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Old August 19th, 2014, 09:58 PM   #1741
ChrisZwolle
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Sounds like the Netherlands Many cyclists want to be an equal road user, but without the rules and responsibility
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Old August 19th, 2014, 10:00 PM   #1742
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Would I be wrong in saying that we are the first country in the world to do this?
Nope, Poland was first. :P
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Old August 20th, 2014, 09:05 AM   #1743
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Sounds like the Netherlands Many cyclists want to be an equal road user, but without the rules and responsibility
It's hard to imagine that cyclists somewhere could be that annoying and irresponsible as here.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 10:48 AM   #1744
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It's hard to imagine that cyclists somewhere could be that annoying and irresponsible as here.
They are the same everywhere.

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Old August 20th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #1745
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In fact I have nothing against bicycles unless they drive in a normal way but not like now. They have rights but no there's no such thing as responsibility.

For foreigners that don't know Riga - these cyclists ignore most of traffic laws. For example, traffic lights don't exist for them...
Since in the future I want to be some sort of traffic planner (if there is such a thing), I closely follow all these "improvements" in Rīga.

For one - Brīvības gatve road traffic has to wait additional 10 seconds because of the cyclepath (built around 2010). Why? So the cars turning right wouldn't run into a cyclist. And the city was too lazy to equip the traffic light with a separate turn signal, so the left lane is being held up for no reason. Further more - there are almost no cyclists using the green light, because no cyclist wants to ride at a slow 12 km/h (that's the green wave for them) so they just cross at red and keep on going at 20 km/h.

In twitter I asked some cyclists, why they jump the lights. They answered that the light phases are stupid. And basically that, unless there is a 20-30 km/h green light wave especially for cyclists, they will drive at red because they don't like to be slowed down by such things. Same applies for why some use the road, not the adjacent cycle track - it's slower. They do not feel any responsibility for slowing down all the drivers. And they justify their illegal and rude activities by claiming that more drivers brake the rules than cyclists. Which might be true in jumping the speed limits, but never traffic lights. For some reason drivers have learned to stop at traffic lights even if there is no one crossing.
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Now I don't really understand how to behave there. I have to turn right but I'm on the left lane (the right is for cyclists). Usually when I have to turn right, I just do it but now I have to watch those damn cyclists (or do I understand it wrong?). Yeah, another traffic safety improvement.
By law you are required to let the cyclists first.
http://www.la.lv/jaunas-velojoslas-rigas-centra/

IMO cyclists should have priority over cars on the small intersections (minor living streets, driveways into petrol stations, etc.). But on main streets I'm still not sure. Since cars are faster, cars reach the traffic lights first. There they can turn right, traffic flows very smoothly*. The slower bicycle will arrive later and will cross the street without any problems because all the cars that wanted to turn have already turned. In all - there should be much more logic into traffic lights. They need to be coordinated.

*if there is a separate phase for pedestrians which I as a pedestrian really like

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Old August 20th, 2014, 09:58 PM   #1746
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And they justify their illegal and rude activities by claiming that more drivers brake the rules than cyclists. Which might be true in jumping the speed limits, but never traffic lights. For some reason drivers have learned to stop at traffic lights even if there is no one crossing.
Drivers break the rules more... sure, sure. What rules do they break so often? Mostly they aren't serious ones but I can't say the same about driving at red.
If there were speed limits for cyclists, I'm sure that they wouldn't think much about those as well. There could be different excuses to explain their "rights" to ignore all rules.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 11:07 PM   #1747
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and there are some smart ones that go almost in driving lane and they think... they probably don't think at all.
They may think "if I can see the approaching car, of course its driver can see me as well".

Or: "if he cannot see me, he shouldn't have a driving license in the first place". No joking, I've heard this from a grown up person, who had (at that time at least) a driving license himself. I wonder if there was a switch in his brain, "driving mode" vs. "pedestrian mode".

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If there were speed limits for cyclists, I'm sure that they wouldn't think much about those as well. There could be different excuses to explain their "rights" to ignore all rules.
Of course there are speed limits. They are the same as for everyone else. In most cases, such as 50 km/h in urban areas, they don't matter since non-athletic cyclists don't reach such speeds anyway, but there are residential streets with, say, 20 km/h - and indeed, many cyclists seem to think that that limit doesn't concern them.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 11:50 PM   #1748
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Speed limits doesn't affect them much (like you said). 50 km/h is quite a speed for a cyclist but lower speed limits aren't not that often found. So it's easy to blame drivers for being irresponsible in a case where they almost can't be found guilty.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 12:46 AM   #1749
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Drivers break the rules more... sure, sure. What rules do they break so often? Mostly they aren't serious ones but I can't say the same about driving at red.
The cyclists say that red light is not serious if there are no cars that they can see. And I can really see the danger here because pedestrians think the same (although not to such extent). I've seen crowds of people cross 3+3 roads at red lights in Jugla and almost get hit by cars because the intersection now is f*cked up - the tram always arrives at the terminus when pedestrian traffic light for crossing the road from the tram terminus turns to red.

Basically - if you can't make a good traffic light controlled intersection, you should leave it uncontrolled. Because pedestrians and cyclists WILL crosss at red, if it is badly timed. And drivers will be less careful because they will have green light, and won't look out for jaywalkers. That's why I think that all zebra crossings should only have two lights for drivers - a flashing yellow and a red. People will cross the road normally (and legally) but, if there is a lot of cars, they will press the button, stop the traffic and cross safely.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:33 AM   #1750
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Quote:
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The cyclists say that red light is not serious if there are no cars that they can see
I wonder what would happen if all car drivers would start thinking that way...

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Basically - if you can't make a good traffic light controlled intersection, you should leave it uncontrolled. Because pedestrians and cyclists WILL crosss at red, if it is badly timed.
I disagree. Red lights always will be too long for this group. There are a lot of people that are lazy enough to go 10 m to zebra crossing or to wait additional 10 seconds till the green signal. No, they are in hurry always and they have to go. If those cyclists and pedestrians don't even look around and get hit by a car (driving at green) then it's their fault and driver is not to be blamed.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 12:28 PM   #1751
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Quote:
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I disagree. Red lights always will be too long for this group. There are a lot of people that are lazy enough to go 10 m to zebra crossing or to wait additional 10 seconds till the green signal. No, they are in hurry always and they have to go. If those cyclists and pedestrians don't even look around and get hit by a car (driving at green) then it's their fault and driver is not to be blamed.
Depending on the situation I would blame not only the person who was run over but also the department who put that traffic light like it was. If you know that there is a tram terminus, and 50-100 people will get out at once at predictable times and will want to cross the road, then you should change the lights so that they would have green then. Otherwise, people will get fed up and at least a couple of those 50 WILL cross at red when there are less cars. If there are no cars but are 50 people waiting to cross, there is something wrong with the intersection.

Of course, this doesn't apply to all situations, but pedestrians should have less waiting times in places where they are many. For example, the before-mentioned tram terminus in Jugla or the public transport stops at Alfa.

And those LED countdowns until green help people calm down and not cross at red. I think.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 01:01 PM   #1752
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those LED countdowns until green help people calm down and not cross at red. I think.
They usually help me to be patient.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 01:12 PM   #1753
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They usually help me to be patient.
Yes, me too. There's something oddly relaxing about being able to switch off for 45 seconds (or whatever) when coming across a red light.

Although I think everyone admits to speeding up when they see the green countdown is at 10 seconds or less.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:19 PM   #1754
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One of the best roads in Latvia, E22/P80 from Tīnūži to Koknese.



I couldn't film the remaining part near Koknese, cause my camera ran out of memory.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 05:37 PM   #1755
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A8/E77 Jelgava-LT border reconstruction.

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Old August 26th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #1756
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Question to roads users - can somewhere in Latvia find so-called "sleeper lines" ? (look at photo below)

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Old August 26th, 2014, 09:26 PM   #1757
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As far as I know these lines aren't introduced to our road standards.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #1758
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There is not much need for such "sleeper lines" in Latvia as here we already have a more effective solution for drivers falling asleep! On most roads (not only A roads) the asphalt surface itself (!) incorporates precisely crafted bumps that make it impossible to fall asleep: the main part of the road features minor bumps that serve as a general reminder, that you are driving, while the shoulders incorporate major bumps that will prevent any tired driver to drive off the road.

Here is an example - the P94

We are sure that in time other countries will also adopt our traffic safety systems.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #1759
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Come on, it's not that bad now. Most of the worst A road sections have been reconstructed in the last few years. f.e. surface quality of Via Baltica in Latvia is better than in Lithuania. Most of Lithuanian regional roads are in similar condition to Latvian counterparts. And no, we don't have any sleeper lines.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 11:08 PM   #1760
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Duuude, what have you done? You just added oil to fire! I'm getting outta' here
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