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  #1301  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2021, 5:58 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
Really what's saved my skin over the years as a pedestrian, cyclist and driver is just assuming that driver's will do the stupidest moves at all times. That tactic has made all of my incidents pretty minor over the years and has saved me on my bike numerous times and kept me out a multi-car pileup at least twice.
This is the best advice you can give to anybody when they are in or near traffic, whether they are a cyclist, pedestrian, or car/truck driver. Driving is challenging at best, and as traffic volumes become greater and distracted driving has increased, the acts of driving, crossing the street, and cycling all have become more hazardous. I have definitely noticed that the quality of driving among the average person has decreased over the past 20 years, with more and more drivers doing more and more dumb, absent minded, and aggressive things all the time. Throw the reduced visibility due to darkness of night and/or a rainstorm into the mix and the hazards grow exponentially. None of us have it in our power to change the habits and lack of effort/attention by poor drivers, so we have to take a defensive stance to protect ourselves rather than expecting others to do it for us.

Regarding taxi drivers, this is just anecdotal, but I have had very few taxi rides where I feel totally at ease and safe during the ride - in many taxi rides, I have found myself anxious to arrive at the destination so I can get the heck out of the car. I suspect that since many of them are driving constantly, they become complacent over time - not to mention that if they are working long shifts, they are probably driving tired on top of it. IMHO, some of them were probably not good drivers before they ever got their cab license.

The hazard of bad/inattentive drivers is one of the reasons why I am in support of separated bicycle lanes for cyclists, and/or cycling routes on less-travelled roads. No car or truck driver, no matter how lackadaisical they may be, wants to hit and injure or kill a pedestrian or cyclist, unless they are some kind of psychopath. So the safest way to protect cyclists in existing conditions is to get the cyclists away from the cars, as the laws of physics will never be in favour of the cyclist in a collision.

Another reason to keep cars and bikes apart is that there are no requirements for a cyclist to become a cyclist, other than having a bicycle at their disposal. Anybody, regardless of cycling skill or degree of knowledge about vehicle rules and regulations, or lack thereof, can legally jump on a bicycle and head out into traffic. This can include kids, teenagers, adults who have never driven a car and have never studied to take the test to get their license. There are no instructional courses required to ride a bicycle on public roads, so anybody can get out there in traffic and put their lives at risk without having the minimum of knowledge and skills to protect themselves. As a car driver, I've had to suddenly hit the brakes or swerve to avoid cyclists who appear to have balance or attention issues and unexpectedly cut in front of me, or to avoid cyclists who blow stop signs or red lights because they obviously aren't aware of the rules of the road - but luckily I do what you do - I assume they will always do dumbest things, and anticipate a problem before it occurs. The last thing I want to do is hit a cyclist just because they weren't smart or skillful enough to look out for themselves - any car has the potential to take human life, and I don't want that on my conscience.

At least if cyclists make mistakes in separated cycling lanes, then the worst thing they can do is collide with another cyclist, or hit a mailbox or something... which would still potentially cause injury, but much less than colliding with a 4000 lb steel and aluminum vehicle traveling at 50 km/h. It would be nice if there were some kind of instructional/licensing requirement for cyclists to follow by law, but I know there would be too much backlash because it would take the "freedom" away from cyclists - and then many would probably not bother anyhow.

Last edited by OldDartmouthMark; Apr 27, 2021 at 1:27 PM. Reason: Improved wording
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  #1302  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2021, 11:36 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
Yes to most of that. The pedestrian was injured but not seriously thankfully. I'm not sure what the cabbie said to the police since I went to the hospital and gave my statement there but it was convincing enough no ticket was issued.
How did you find out that no ticket was issued?
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  #1303  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2021, 3:46 AM
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Dmajackson Dmajackson is offline
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^I was in the emergency room with the pedestrian (a friend of mine) when the police came in and said they wouldn't be issuing a ticket. It was a late night accident so I don't believe anyone else directly witnessed it besides me. The loud thump my friend made after flying about 20 feet away definitely got a lot of people's attention from inside the nearby houses.

Interestingly I don't remember the incident ever getting reported in the media. I'll let people draw their own conclusions.
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  #1304  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2021, 11:06 AM
Summerville Summerville is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
How did you find out that no ticket was issued?

I am making the assumption here,...Saul, that you are probably a lawyer. With that you should probably understand that the black and white nature of the law in cases such as this places a lot of responsibility on the police to do something more than give a ticket.

A member of my family was hit by a car while crossing a crosswalk. Over a week in the ICU, months in the hospital system and they still have a brain injury. This is why I initially said that the driver would get a $300 ticket. But perhaps they have doubled the penalty.

But the reality is that the police were reluctant to do anything more, based on the lack of intent of the driver. They were in a rush and decided to not take their time. If it were an accident created by reckless use of a firearm, the penalty may be more. But counter to your previous post, police are finding fault because these are regulatory offences that do not require a mental component. And police are hard pressed to do the work and pass these cases to prosecutors for consideration.

As a cyclist, driver and a pedestrian, I’ve realized like others here that we can’t rely on all drivers to use their cars safely, or likewise for all cyclists or pedestrians to follow the rules either. Insurance or registration for cyclists is not the answer because there is no one to enforce it.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the creation of slow streets as the physical design makes it difficult to speed.

But for me and my family, bike lanes are the best way to separate cars from cyclists. We can’t rely on the law or drivers. I have been in two bike accidents in 25 years of being a cyclist on the road. One time I was cut off, the other, I was run off the road. The best way to cycle on our streets is to assume that all drivers have no clue what they are doing.
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  #1305  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2021, 12:29 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
...the black and white nature of the law in cases such as this places a lot of responsibility on the police to do something more than give a ticket
I don't follow. Issuing a ticket, or, in more serious cases, charging a criminal offence, is all they can do.

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This is why I initially said that the driver would get a $300 ticket. But perhaps they have doubled the penalty.
The $697.50 fine has actually been in effect for many years now; my intent was merely to point it out as a fact for the record, not to be critical.

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But counter to your previous post, police are finding fault because these are regulatory offences that do not require a mental component.
Perhaps it's a fine technical point to most, but again, police have no role in determining "fault". They can only determine whether there's been a statutory violation and then decide whether to charge. "Fault" is a civil law concept that determines responsibility as between two involved parties, and a cop's opinion of who's at fault in that context is completely irrelevant to any court (or insurer).

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Insurance or registration for cyclists is not the answer because there is no one to enforce it.
That's an interesting thought. I've never proposed insuring cyclists and really have never thought about it much. I suspect that in car-bike accidents where the cyclist is at fault, typically there's not a lot of motor vehicle damage and little potential for significant driver injury. Consequently, there's not much interest or impetus to implement cyclist insurance.

But if, merely as an exercise, we want to think about what insuring cyclists would mean, impracticality of enforcement in the sense of ticketing uninsured cyclists wouldn't be a reason not to do it. The real "enforcement" would occur in the case of an accident, where the lack of insurance penalizes the at-fault party. That's really how it works for motor vehicle owners. There is a statutory requirement to carry motor vehicle insurance, but in and of itself, the potential for a ticket for not doing so really isn't much of a deterrent - there are plenty of uninsured (and, for that matter, unlicensed) drivers on the road every day. The real deterrent is the fiscal impact of uninsured liability.

I'm in no way anti-cycling and can agree with much of what you said. I merely wanted to set the record straight on some clear misapprehensions I saw in this thread which failed to distinguish between the operation and effect of provincial driving offences, criminal offences, civil liability and insurance.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Apr 27, 2021 at 12:40 PM.
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  #1306  
Old Posted Yesterday, 4:10 AM
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Dmajackson Dmajackson is offline
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I AM VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT PHASE 1 OF THE MACDONALD BRIDGE BIKEWAY CONNECTOR PROJECT HAS GONE TO TENDER!!!

This long anticipated project will drastically improve access to the Macdonald Bridge Bikeway on the Dartmouth side. The details are quite impressive but I'll provide a brief version of the changes;

- The project extends along Wyse Road from Boland Road to Thistle Street.

- Bi-directional protected bike lanes will be introduced on Wyse from Boland to Thistle. For the most part they will be protected by precast curb and require the removal of the third lane of traffic. Select spots will have the lanes raised to sidewalk level.

- At Thistle the new bike lanes will tie into the Dartmouth Commons path network.

- At both Thistle and Nantucket the very first Bicycle Traffic Signals in Nova Scotia will be introduced. These are activated by a push button and give cyclists a protected movement to make it across busy intersections.

- New multi-use path on Nantucket along the Esso frontage.

- The project will see the full resurfacing of Wyse Road in the project area.

- From a driver's perspective the main changes will be the removal of the third traffic lane, new protected left-turn coming off of MacDonald Bridge, removal of the right-turn channel from Nantucket onto Wyse, and most right turns will become 'No Right on Red'.

I can't wait for construction to begin. I commute across the bikeway and this project solves the major issue I face in Dartmouth which is how to safely leave the bikeway and head north along Wyse.
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  #1307  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:39 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
From a driver's perspective the main changes will be the removal of the third traffic lane, new protected left-turn coming off of MacDonald Bridge, removal of the right-turn channel from Nantucket onto Wyse, and most right turns will become 'No Right on Red'.
What does "protected left-turn" coming off of the Macdonald Bridge mean?

I can live with most of the changes easily enough, but I predict that losing the right-turn channel from Nantucket onto Wyse will be an irritant for many of the less-patient among us. I foresee westbound drivers on Nantucket trying to cut through the shopping center parking lot. Not that that will actually be a more efficient way to get to Wyse northbound, but human nature being what it is, some will try it anyway.
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  #1308  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:52 AM
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Keith P. Keith P. is online now
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Sheer and utter waste which, by the end of this debacle, may well prove to be the long-overdue catalyst for fundamental changes in the makeup of Council and the attitude of formerly complacent taxpayers towards pandering by HRM to loud special interests at the expense of the majority paying the bills.
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  #1309  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:02 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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From a driving perspective I’m not too worried about losing the right turn slip lane; I always found that it was blocked by cars waiting to go straight, since probably 90+% of the traffic coming down Nantucket is going across the bridge. Actually, to be honest I’m not sure in all my 17 years of driving that I’ve ever been able to use that slip lane to skip waiting for the light.

As a driver, I’m excited for the improvements to the slip lane coming off the bridge turning right onto Wyse. It’s currently an awkward 1.5 lanes and the crosswalk is at an awkward angle that makes it hard to see pedestrians at the same time you’re checking if you’re going to hit a car trying to merge.

Finally, I’m also excited that they’re shortening the crossing distance in front of the Double Tree. No more waiting for pedestrians to make it across three lanes of traffic.

As a cyclist, it all looks pretty good, but as of right now I don’t usually bike across the bridge so won’t use it in the immediate future. However, once they fix the Halifax approach for cyclists (and Keith’s head explodes ) I’ll likely use it quite regularly.
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  #1310  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:03 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Sheer and utter waste which, by the end of this debacle, may well prove to be the long-overdue catalyst for fundamental changes in the makeup of Council and the attitude of formerly complacent taxpayers towards pandering by HRM to loud special interests at the expense of the majority paying the bills.
Time will tell. In the meantime, I'm realizing that some of these things will become reality no matter what I think and learning, reluctantly, to grit my teeth and deal with some of the nonsense (GD curb extensions especially...).

In the immortal words of Red Green:

I'm a man

but I can change

If I have to

...I guess
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  #1311  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:03 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
From a driving perspective I’m not too worried about losing the right turn slip lane; I always found that it was blocked by cars waiting to go straight, since probably 90+% of the traffic coming down Nantucket is going across the bridge. Actually, to be honest I’m not sure in all my 17 years of driving that I’ve ever been able to use that slip lane to skip waiting for the light.
That ("blocked by cars waiting to go straight") varies considerably with the time of day. I use the slip lane quite regularly and unless it's during a rush hour (which I avoid) it's generally not much of a problem.

Your experience and mine obviously are vastly different. If your suggestion honestly is that you've been blocked every time you've tried to use it in 17 years, I can only conclude you've only tried to use it very infrequently.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Yesterday at 1:20 PM.
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  #1312  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:58 PM
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Dmajackson Dmajackson is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
What does "protected left-turn" coming off of the Macdonald Bridge mean?
It means the left-turn is a separate signal from the straight-thru movement and can be used at a different time. In Halifax this is usually seen at intersections with two or more lanes of left-turning traffic and usually both movements are allowed at the same time. One exception I can think of is at Windsor Street Exchange. During rush hours each approach gets its turn to go thru but during off peak quite often the straight-thru will be green and the left-turn will be red until a car is in queue. Another minor example is Bedford Highway at River Lane where the left-turn is separated because the blind-crest makes turning hazardous.

For this project it will have an impact because traffic coming off the bridge won't be able to turn left onto Wyse during the entire green light for that approach. On the upside there will be no waiting for gaps Nantucket traffic to turn left. It's a busy movement so I'm guessing it will default to left-turns getting priority and only when cyclists hit their button will the cyclist signal turn green. The impact will depend on how long the left-turning traffic gets its green light. Hopefully its long enough to clear the the queue well into the toll plaza.

I'm no traffic expert but from my experience this might actually encourage people to continue up Nantucket then left onto Victoria. A lot of people currently use Boland or Albro Lake to do the same. I use Albro Lake because Wyse is always free-flowing and it is one less traffic light than using Victoria. With that left-turn possibly taking longer I'll probably just head straight up Nantucket just to avoid getting stuck in the toll booth plaza.

Quote:
I can live with most of the changes easily enough, but I predict that losing the right-turn channel from Nantucket onto Wyse will be an irritant for many of the less-patient among us. I foresee westbound drivers on Nantucket trying to cut through the shopping center parking lot. Not that that will actually be a more efficient way to get to Wyse northbound, but human nature being what it is, some will try it anyway.
The movement will have it's own dedicated right-turn lane and signal but with the bicycle traffic light there will be a 'No Right on Red' for this movement. This will probably slow the movement down some. Depending on where you're heading though Boland might be a better option.
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  #1313  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:01 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Dmajackson: Thanks very much for that elaboration. Much appreciated.
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