Lane Splitting article in WSJ - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 16 Old Mar 7th, 2015, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Page A3 of this weekend's Wall Street Journal, interesting article on lane splitting.
Initiatives in Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Tennessee to legalize lane splitting similar to California.

I'm a country boy and don't care. And, lane splitting looks scary to me.
But I guess if I were stuck with a city commute, I'd like to be able to legally lane split.

Data is scant, but accident statistics so far suggest lane splitting isn't as dangerous as it might appear.

Car drivers generally don't like it, maybe because they don't like getting passed while they are stuck in traffic.

If you are interested in lane splitting, you might find this weekend's WSJ interesting. Half of the third page in the front section given to the article.
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post #2 of 16 Old Mar 7th, 2015, 9:32 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Curtis
Most statistics, but also common sense says it's safer than being rear ended.
And they do rear end.
And a bike with a clutch hand cannot roll ahead 3 feet at a time for hours.
Lane splitting is not dangerous or scary where the lane space is wide. Where it gets hokey is where people drive upon the line, half in and half out of their lane. Or where there are super narrow lanes with no space between.
Here, so many people are used to it, and understand it's legal, and finally realize if bikes can go ahead ... let them. Fewer people sitting out there in traffic.
Here, they don't try to interfere with it. Mostly.
But sure, you can get banged at any time. Like somewhere out there in the middle of nowhere.
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post #3 of 16 Old Mar 7th, 2015, 11:36 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Tried it and liked it a bit
Was headed south on the 15 I believe to San Diego. It was not even on my mind being new to the area a first-timer. Anyway an entrance ramp appeared on my right shoulder and in the right lane looking for my exit. Well here comes a ton of traffic down the ramp and just what you spoke about clutch move 2 or 3 car lengths. Gladly a couple sport bikes just entered. Not only did they merge but they continued filter their way to the front of everything. In my rear view I saw the same thing a much bigger bike Honda so after he passed me it clicked that I had read a thread on this site. Tentatively I tried to keep up but was no match. So I settled back into my old habits slow and steady.
I guess much of this depends on the general motorist knowledge and awareness of motorcycles. Also temprement has a lot to do with safety. Some drivers purposely hog the lane so as to mess the rider up. I don't know how long it has been like that in CA but it will take some getting used to on both sides of that line. Let's see how the implimentation goes in those new states.
ride safe
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post #4 of 16 Old Mar 8th, 2015, 1:06 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

This is the article referenced. I have an on-line subscription to the WSJ.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Could Move Beyond California - WSJ.pdf (1.37 MB, 128 views)
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post #5 of 16 Old Mar 9th, 2015, 7:49 am
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

I'd love to see this in FLATlorda on a hot day when I'm stuck in traffic. Used correctly it seems to be safe and effective.

Not used correctly, like a lot of things, it causes accidents and really angers other motorists.

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post #6 of 16 Old Mar 9th, 2015, 7:13 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Thank you for sharing and posting.

I think the same of Lane Splitting as I do all driving/riding... MOST make wise decision and a FEW really mess it up for all of us by making poor decisions like following too closely, passing on a double yellow or Lane Splitting to fast, etc.

I heard a comedian say that anyone driving slower than you is an IDIOT and anyone driving faster is a MANIAC. Pretty well sums it up. haha.
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post #7 of 16 Old Mar 10th, 2015, 12:48 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

In CA, and I see it everyday when commuting, cars and trucks move aside when possible to let bikes go through, and only very seldom someone will purposely try to block you. While traveling through Texas I found myself behind an 18 wheeler that was weaving in order to keep me from getting in front of him near a construction where 2 lanes were turning into 1. I was disappointed as I trust truck drivers a lot more, because they are professional drivers, than soccer moms in SUVs while on the phone.
There will obviously need to be an education program to be put in place for any new state that would allow lane splitting. Also strong laws protecting riders, such as "kill a rider, got to jail"...

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post #8 of 16 Old Mar 10th, 2015, 2:44 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

I am all for it and hope it passes here in Texas. You have to be careful no matter what the situation. Just cause the law is on your side doesn't make it the safest way to do anything. If I see an eighteen wheeler rolling through a red light when I have the green... I will give him the right of way. Just saying.

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post #9 of 16 Old Mar 10th, 2015, 3:12 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

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Originally Posted by zippy_gg View Post
While traveling through Texas I found myself behind an 18 wheeler that was weaving in order to keep me from getting in front of him near a construction where 2 lanes were turning into 1.
In Washington State, they are trying to educate folks that it is actually faster if everyone merges together at the last moment. I have seen that block technique and it would get a ticket around here.

Lots of chatter about lane splitting with all the legislation going. Some articles from California talk about a CA. DOT safety report on it just last year and saying no problem and overall California has fewer cycle accidents than the National average.

Washington's legislation was handed a major re -write last week. No lane splitting but you can ride to the left of cars that are in the left lane (#1 lane) of two lanes. Makes me think they mean the shoulder on the other side of the fog line. All very unclear right now. Also no faster than 25 mph. It has to go back to the House from the Senate for a re write so both bills match. And there are no words saying you can do it on Interstate Hwys. where there is the most trouble, just a list of state hwys. . One good thing about the WA. legislation is that it is an offense to block a motorcyclist while doing this.

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post #10 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 12:11 am
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

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Originally Posted by zippy_gg View Post
While traveling through Texas I found myself behind an 18 wheeler that was weaving in order to keep me from getting in front of him near a construction where 2 lanes were turning into 1.
It could be that he was looking out for you and didn't want you to end up in his blind spot at a time where he would need all his concentration on the road ahead. As a bus driver I sometimes have to block someone until I know it will be safe to pass safely.

Go down to your local bus depot and ask to sit in a bus to see the blind spots. you'll be amazed at what they consider a safe vehicle.


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post #11 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 7:40 am
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Those lanes must be wider out in Cali, I couldn't imagine trying to jam my RT between cars here in Metro NY area!

I do think allowing bikes to ride the breakdown lanes at a cautious speed could work. It would be easy enough to slide over to allow Emergency Vehicles to pass by if needed.

Ride Safe,

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post #12 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 7:56 am
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Problem with the breakdown lane is there is a lot of crap laying in there. I remember years ago being directed over into the far left by a CHP officer working an accident. Ended up with a flat tire from some little piece of metal. Around here they don't spend a lot of time sweeping up that lane.

Hope you guys in all the other states get to lane split soon. Its a great advantage to riding.

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post #13 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 10:12 am
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

When the majority of drivers realize that every motorcycle splitting lanes means one less car sitting in front of them, and less traffic overall, then it'll pass nationwide.

As long as the majority of drivers incorrectly assume that it's unsafe and unfair, then it'll stay the way it is.

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post #14 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 5:33 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

I've been on vacation and driving in Europe. Lane splitting and queuing at lights seems to work great here. It does not impede my travels in the car and in fact moves me along quicker since all the bikes get up front and out of the way at lights. I would love to be able to do this at home.

I believe that the U.S. is the only or one of the very few Country's that does not allow lane splitting in the world. I think it's because the driving skill level in the U.S., sucks!
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post #15 of 16 Old Mar 11th, 2015, 9:31 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

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Originally Posted by Travman View Post
I've been on vacation and driving in Europe. Lane splitting and queuing at lights seems to work great here. It does not impede my travels in the car and in fact moves me along quicker since all the bikes get up front and out of the way at lights. I would love to be able to do this at home.

I believe that the U.S. is the only or one of the very few Country's that does not allow lane splitting in the world. I think it's because the driving skill level in the U.S., sucks!
+1
I've done a considerable amount of riding in Europe and I remember specifically in Barcelona there is a section on major city boulevards where the autos are restricted from pulling up to the crosswalks. There is a scooter and bike section 5 yards or so before the crosswalk. The only way to get there is to lane split.

It is also common to split in moving traffic with many cars giving right-of-way to bikes. Euro drivers are more polite and more technically competent than those here in North America.
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post #16 of 16 Old Mar 16th, 2015, 4:05 pm
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Re: Lane Splitting article in WSJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech View Post
In Washington State, they are trying to educate folks that it is actually faster if everyone merges together at the last moment. I have seen that block technique and it would get a ticket around here.
Faster for who Beech? I see truckers in Texas doing it often, and it has to do with impatient people waiting til the last second to merge, as you allude to. Everyone else already merged keeps getting pushed further back/delayed.
That being said, motorcycles are so much smaller, so an exception should be made. I've split lanes often in Texas, even yesterday on I35 and I45 where road construction/repair seems to be sombody's life work. Took a trip to Kileen from Dallas down I35 and decided to take another route back due to the traffic. Went Lord knows how many miles out of my way only to get on I45 in stop and go traffic on north bound side of interstate and service road. Working the clutch in and out for 15 to 20 minutes plus weaving back and forth like the race cars do to keep tires warm, I was wondering how long it would last, all while keeping an eye on temperature gauge creeping up. Wife got vocal about lane splitting then, after I had done it several times on way down.
I prefer to do it while traffic is moving as opposed to sitting still, when there's more potential of some a-hole opening their door just prior to me trying to pass.

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