01 02 03 Bike Darlington: Traffic Pinch Points - A Hazard To Cyclists 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Traffic Pinch Points - A Hazard To Cyclists

Karl McCracken, our guest speaker for Friday night has a post on his blog about pinch points and the hazard they present to cyclists.

This struck home to me, because there are three pedestrian refuges that I pass in quick succession on my way home from work each day which have caused me more than a few worrying moments recently. Actually, it's not the pinch points that cause the problem, it's the average motorist's inability to judge speed and distance that causes the problem, and this inability is highlighted at these pinch points.

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The first isn't too bad, but there are often parked cars around making the approach trickier. This is also the point where cars "released" from the throughabout back down the road catch up with me, meaning a nice succession of cars to pass me.

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The second is a bit trickier, as it's on an odd bend just after the top of a slight rise in the road and before a descent. It is not wide enough for a car to get through at the same time as me yet I often have cars desperately trying to get by me here. I often ride down the following hill swearing and gesturing to the car (now) in front of me.

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Then, still swearing, I meet pinch point number three where another car races past.

There's another one just after this, but I turn off here (squeezing past the car-for-sale parked half blocking the pavement, but that's a separate rant).

I'm going to be taking Karl's advice for dealing with these from now on:

I’m trying a modified technique:
I. Will. Own. That. Road. (Girlfriend).
Never mind this looking over the shoulder and pulling across if it’s safe - my moves will be accompanied by the full arm-out hand signal, and I will be riding through these kill zones at about 50-60% of the distance from the road’s edge. I will be doing this on every single one, and only IF when I get into one, I find that it’s ridiculously wide, will I then pull across to let cars pass safely.
It’s time to reclaim the streets

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