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  1. #1
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    New Massachusetts bicycle law ?

    Well it went to the GOV.

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily...ate-region.htm


    Thing is it would be nice to know if this going to be a 3ft passing law? Anyone know? We need some more information.


    Bike safety bill heads to Romney
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    BOSTON Pedaling around Massachusetts could get a little safer under a bill headed to Gov. Mitt Romney's desk.
    Under the bill, bicycle riders would be required to ride in a single file, signal when turning and generally follow the same rules of the road as cars.
    If they commit a traffic violation, bicycle riders could be stopped by police and issued a citation of between $20 and $50. The ticket would not effect the bicycle rider's car insurance or the status of his or her driver's license.
    Drivers also would be required to take extra care around bicycles, only passing them when it's safe to do so and not cutting them off.
    The bill also institutes a stiff fine for the one thing bicycle riders fear most on crowded urban streets: getting "doored."
    "No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians," the bill said.
    Violators would face fines of up to $100.
    After years of trying, outgoing state Rep. Anne Paulsen, D-Belmont, succeeded in shepherding the bill through the Legislature. The House and Senate gave final approval to the bill yesterday.
    A call to a spokesman for Romney was not immediately returned.
    The bill would establish a training protocol for law enforcement officers to explain the new law.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    California is trying to get the 3ft.
    I like the critics have to say so absurd perhaps it might make sense to get this into law.

    So right now it is ok to pass inches within a car? WTF
    I think he just talked him self right out of the bill becuase I am not going to cram myself on the side of the road in a 11 ft lane I am going to take it.

    "Opponents argue AB 60 would create unintended consequences in a state stretching hundreds of miles, with roads generally 11 or 12 feet wide, not counting shoulders or parking slots.
    ''I think the objective is admirable,'' said Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. ''But I just don't think our roads are wide enough to accommodate what they're trying to do.''
    Huff said the math doesn't add up: A 2-foot-wide bicycle, a 7-foot-wide car and a 3-foot-wide buffer zone can't squeeze into an 11-foot lane and would cram a 12-foot lane.
    AB 60 could solve one safety problem by creating another, forcing cars routinely to cross center lines into oncoming traffic to honor the 3-foot buffer, critics say."



    http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/mo...s/16305938.htm

    Lawmaker pushes for wider bike buffer

    By JIM SANDERS

    Sacramento Bee

    SACRAMENTO - A Santa Barbara assemblyman is fighting to change state law -- by 36 inches.
    Democrat Pedro Nava, in memory of a 21-year-old bicyclist struck and killed by a trailer truck on a narrow Santa Barbara road, is pushing for a 3-foot buffer zone for bicycles that are passed by cars or other motor vehicles.
    ''It's from your nose to the end of your fingertip,'' Nava said. ''It's an easy distance to remember. And I think it's the least we can do for bicycle safety.''
    Violators would be subject to base fines of $250, rising to about $875 once local fees are tacked on. Motorists could be charged criminally if a bicyclist were killed or seriously injured.
    Nava is pushing his measure, Assembly Bill 60, in honor of Kendra Chiota Payne, a triathlete for the University of California-Santa Barbara who died in a morning training run last January.
    Richard Payne, Kendra's father, applauds Nava's proposal but says nobody knows whether the collision that killed Kendra would have been avoided if AB 60 had been in effect.
    ''I'm not saying it would have saved her life, I'm saying that it could save future lives in terms of raising awareness and consciousness,'' said Payne, of San Francisco.
    ''I think (Kendra) certainly would be happy to see that other people were benefiting from an action taken because of her death.''
    Statewide, bicycle collisions killed an average of 123 people and injured 11,101 annually from 2000 to 2005, according to the California Highway Patrol, which does not keep tabs on how many crashes stemmed from an unsafe pass.
    Current California law does not specify a minimum clearance but says motorists must pass to the left at a ''safe distance without interfering with the safe operation'' of a bicycle.
    Opponents argue AB 60 would create unintended consequences in a state stretching hundreds of miles, with roads generally 11 or 12 feet wide, not counting shoulders or parking slots.
    ''I think the objective is admirable,'' said Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. ''But I just don't think our roads are wide enough to accommodate what they're trying to do.''
    Huff said the math doesn't add up: A 2-foot-wide bicycle, a 7-foot-wide car and a 3-foot-wide buffer zone can't squeeze into an 11-foot lane and would cram a 12-foot lane.
    AB 60 could solve one safety problem by creating another, forcing cars routinely to cross center lines into oncoming traffic to honor the 3-foot buffer, critics say.
    Nava's bill also would allow motorists to overtake or pass a bicycle by using separate lanes currently designated only for left or U-turns.
    The result could be disastrous: Cars that slow or stop in the lanes, preparing to turn, would be confronted by cars accelerating to pass bicycles, critics claim.
    ''If you're actually encouraging people to use that as a passing lane, it could create additional problems,'' said Sean Comey, spokesman for the California State Automobile Association, which has concerns about AB 60 but has taken no formal position.
    (Distributed by Scripps-McClatchy Western Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheel
    California is trying to get the 3ft.
    I like the critics have to say so absurd perhaps it might make sense to get this into law.

    So right now it is ok to pass inches within a car? WTF
    I think he just talked him self right out of the bill becuase I am not going to cram myself on the side of the road in a 11 ft lane I am going to take it.

    "Opponents argue AB 60 would create unintended consequences in a state stretching hundreds of miles, with roads generally 11 or 12 feet wide, not counting shoulders or parking slots.
    ''I think the objective is admirable,'' said Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. ''But I just don't think our roads are wide enough to accommodate what they're trying to do.''
    Huff said the math doesn't add up: A 2-foot-wide bicycle, a 7-foot-wide car and a 3-foot-wide buffer zone can't squeeze into an 11-foot lane and would cram a 12-foot lane.
    AB 60 could solve one safety problem by creating another, forcing cars routinely to cross center lines into oncoming traffic to honor the 3-foot buffer, critics say."
    So a car, can't wait the .5 seconds for the car coming the other way, to pass so that they can pass safely? What if the vehicle they are passing was another car, they would need to change lanes to pass then, wouldn't they?

  4. #4
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    look's like a great inclusive start!
    i hope nj will come up w/simular statute.
    let's see what follows.....!

  5. #5
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Why a single file law? There are cases where it is very appropriate and fits in the flow of traffic just the same as a double line. What about the slow passing of a long line of cyclists? Will that clearly be noted as passing (which of course it is) vs. two abreast?

    Arizona has a dooring law, which is not cyclist specific:
    "28-905. Opening vehicle door
    A person shall not open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. A person shall not leave a door open on a side of a motor vehicle exposed to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload a passenger. "

    Does MA not have this already? Or is there a desire to make it more bicycle specific. I'd rather see all bike lanes removed from door zones as a higher priority that such a law.

    AZ has a 3ft. law, but also this non-bicycle specific law:
    "28-723. Overtaking a vehicle on the left
    The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction:
    1. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the vehicle at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle."

    Why the need to define a safe distance as 3ft? 2ft may be safe in some cases, but 4ft may be unsafe in others.

    Al

  6. #6
    del dot
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    I just looked up the bill at http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/ht01/ht01411.htm and it looks pretty good. Unless I'm looking at an old version of the bill and it's since been amended, the newspaper article got at least one fact wrong: the law would not require cyclists to ride single file. It does have a "no more than two abreast" clause, which is still a serious flaw in the bill, but not as intolerable as "single-file only" would have been.

    It doesn't specifically mandate a three-foot distance when passing, but does say
    Section 2. (a) The driver of a vehicle passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction shall drive a safe distance to the left of such other vehicle and shall not return to the right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle or other vehicle at a safe distance in the same lane, the overtaking vehicle shall use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, or wait for a more favorable opportunity to overtake.
    ...which sounds like a pretty good set of rules for passing.

    That same section also states
    (b) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, if the way is of sufficient width for the two vehicles to pass, the driver of the leading vehicle shall not unnecessarily obstruct the following vehicle but shall give way to the right on visible signal and shall not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
    which eliminates any justification for the "no-more-than-two-abreast" rule. If a pack of cyclists are refusing to let someone pass when there is room to do so safely, they can be cited under the section I just quoted. If there is not room for a car to pass a cyclist safely, then three or four cyclists abreast aren't any more of an obstacle than a single cyclist appropriately taking the lane.

    There are a few other, more minor flaws in the law; for example, "A bicyclist shall ride only upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle" could be read as making it illegal to stand up while pedaling. I can't imagine a cop citing someone under that interpretation, but I can see a motorist trying to use it as a defense in a civil case: "But he was riding illegally! He was standing up!"

    On the whole, though, the bill looks to me like it's got more good stuff than bad stuff in it; I hope that Gov. Romney signs it. I like the protection against dooring (Section 13) and right hooks (Section 4c), although it would also be good to say explicitly that the cyclist can move as far left as necessary to eliminate both these possibilities, and that this does not count as an unnecessary obstruction to passing.
    Last edited by divergence; 01-03-07 at 01:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Lord of the Manor MassBiker's Avatar
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    Well, the issue is moot. Our lame lame-duck Lt. Governor Kerry Healy -- our OTHER Kerry, who isn't the Governor, but plays one while Mitt-the-Twit Romney carpet-bags around the USA, in his campaign to apply to the nation the same neglect, indifference, and incompetence that he's gifted Massachusetts with for four years -- vetoed the bill.

    She says it unreasonbly applies additional regulation to the recreational cycling population. In other words, she didn't read it. You can read more about the veto on the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition website, at http://www.massbike.org/news/bikebillvetoed.htm .

    The bill will probably be reintroduced in the session of the Legislature that starts this week, for the fourth time since Y2K. This means that the bill still has more legs than Healy's political career.

    As for Smilin' Mitty -- well, he did feck all to support this bill. How could he? He's been out of the state that he supposedly serves for over 200 days this year! This accounts for his abysmally low approval rating here, which hovers in the mid-30th percentile.

    Hopefully, he'll bomb quickly in the Presidential primaries, and just go back to Utah, from whence he came, with his head hung low and his tail a'draggin' ... and happy trails to him, he can stay there!

  8. #8
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Huff said the math doesn't add up: A 2-foot-wide bicycle, a 7-foot-wide car and a 3-foot-wide buffer zone can't squeeze into an 11-foot lane and would cram a 12-foot lane.
    Isn't that the point? If there's not enough space YOU DO NOT PASS!!!
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  9. #9
    Lord of the Manor MassBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes

    "Opponents argue AB 60 would create unintended consequences in a state stretching hundreds of miles, with roads generally 11 or 12 feet wide, not counting shoulders or parking slots.

    'I think the objective is admirable,'' said Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. ''But I just don't think our roads are wide enough to accommodate what they're trying to do.'

    Huff said the math doesn't add up: A 2-foot-wide bicycle, a 7-foot-wide car and a 3-foot-wide buffer zone can't squeeze into an 11-foot lane and would cram a 12-foot lane.

    AB 60 could solve one safety problem by creating another, forcing cars routinely to cross center lines into oncoming traffic to honor the 3-foot buffer, critics say."
    Isn't that the point? If there's not enough space YOU DO NOT PASS!!!
    The mentality is amazing, isn't it? The complete and total sense of entitlement that many motorists feel, that they should be able to pass a bicyclist whenever and whereever one is encountered.

    Just look at the language, even by the reporter: "forcing cars routinely to cross center lines into oncoming traffic...." What is the nature of this "force"? Guns? Knives? Bows and arrows? Pictures of the motorist coming out of a hotel room with a hooker on one arm and a bottle of Stoli in the other?

    It's the motorist -- and not the car -- who chooses to pass unsafely. If he hits someone or something, then blame him! Nobody made him pass the cyclist, who's merely using the public road as he as every right to do.

    And as for the "fuzzy logic" of Senator Bob "Math is Hard!" Huff, let's see if he can understand a sentence by a fellow Californian, John Forester (as quoted by Sheldon Brown):

    "Wherever there is sufficient space for a motor vehicle, there must be sufficient space for a bicycle, because the bicycle is smaller. Is that not obviously so?"

    Sometimes I just think that cars are drugs. They make people crazy.

  10. #10
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Looks like they are actually treating us as adults instead of kids. I hope that the opponents do not shoot this down
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
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  11. #11
    AJC
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    i live in a hilly, wooded area just a few miles from the coast in massachusetts. a cyclist was winding through the hills , and because of the severe blindspots created by the bends in the route, a motorist was unable to pass him safely for about 1/4 of a mile. finally, the motorist sped past him and honked at him, at which point the cyclist flipped him the bird.....causing the motorist to give him a brake job. (this took place at the foot of my street) the cyclist hit the rear bumper, went over the trunk, and fell to the pavement, dislocating his shoulder. i ran out to help him when i heard his calling out in agony, and called the police for assistance. when the coppers arrived, the motorist bragged how the cyclist "won't flip the bird" again, and he proudly told the coppers how he gave him the brake job.....at which point the coppers arrested the motorist.......la dee dah!!

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