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Do You Support SB 1464, the 3-Foot Passing Rule?

A bill has passed the state Senate requiring automobiles to give bicyclists a minimum 3-foot clearance when passing cyclists and is up for consideration Friday in the state Assembly.

A proposed bicycle safety law that would make it a legal requirement for automobile drivers to give bicyclists a minimum 3-foot clearance when passing will be considered Friday by the state Assembly.

The City of Los Angeles and the California Bicycle Coalition have co-sponsored SB1464, which was authored by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach.

The proposed state law has gained the support of some Los Angeles cyclists:

"The state of California is one step closer to safer cycling!" blogger Jordan Miles wrote on the LADOT Bike Blog in June, after the California Assembly Transportation Committee voted in favor of the bill.

An earlier version of the bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, because it would have required motorists to reduce their speed to at least 15 mph, if providing three feet of passing space were not be possible, Miles explained.

This past spring, the City of Los Angeles, with the support of organizations across the state, including the California Bicycle Coalition, initiated a second attempt at a 3-foot passing law, Senate Bill 1464. This bill, which has the same intentions for increasing the safety of bicyclists throughout California, has changed some of its language in order to better appeal to the Governor.

Rather than require a specific reduced speed when the 3-foot passing space is not feasible, the new bill allows vehicles to slow to “a speed that is slow and prudent,” taking into consideration other traffic conditions.

SB 1464 has now passed the state Senate and is up for a vote by the Assembly Friday. An analysis of the bill is available right here.

How would you vote if it were up to you? Tell us in the comments.

carolyn rios August 21, 2012 at 03:20 AM
As a bicyclist that sounds nice, but it is entirely too impractical. It is worse when someone is stuck behind you and impatiently trying to get by you so then you ride right next to the parked cars which is also dangerous due to opening doors. Also there is the car speed to consider, if cars are going under 25 anyhow, then two feet is perfectly safe. I think I'd vote against it Just put in more dedicated bike lanes, that is what we need
Pax August 21, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Yes, bicyclists' traffic must be separated from motorized traffic, as well as from pedestrian traffic, all for safety! It's up to the municipal governments to more clearly define the areas that are appropriate for each method of conveyance. (...Think also about sidewalks only for pedestrians, former trolley cars rails in the street, vehicle parking in the street along the curb, bicycle use on both sidewalks and streets, bicycles making left turns on streets, etc.) It's gotta be better defined and controlled. However, the States must really establish the rules, and the municipalities follow through... Pax. ====
Dylan Rush August 21, 2012 at 04:57 PM
As a commuter cyclist, I strongly support SB 1464, with jail time as the penalty for non-compliance. But in all seriousness: if the enforcement plan follows the pattern of the state ban on texting and non-hands-free mobile phone use, why even bother?
coolguitar August 21, 2012 at 05:15 PM
In mexico pedestrians have no right of way. I say keep them out of the way of cars. lower gas prices and get this country moving again. Why not just go back to walking if you wanna downgrade? Dont we have enough rules and regulations to follow? If you ask me the only one to benefit is the cops with more fines and.tickets. I doubt it will save a bikers life.
Dylan Rush August 21, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Good trolling! Well played.
concernedneighbor August 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Only if cyclists are called to task on the rules of the road as well. Some cyclists are very quick to give drivers attitude when they don't share the road only to blow stop signs, lights, and ignore other traffic laws when it suits them. I give anything on 2 wheels a wide berth but don't always get the same courtesy in return. BTW - The worst offenders are beach cruisers - sometimes on the sidewalks, sometimes in the street, with traffic, against traffic, in the crosswalk, changing lanes on a whim...

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