I grew up splitting traffic in Los Angeles. I would still be sitting in traffic on my way to my last employer if I didn't split lanes. I have split traffic for more than three decades and am completely comfortable doing so. It becomes as natural as breathing. It's like woods riding but the trees are all moving. I remember my last trip to Maryland, sitting in ridiculous humid heat that was making the rental car uncomfortable and watching some poor soul on a big bagger sitting still in traffic. No way!
There are some good practices you need to adopt to remain accident free splitting lanes. Don't go more than about 15 mph faster than the flow of traffic so you have some space and time to react to the unexpected. Split between the number one (centermost) and number two lanes because there is less lange changing going on (everyone in the number one lane had to cross all the other lanes to get there). Keep your head on a swivel, cover the front brake and horn button and try to be considerate of other drivers. One cool thing about LA is that they are savvy about lane splitting bikes and don't go all aggro on you if you pass. Many LA drivers will make room for you if you let them see you. I have even come up behind motor cops of several agencies splitting lanes and have seen them slide over and wave me past because my bike was narrower and I could split easier than they could on their big police bikes. Lane splitting has always been legal in California so everyone expects bikes to do it, and that makes it a non problem for the great majority of drivers.
I live in a parallel universe but have a vacation home in reality.
Last edited by Desert Tortoise; 02-05-2014 at 04:25 PM.