Lane Splitting

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Tdarcos
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Lane Splitting

Post by Tdarcos » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:07 pm

Never having ridden a motorcycle I'm not familiar with the use of them, except when I lived in California about 25 years ago, my boss' husband rode a motorcycle, and I learned how he had an accident and the only reason he didn't lose his toes is because the steel cap on his shoes took the damage.

So, I happened to catch a YouTube video by a guy on a motorcycle who spoke about "lane splitting" and that it is somewhat controversial. Which didnot, to me, make any sense, given what I knew.

I thought "lane splitting" would mean the practice of two motorcycles cooperatively sharing a single traffic lane, a practice that, as far as I know, is generally legal everywhere.

That's not what "lane splitting" is. This is where when traffic goes too slow, a motorcyclist will use the space between the cars in lanes to squeeze by them. This practice is illegal everywhere except California which has expressly legalized it.

Despite it being illegal, like the 55MPH speed limit on freeways, it is often done by motorcyclists, at least from a number of videos I've watched (quite exciting) where a cyclist who is doing the video is either lane splitting whenever the traffic gets bottled up, or practically every other cyclist around them is lane splitting.

For those of you who might have a license to drive a motorcyle, like Jonsey, the question is, have you ever done lane splitting and if so, is it whenever you can or just occasionally?

For those of you who don't drive a motorcycle (or if you want to respond) what do you think of lane splitting?

Personally, if the person using the motorcycle is not going too fast and is being careful it's probably not a problem. As one guy pointed out, it's easy to get into a problem if someone in a car does something stupid like move the wrong way and bam! It's over.

So what's your take?
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Flack
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Post by Flack » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:33 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH0Ywdq8iMQ[/youtube]

As you mentioned, lane splitting (formerly "white lining") is only legal in California (in the US). According to their law, lane splitters can go no more than 15 mph faster than surrounding traffic, and it is prohibited at speeds above 50 mph.

When riding a motorcycle, I assume all car drivers either can't see me, or will intentionally try to kill me. I look at every car and think, "What's the worst possible thing that car could do to me," like changing lanes into me, pulling out in front of me, or slamming on their brakes. When I used to ride to work, whatever I had imagined as a "worst case scenario" usually happened at least once a day. Sometimes people would pull out in front of me while talking on their cell phone and never see me coming. Other times they would pull out in front of me while making eye contact with that "I'm bigger than you" look on their face.

Motorcyclists say that lane splitting helps air cooled bikes from overheating by not stopping in traffic, but that's just dumb. First of all, nobody in any of those videos is riding an air cooled bike (like a Harley). They're all riding typical water cooled sport bikes. Lane splitters also say that by lane splitting they are making the roads less congested by freeing up space for cars. The last time I was in California I got stuck on the 405 for over an hour with traffic at a complete stand still. I don't think being 8 feet closer to my destination would have made things much better for me.

The downside, as you can see from the video I posted, is that it's dangerous. Motorcycles are hard enough to see, and people aren't expecting them to come zooming up in between lanes. Like you said, all it takes is one person to change lanes in front of you and it's catapult city.

In the video I posted, at least four people wreck because pissed off car drivers intentionally open their doors and cause them to crash. I think a lot of those videos came from Russia and maybe that's not as big of a problem in California, but all it would take is for it to happen once to make a believer out of me. Even if they don't open their door, I can see people spitting or throwing things out of their window as lane splitters cruise through congested traffic.

The first thread I found about lane splitting on Fark contained a long conversation about ways lane splitters hit, damage, or rip off car side mirrors when people cut them off or don't let them through. In a lot of the lane splitting videos you can see broken side mirrors on the bikes, too. At a minimum, it seems like at least a light contact sport. No thanks.

I get so sick of people on bicycles who claim they have a right to be on the road the same as any vehicle, and then run through stop signs and red lights and say, "Hey man, we're on bicycles!" You can't have it both ways. Motorcyclists have fought for a long time to be treated like other vehicles. I don't feel like cutting between cars and zooming around them on the shoulder promotes that.

The other day I was at Qdoba with my family. There were a couple of people ahead of us in line waiting to pay and a couple of people behind us. While we were waiting, this guy (who was already eating) walked up to the front of the line and said, "Can I just buy one taco?" There were five groups waiting in line to pay in front of him. "Yeah, but I just want to buy one taco." Look, Generation Me, this isn't some weird bubble sorted list where those who are buying the least amount of things get to pay first! This is goddamn America, where you go to the end of the line and pay when you get to the front, and if you need a penny you take a penny, but if you need two pennies, you go get a job. When the guy behind the counter tells me to swipe my card, I hand it to him and say no motherfucker, YOU swipe the card, because *I* don't WORK HERE!

Where was I? Oh yeah, Lane splitting, bad idea.
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Post by Jizaboz » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:44 am

While we were waiting, this guy (who was already eating) walked up to the front of the line and said, "Can I just buy one taco?"
The who was already eating part probably would have made me lose my shit hahah.

"OH. YOU DIDN'T DO THE TACO MATH PROPERLY WHEN YOU ORDERED THE FIRST TIME? GET YOUR ASS BACK THERE!"

But yes, right. I've never ridden a motorcycle on the road (legally anyway. heh) but if I did I'd rather not die trying to split lanes.

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Post by Casual Observer » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:09 am

Flack wrote:Oh yeah, Lane splitting, bad idea.
I totally agree with you about this. Nothing pisses me off more than being stuck in traffic and those guys zoom right past me.

The worst thing they do actually goes along with your Taco story. At red lights here they actually lane split right to the front of the line and then pull right ahead of the front car. I can't believe that the intent of making lane splitting legal was for bikes to cut in front of the line at red lights.

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Post by Bob Ross' Joy of Painting » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:21 pm

Lane splitters are assholes. Only LEOs with their emergency lights on should be allowed to lane split.

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Post by Bob Ross' Joy of Painting » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:21 pm

Bob Ross' Joy of Painting wrote:Lane splitters are assholes. Only LEOs with their emergency lights on should be allowed to lane split.
And even though I've never seen it, I suppose it is possible, volunteer emergency personnel with their emergency lights on is acceptable as well.

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Post by Flack » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:36 pm

This was the topic we needed to reunite Jolt Country, Tdarcos. Thank you for your service.
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Post by pinback » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:08 pm

Whitelining is appropriate and expected in Los Angeles.
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Post by Flack » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:11 pm

LIKE CLOCKWORK.
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Re: Lane Splitting

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:32 pm

Tdarcos wrote:For those of you who might have a license to drive a motorcyle, like Jonsey, the question is, have you ever done lane splitting and if so, is it whenever you can or just occasionally?
Great question. Love the show. It's not legal in Colorado -- I think California is the only state that allows it -- but I wouldn't personally do it anyway.

I think it makes an enormous amount of sense. One person hardly taking up any room can filter up and if it's in a city or town be gone gone gone when the traffic light turns green. That's all good. *I* wouldn't do it because it drives people irrationally crazy and the last thing I need is to have someone open their door or try to make the lane more narrow and have me hit something or fall down.

I don't quite get why it drives so many people in cars red with rage. But it does and I don't need that kind of drama in my life. I hope that all other motorcyclists do it in CA all the time. I feel it should be legal everywhere.

GREAT THREAD SO FAR, by the way. I mean it sincerely, this is the best discussion you've started that I can remember. Love the show.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by Tdarcos » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:06 pm

Flack wrote:The last time I was in California I got stuck on the 405 for over an hour with traffic at a complete stand still. I don't think being 8 feet closer to my destination would have made things much better for me.
Well, you definitely proved you're just a visitor and was never a Californian.

The reason for this being, I, as a 25-year resident of California, specifically Long Beach, am aware that California natives never use the number of the freeway (except when talking to out-of-staters) they use its name. Someone from California - especially Southern California - would not have said "the 405" they'd have said "the San Diego Freeway," even though, of course, it doesn't go all the way to San Diego, it goes to the El Toro Y (the split between the 405 and the 5, not the YMCA) in Orange County.

And until I learned the names it bugged the shit out of me too.

The freeway that does go to San Diego, Interstate 5, is known as the Golden State Freeway.
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Post by Casual Observer » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:36 pm

Tdarcos wrote:The reason for this being, I, as a 25-year resident of California, specifically Long Beach, am aware that California natives never use the number of the freeway (except when talking to out-of-staters) they use its name. Someone from California - especially Southern California
Must just be socal because here in the bay area it's all about the numbers. 4, 80 (580, 680, 880), 101, etc. I'm not sure I can think of a single named freeway in this region.

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Post by pinback » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:45 am

Tdarcos wrote:Someone from California - especially Southern California - would not have said "the 405" they'd have said "the San Diego Freeway,"
This is the wrongest thing you have ever said. Native or not, I was there on and off for ten years, and I never heard anyone call it anything other than the 405. Ever.
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Post by Tdarcos » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:51 am

pinback wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:Someone from California - especially Southern California - would not have said "the 405" they'd have said "the San Diego Freeway,"
This is the wrongest thing you have ever said. Native or not, I was there on and off for ten years, and I never heard anyone call it anything other than the 405. Ever.
Whenever the news reported something happening on a freeway, they always used the name. Except when the 1984 Olympics brought thousands of outsiders into LA, for the three weeks they used both. Except for that one time in 25 years, the news media in Southern California never used the number of any freeway. Ever.
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Post by pinback » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:18 am

The NEWS may use it (or used to, anyway), but for actual humans not on television, exactly zero people have called it "the San Diego freeway" in the past 20 years.
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Post by Jizaboz » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:24 am

Know Californians. Can confirm 405.

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Post by pinback » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:24 am

Jizaboz wrote:Know Californians. Can confirm 405.
The 405. Get it right.
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