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Old 12-02-08, 04:49 PM   #1
Floyd
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How much leaway?

Was going from one place to another last night and the car in front of me went over into the other lane and I was wondering why...then I saw the reflectors and lights and reflective tape on the legs of a bike rider. SO I too went completely into the other (passing) lane. so the question is when you are in your 4-wheeled vehicle, how much do you move over for us friendly bike riders.
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Old 12-02-08, 04:51 PM   #2
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Same as you did.
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Old 12-02-08, 05:22 PM   #3
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Three feet is the minimum in many states. But I always give at least 5 feet -- and more if there's room on the road.
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Old 12-02-08, 05:27 PM   #4
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I give them the same room I would expect and that depends on the situation. The range is from 3' to the whole lane.

It kind of ticks me off when folks go across the double yellow lines with all four wheels when there is room enough to pass by just hugging or putting two wheels on the line. It is especially bad when they are doing it on a blind curve or take their time moving back over when meeting oncoming traffic.

Then there are the folks who brush against you...

With one lane going each way and a double yellow, I would like to see folks allow 3-5' depending on the situation, so that is what I do. When there are two lanes either moving to the other lane or allowing 3-5' while sharing the lane is OK with me so again that is what I do.
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Old 12-02-08, 05:40 PM   #5
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3'. It's the law here.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:58 PM   #6
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If I can, I give 'em the whole lane. Whether they insist or not.

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Old 12-02-08, 08:35 PM   #7
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I, too, think it is nuts when a driver will go completely into the opposite lane (across double yellow lines) to pass me. Sometimes those folks will back up traffic behind me because that are afraid to pass bikes with "only" a few feet of clearance. 3-5 ft. is fine.
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Old 12-03-08, 07:45 AM   #8
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Minimum three or four feet, more if the rider seems wobbly or the road is wet.
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Old 12-03-08, 08:30 AM   #9
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minimum of 3 feet here in Georgia is the law. I give the whole lane. I was 'brushed' by a driver in October and spent the night in the trauma unit. not pretty. I encourage everyone I meet to give more room to the bikes. who knows what pot hole/road debris/glass bottle they will have to dodge just as you go to pass them. I get brushed and honked at by drivers all the time and it really scares me. I have changed my route through some bad areas. One in particular is the School Zone where I got brushed off my bike in October. Worst traffic setup I have ever seen and in Atlanta that's saying something. Screamingly bad road engineering down here. I have my suspicions about that (way too much cronyism in the road business here and no one willing to pay for better roads.). Oh and you can report bad drivers. The state may not do anything directly but if the driver ever gets caught the report is in their record.
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Old 12-03-08, 09:06 AM   #10
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I always give at least the three feet. If I find that three or four feet is all I can give, I also slow down considerably. I want to be able to apply appropriate evasive actions should they be necessary. I rarely go completely into the other lane. I've actually thought about trying to get a horn built that in addition to the normal beep, had a special button that if pushed said, "On your left."
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Old 12-03-08, 09:40 AM   #11
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I would feel uncomfortable giving only 3 feet. I give a half lane or more. Unless they're on the centerline, of course, then I can only move over as far as the next lane.
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Old 12-03-08, 10:02 AM   #12
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I would feel uncomfortable giving only 3 feet.
There are places here where that often would mean waiting a long time to pass and really ticking off drivers. I'd rather someone pass me at 3' and a reasonable speed for the conditions than drive behind me for any distance.
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Old 12-03-08, 10:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
There are places here where that often would mean waiting a long time to pass and really ticking off drivers. I'd rather someone pass me at 3' and a reasonable speed for the conditions than drive behind me for any distance.
Yes, the people who speed up to pass cyclists are pretty annoying and dangerous, too.
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Old 12-03-08, 03:30 PM   #14
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At least 3 feet, more if it's safe for both of us, and I wave once I pass.
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Old 12-03-08, 03:48 PM   #15
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Yes, the people who speed up to pass cyclists are pretty annoying and dangerous, too.
I'll often, depending on route, ride through a pair of school zones. I'll ride over the 15 mph limit just to see how many cars just HAVE to pass me.
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Old 12-03-08, 03:55 PM   #16
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I always give horses and cyclists as much room as possible- I never know what funny things they will get up to.

There is a hill in a town closeby and there is a sign advising motorists to give cyclists 5ft clearance. I use that hill in the car quite often as a shortcut but I have never seen a Cyclist on the hill.
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Old 12-03-08, 07:14 PM   #17
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When I am on my bike I like to hear the car tires thumping on the reflectors in the center of the road. When I hear that behind me I know they are giving me plenty of space. When I am in my truck I always cross slightly into the other lane if traffic permits and if not I will hug the center line. The noise I dread the worst is the big tires on the jacked up 4-wheel drive trucks. For some reason they give me the least room of all.
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Old 12-04-08, 08:02 AM   #18
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minimum of 3 feet here in Georgia is the law.
This is news to me. When did this happen? I know there has been some effort to get a bill introduced, but I was not aware of anything being voted on or enacted.

Back to the original question, I give as much room as is safe and practical. Giving a whole lane is often neither.
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Old 12-04-08, 09:58 AM   #19
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minimum of 3 feet here in Georgia is the law. ...
... as it should be everywhere.
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Old 12-08-08, 06:19 AM   #20
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This is news to me. When did this happen? I know there has been some effort to get a bill introduced, but I was not aware of anything being voted on or enacted.

Back to the original question, I give as much room as is safe and practical. Giving a whole lane is often neither.
Not sure when this went into effect:

http://www.georgiabikes.org/Portals/...G%20052306.pdf

pages 7-8
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Old 12-08-08, 06:37 AM   #21
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Not sure when this went into effect:

http://www.georgiabikes.org/Portals/...G%20052306.pdf

pages 7-8
There is reference to a recommendation on page 8, but this is not a law. It is a suggestion - not enforceable.

"Since the recommended minimum clearance for
passing a bicyclist (at moderate speed) is 3 feet
[Governorís Office of Highway Safety and Georgia
DOT, Georgia Bike Sense Guide] and the total width
of larger motor vehicles (with extending mirrors) is
commonly 8 feet or more, a lane with less than 14
feet of usable width is usually too narrow for motor
traffic to pass."

I am very aware of this booklet. My club received many copies of it from Georgia Bikes!
and we have distributed them to law enforcement personnel and to cyclists in our city and county. I have had many conversations with the officers of that organization about efforts to get a safe passage law introduced and passed in Georgia, but no such law exists at present. I certainly agree that it should, but unfortunately, it does not.
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