Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are You Smarter Than A.......

Ooops! I fixed my mistake. Aren't you all glad we don't get paid for these blog posts. The mistake carries a certain irony when you look at the title!


I have a motor vehicle quiz question for you. Recently (today) I had the opportunity to exchange a difference of opinion with a Pomona Police officer as to where a bicyclist should be at an intersection similar to the one pictured. Well, it wasn't exactly an exchange of opinion, since I wisely kept mine to myself, but I clearly heard what his answer to my query would be since he loudly shared it out his open car window, so I'm curious to see whether the enlightened blog readers are 'smarter than a Pomona PD officer'.


In the above diagram, a cyclist represented by an arrow is approaching the intersection and the light is red. Where should the cyclist position himself, if he wants to continue through the intersection in lane #3.
  • (A) Move to lane #1 just because he can.
  • (B) Move to lane #2.
  • (C) Move to the center of lane #3.
  • (D) Stay near the curb of lane #3.
  • (E) Bicycles belong on the sidewalk, so it's a stupid question.
To check your answer, follow this link to the 2009 edition of the DMV handbook and go to page 47-48. In the officer's defense, it didn't appear that he does a lot of riding, but shouldn't a police officer know safe bike riding practices? Given the number of bikes I see traveling the opposite direction to traffic, riding on the sidewalks, running stop signs/lights, and even kids riding without helmets, I'm stunned that this officer would imply that he knows what I should be doing and then be wrong. I'll explain the rationale behind the correct answer, shortly.

As an ardent supporter of Pomona PD, this little rant is more about my realization of the hurdles bike advocates face in making this city more bike-friendly than a mocking of Pomona PD. If the police aren't familiar with the motor vehicle handbook and safe riding practices, how can I honestly encourage other residents to hop on a bike.

Drum roll, please, the answer is (C).

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going with (c). Do I win?

Anonymous said...

"if he wants to continue through the intersection in lane #3." why would he choose "(C) Move to the center of lane #1."?

#1 is the left hand turn lane on the left. #3 is the right hand lane that goes straight on the right. It makes no sense that C would be the answer.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

I didn't see my answer on the list of options. I would have thought "move to the center of lane 3," since the biker was already in lane 3 and wanted to continue through the intersection. Then again, I don't get out much :)

Deb

calwatch said...

Actually, riding on the sidewalk is legal in Pomona. Nothing in the CVC prohibits it: http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/bicycleriding.html and Pomona City Code does not prohibit it. I know the bike advocates hate it, but often it is the safest thing to do. When my mom was biking to work she would always use the sidewalk, because her bicycling speed was fairly leisurely and weaving in and out of parked cars on Holt is more dangerous than avoiding the occasional pedestrian.

Anduhrew said...

Calwatch, I sometimes ride on the sidewalk when there are no pedestrians and i feel safer, But then I get off the sidewalk BEFORE an intersection so that cars have time to see me. This is a great site that erik knudsen sent me http://bicyclesafe.com/ on bicycle safety information that I had not known beforehand. I would assume the right answer is to be in the center or left side of lane 3. but that is not an answer... (mistake in the post? my pdf viewer isn't working so i can't see it)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking someone numbered the lanes incorrectly on the diagram. Otherwise this topic makes no sense.

Riding on sidewalks is legal? Glad to know. The local drug dealers use the sidewalk for their bicycle errands, and are unyielding to pedestrians, but so far I have restrained voicing criticism. I shall continue to do so. Now, where is that crime blog?

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Did someone say crime blog? [insert here an imagined double-take with arms in Scooby Doo position]

http://pomonawatch.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I would say....
(E) Buy a car.
Just kidding. I don't know how you ride around on a bike in any city with all the crazy drivers that are around. My luck I'd end up as a hood ornament.
Mark

Anonymous said...

You have the lanes numbered wrong, the rider should move to the center of the right hand lane, as it says in the handbook:

may use a left turn lane. If the bicyclist is traveling straight
ahead, he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block
traffic making right turns.

Brian D said...

I want to thank those of you who do these Pomona blogs... I moved (back) here about a year ago and really want to make/keep this a nice place to live. I love Pomona, and despite all the crap that went on in the 80's here, it's shapped up quite a bit and I want to continue that.

Anyway, contact me and let me know how I can be more involved, please... dontwantany at a very very warm mail service owned by Microsoft.

Ed said...

Sorry about mislabeling my lane #s, a bit of brain freeze.

I agree with Calwatch that riding on the sidewalk is not illegal according to the CVC and Pomona municipal code, but with the one caveat that riding on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic may be illegal.

If you absolutely need to use a sidewalk to feel safe, I'd rather see you ride than not, so by all means do it but exercise caution. My general attitude toward sidewalk riding can be summed up by Gary Kavanagh.

Pomona, like other cities in Southern California, is caught in the "chicken and egg" dilemma. Residents don't want to ride because of the fast car traffic. Traffic engineers don't feel the need to slow the traffic because of the absence of bikes (and complaints). Unfortunately, sidewalk riding only perpetuates the problem and based on a study by Wachtel and Lewiston actually increases your chance of being hit by a car.