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

A bill has passed the state Senate requiring automobiles to pass no closer than 3 feet to bicyclists. What do you think? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

In the wake a vehicle collision that killed a bicyclist, and with the city of Santa Monica installing more than 30 new miles of bike and sharrow lanes, we're gauging local opinions about SB 1464.

The proposed state law—which would make it a legal requirement for automobiles to give bicyclists a minimum clearance of 3 feet when passing—has the support of Los Angeles cyclists.

SB 1464 has now passed the state Senate and is up for a vote by the Assembly Friday.

"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 was not 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 three 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.

How would you vote if it were up to you?

Tell us in the comments, keeping in mind that we ask commenters to use names when taking part in our community dialogue.

If you'd rather remain anonymous, you may email your comment to jenna.chandler@patch.com.

Either way, please take our non-scientific poll below to let us know where you stand on this issue.

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David Huntsman August 30, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Jenna, you do realize you are putting cyclists who have to leave the bike lane to pass you (including children) in danger of being run down by motorists -- don't you?
David Huntsman August 30, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Paul, I'm not extending an argument - I'm talking about Vehicle Code section 21202 which allows a cyclist to use the full lane when the right side of the road is impracticable to use. I get the feeling you aren't aware of that. Once you get it, you see that it doesn't matter what cyclists are doing in the lane when any cyclist has the right to the entire lane. If there is one cyclist rightfully in the lane, you gotta' go around. In the other lane. I get your concern for cyclists, but when you start attacking the fact that cyclists might take advantage of lane control and the legal "side-by-side" position preferred for road safety and have a sneaky chat, well, you're off in a place that isn't well supported and, sorry, just a bit patronizing. I might as well suggest that motorists do nothing but focus on "point A- point-B" when driving: no fiddling with or even listening to the radio, no talking on the phone, no chatting with the kids or the wife, no slowing to look at real estate and garage sale signs...
David Huntsman August 30, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Jenna, regarding the "solution" you are looking for, you might take a look at California Vehicle Code section 21966, which reads: "No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility." I don't do tongue-lashings, by the way, especially if young cyclists like my 10-year-old son is with me. Rather, I instruct him how to deal with runners in the bike lane just as if he was dealing with any other hazard that allows him the use of the shared lane. But it would be nice if he didn't have to leave the small protection of the bicycle lane on account of runners.
Sir Harrington August 30, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Due to multiple runner/cyclist confrontations, the LA Leggers no longer run north on San Vicente. As an individual, you also have the option of running in Palisades Park. Broadway to the totem pole and back is a three-mile loop with a nice steady incline and lots of shade. Better to loop four times for twelve miles and be safe than have an altercation with a cyclist.
David Huntsman August 30, 2012 at 09:18 PM
When I ran cross-country in high-school, we ran on the center island on San Vicente. There were a few who chose to run on the sidewalk because of the tree roots. This was 30 years ago. I'd imagine the roots have only gotten worse.


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