I live in Melbourne, Australia, a city famous for its compact, grid-like CBD (downtown area) and trams. Trams mean tram tracks and hook turns. And compulsory helmets. My daily ride is only 10 km but has 32 traffic lights and the second half is shared with trams. It's the second half that really concerns me because it's busy inner-city traffic with a lot going on. The grid is less than 100 m in Elizabeth St.
I'm getting good with tram tracks. Unweighting wheels as they cross the tracks seems to be the main technique (and I haven't fallen yet). I have reasonable situational awareness, and I don't listen to music while riding, but I still have motorists "come out of nowhere" at least once a week.
What do others do about the "come out of nowhere" motorists? I'm already scanning and head-turning to look down side streets but obviously not well enough. Is there a technique I'm missing?
What's the best approach when the light is already green and there are hook turning motorists waiting? Go up the left so they don't turn right on top of me, or the right so I have space to move and am not fighting pedestrians?
How should I deal with "bicycle forward stop" boxes? They're contested by cars and I don't feel especially safe using them, and a lot of motorists seem offended that a cyclist would move over in front of them if they leave the box clear. So mostly I just use the bike lane part rather than the whole box.