Your position in the left-turn lane was a pretty effective signal in and of itself. Extending your left arm for the entire 8 seconds is not necessary (though it is a good idea to make that signal a couple of times.)
If someone waves me on, AND IT IS CLEARLY OTHERWISE SAFE, I graciously accept their courtesy. Rejecting courtesy for the sake of a stand on principle is also discourteous. The other guy doesn't understand my principle, all he knows is that he was trying to be nice and here this jerk is throwing it back in his face. So... I'm careful about that.
Item 1 - ME BAD! Without realizing it, I misled my loyal reader due to flatulent writing. In truth, the road south of FM1709 (facing toward the photo) is a simple two laner. The so-called "left turn lane" really isn't. It is ACTUALLY me being right next to the center lane so that any overtaking right turning traffic can do so while I wait for the light to change. Sloppily, I wrote as if being right next to the center line is a left turn indication rather than just being the smart place for a through/left turning cyclist to be. REGARDLESS, Anonymous made a luscious point, that being the protocol of a precise, but not tiring, left turn arm signal. If I understand him/her properly, I normally do pretty much the same; I hang my left arm out when pulling up to the stop, then I signal again periodically just so people remember I plan to turn left, and then I really hang the arm out again when I see the light is getting ready to go green so even those with really short memories know I'm planning on a left.
Item 2 - Anonymous makes a valid point, and PART of me agrees entirely with him/her. OTOH, insisting on giving up your accepted place in the traffic interaction in favor of someone who clearly intends to follow the regular rules is a bit discourteous as well. Who is worse, the one who insists on violating the rules to be "nice" or the one that insists on following the rules so that everyone moves along and gets along. That is part of the quandry I wrote about - the fine line before the cyclist acquires an offensive "chip.' It's also why I finally went, after making the point that "it's YOUR turn, go!" FWIW, there was enough other stuff going about (including crossing guards), that me going was not risk free, which the oncoming "nice" drivers probably did not notice, but I sure did.
THIS is why I tweaked my blog preferences to allow anonymous comments with captchas. Sometimes, the anonymous commenters give the rest of us things to ponder. Thanks!
Road and trail closures: Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties - With record-breaking rainfall throughout Northern California abating for now, a bunch of us will be tempted to hit the roads on our bikes. Several favorite...
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