"The Bike Bill" Emerges
We have a bill! LCO, the Legislative Commissioners Office, has released language for Transportation Committee Bill SB 502, An Act Concerning Bicycle Safety, also being referred to as "The Bike Bill."
As Far to the Right as Practicable (AFRAP) Provisions
Section 3 of SB 502 contains much of the language that Bike Walk CT proposed to amend the statute on "riding as far to the right as practicable." Section 3:
Safe Passing, NACTO Guidelines
SB 502 is also intended to clarify rules on when motorists may safely pass slower moving cyclists, and to encourage DOT to endorse NACTO design guidelines for bikeways and complete streets.
... And speaking of NACTO
Bike Walk CT is sponsoring the NACTO Bikeway Design Guide Workshop for engineering and planning professionals on Thursday, April 23. Urge your town to send their staff for this fantastic training opportunity! (Details here.) NACTO is the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
3/15/2015 07:27:20 am
3/15/2015 11:59:46 am
I have two questions regarding passing distances.
3/16/2015 10:14:14 am
Good point about cyclists passing, Wendy. I find that if I give a clear verbal signal to a slower moving cyclist or pedestrian by calling out "Passing on your left," several seconds before passing, that is always sufficient. I have yet to scare someone by passing like a stealth jet (as has happened to me more times than I care to remember). Every cyclist in spandex knows the "on your left" notification, yet it seems the more "elite" riders have forgotten how to use it. Education, education, education! Perhaps something should be noted in the bill about that as well? Cyclists must verbally notify slower moving cyclists, pedestrians and the like!
3/15/2015 02:29:49 pm
I would like to see additional funds be set aside for education purposes of the new bill. Many do not know.
3/16/2015 11:55:09 am
Hi Louise, I appreciate your comment. I have heard "on the left" a few times, and it has been just seconds before the cyclist was passing. While the action and intent are meant to inform, there are still several considerations. One, the bicyclist may be hard of hearing. Two, if the cyclist passes only a foot or two away from the bicyclist, it is still potential endangerment as the person may not prepared, may be lost in thought, enjoying the scenery, may need to avoid a pothole, etc. Three, other road noise can block out voices. While silent stealth is worse, and I have experienced that far too often, yelling practically in my ear and passing within 1-2 feet is a totally jarring experience as well. It gets my heart rate up further than I intended. It's kind of like having an unleashed dog run up behind you and then bark and lunge at you. I mean no disrespect here, but a rider may not be aware they have scared someone when they're moving 30 mph past them, or however fast the "elite" riders travel. All I know is that it seems very fast, and they do often pass too closely. That behavior is simply unsafe and thoughtlessly rude whether they call out or not. I agree with both Louise and Tim that we need a lot of education for all who are on the roads. The law does clearly state that vehicles need to slow down or stop if they cannot pass a pedestrian or bicyclist at a safe margin. The law also states pedestrians have right of way over ALL vehicles. Bicycles could reasonably be considered vehicles. Unfortunately many drivers believe they own the road, and to have speeding cyclists feel the same way means more accidents, injuries and deaths. I have seen far too many close calls of many descriptions on my "designated scenic road."
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