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We Will See How This Goes

by on June 18, 2014

I was placed in a very dangerous situation this morning.  I’m lucky and grateful to have come through unskathed.  The only error I think I might have committed during the incident was to not fully “take the lane”. (Later I’ve learned that would not necessarily have helped.)

Here is what happened.

I was traveling north on Highway 450 between the Naval Academy Bridge and Highway 50.

This is a 4 lane divided highway.  Looking ahead you can see the left turn lane, my destination.  (Image from Google Maps)

This is a 4 lane divided highway. Looking ahead you can see the left turn lane, my destination. (Image from Google Maps)

I crossed the highway with no traffic behind me to enter the left turn lane.  I was in the left to middle part of that turn lane, so that I was away from traffic that might come from behind in the left lane.

View of the left turn lane and the intersection to make the turn.

View of the left turn lane and the intersection to make the turn.

As I began my turn, I slowed to wait for an oncoming car to clear the intersection.

Bike enters the turn lane and intersection first, traveling where you see the word "bike".  The car passes on the right, where you see "car" both vehicles headed for the same "destination" across the roadway.

Bike enters the turn lane and intersection first, traveling where you see the word “bike”. The car passes on the right, where you see “car” both vehicles headed for the same “destination” across the roadway.

As the other car cleared the intersection, a silver Audi passed me on the right in the left turn lane, coming within a foot of my bike, and then accelerated through the intersection.  I later learned that the driver had stayed in the left travel lane and then turned into the intersection from there.  He was never in the left turn lane.

It was only because I was already turning that there was not an impact.  Please note that I was headed for the right hand side (right shoulder) of the roadway across the intersection.  Therefore the path of the bicycle and the path of the car would cross in the intersection.

Three riders behind me shouted a warning that there was a car.  That was the first indication to me that another vehicle was passing me.  I thought he would follow me through the intersection.

Bryan got the license plate text.  It was a Maryland plate reading “AIRTOYS”.  The car was a silver Audi.

An internet search on the license plate revealed an image of that plate on a silver Audi and a complaint from 2008 that the vehicle had parked in a “Park & Ride” lot in Annapolis in a handicap parking space and no handicap placard was showing.

I went to the the Park & Ride and after driving through the lot a little while, discovered the car.

car

I left a note:

“I am the cyclist you nearly hit this morning as you made a very unsafe and illegal left hand turn.  Before I decide whether or not to report this incident to the police I’d like to have a discussion about how you put my life at risk by your actions.  Email me at xxxxxxx.xxx.com.  If I don’t hear from you by Thursday at 8 pm – I will report you to the police along with statements from 3 witnesses.”

The note was placed on the windshield.

Note on the windshield.

Note on the windshield.

And another, instructing him to look for the note on the windshield at the driver’s side door.

And a note in the driver's side door.

And a note in the driver’s side door.

Nothing else was done to the car, except for the leaving of the notes.

We will see how this all turns out.

If I go missing in the next day or so … you know where to start.

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From → Cycling

2 Comments
  1. Hopefully, the driver was receptive to your discussion and acknowledged their error.

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      Watch for an upcoming post about what happened. The driver responded!

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