Yes I went somewhere, but not on a Bike. It has been a long week. I started Saturday at my brother’s In-laws, at their May Fest (Maibaum). It was a great party! The core of the group was the Dallas German-American Society. They are a really great group of people celebrating their heritage. The video below is of the raising of the Maibaum.
Sunday I flew to San Jose for work. I usually like to work in a little sightseeing, but after two days, I had done nothing. I rested Sunday after driving around a bit, worked Monday, and except for my morning walks, have not left the hotel.
Why on the motorcycle blog?
Well, while commuting about town for meetings I have had my first experience as a cager with lane filtering. I have seen it done safely, recklessly and varying degrees of in-between. One of my first surprises was learning that filtering is not just used during jams; I was “filtered” by while I was going 80MPH! Lately, I have been hearing that there is talk of bringing some variation of this to Texas.
My own experiences of trying to get around jams and accidents on 1-35 between Dallas and Austin over the last few years have me wondering if that is a good idea. Short of a massive marketing and driver education, some people may not adjust to this well back home.
I know it would take time, but am left to wonder if the character of many of my fellow Texans can tolerate somebody going by them in a jam without the urge to crush them with their F-950!? Less than 4 months ago I tried to filter in central Texas at a very low speed with flashers on, only to have angry drivers swerve wildly to cut me off. Several “professional” OTR truck drivers, whom I can only assume have been to CA, took drastic maneuvers to attempt to spill me. One driver drove his truck off of the surface to cut me off, only to force me to go around him, between him and another 18 wheeler! Sadly, all I was attempting to do was exit the roadway before my ST1300’s clutch was smoked in the stop and go.
I wonder if the best option for Texas may be to follow a practice I observed while living in MN back in 2000? In MN busses are allowed on the shoulder, where available. Motorcycles would often (and illegally) follow the busses, and still move faster than traffic.
A few safety rules I would keep in mind if I were writing legislation?
1. “Filtering” on shoulders only
a. This would to a great degree eliminate the “bubba-factor” or “Soccer-mom factor”, and most other “Factors” that have tried to crush you while texting.
2. Only allow shoulder use when traffic slows to 50% of posted speeds
3. Filtering speeds 10 MPH below posted maximum speed limit (55mph on a 65MPH road)
a. This keeps people from filtering needlessly (recklessly)
4. HUGE fines for exceeding maximum filtering speed
5. HUGE, and I mean HUGE fines for any drivers attempting obstruct filtering6. Filtering restricted to riders wearing helmets.
a. (I know this will likely piss people off) Personal thing here, but let’s face it, filtering is dangerous. In two days in CA I have yet to see ANYONE without full gear on a bike. During my first commute on the 101 I saw, that I can only presume was SCU student spilled on his sportster while filtering. (He seemed to be okay) If the state of TX, governmentally speaking, is bent on having people wear helmets, this is a mechanism. Filtering would be a privilege for those willing to play by DOT rules. I am personally surprised NTTA and other toll road operators have not already done this.
Thoughts? I welcome mature and thoughtful feedback J!