Sunday, March 8, 2009

Turn Signals

Drivers, cyclists, everybody: please use your turn signals. I live in an area of Ottawa with lots of old, winding roads that are not on a grid system. There are a lot of confusing two-way and four-way stops, and the streets alternate randomly between one and two-way lanes. It's confusing and hard to tell who has the right of way. When I got from my place to the Canal, I pass by Rideau Street, a major road and then a serious of small streets. They go four-way stop, two-way stop, two-way stop one-way, four-way stop, one-way four-way stop, and then the road ends and I have to turn. Two of the roads have bike lanes, but most don't.

One thing that would make this and any driving or cycling experience much easier would be if people would use their turn signals. This even affects me as a pedestrians. Going to cross with the light and having to jump away when a motorist 1) thinks the pedestrian advance is outweighed by their right turn needs and 2) has not even signaled that right turn. I realise that this is something that cyclists are as guilty of. In fact, sometimes I seems like I am the only cyclist I see who uses turn signals. I also wonder how many motorists understand them. I have also been almost clipped so many times, or alternately waited unnecessarily many times when it turns out someone is turning but has not signaled.

Please, please. Whether with your hand or lights, use your turn signals!

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