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  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Cyclists ask for more space on Oregon roads

    http://www.oregonnews.com/article/20.../NEWS/70130003

    http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/...rylist=orlocal

    ---------------

    Cyclists ask for more space on Oregon roads

    January 30, 2007

    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Jim Bombardier said he was doing everything right: he
    had reflectors, a helmet and he was cycling on the shoulder of Highway
    30, marveling at the beauty of Oregon’s pastoral farmland.

    Then an SUV slammed into him.

    The 58-year old cyclist, a self-employed computer specialist and
    inventor, is still in rehab six months after the accident, but he’s
    hopeful that a new bill requiring motorists to give bicycle riders a
    three-foot safety buffer when passing them from behind may help others
    avoid his pain.

    “If it’s enforced and people take it conscientiously, it will save
    lives,” Bombardier said.

    The Senate Judiciary committee considered the bill on Monday that bike
    advocates say would increase safety for cyclists, educate the public
    about their driving responsibilities and help stem tensions between the
    two groups.

    But not everyone thinks the bill is a good idea and almost everyone
    agrees that it needs work.

    “This puts all the onus on the car motor vehicle driver to make sure
    that the separation is there when there is nothing on the bicyclist,”
    Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, said. “It’s totally one-sided,” he said.

    The bill would also let motorists cross the no-pass median line to
    maintain the safety buffer while overtaking a cyclist.

    But cyclists said that motorists often don’t realize that they need
    extra space to maneuver around pot holes, trash and other debris — not
    to mention the strong winds generated by passing vehicles.

    “I think for a lot of motorists, what they don’t understand is that
    being miserly with the distance is really dangerous,” said Ray Thomas, a
    Portland bike lawyer who testified before the committee.

    A spokeswoman for TriMet, Portland’s public transit agency, said the
    measure needed additional tweaking but that they were working with
    cyclist advocacy groups to shape the policy.

    “Where we have some pause is in places like downtown Portland where the
    streets are very narrow,” said Mary Fetsch, a spokeswoman for the
    agency.

    Fetsch said that if the three-foot rule were implemented it would
    require buses to change lanes on many downtown streets to allow cyclists
    a full three-foot buffer.

    Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said he thought the buffer should be
    greater than three feet.

    “If someone is sitting on a bike and they fell over sideways, when they
    fall, they’re going to fall further than three feet,” he said.

    The senator said he was working on additional legislation to address the
    same problem. “We also want to make certain that when we say ’safe
    distance,’ that it truly is safe,” Prozanski said.

    Eleven cyclists died in traffic-related accidents in 2005. Figures for
    2006 have not yet been released. According to the Oregon Department of
    Transportation, responsibility for accidents involving cyclists and
    motorists was equally split between the two groups in 2005.
    ~Diane
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  2. #2
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    he was cycling on the shoulder...
    ...
    Then an SUV slammed into him.
    ...
    he’s hopeful that a new bill requiring motorists to give bicycle riders a
    three-foot safety buffer when passing them from behind may help others
    avoid his pain.
    Anyone else having trouble seeing any logic in this?

    Last I checked it was already illegal to slam an SUV into a cyclist riding in the shoulder.

  3. #3
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    “This puts all the onus on the car motor vehicle driver to make sure
    that the separation is there when there is nothing on the bicyclist,”
    Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, said. “It’s totally one-sided,” he said.
    Meh. Totally one-sided until the cyclist gets hit. I just love Republicans...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    the onus IS on a passing vehicle to pass any other road user safely. I wonder what Mr. Kruse thinks the overtaking cyclist suppossed to be doing, stopping their bike and dismounting for all traffic?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    “I think for a lot of motorists, what they don’t understand is that
    being miserly with the distance is really dangerous,” said Ray Thomas, a
    Portland bike lawyer who testified before the committee.

    I vote we put everyone on a bicycle to pass a DL test. See how they like it.

    We need more teeth less laws. Laws only work if they bite back.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    This has been discussed recently here for the same proposal in CA.

    Sometimes 3ft is too little, sometimes its too much. It depends on relative speeds and road consditions.

    Laws already exist requiring safe passing of another vehicle - why not just add or 'other road users' or 'bicycle' for states that define bicycles as devices instead of vehicles.

    Why 3'? Why not 6', why not require adjacent lane until cyclist communicates otherwise?

    This is the law in AZ for passing equestrians, livestock:
    28-858. Approaching horses and livestock
    A person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway and approaching a horse-drawn vehicle, a horse on which a person is riding or livestock being driven on the highway shall exercise reasonable precaution to prevent frightening and to safeguard the animals and to ensure the safety of persons riding or driving the animals. If the animals appear frightened, the person in control of the vehicle shall reduce its speed and if requested by signal or otherwise shall not proceed further toward the animals unless necessary to avoid accident or injury until the animals appear to be under control."


    Maybe take the idea that a car shall not pass within same lane as cyclist unless requested by signal or otherwise? (this is a concept for discussion, not an idea I think is workable, for example problems include liabiliy of cyclist telling motorist to pass when it is unsafe due to oncoming traffic) Maybe take the idea that passing drivers must exercise reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of the cyclist.

    Anyway my thought is on the lines of what do cyclist really want? We don't really want 3' all the time, we want safe comfortable passing clearance. We don't want to be hit by careless passers who don't consider the true width of the path a bicycle may take. We want tough/tougher penalties for hitting cyclists. We want those drivers who buzz cyclist to punished, especially those that do it intentionally.

    Does asking for 3' in law (that has never been shown to be enforced in any state except in a very few cases where the cyclist was hit) really achieve this?

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 01-31-07 at 10:51 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
    Meh. Totally one-sided until the cyclist gets hit. I just love Republicans...
    Don't be dissing on Mr. Kruse . (I grew up in Roseburg and went to school with his nephew, who, if memory serves, was an avid cyclist who was into competative mountain biking.)

    Anyway, Mr. Kruse has a point; it is a technicality that the specifics of the law needs to address. The statement Mr. Kruse has made touches on the subject of the "...the cyclist swerved into my path..." defense. Drivers are obviously worried about cyclists going out of control and being blamed for the resulting accident. It's a legitimate worry for a person who drives amoungst many cyclists of varying levels of bike handling skill.

    One way of handling it is to avoid the subject by burying this proposed law. That is probably the wrong way of dealing with it, since, 3 foot rule or not, the topic of who is to blame for an accident is still an issue.

    Another way of handling it is to normalize the building of bike lanes on all roads, which is largely what Oregon is doing. The bike lanes which are added are, by and large, wide enough to avoid forcing the cyclist to swerve out of the lane to avoid stuff. What this does is it limits the scope of the 3 foot rule to those roads which don't have bike lanes. When there is a bike lane, the cyclist is either in the bike lane or outside of it. For a car to pass, if the cyclist is in the bike lane, it is just like a normal pass. If the cyclist is outside the bike lane, then the car should be forbidden from passing except by changing lanes like they would for any other situation.

    This should to be coupled with a "slow moving vehicle obstructing traffic" provision, to avoid the "cyclist must use bike lanes except..." quagmire while putting to rest any complaints about territorial cyclists taking up full width lanes unnecessarily. "unnecessarily" will have to be decided on the ground with bicyclist advocates working with law enforcement to define the executive rules in carrying out this law.

    The bicycle network needs to take into account two types of cyclists: those who travel vehicularly must have clear and clean access to full width lanes without intimidation or danger to ones' self. Those cyclists who are not vehicular must be able to fully navigate the streets from the right edge of the road without fear of hooks or close passing cars.

    The issue of how to avoid hooks without leaving the right edge is puzzling. Yes, there are those who figure training can reach all cyclists and potential cyclists to the point where cyclists can sustain territorial techniques for avoiding hooks. I don't think this is possible. Or rather, the price to pay is to license the cyclist, which will convert cycling from a "right of free travel in the public sphere" attitude to a "priviledge of traveling on the road which can be taken away" attitude. I firmly believe that any non-motorized form of travel should be unrestricted. It makes sense from a "rights" point of view, and it makes sense from an economic point of view, as people who are stagnant and cannot travel within a city cannot be productive to the economy. Besides rulemaking to place more burden on motorists to yield right of way to the bike lane, the right turn only lane, where the bike lane is essentially opened to motorized traffic near an intersection, is the best option I've seen.

    Here's what Portland is trying to do to increase the quality of life within the city. It is starting to take a view that cycling is more than just recreational guys in lycra, and it is more than a bunch of poor, unemployed people who live at the margins of society. Rather, it is taking the view that bicycling can be integrated into the economy of Portland. Not just in revenue generated by bike shops and touring and the like, but in the way that people move within the city. If the number of trips by bicycle can be raised above, say, 10% of all trips, then that lessens traffic on the freeways and allows commerce to flow more freely within the city. From any standpoint, whether by space used, energy, time, health, or stress, bicycling within a 5 mile radius is more efficient than driving a single occupancy car. Portland has taking that to heart and making it easier for cyclists to move within a 5 mile radius of the city.

    Sorry. Just rambling and taking a break from the "bike lane or no bike lane debate." I suspect there are many ways of integrating cycling into the transportational infrastructure of a city. I suspect that the Vehicular Cycling world view is the wrong perch from which to look at the problem. VC is good as a technique, but it is a technique for riding on unadapted roads, on roads which cyclists are not accounted for in their design. The VC worldview is self limiting, and people who hold this worldview admit to it, by and large, that cycling will never make up a significant portion of the transportational infrastructure.

    There was a great quote which came from a "House" episode last night. "To change something, you have to do something. If you just stay still, then nothing changes." The VC worldview is about holding the world still and not allowing cycling and society change. It is about coping with a problem, but never taking action to change the situation for the better. With the VC worldview, the assumption that cycling will never be a significant portion of the mix becomes self fulfilling. Vehicular cycling as a technique is invaluable. But as a worldview, it sucks.
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 01-31-07 at 11:30 AM.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    The bike lanes which are added are, by and large, wide enough to avoid forcing the cyclist to swerve out of the lane to avoid stuff.

    What this does is it limits the scope of the 3 foot rule to those roads which don't have bike lanes. When there is a bike lane, the cyclist is either in the bike lane or outside of it. For a car to pass, if the cyclist is in the bike lane, it is just like a normal pass. If the cyclist is outside the bike lane, then the car should be forbidden from passing except by changing lanes like they would for any other situation.
    What is wide enough?

    What defines a cyclist being in the bike lane? Their tire, or the outermost protrusion?

    What about the non-'by and large wide enough' bike lanes. What if a cyclist swerves then?

    Al

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Wow Brian... nice ramble. I especially like your commentary on the "VC world view" vice what can be done to integrate cycing as a transportation medium.

    Portland is right on in this extent.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    What is wide enough?

    What defines a cyclist being in the bike lane? Their tire, or the outermost protrusion?

    What about the non-'by and large wide enough' bike lanes. What if a cyclist swerves then?

    Al
    The answer to your questions are "whatever works." You are trying to be a stickler about a law which is not written and certainly not implemented yet.

    Being "in the bike lane" should ideally be outermost protrusion, though the law should be flexable enough to allow for variations on the theme. By normalizing bike lanes on roads, it means that bike lanes which don't meet agreed upon standards for bike lane width and placement should not be considered bike lanes. They should be treated as shoulders and the proposed 3 foot rule should apply, as well as any precidents on swerving we now have.

    The point is to eliminate non-standard bike lanes from the language of traffic infrastructure. In the not so distant future, all roads will and should have standardized bike lanes. And with that, the traffic code will have standardized laws and rules for dealing with bike lanes and the two types of cyclists I referred to in the previous post and these laws and rules will be taught to all Oregon drivers and they will be expected to comply. In Oregon, this is being implemented as we speak. Having standardized bicycling infrastructure and laws and rules in place is no more a utopia than having traffic control at each and every intersection.

    Think back to the 30's in the US. I'd bet a critic of our fledgling surface traffic infrastructure would have used arguments very similar to yours against bike lanes. Questions about how to teach drivers. How to implement laws and rules governing cars. How creating all these signalized intersections and multilaned, paved surface streets and freeways would be cost prohibitive.

    The fallacy of these arguments is that they assume the changes are made in revolutionary fashion, as opposed to evolutionary. One doesn't jump from the transportational infrastructure of the 1930's to the one we have today in a single year. But roads are constantly being rebuilt, and laws are constantly being changed to solve the problems that come up. After 70 years of building and rebuilding, tweaking and modifying, we come up with today's transportational infrasture.

    It's the same with integrating cycling back into the transportational mix. Advocates need to keep the subject on the table and keep asking for our place on the roads to keep the evolution toward a more cycling friendly environment happening. And it is happening, at least in Oregon. In 6 or 7 years, Beaverton, the western suburb of Portland, has become noticably easier to bicycle around. Bike lanes (the nice kind that you get when you rebuild a road, not retrofits) have been added to many streets which did not formerly have them, and as a result, more cyclists are around and drivers are more comfortable mixing with them both because there are more of us and because there are fewer points of conflict.

    Moreover, I am finding the need to employ the territorial techniques of vehicular cycling less and less. Not because I am lazy or soft, if anything, I am a stronger cyclist and more assertive than I was in earlier years, but because there are less points of conflict between cyclists and cars. And access to roads has been made easier for more cyclists. This is even extending out into formerly rural roads as well as they get rebuilt. There is still work to be done, as this proposed bill suggests by its existance, but things are headed in the right direction with each new road being built or rebuilt and each legislative session coming and going.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    You are trying to be a stickler about a law which is not written and certainly not implemented yet.
    It is implemented in several other states - this is an opportunity to do better in OR/CA. I am not being a stickler, only discussing. I wonder based on experiences like this in a 3' passing law state:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otpWDv8d24M

    Is the blane too narrow? (probably, absolutely if a 3' weave zone is needed within a BL that keeps all parts of cyclist within lane and not too close to curb = 3' weave+1' half width of cyclist+2' curb buffer+3' car buffer = 9' wide for example)

    What I riding outside it before I moved right (maybe)

    Should the truck driver have moved left (ideally)

    Did the truck driver stay in their lane? (yes)

    Al

  12. #12
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    There was a great quote which came from a "House" episode last night. "To change something, you have to do something. If you just stay still, then nothing changes." The VC worldview is about holding the world still and not allowing cycling and society change. It is about coping with a problem, but never taking action to change the situation for the better. With the VC worldview, the assumption that cycling will never be a significant portion of the mix becomes self fulfilling. Vehicular cycling as a technique is invaluable. But as a worldview, it sucks.
    No Grasshopper, not quite. Yes, you have to do something to change something, but the error people commonly make is to not recognize that most changes can and should be made within the individual who is seeking the change, not in the external world.

    In that sense the "VC worldview" is really more like an eastern philosophy: it's about realizing the problem, and therefore the solution, is within each individual cyclist and that efforts to "fix" the "problem" in the external world are merely scapegoat diversions that inhibit each cyclist from doing the necessary work within himself.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    No Grasshopper, not quite. Yes, you have to do something to change something, but the error people commonly make is to not recognize that most changes can and should be made within the individual who is seeking the change, not in the external world.
    Reminds me of the promise of computers. Computers were designed to serve man... yet, we have to learn some odd cryptic language in order to get this service.

    Oh sure man can learn to face pain, endure pain, and even to enjoy pain... but is that the way things should be?

    Yeah, I know what ^KD does for my document... but why?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Reminds me of the promise of computers. Computers were designed to serve man... yet, we have to learn some odd cryptic language in order to get this service.

    Oh sure man can learn to face pain, endure pain, and even to enjoy pain... but is that the way things should be?

    Yeah, I know what ^KD does for my document... but why?
    Get a Mac.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Adequate bike lanes around here are 5' wide including an 8 inch lane line. This allows a cyclist adequate space. Also, I don't get your math. 2' for cyclist, 2' from curb, 3' from car makes 7', and considering that even with your close pass video, the "close" trailer came no closer than 2' from the line as he was passing you with his extra wide trailer, I don't see a closer pass than 3 feet in a 5 foot bike lane. Granted, a 6 or 7 foot bike lane would be better, and in some places around here, you can actually find that as well. I think the idea of a 3' zone is not as an inpenetrable buffer, but as a margin of safety, should the cyclist lose control or need to swerve or something, or the driver miscalculates.

    The above, and considering the speed differential was pretty slow, I guess I don't see your point. It seems to me that the anti-bike lane advocates on this forums have embarked on an intentional strategy of upping the requirements of a bike lane so much to make it impractical to implement (like the 9' bike lane idea, which is the width of some of the country roads I drive to work on). Helmet Head has also embarked on this strategy with a previous thread regarding the "legalities" of being "in" or "out" of a bike lane. Bike lanes are a way of providing an "always clear" lane for cyclists to operate in. The rules for useage should be practical and flexible, not dogmatic and theatrical.

    Tell me for a moment, if the bike lane line were eliminated on this road you just showed me, would you ride a full 5 feet from the curb? Are you sure? Show me a video of a 16-17' wide WOL and what your lane position is within that lane. My hunch is that WOLs are actually more like 13 or 14 feet wide and you ride 2 feet off the curb. This puts you in the same lateral position as your bike laned road if you were riding the bike lane line. With a bike lane you have more space that you are not utilizing, and moreover, if you do utilize the space, the cars in the adjacent lane will not follow you across the bike lane line.

    Your problem then, is your default lane position is too close to the bike lane line. With the previous video showing how you fully utilize the bike lane and got cut off, your mistake was not being dynamic enough within the bike lane as you were approaching the intersection, and not paying enough attention to traffic which was decelerating for the turn. Bike lanes are not perfect, and certainly if they are not accompanied by enforceable rules on how to use them, but they give you more space to work with on a road, and space which is unquestionably clear of same direction car traffic.

    What I've found works best is to stay a somewhat left of center in the bike lane, and make a move to the left as a transient blocking manuever as you are approaching an intersection. I used to ride lane lines, but found it easier and less stressful in full width bike lanes to simply move a foot to the right and only move left if there is a clear reason, and then, only temporarily. In narrower "bike lanes" or shoulders (I don't consider anything other than full with to be a bike lane) I still ride lane lines, and cars seem fine with that, as there is not much choice for me.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Cyclist behavior is much more likely to determine how much space a given motorist gives him than is some obscure law.

    On long climbs on 4 lane roads I've played a game with a cycling buddy: he will randomly say "close pass" or "change lanes", and I, through my behavior, will cause the next motorist to either "close pass" us, or "change lanes", accordingly. They act like trained animals, once you learn how to control them.

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    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Anyone else having trouble seeing any logic in this?

    Last I checked it was already illegal to slam an SUV into a cyclist riding in the shoulder.

    It's a typical knee-jerk reaction. How would a 3' passing distance helped this guy? I was riding in the shoulder for crying out loud and was hit from the rear.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    No Grasshopper, not quite. Yes, you have to do something to change something, but the error people commonly make is to not recognize that most changes can and should be made within the individual who is seeking the change, not in the external world.

    In that sense the "VC worldview" is really more like an eastern philosophy: it's about realizing the problem, and therefore the solution, is within each individual cyclist and that efforts to "fix" the "problem" in the external world are merely scapegoat diversions that inhibit each cyclist from doing the necessary work within himself.
    LOL. The thing I love about pop metaphysics (and especially the Americanized romanticism of Eastern religion) is it can seem to answer everything without saying anything. Like "The Matrix." It seems deep but is really about nothing of any relevance.

    Yes, one way to approach life is to deny problems and so deny that there need any effort to fix them.

    Or you can observe the world, determine what we'd like to do in the world, and change the world to be able to do these things. Some goals are worthy of working towards, some are not. Making cycling a part of the transportation infrastructure, I think, is a worthy goal.

    Here's why we shouldn't be in conflict though. Vehicular cycling, if seen as a technique, is invaluable for cycling on road which are built to serve cars. It should be taught, and skilled cyclists should teach it. But the environment should also be changed to make it more conductive to cycling in general. People like yourself, past the midpoint of your life and experienced beyond most people, should focus on the present and teaching cyclists to cope with the current environment. Younger people like myself and many others on this forum should concentrate on longer term goals. Different people working different ends of the same problem shouldn't come into conflict.

    Cycling advocacy should never take the stance that we should all just wait until the environment changes to saddle up. And as a practical matter, there is not one bicycling advocate who promotes this way of thinking. When practical advocates are not agitating for a better environment (which, I promise you, is not what they are doing 365 days of the year), they are promoting cycling, imploring people to get off their asses and bike, and teaching them how to do it.

    But neither should cycling advocacy should stagnate into an organization which simply teaches people who really, really, REALLY, want to bike, ways of coping with an environment which is not conductive to cycling. But this is what the VC mindset promotes - the abandoning of efforts to shape the environment in favor of teaching only those who really, really want to be cyclists, techniques for coping. It is this VC mindset which is wrong and should be fought.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Brian - don't get so excited! I never intended the video as 'anti-BL' fodder. Only to raise questions about 3' passing laws and how that opens up the need to define the details of how is 3' measured and if there should be different applications of law if there are multiple lanes (designated as bike lane or not)

    You note that trailer was 2' from lane line. Thats the point, if I had stayed in my position I would have been passed with 18" at best. I would have survived, but the question I raise is did the driver violate the 3' law? Would I have been responsible for the close pass, with tires 6" inside lane line?

    You are also not aware of what the real speeds and speed differentials are. What do you think it is in the video? You also are not familiar with how quickly drivers slow for a turn. Part of my left biased postion is when there is much faster same direction traffic and possible right turns - it is a way to comand some attention and some reactoin from drivers. I watch and can see who sees me and who doesn't react to my presence. The red truck did not, I moved right.

    Yeah with WOL I do ride >5' from curb.

    Al

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Cyclist behavior is much more likely to determine how much space a given motorist gives him than is some obscure law.

    On long climbs on 4 lane roads I've played a game with a cycling buddy: he will randomly say "close pass" or "change lanes", and I, through my behavior, will cause the next motorist to either "close pass" us, or "change lanes", accordingly. They act like trained animals, once you learn how to control them.
    It is an illusion of control. You are simply modifying his behavior slightly by either staying away from his line of travel, or getting in his way. You can do this in a bike laned road too, except there is a third option, the "adequate margin" pass, which you can achieve by moving slightly to the right in the bike lane.

    I agree to an extent that the law doesn't really do anything. But if it takes adding a law to get the statement: "motorists must pass cyclists with 3 feet of clearance" in to the driver's manual and into driver's ed curriculum, then I have nothing against it.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Brian - don't get so excited! I never intended the video as 'anti-BL' fodder. Only to raise questions about 3' passing laws and how that opens up the need to define the details of how is 3' measured and if there should be different applications of law if there are multiple lanes (designated as bike lane or not)

    You note that trailer was 2' from lane line. Thats the point, if I had stayed in my position I would have been passed with 18" at best. I would have survived, but the question I raise is did the driver violate the 3' law? Would I have been responsible for the close pass, with tires 6" inside lane line?

    You are also not aware of what the real speeds and speed differentials are. What do you think it is in the video? You also are not familiar with how quickly drivers slow for a turn. Part of my left biased postion is when there is much faster same direction traffic and possible right turns - it is a way to comand some attention and some reactoin from drivers. I watch and can see who sees me and who doesn't react to my presence. The red truck did not, I moved right.

    Yeah with WOL I do ride >5' from curb.

    Al
    First, I am simply excitable today. Nothing personal.

    Second, I don't know how this law is being written, but it probably applies, in practice, more to situations where vehicles are sharing a lane. It is probably intended for the 3' to act as a margin of safety, rather than an absolute yardstick. Given that cyclists don't normally swerve >3' from their path in sudden fashion, it can also be used to determine fault in the case of a same direction accident between a cyclist and a car. I don't think it can possibly be enforced if the law is interpreted as a bubble surrounding the cyclist.

    I can tell you right now why the truck didn't move; he was towing a trailer which was a foot and a half wider than his truck and trails behind. I wouldn't expect him to move much laterally.

    As for the WOL, I think you overestimate your curb distance. From what I understand, WOLs are more like 13 or 14 feet wide rather than the full 16 or 17 feet of a bike laned road. You'd be basically in the right wheel path of the cars if you were 5' from the curb. I saw one video of yours where the cars didn't need to change lanes to pass. Perhaps I am wrong and WOLs are really 16 or 17 feet wide. In any case, you have the option in the bike lane of moving further right and not having the car follow across the lane line, as your video demonstrates.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    It is an illusion of control. You are simply modifying his behavior slightly by ...
    Huh? Causing the actual desired change in behavior is no illusion.

    You can do this in a bike laned road too, ...
    Indeed. I do it every time I ride on a bike laned road.

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Huh? Causing the actual desired change in behavior is no illusion.
    My point is, the driver is in control of his car. You are influencing the driver's behavior by being in his way or out of his way, but you don't control it. You are simply being one influence out of many. This is not control.

    If you force a lane change on a blind hill on a single lane road, and a car comes the opposite way, you'll find very quickly that you are not in control of the driver's actions.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Indeed. I do it every time I ride on a bike laned road.
    Yeeeeay....

    (and the peasants rejoice...)
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Second, I don't know how this law is being written, but it probably applies, in practice, more to situations where vehicles are sharing a lane. It is probably intended for the 3' to act as a margin of safety, rather than an absolute yardstick. Given that cyclists don't normally swerve >3' from their path in sudden fashion, it can also be used to determine fault in the case of a same direction accident between a cyclist and a car. I don't think it can possibly be enforced if the law is interpreted as a bubble surrounding the cyclist.
    This is AZ law:
    28-735. Overtaking bicycles; civil penalties
    A. When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.
    B. If a person violates this section and the violation results in a collision causing:
    1. Serious physical injury as defined in section 13-105 to another person, the violator is subject to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars.
    2. Death to another person, the violator is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars.
    C. Subsection B of this section does not apply to a bicyclist who is injured in a vehicular traffic lane when a designated bicycle lane or path is present and passable.


    If I hadn't moved right would the truck driver be in violation of A?
    If I didn't move right and my pedal had clipped on trailer, but my wheel was still inside BL stripe how would section C be interpreted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I can tell you right now why the truck didn't move; he was towing a trailer which was a foot and a half wider than his truck and trails behind. I wouldn't expect him to move much laterally.
    I agree the truck is unlikley to make a lateral move - I noted that when I first posted this clip: The Two Golden Myths of Cycling in Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    As for the WOL, I think you overestimate your curb distance. From what I understand, WOLs are more like 13 or 14 feet wide rather than the full 16 or 17 feet of a bike laned road. You'd be basically in the right wheel path of the cars if you were 5' from the curb. I saw one video of yours where the cars didn't need to change lanes to pass. Perhaps I am wrong and WOLs are really 16 or 17 feet wide. In any case, you have the option in the bike lane of moving further right and not having the car follow across the lane line, as your video demonstrates.
    Here is a snippet of me riding in WOL. I don't have much saved footage as it generally uneventful. The clip you may have seen was probably after I had moved right to facilitate sharing a lane to pass.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZHgTfTH1Xo

    By the way I am not against 3' passing laws if they do not have 'Section C' type language (which only AZ does). They do provide a reference for teaching a minimum for passing a cyclist. I only think the law could be better - that is why I 'discuss' specifics and details and what ifs.

    Al

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