Right of Way

firebus's picture

This morning I was biking to work and, hitting a red light at an intersection, used the crosswalk to make a left turn and cross the street. This is illegal. You can't ride a vehicle in a crosswalk.

As a crossed the street, another bike was coming towards the intersection on the other side of the street I had been on. That bike ran the red light. Also illegal.

We were far enough apart that there was no danger of collision, but I wonder if either of us had the right of way? If we crashed would we both be at fault? Or maybe fault would have to be determined some other way (maybe the person whose front tire hit the other bike would be at fault?)

From a bike perspective, I think that running the red light is the worse offense (not that either is that bad if there's no opposing traffic/innocent pedestrians) since at least the bike in the crosswalk has a green light.

However, from the perspective of a "vehicle" - which is what bikes are under the C.V.C. - I think the general case of a vehicle operating in a cross walk (I'm thinking of those elderly drivers that kept plowing into groups of pedestrians after falling asleep at the wheel or getting their pedals confused) is much scarier than the vehicle running a red light.


Walk it!

I often will do this, but I will come to a full stop, get off my bike and walk through the cross walk which is fully legal. You go from a vehicle to a pedestrian in seconds!

Cars turning on red transit

Cars turning on red transit through crosswalks, just not within them. Running a red is always the "worst" winner, since it's the most traffic-culture-logic defying act. Regardless of whether a bike is a vehicle or not, OTHER drivers/pedestrians/cyclists are trained to watch out for you, thus reducing the likelihood of an accident. While similar training is given in making sure cross traffic stops on red, in practice it's the thing most people leave out of their calculations, and thus the more dangerous.

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