One of the most dangerous situations any rider faces is when a driver passes on the left, then makes an immediate right turn. Or when a driver tries to make a left turn directly in front of an oncoming rider.
Most of the time they get away with it. And sometimes they don’t, resulting in a serious, often fatal, accident in which the rider smashes into the side of the turning vehicle.
The problem is that drivers often underestimate the speed of the bike, and think they’ve got time to complete the turn. Or they just drive too aggressively, and assume they have the skill to pull off an exceptionally risky move — or want to send a message by forcing the cyclist to panic stop in order to avoid them.
The only way to stop it, and protect the safety of cyclists, is to ban it entirely — and require that drivers wait until any oncoming rider passes before making their turn, whether right or left.
Bicycle Fixation observes we’re getting closer to genuine critical mass (lower case). The Utne Reader discovers conservative cyclists aren’t a myth after all, while conservative #1 plans to open the way for mountain bikes in the national parks. Now if he’d just restore their funding before he makes his ungraceful exit in January.