Saturday, October 4, 2014

Better safety for bicyclists

San Francisco Chronicle/Tom Stienstra, 9/27/14. "Vehicles, bikes should be separated for safety."

"My bike weighs about 30 pounds. Out on the road, my pickup truck — which is built for high miles with a diesel engine that takes 16 quarts of oil, and designed to load up a crew, gear and 30 gallons of fuel — weighs 8,500 pounds.

---- Last week Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1193, which is designed to help solve part of the ongoing conflict on the roadways by encouraging local agencies to construct dedicated bike lanes to separate two-wheelers from cars.

Don’t get this new law confused with the new 3-foot rule, officially called the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” which requires cars to keep at least 3 feet from cyclists when passing. That law took effect about two weeks ago. It does not make conditions safer when cars and bikes try to share a narrow road. The problem is that the 3-foot rule specifically forbids a driver from crossing a double-yellow line, even if he only steals a foot on a 15-mph road in a remote rural area to make space. With no wiggle room, the law squeezes out bikes worse than ever on narrow roads. In addition, the fines are too low, just $100 to $200, depending on the county, for those who purposely sideswipe bikes."  Read article.

Related  - Los Angeles Streets blog/Melanie Curry, 8/29/14, "Protected Bike Lane Bill Approved By Legislature, Awaiting Governor."

Note photographs:  Bicyclist crossing dedicated bridge Man on bicycling on side of road  US Dept of Transportation/Report,  "Lesson 2:  Bicycling and walking in the United States today."   Man in suit from The Urban Country/Bicycle Transportation blog.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Hutch said...

Oh God, these dedicated bike lanes in San Francisco are now causing huge traffic backups on San Jose Ave and Bayshore. They have removed entire lane for vehicles to make room for the bikes. And now I see more close calls with bikes because drivers don't realize the lane is for bikes only. There's got to be a better way to protect the bikes without making a traffic nightmare.