I was out and about today during rush hour. I missed a turn and found myself trying to cross 41st Street on Spring Ave instead of the nearby controlled Norton Ave intersection.
It quickly became apparent that it would be more safe to turn right than to try to cross five lanes of traffic. So I joined the Avid Drivers of 41st Street Traffic.
In this sort of situation two things are paramount. Predictability and visibility.
The picture above is from a few minutes later at 37th & Minnesota Ave. When that light turns green what is everybody going to do? Who's turning right? Who's going straight? Would you bet that rider's life on it? Some drivers would - but really most drivers just plain can't see him.
Here's my view of 41st Street. I'm about 5 car lengths from Minnesota Ave. This is my second light cycle. By now I've had time to meet everyone around me. We've posed for photos, given each other nods, talked up our kids.
Even the driver way up there across the intersection that might possibly be crossing my path when they turn left has gotten used to the idea of me being there.
And then, as if to affirm my visibility Falls Area Singletrack board member and friend Brad, two cars ahead stuck his head out his window, turned around, and waved hello.
Use the full lane. Visibility matters.
Incidentally I got to wave back at Brad when I turned left and passed him at the Phillips Ave intersection. Rush hour traffic is great because everybody moves slow.