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

A bill has passed the state senate requiring automobiles to pass no closer than three feet to bicyclists. Local cyclists support the proposed law; what do you think? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

In the wake of several vehicle collisions that have left bicyclists dead or injured, our question of the week is about SB 1464.

The proposed state law, making it a legal requirement for automobiles to give bicyclists a minimum clearance of three feet when passing, has the support of Bay Area cyclists.

SB 1464 has passed the state Senate and is up for a vote by the Assembly Friday. 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 joan.dentler@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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Margaret Pye August 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I think it would be helpful to add something specific, like "3 feet," to the Vehicle Code, to help motorists understand how much space to allow. I am a bike commuter, and I occasionally get "buzzed" by motorists passing too close. They're not usually being malicious, they just don't realize how vulnerable I am.
Jesse M. August 22, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Three feet of passing space is a good distance. As far as cyclists "hogging" lanes, whenever the roadway is less than 14 feet wide, cyclists are allowed to use the entire lane. Also, since shoulders and roadside parking are not considered suitable for driving, they are not considered part of the roadway. There have been many times in Burlingame especially when motorists have passed me at high speeds with mere inches between me and them, sometimes even honking and waving with one finger, when it is them who are putting me at risk. I am all for a three feet (or more) passing distance.
Gary August 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Cracked and uneven pavement often limit where I can place my bike or my ability to change directions without risking falling which will turn the situation fatal. 3 feet is good distance. How about adding a speed component to it such as when passing a cyclist at a pace of more than 5mph or up to 25mph, drive must allow 3 feet of space.
Robert Cronin August 23, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Three feet is better than nothing, but it should be five feet as in France.
J August 23, 2012 at 06:01 PM
All for it, but not sure it will do anything. I cycle a lot through San Carlos, Emerald Hills, Woodside, and surroundings. I bike solo and stay as far to the right as I can. Many drivers are great about passing. But there are a lot who are extremely aggressive, and I have been run off the road multiple times. Just because there's a white line marking a shoulder doesn't mean the cyclist should be to the right of that line - often the pavement to the right of the line is extremely unsafe for cycling, but many drivers assume it marks a bike lane. It doesn't unless it's marked as such. Besides passing, the other two danger areas for cyclists (and the situations where I've actually been hit) are cars racing past me to turn to their right in front of me, or cars turning right at a stop sign or red light who don't look back to the right before they accelerate (they're looking left to watch oncoming traffic before they begin their turn). It's easy to not see the cyclist when you approach the intersection and be in a position to run him down as you make your right turn!


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