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AG: Aunt Granny's Advice, or How to become an elderly cyclist:



 
 
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  #901  
Old January 30th 19, 01:30 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,466
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:

On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 11:48:54 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 12:36 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 20:54:54 -0500, Joy Beeson
wrote:


I'm particularly interested in words that I can leave out without
impairing clarity. This essay is way too long.

It also needs a definite exit line.

Any ideas for change-of-topic marks with a chance of surviving a
typesetter who regularly ends stories in the middle of a sentence, and
sometimes in the middle of a word?

The essay is intended as a letter to an American newspaper, so I
haven't mentioned driving on the left.

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

If you are thinking about riding a bike, you need to learn the rules
of the road.

If you have a car-driver's license, you already know the rules: bikes
follow the same rules as cars because two vehicles operating by
different rules on the same facility insure conflict.

Where the rules for different classes of vehicles differ, there will
be signs saying "no non-motorized vehicles", "no trucks except for
local delivery", "slow vehicles keep right", and so forth.

Most differences between cars and bikes are statistical. For example,
cars are noisy, so bike riders need to make noise on purpose much more
often than a car driver needs to sound the horn. You should never
overtake a pedestrian or another bike rider without letting him know
that you are there. A simple "Hi!" will do, but I often choose to
give more information -- when I saw a photographer leaning over the
edge of the boardwalk, for example, I said "I am passing behind you."

#

There are a few rules that are different for bikes.

A car driver can make hand signals only through the driver's-side
window, so he signals a right turn by bending his left elbow at a
right angle and pointing up. When I give this signal on a bike,
people wave back. A bike rider signals a right turn by pointing with
his right arm, a mirror image of the left-turn signal. Bike riders
also have the option of signalling "I intend to go straight" -- just
point straight ahead with either arm. It is a good idea, after giving
this signal, to raise your arm a little so that people behind you can
see it.


The law gives bicycles explicit permission to operate on a usable
shoulder -- most of the reasons for banning traffic on shoulders don't
apply to a vehicle that the operator can pick up and walk off with.

But note the word "usable". You don't have permission to ride on
shoulders that are intermittent, narrow, covered with sharp or
slippery debris, or otherwise not safe to ride on.

Also note that when you ride on a shoulder, you are not in the roadway
and therefore have sole responsibility for avoiding collisions.
Whenever you approach an intersection, you should suspect every driver
of intending to turn into the side road, and you should expect every
driver on the side road to creep forward for a better view of the
traffic lanes.


Another difference between cars and bikes is lane position. Most
vehicles have no option but "in the middle of your share", but
bicycles can also ride in the left wheel track or the right wheel
track, and on some rare occasions, your share isn't the entire lane.
Lane position is a complex subject best studied under the supervision
of an experienced cyclist, but I've posted an over-simplified
explanation at http://www.wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/CENT2018/LANE.HTM",
and you can read chapter 2 of "Street Smarts" at
http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm.

An even-more simplified version: when in doubt, ride in the middle of
the lane. Always leave yourself room to dodge to the right. Never
weave in and out of traffic. Give a wide berth to things that can
knock you off your bike, such as parked cars, curbs, lengthwise
grooves, and drop-offs. When riding in a bike lane, allow a good four
feet between your left elbow and the motor lane. Always signal your
intentions.

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

Comments on the Web page are also solicited.

I'm seriously considering breaking the letter at the # and ending
"There are a few rules that are different for bikes, but I've taken up
too much space already, so I will write a another letter."

This is a desperate measure, because the local nutcases write
multi-part letters.

The first letter would be e-mailed with the subject line, perhaps
repeated in the body to increase the odds it will be used as a
headline, "Time to start dusting off the bike"

The second with the subject line "Three ways bikes are not like cars".


I read both the above and your reference
http://www.wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/CENT2018/LANE.HTM"

and while I haven't ridden in the U.S. in many years and maybe
conditions are different there, but here one is quite often (I might
almost say "normally") riding on streets or roads where the vehicle
traffic is traveling at 100 KPH or faster and the bicycle is traveling
at, perhaps, 1/4 or 1/3 of that speed. In that instance "taking the
lane" can be hazardous unless done carefully as veering out in front
of a vehicle traveling at speed assumes that the vehicle can stop and
if the assumption is incorrect then what?

Nobody with any sense recommends veering out suddenly in front of a fast
vehicle. The relevant books, pamphlets, classes, videos and websites all
make it clear (or should make it clear) that you check behind you,
signal, and negotiate if necessary when you need to move left.

Signaling before you move into a lane(s) where all the traffic is
traveling at speeds of 60+mph is a good move?


Or perhaps more to the point, moving into a lane where all the traffic
is traveling at three, or more, times the speed of the bicycle is a
good idea, signal or no signal.

I wondered if that's what you really meant.

So it leads to the usual question: 10 foot lane. 9 foot truck. No
shoulder. Traffic using the next lane, whether same-direction or
oncoming. What are you going to do?

I've been in that situation countless times. I've taken the lane by
moving leftward in plenty of time. The trucks, cars, whatever have never
run me over. In almost all cases, they've slowed and waited until they
could pass in the next lane.

And please don't say "Never ride that road." If that were the
requirement, I could never get out of my neighborhood.

I can only assume that you ride on very different roads then I do. For
example, last Tuesday we drove from Bangkok to Pak Chung, a small town
about 200 km N.E. of Bangkok. Disregarding the first 20 or so km of
toll road we were on modern 6 lane highways where traffic was in
excess of 100 kph and the distance between vehicles was, perhaps 25 -
50 meters, all the way.

At 100 kph the time to travel 50 meters is a bit less then two
seconds. "taken the lane by moving leftward in plenty of time" would
require nearly super sonic speed.

As for "don't ride that road", over the past 50 years or so Thailand
has been improving their roads and today about the only way to travel
between cities is on this type of road.

Then I assume you're riding on the shoulder, right?

Roads I ride on:

Residential streets 18 feet wide or less, of course. And residential
collectors, a bit wider, but with more traffic, 35 mph limits and curbs.
Both of those are "take the lane" streets for sure.

Present or former country lanes, about the same width but with no
shoulders. Again, taking the lane is a must.

Minor state routes. Sometimes wider, but rarely wide enough to safely
share. Speed limits from 45 to 55 mph. Take the lane unless it's got a
really nice shoulder.

Very frequently, a four lane suburban stroad with 30,000 to 40,000 cars
per day. 12 foot lanes. That's a tough one, because it's sort of
sharable with a tiny car (Fiat 500, VW Beetle) if the driver is careful.
But anyone else will be passing too close. Speed limit 40 mph. Decades
ago, I tried to share it a lot. Now I almost always ride at lane center.

Old city arterials, four lanes, probably 10 feet wide. Those can be ugly
at quitting time. I ride them if I have to, but I prefer the parallel
residential collectors.

Oh yeah, one street that's one lane each way plus a center
bi-directional turning lane. This is through an old but still active
commercial area. Again, too narrow to share. Motorists use the turning
lane to pass. It may be illegal, but nobody would ever care or complain.

Finally, some old industrial roads that once carried tons of traffic,
but the steel mills closed and the traffic is gone. Some of those
actually have lanes about 15 feet wide. Those I easily share.

In the past, there have been a couple times I got onto really hellish
roads and could not get off - for example, one parallel to a major
river. It had very high traffic, four narrow lanes, no shoulders,
everybody in a bad mood and a real hurry, and terrible pavement. I did
get off of it as soon as I could, but what did I do until I could leave
it? I rode at lane center. Drivers were displeased, but anything else
would have been suicidal.

The law here states that bicycles and motorcycles - meaning small 100
- 125cc motorcycles - must ride on the side of the road. The meaning
is that bicycles and motorcycles should not impede faster traffic.


This is a big issue in American bike advocacy right now, at least among
those that want to ride in the present day real world, before the
utopian fantasy of completely separate bike facilities everywhere.

Traffic laws are state laws, not national laws. Almost all state laws
say something about riding "as far right as practicable." But most also
make it clear that the cyclist does have a right to the lane, and may
move left if the right is not "practicable" - as in, has potholes, drain
grates, door zones or whatever. Many states specify that the cyclist can
move left if the lane is too narrow to safely share. And many (perhaps
most) states have minimum passing clearance laws, with three feet being
the most common minimum.


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.


I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.


Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.

--
- Frank Krygowski
Ads
  #902  
Old January 30th 19, 01:56 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B. Slocomb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 805
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.


I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.


Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


Cheers,
John B.


  #903  
Old January 30th 19, 11:23 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Duane[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,518
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.


I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.


Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


Cheers,
John B.




One thing that it does is establish liability when the car hits the
cyclist. It’s less difficult to get your damages covered if the motorist
gets a ticket.

As far as enforcing it generally I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone
being ticketed for that when it didn’t result in an accident.

But the signs on the road advertising it may do something to help increase
awareness and reduce accidents.

--
duane
  #904  
Old January 30th 19, 04:59 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,466
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On 1/29/2019 8:56 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.


I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.


Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


First, let's be realistic. Cops are a tiny percentage of drivers. The
odds a cop will see a given incident of too-close passing are slim. But
that same shortcoming applies to people rolling through stop signs,
passing stopped school buses, driving after drinking and much else. It's
not a good argument for repealing those laws.

So what happens with those laws? Typical enforcement is by periodic
"sting" programs - hidden cop cars near stop signs, hidden cop cars near
school buses, "safety checks" where every car is stopped. (Those happen
around here a couple times per year.) And it's not that each "sting"
takes a significant number of offenders off the streets. Instead, it's
the publicity that plants the message "they may be watching, I'd better
be careful."

There have been sting operations regarding minimum passing clearance
laws. I suspect they happen where there are one or more avid cyclists,
or at least bike cops, on the police force.

Another enforcement mechanism is "after the fact." Someone hits
something or someone with their car, and is breath tested for alcohol
and prosecuted. Someone runs a stop sign in front of another driver and
gets the stop sign ticket, etc.

So another hope that's been mentioned regarding these laws goes like
this: Some sideswiping motorists have gotten acquitted by saying "The
guy on the bike swerved into the side of my car." Well, it's pretty
unrealistic for a straight-ahead bike to suddenly swerve more than three
feet. Hopefully this will toss that false excuse out.


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #905  
Old January 30th 19, 05:00 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,466
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On 1/30/2019 6:23 AM, Duane wrote:
John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.

I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.

Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


Cheers,
John B.




One thing that it does is establish liability when the car hits the
cyclist. It’s less difficult to get your damages covered if the motorist
gets a ticket.

As far as enforcing it generally I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone
being ticketed for that when it didn’t result in an accident.

But the signs on the road advertising it may do something to help increase
awareness and reduce accidents.


Exactly.


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #906  
Old January 30th 19, 11:16 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B. Slocomb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 805
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On Wed, 30 Jan 2019 11:23:19 -0000 (UTC), Duane
wrote:

John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.

I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.

Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


Cheers,
John B.




One thing that it does is establish liability when the car hits the
cyclist. Its less difficult to get your damages covered if the motorist
gets a ticket.


Well, yes! But isn't the mere fact that a car runs into a bicycle,
unless of course the bicycle was at fault, a crime? It is here
(although that isn't a real argument :-)

As far as enforcing it generally I dont think Ive ever heard of anyone
being ticketed for that when it didnt result in an accident.

But the signs on the road advertising it may do something to help increase
awareness and reduce accidents.


Maybe. I would tend to think that if one passes a sign saying
"anything" on the way to work every morning it would sort of become
meaningless as time went by.


Cheers,
John B.


  #907  
Old January 30th 19, 11:21 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B. Slocomb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 805
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On Wed, 30 Jan 2019 12:00:08 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/30/2019 6:23 AM, Duane wrote:
John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:

a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.

I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.

Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.

The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


Cheers,
John B.




One thing that it does is establish liability when the car hits the
cyclist. Its less difficult to get your damages covered if the motorist
gets a ticket.

As far as enforcing it generally I dont think Ive ever heard of anyone
being ticketed for that when it didnt result in an accident.

But the signs on the road advertising it may do something to help increase
awareness and reduce accidents.


Exactly.


You are implying that simply running into someone is meaningless,
aren't you? That you need to have yet another law to penalize the
vehicle that runs into another?

And, if it is illegal to pass a bicycle at less then 3 feet isn't it
equally illegal for the bicycle to pass another vehicle closer then 3
feet?

Or are bicycles somehow exempt from all rules and regulations and can
do anything that they want on the public highways?


Cheers,
John B.


  #908  
Old January 30th 19, 11:39 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B. Slocomb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 805
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On Wed, 30 Jan 2019 11:59:33 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 8:56 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:


a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.

I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.

Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.


The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


First, let's be realistic. Cops are a tiny percentage of drivers. The
odds a cop will see a given incident of too-close passing are slim. But
that same shortcoming applies to people rolling through stop signs,
passing stopped school buses, driving after drinking and much else. It's
not a good argument for repealing those laws.


You seem to be avoiding the question. How will a cop determine that
the car passed closer then 3 feet? Does he have a calibrated eyeball?

Way back when radar guns were first used, a cop, in Long Island, N.Y.
I think it was, "shot" a guy with his radar gun and the individual,
instead of passively paying his fine elected a trial and proved that
the method of calibrating the radar gun was faulty and was found not
guilty. I would suspect that if the 3 foot passing law was invoked
that eventually someone would demand a trial and likely prove that the
Cop couldn't actually determine how far 3 feet is, when seen at say 25
yards.

So what happens with those laws? Typical enforcement is by periodic
"sting" programs - hidden cop cars near stop signs, hidden cop cars near
school buses, "safety checks" where every car is stopped. (Those happen
around here a couple times per year.) And it's not that each "sting"
takes a significant number of offenders off the streets. Instead, it's
the publicity that plants the message "they may be watching, I'd better
be careful."

There have been sting operations regarding minimum passing clearance
laws. I suspect they happen where there are one or more avid cyclists,
or at least bike cops, on the police force.

Another enforcement mechanism is "after the fact." Someone hits
something or someone with their car, and is breath tested for alcohol
and prosecuted. Someone runs a stop sign in front of another driver and
gets the stop sign ticket, etc.

So another hope that's been mentioned regarding these laws goes like
this: Some sideswiping motorists have gotten acquitted by saying "The
guy on the bike swerved into the side of my car." Well, it's pretty
unrealistic for a straight-ahead bike to suddenly swerve more than three
feet. Hopefully this will toss that false excuse out.


I think that you are grasping at straws with the defense of the 3 foot
law. How many bicycle accidents concern "side swiping" a bicycle? From
what I read the most common problem is three vehicle running into a
bicycle from behind, usually because the bicycle is not riding on the
side of the road.


Cheers,
John B.


  #909  
Old January 31st 19, 05:42 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,466
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On 1/30/2019 6:21 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:


You are implying that simply running into someone is meaningless,
aren't you? That you need to have yet another law to penalize the
vehicle that runs into another?

And, if it is illegal to pass a bicycle at less then 3 feet isn't it
equally illegal for the bicycle to pass another vehicle closer then 3
feet?

Or are bicycles somehow exempt from all rules and regulations and can
do anything that they want on the public highways?


Regrettably, in our car-dominated culture, there are many instances
where motorists have hit cyclists and gotten off with the flimsiest of
excuses; or with no excuse at all. The police who arrive on the scene
are often prejudiced against cyclists. (We can discuss that prejudice in
another thread.) One intent of the three foot law was to reduce the
effects of that prejudice.

Regarding bicyclists passing vehicles with less than three feet
clearance: That legality depends on the precise wording of each state's
laws. In my view, a well-written law should make that clear.

Ohio's law states "When a motor vehicle or trackless trolley overtakes
and passes a bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing
distance." That means it doesn't apply when a bicycle passes another
vehicle. And I think that's reasonable. Most often when a bicycle passes
another vehicle, that vehicle is stopped or practically stopped, and the
bicycle is slowly squeezing by.

Regarding your last paragraph, there are not many problems generated by
bicycles doing whatever they want. Bicycles are devoid of free will.
_Bicyclists_ are another matter - but they are governed by traffic law.


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #910  
Old January 31st 19, 05:43 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,466
Default AG: Lit Crit wanted

On 1/30/2019 6:39 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Wed, 30 Jan 2019 11:59:33 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 8:56 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:30:56 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/29/2019 7:00 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:05:11 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/28/2019 3:21 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:17:31 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 8:09 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Sun, 27 Jan 2019 19:07:46 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 1/27/2019 6:53 PM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Mon, 28 Jan 2019 06:16:36 +0700, John B. Slocomb
wrote:

a great deal deleted


And every state that I have lived in, some ten states, has had a law
that "thou shall not impede" which is enforced to the extent that very
wide truck loads can often only be moved late at night with a police
escort.

The argument that "the cyclist can move left if the lane is too
narrow to safely share" just isn't logical in cases where motor
traffic is traveling at, say 60 - 70mph and the bicycle is traveling
at 12 - 18 mph. Particularly in dense traffic where there may be long
lines of cars traveling, say 25 - 50 yards apart. And, yes, those
conditions exist here, particularly on weekends.

I'm sure there are roads that are, practically speaking, unrideable. I
know that because I've ridden some of them. That road along a river I
mentioned was one.

You're saying that taking the lane just isn't logical if the traffic is
doing 60 mph. But if the lane is ten feet wide (which was about the
width of the road I mentioned) what would you do? Ride skimming the
concrete wall at your right and hope that all the motorists are going to
be super-careful and pass you with at least a foot or two of clearance,
AND that magically all the potholes will disappear as you approach them,
AND that the broken glass and gravel will float away before you?

It was a terrible road. Had I known, I would not have gotten onto it.
But once I was in that situation, my only hope was to take the lane, and
I did. Some drivers honked horns, but most did not. I was able to steer
around the potholes and ride away from the accumulated edge debris. I
survived until I could exit and find a better route.

What would you have done?

As for the "famous" 3 foot rule, I find it ridicules. Can you judge
distance accurately by eye? Three feet is 36 inches and I doubt that
anyone can accurately determine the difference between a 36 inch
(legal) distance and a 35 inch (illegal) distance. Yet another
unenforceable law passed to appease a special interest group.

Why stop at one inch resolution? Three feet is 914.4 mm. Obviously every
motorist passing at 914.3 will get a ticket, just like every motorist
driving 35.05 in a 35 zone. That's how it works, right? Um... not.

Like almost every law, police will not bother trying to perfectly
enforce it. Hopefully, they will enforce it more diligently from time to
time, partly as an education effort. And the law does give an opening
for education, which our bike club and others in our state have done.
There's a sign in my front yard right now, with a graphic image showing
a car passing a bike, and the words "3 FEET - IT'S THE LAW."

My point is "how will they measure the 3 feet?" By eye? Will they have
a special radar device? Will bicycles soon mount "whiskers sticking
out 3 feet on each side?

Or will the courts simply believe the testimony of the cyclist when he
says "He passed too close"?

Actually I doubt that as in the California trial about the guy that
attacked the MTB cyclists with a saw the court threw out the first
trial because the cyclists story weren't true.

There have been a few cities where bike cops mounted radar units to
measure passing clearance. I don't think that's going to be common, but
again, the publicity helps.
https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/KPD...493831211.html

That is a device mounted on the bicycle. Who will pay for that? The
individual? Or the city/state? Will there be another ruling that "ALL
BICYCLES WILL HAVE A RADAR DEVICE INSTALLED"?

All traffic laws have been derided as silly at one time or other. All
are ignored at one time or other. But most of them do improve driver
behavior. Hopefully this one will do it, too.

The point wasn't that the law was silly. It was whether it could be
enforced and frankly I don't believe that it can be under present
conditions.


First, let's be realistic. Cops are a tiny percentage of drivers. The
odds a cop will see a given incident of too-close passing are slim. But
that same shortcoming applies to people rolling through stop signs,
passing stopped school buses, driving after drinking and much else. It's
not a good argument for repealing those laws.


You seem to be avoiding the question. How will a cop determine that
the car passed closer then 3 feet? Does he have a calibrated eyeball?

Way back when radar guns were first used, a cop, in Long Island, N.Y.
I think it was, "shot" a guy with his radar gun and the individual,
instead of passively paying his fine elected a trial and proved that
the method of calibrating the radar gun was faulty and was found not
guilty. I would suspect that if the 3 foot passing law was invoked
that eventually someone would demand a trial and likely prove that the
Cop couldn't actually determine how far 3 feet is, when seen at say 25
yards.

So what happens with those laws? Typical enforcement is by periodic
"sting" programs - hidden cop cars near stop signs, hidden cop cars near
school buses, "safety checks" where every car is stopped. (Those happen
around here a couple times per year.) And it's not that each "sting"
takes a significant number of offenders off the streets. Instead, it's
the publicity that plants the message "they may be watching, I'd better
be careful."

There have been sting operations regarding minimum passing clearance
laws. I suspect they happen where there are one or more avid cyclists,
or at least bike cops, on the police force.

Another enforcement mechanism is "after the fact." Someone hits
something or someone with their car, and is breath tested for alcohol
and prosecuted. Someone runs a stop sign in front of another driver and
gets the stop sign ticket, etc.

So another hope that's been mentioned regarding these laws goes like
this: Some sideswiping motorists have gotten acquitted by saying "The
guy on the bike swerved into the side of my car." Well, it's pretty
unrealistic for a straight-ahead bike to suddenly swerve more than three
feet. Hopefully this will toss that false excuse out.


I think that you are grasping at straws with the defense of the 3 foot
law. How many bicycle accidents concern "side swiping" a bicycle? From
what I read the most common problem is three vehicle running into a
bicycle from behind, usually because the bicycle is not riding on the
side of the road.


"... the most common problem is ... running into a bicycle from
behind..."???

Where on earth did you get that idea?


--
- Frank Krygowski
 




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