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Thread: Bicycle Lanes replacing car lanes in Manhattan - a discussion of WHAT IF

  1. Top | #61
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    When a lot of motorists pretend not to see cyclists ...
    They're not pretending; They genuinely don't see them (or motorcycles for that matter), because they are looking for cars.

    It's called 'selective attention', and is the subject of this well known test:



    It's a major problem with driving - human brains are VERY good at pretending that they are looking at a scene, when in fact they are saving processing power by just quickly scanning for those things that they expect to be there, or that they have decided in advance to care about.

    This is also why you can't find your keys even though they are in plain sight, if they are not in the location you expected.

    One thing that helps with the cyclist/motorcyclist blindness caused by selective attention is to regularly play a game where you try to spot as many bicycles and motorcycles as possible. It's a great game for kids to play on long car journeys (and hopefully will help them be better drivers when they grow up), and it's also a great game for adults to play to improve their driving skills.

  2. Top | #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    When a lot of motorists pretend not to see cyclists ...
    They're not pretending; They genuinely don't see them (or motorcycles for that matter), because they are looking for cars.

    It's called 'selective attention', and is the subject of this well known test:



    It's a major problem with driving - human brains are VERY good at pretending that they are looking at a scene, when in fact they are saving processing power by just quickly scanning for those things that they expect to be there, or that they have decided in advance to care about.

    This is also why you can't find your keys even though they are in plain sight, if they are not in the location you expected.

    One thing that helps with the cyclist/motorcyclist blindness caused by selective attention is to regularly play a game where you try to spot as many bicycles and motorcycles as possible. It's a great game for kids to play on long car journeys (and hopefully will help them be better drivers when they grow up), and it's also a great game for adults to play to improve their driving skills.
    Valid point, but I'm not sure it's just that. When I'm occupying the middle of the lane, the same drivers who would bolt past me without a safe distance as if I'm not there when I'm staying on the side will stop rather than ram me from behind. Which is why I've taken to the habit of occupying the middle of the lane when going down a narrow one way street (the right way) - until the road widens enough to allow safe passage, or until there's a garage entry or a couple empty parking spots I can evade into, where I'll actively let them pass, even slowing down or stopping to do so.

    If they get annoyed by my blocking their way, it's all on them - it was never safe to overtake me where I wouldn't let them overtake me.

  3. Top | #63
    Veteran Member TV and credit cards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    When a lot of motorists pretend not to see cyclists ...
    They're not pretending; They genuinely don't see them (or motorcycles for that matter), because they are looking for cars.

    It's called 'selective attention', and is the subject of this well known test:



    It's a major problem with driving - human brains are VERY good at pretending that they are looking at a scene, when in fact they are saving processing power by just quickly scanning for those things that they expect to be there, or that they have decided in advance to care about.

    This is also why you can't find your keys even though they are in plain sight, if they are not in the location you expected.

    One thing that helps with the cyclist/motorcyclist blindness caused by selective attention is to regularly play a game where you try to spot as many bicycles and motorcycles as possible. It's a great game for kids to play on long car journeys (and hopefully will help them be better drivers when they grow up), and it's also a great game for adults to play to improve their driving skills.
    Seems to me that with "selective attention", one would be inclined to notice what is out of the ordinary. We process vehicles behaving normally and green traffic signal and they are quickly forgotten because they do not command our attention. It is only the red signals and the odd vehicle starting to do something out of the norm (drifting toward the centerline) that commands out attention. When driving, bicycles, pedestrians, animals command my attention.
    What you are describing sounds more like "inattentional blindness".


    Dwight

  4. Top | #64
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by TV and credit cards View Post
    Bicycling conversations often end up here. I don’t know if it’s concern for the bicyclist’s safety or what. Generally when biking, I’ll slow and attempt to make eye contact with my potential executioner to see if he’s going to let me continue on. Coming to complete stops on a bike sucks. Takes a good bit of energy to get going again. It just not something one wants to do repeatedly if it can be avoided.
    I've found that wearing a safety vest helps a lot, just makes me that much more obvious I suppose. The vast majority or drivers always want me to go first, even if they got to the intersection first. Whether I'm driving or cycling, anytime I can't make eye contact I'm focused on the front tire of that car that's stopped and waiting.

    In my state cyclists are advised to "take the lane" when coming to an intersection, particularly if there is a car behind them. If you stay within 36 inches of the curb they act like you're a pedestrian and pretty much ignore you, getting to the stop two seconds before you.

    There really are not a lot of arrogant motorists or arrogant cyclists, they just seem to get talked about the most.

  5. Top | #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Valid point, but I'm not sure it's just that. When I'm occupying the middle of the lane, the same drivers who would bolt past me without a safe distance as if I'm not there when I'm staying on the side will stop rather than ram me from behind. Which is why I've taken to the habit of occupying the middle of the lane when going down a narrow one way street (the right way) - until the road widens enough to allow safe passage, or until there's a garage entry or a couple empty parking spots I can evade into, where I'll actively let them pass, even slowing down or stopping to do so.

    If they get annoyed by my blocking their way, it's all on them - it was never safe to overtake me where I wouldn't let them overtake me.
    Yep. There are a few places on my regular biking route where the road narrows (for probably less than 50 yards) at railroad tracks or restricted intersections, where there simply isn't enough space to safely pass. 90% of the drivers around here would slow down and not try, but there have been enough that tried, that I simply occupy the lane for the distance then conspicuously move back over and give the driver behind a quick wave of thanks, regardless of their actual intent. I've found that acknowledging with a wave seems to mollify the ones that otherwise might have gotten upset or something, because...entitled assholes, I guess. I do the same approaching traffic circles, and for the same reason.

    I recently had a younger driver almost run himself into the median thinking he could get by me and dive into the traffic circle ahead of me. Mind you, I was in my velomobile, cruising at just under 30 mph in a 35 mph zone.

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