So, I’m looking at all this traffic footage and something occurs to me. Motorists give other cars considerably more than three feet when they pass. Obviously, lane widths offer plenty of buffer when they are passing moving vehicles in adjacent lanes. But they give extra clearance when passing cars that are slowing to turn in a wide lane, too. They also don’t drive in the door zone of parked cars (even when there’s no bike lane there to provide them a safety buffer from car doors) Check out the tire tracks on a narrow road like Central. The left one is next to the center line, the right one is 3-4 feet from the parked cars (as far as they can get). In the photo above, the tracks are even farther from the parking on Orange, which has much wider lanes.
So I have two questions.
- If motorists naturally give another car more than three feet, why do we have to tell them to give an exposed human being three feet?
- If a person automatically drives his car outside the door zone of parked cars when he wouldn’t be physically harmed, why does he then ride his bike in the door zone when he’s actually vulnerable to getting killed?
UPDATE: Photos added 1/29