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Author Topic: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)  (Read 2717 times)

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Offline orionvc

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N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« on: August 06, 2013, 08:37:28 am »
Hi fellas

Just wondering what you guys think about using the right hand shoulder / emergency lane on the N1 between the West Rand & Sandton during traffic? I took the highway this morning and seems like most bikers are using it instead of lane splitting. It's certainly a far safer option. I feel a little uneasy going past the cars too quickly though so stuck to around 60km/h.

Any negative experiences doing this?  :dontknow:

Rob
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Offline AntonDP

Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 08:38:43 am »
1.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.
2.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.
3.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.
 

Offline Ganjora

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 08:41:08 am »
1.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.
2.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.
3.  It is illegal to drive in the white lane.

4.   it is an emergency lane,  you can expect cars to suddenly swerve into it,  or be standing stationary.
5.   all the debris from accidents gather's there - puncture hazard
 

Offline Dwerg

Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 08:41:24 am »
This should get interesting  :sip:
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Offline Draadtang

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 08:42:02 am »
Dit hang van persoon tot persoon af wie waar ry.Vir ander werk dit en vir ander nie >:D
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Offline LouisXander

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 08:45:09 am »
In theory YES!! but it will become a lane for Taxi's though, in due course.
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Offline Hanno @ Mad Macs

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 08:47:11 am »
This has been discussed before on Wilddogs.

Riding there is looking for shit, trouble, sudden emergency stops and flat wheels.

IT is also illegal - not a bike lane , but emergency shoulder.

And riding there (at speeds it seems) scares the inattentive cagers and makes them swerve into the space where the normal okes lane split.
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Offline iamgigglz

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 08:48:46 am »
Commonly referred to as the suicide lane. Don't do it.

90% of the accidents I've seen involving bikes on the highway are clearly a case of bike in suicide lane + cage doing something perfectly legal.

That and yes, it's illegal and a puncture hazard, plus all sorts of drainage gullies/holes.
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Offline Whaleson

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 08:51:54 am »
Hi fellas

Just wondering what you guys think about using the right hand shoulder / emergency lane on the N1 between the West Rand & Sandton during traffic? I took the highway this morning and seems like most bikers are using it instead of lane splitting. It's certainly a far safer option. I feel a little uneasy going past the cars too quickly though so stuck to around 60km/h.

Any negative experiences doing this?  :dontknow:

Rob

The safety is an illusion.

1. It is illegal
2. It is where cars like to swerve to in an emergency (and into you)
3. The road surface is not ideal there
4. Almost all debris from the road ends up there

Splitting between the cars is counter intuitive and can be a little nerve-wrecking at first, but is far safer because

1. Its legal
2. The cars and you have more room to move
3. You are 'protected' from being rear ended
4. At sensible speeds you are also safer from cars swerving.

That so many riders insist on riding in the shoulder lane is a serious problem and a huge hazard to their own safety. Lane splitting is psychologically more intimidating but statistically far safer, It also gives you options on where to go where the only thing the shoulder lane gives you a is a concrete barrier next to a strips of bad tarmac covered in sharp objects.

Rather take it easy and get comfortable with splitting before falling into the trap and delusion that the shoulder lane is meant for bikes, its not and is the most dangerous place on highway for a bike.
 

Offline laurika

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 08:58:12 am »
I ride,there when the traffic is bumper to bumper and hardly moving. I do it slowly (infact when another bike races up to me,i pull over for them)...any other time i lane split. Have never picked up a puncture there.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:58:57 am by laurika »

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Offline orionvc

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 09:01:51 am »
These are all thoughts that occurred to me too and add to the "uneasiness" I have about it. I'd never use the "yellow lane" on the left for instance. I was just wondering what the consensus was and if it was perceived by any to be safer than lane splitting (considering cars seem to change / swerve between lanes more often that swerve into the emergency lane)  :peepwall:

Interesting comments Whaleson about the extra safety being an illusion... I'm perfectly comfortable lane splitting and have been riding for +/- 12 years  :ricky:

Out of interest aren't there legalities around lane splitting too though? Only up to a maximum speed etc? :pot:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 09:04:58 am »
I'm with Laurika, when there is a prang up ahead and the highway is stationary, then I proceed very slowly in the shoulder lane. VERY SLOWLY.

But if the cars are moving, then I lane-split. Period.
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Offline orionvc

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2013, 09:05:33 am »
I ride,there when the traffic is bumper to bumper and hardly moving. I do it slowly (infact when another bike races up to me,i pull over for them)...any other time i lane split. Have never picked up a puncture there.

This is the experience I had this morning - constantly moving over for other bikers and rejoining the traffic whenever it was flowing smoothly. It's also worth noting that this particular shoulder is the only one I've ever been tempted to use. It's wider than most. The surface isn't different to the main highway for the most part and there really doesn't seem to be much in the way of debris.

However the rest of the comments here (and my own gut feel) do have me leaning towards it being overall not such a good idea...  :-\
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 09:07:25 am by orionvc »
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Offline Alsdad

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2013, 09:05:52 am »
Has been a major topic on ThinkBike for the last Two years!

Commonly referred to as "The Suicide Lane"

Limits your options, cars swerve into it to avoid rear ending someone, is full of debris, cars move into it to allow bikes in the real BLane to pass, and it's illegal so insurance won't pay in the event of an accident.

Enough reasons to keep me in the middle/fast splitting biker lane and out of the Emergency Lane. :thumleft:
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Offline laurika

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 09:08:41 am »
At peak time that highway comes to a dead stop. Really so much easier then. Heck. Most people sit on their cellphones....they breaking the law also.

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Online RobC

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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2013, 09:11:58 am »
Consensus does not mean it is legal... :sip:

I fear you will have little sympathy if you do have a prang riding there and those that do so slowly too. Coming from the platteland once in a while I have observed that the lane is often strewn with debris... those that have used it and not picked up punctures have been lucky.
 

Offline Abre

Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2013, 09:13:29 am »
Good day, all

I don't usually travel along that road. On the odd occasion that I do travel on it I felt out of place lane sharing; all the cagers in the right lane keep to the left of the lane to make space for the bikes in the emergency lane. That left no or very little space for me to lane share. I had no option but to join the other bikers in the emergency lane. Almost a case of majority rules.

Luckily I very seldomly travel along that road.

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Offline Toors

Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2013, 09:28:04 am »
Well I ride that portion of the road every day - It is on the right hand side shoulder and not the emergency lane that is on the left hand side shoulder (on this particular portion of the road in any event)

Yes it is illegal to drive there, but I don't have a number plate on my motorcycle either and I am known to drive faster than the recommended speed limit... (in this portion of the road I do keep the speed down)  :pot:

This specific shoulder is wider than most (wide enough for a bike but not wide enough for a car taxi) with good tarmac (brand new) and it is seemingly cleaned almost every day (debris - burst tyres and the like are normally cleaned within 24 hours  ::)

Yes you are risking punctures and are risking a car swerving in front of you - but as far as I am concerned - being as vigilant as I can - I find that for this portion of the road that it is easier and safer to ride on the right hand shoulder than to lane split - for instance on the N1 between Sandton and PTA - it is possible but a lot narrower - with big manhole covers etc - so there I lane split.

Just remember that before you go into this "bike" lane to check your mirror for other bikes  ;)

Hey make up your own mind: you are an adult and you can do your own risk assessment -  saying that I know of at least one biker that did not make it after a mattress fell from a bakkie and the bakkie suddenly turned into the right hand shoulder and braked to pick up the mattress... RIP mate
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 09:30:58 am by Toors »
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Offline Sylvester

Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2013, 09:34:50 am »
I don't usually travel along that road. On the odd occasion that I do travel on it I felt out of place lane sharing; all the cagers in the right lane keep to the left of the lane to make space for the bikes in the emergency lane. That left no or very little space for me to lane share. I had no option but to join the other bikers in the emergency lane. Almost a case of majority rules.

Agree,

Most of the nay sayers are those that have not travelled that piece of road in peak traffic. 

I normally keep strictly to the "biker lane" but on those sections on the N1 North and South (between William Nicol and Beyers) I feel that the suicide lane is the better option.  All the cagers in the fast lane expect the bikes to come from that lane, and give way to the left.  As long as you keep a reasonable speed, that lane should be the safest option.




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Re: N1 "bike lane" (Johannesburg)
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2013, 09:37:39 am »
I have used it as Laurika described but also remember an thread sparro put up about a biker being killed when a car swerved into the lane.

I ma lucky, I live on the other side of town now so don't often travel in that hectic traffic, also lucky as when I am home I am on break.  :ricky: