That lane is a way to die, as the left turn lane is to the right of it. If a bike turning left comes up the inside of a car which turns over it, death. If a bike tries to go straight on while a vehicle turns left, death. The safe option for this junction is to acquire and retain the entire left hand lane, then either turn left or go straight on (into the bike lane there), as appropriate. Yet the signage misleads bicycles and sets up the wrong expectation in cars
- By parking where it has, the van makes it clear to cyclists that they should not be in that lane.
- By taking up half the left turn lane, the van stops cars, buses and lorries from using that lane
- Therefore, it the lane becomes a bike-only lane. This is exactly what you need to get out of this junction alive.
Glad you brought this one up. I often cross the road there on my way to work and wince at how appalling the junction is for cyclists.
From a foot-borne perspective it's really obvious that many cyclists are manoevred by the junction design into putting themself in a dangerous positon whether they turn or go straight on.
(and from a saddle-borne perspective, I know you're a bit tongue in cheek, but yes, I do sometimes find that all these wretched parked cars force me to do all that assertive 'take the lane primary position' business, when my natural, timid, inclination is to hog the curb ...)
The whole lane system goes out of its way to push you out of the lane -and sets up the cars to expect it- when it's a lethal place to go. Take the full lane, it's for your own good.
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