swerving back on the road and right into me.  That's why I take over the lane and do not allow cars to pass me on a narrow road.  Also, the mirror of their car might clip my helmet or my mirror or they might misjudge their car's distance and cause me to crash.  I don't care if the law is behind me or if I have the right of way--I try to avoid collisions if I can foresee a risky situation.

I was almost at the intersection of Enterprise Road and Evans Avenue.  Ahead of me I can see a car in my lane (orange dot), reversing for whatever reason and I would either come to a stop behind them or have to swerve around the vehicle.  Another car (blue dot) had entered the road and was driving in the turning lane to turn left on McCarran.

What the driver behind me did next was the EPITOME of an IDIOT, their driving path is depicted by the dark blue arrow.  They gunned their car past me, through an intersection where cars were waiting on both sides of Enterprise Road to cross Evans Avenue...nearly rear ended the car waiting in the turn lane (blue dot) and squeezed between that car and the car that was reversing (orange dot).  Probably because they were late and in a freakin' hurry to get where they needed to go.  I remember the vehicle and their license plate for future reference.

RIGHT THERE, this person jeopardized me, the cars waiting on Enterprise Road to cross Evans, the car up ahead in the turn lane and the car that was reversing on Evans.  I sure hope whatever reason the idiot driver had for being an asshole on the road was worth it.

Would the idiot driver have passed me if I were on a motorcycle or in my car?  Maybe not.  But then again, I have seen hot-headed drivers pass other cars on a two-way street before.  It makes me want to close my heart to people and grow a hard shell, get angry and be mean in return but I resist the temptation.  But just like there are asshole drivers, there are good people out there too.  People who yield to others and give space.  I try to recognize those drivers too to help outweigh the negative experience on the road.  All I can say is be safe out there.


JoeinVegas said...

Was it any better in Vegas? I notice most of the bike riders here are as idiotic as the car drivers. Let's not mention the mopeds.

Daly said...

I did get people grazing me in Vegas but not any really close calls that I can remember and that was because the road was narrow. Whether I'm driving or riding, I never have the mentality that "THIS" is my lane and stay out of it. It's give and take. Most drivers were good about giving room between vehicles so I can squeeze in and get by where there are no bike lanes. You know who was really good about giving us the road on the way to Jean, NV--and it may surprise you, but the lifted huge pickup trucks were always good about going into the oncoming traffic lane to pass us and I'd always wave to let them know I appreciate their courtesy.

I should have mentioned reckless cyclists and moped riders. I saw a few last week and I think they ruin it for good riders like me (you wouldn't think I'd be because I'm Asian but I'm a really good driver and rider). These people rode with full headphones (the kind that cover your ears) which I think is completely careless and no helmets (though helmets are not required on mopeds or bicycles). I rely on my auditory senses for my safety and the safety of others around me. I don't want to be distracted and cut cars off or put myself in danger. I saw a guy on a moped blow a stop sign as he came in from a cross-street onto the road in front of me (wearing no helmet) and no signal then turned left in front of oncoming traffic to another cross street! It is no wonder if drivers hate mopeds (and bicyclists).

I won't ride with cyclists who are unaware of their surroundings and swerve all over the road either. Because they put their lives and mine and motor-vehicle drivers in danger.

Whether I'm riding or driving, I try my best to be a good rider/driver and aware of others around me but there are people out there who must think the world revolves around them, don't care, or are clueless that there are other people on the road.

Daly said...

I think you would agree with me Joe that there are rights and duties that everyone has when they are on public roadways. That means anyone operating any kind of vehicle (a bicycle, moped, or motor vehicle) has rights AND has duties to others on the road.

JoeinVegas said...

Suggestion for improvement: add some animation so next time the dots move. (can't disagree with anything you said).