We’re on the bus!

Photo courtesy of Susan Fortini at Fast Signs. (Banners were fabricated by Fast Signs)

The banners are rolling!

Facts about this campaign from the FBA Newsletter:

The North Florida Bicycle Club. was the first bike club to promote the 3-foot passing law (Florida State Statute 316.083, 316.085, pg. 13 in the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide.) with signage on Jacksonville city buses. Their local advocacy efforts attracted the attention of Winter Park attorney and FBA Advisory Board member Hal Downing and members of the BOBbies, a Central Florida women’s only bicycle club. BOBbies members Mary Shanklin, Carol Stevens [and] Lisa Portelli […] hit the ground biking by raising funds to support a similar campaign in the Greater Orlando area. To date, $4,777.00 has been raised towards the Lynx Bus Signage campaign to promote the 3-foot passing law. FBA pitched in by agreeing to administer the funds so donations would be tax deductible, plus pledged $1,000 towards the campaign. Proceeds from the May “Cycling Smackdown at the Bowling Alley” event raised another $2,000 to bring the total to nearly $8,000. Designed by Keri Caffrey and reproduced by Susan Fortini at FastSigns, the banners to appear on the rear of Lynx buses should be on the road in August. [well, OK, September]

Another victory from this campaign was bringing various bike clubs together to promote bicycle safety and awareness including the BOBbies, Orlando Road Club, Seminole Cyclists, Florida Freewheelers, and Team Armada. Thanks to the donors including Orange Cycle Works, [David’s World,] the City of Orlando, Get Active Orlando, Gerald Sutton, Trustee – Winter Park Health Foundation, Orlando Road Club and many, many individuals.

Thank you North Florida Bicycle Club for kick-starting this campaign. [The] artwork used on the Lynx buses is available for other bike clubs or organizations wishing to promote a similar campaign in other parts of Florida. Contact FBA if you are interested.

“Clings” [and bumper stickers] will be reproduced depicting the artwork soon for distribution upon request for a nominal fee to cover postage.

Notes about the art from the illustrator:

The position of the cyclist. Cyclists should ride no farther right than the right tire track on any road (this is typically 2-3 ft. from the edge). Often, they should ride even farther left. Riding too far right causes cars to pass too close and increases the risk the cyclist won’t be seen or registered by motorists crossing and turning in his path. The common, incorrect expectation that cyclists should cower along the edge of the road is the source of many, many injuries to cyclists.

The double yellow line. When the oncoming lane is clear, a motorist may legally cross the double yellow to pass a cyclist or other vehicle moving significantly below the speed limit. A motorist MUST cross the center line on most roads in order to give a cyclist safe clearance.

3 ft. is a MINIMUM clearance. It is adequate for small vehicles passing at low speed differentials and speeds under 30 mph. At higher speeds, greater clearance is required for safety. Larger vehicles and trucks pulling trailers should give a cyclist more than 3 ft. at any speed.

A huge congratulations to the members of the Central Florida cycling community whose enthusiasm made this happen. And most importantly… started the momentum for cycling education in this community. I hope that legacy lives well beyond the need to educate motorists about passing clearance.

4 replies
  1. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    I’m afraid I have to quibble a bit with Keri’s statement: “Cyclists should ride no farther right than the right tire track on any road (this is typically 2-3 feet from the edge).”
    For wider lanes there generally is no “right tire track,” since motorists vary much more in their lateral position when cyclists aren’t present; some hug the curb, some the left side, some down the middle.

    If the lane is wide enough to share — 14-feet or more — and no other circumstances make taking the lane necessary (pavement quality, moving the same speed as other traffic, preparing to turn left, etc) cyclists are required to keep as far right as practicable. I believe that can be as little as a foot and a half if there is a gutter with a decent seam. Three feet seems excessive to me in such circumstances. I’ve been cycling 14-foot lanes at one to two feet from the seam for many years without problems.

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    I believe a cyclist’s primary (default) position should be ~3 feet from the edge of the road on any width lane. The position can be adjusted right or left depending on prevailing circumstances (practicability).

    Most of the WCLs around here are 4-lane roads. If there is light traffic I’m going to ride in a position that encourages a passing motorist to use the other lane, not share mine. If traffic is heavy, I will facilitate same-lane passing where I am legally required to do so.

    An assertive default position reduces a cyclist’s need to worry about debris or hazards that could only be avoided by a leftward move when riding 1 foot from the edge. Leftward moves for bicyclists require rearward attention. In wide lanes, they require merging. Its’ a whole level of complication I’m not going to inflict upon myself unnecessarily. So by default, I don’t. If necessary or appropriate for conditions, I will.

    Additionally, fast-moving cyclists need a more leftward position to help clue motorists to their presence and speed.

    If we promote minimal minimums, that is all we’ll ever get.

  3. rodney
    rodney says:

    Curious, but how does the law read for passing a cyclist on the right? Such as a motorist exiting a two-lane road crossing a bike lane to use a RTOL. Is the 3 ft rule still applicable to the right of the cyclist?

    Reference http://tinyurl.com/SR436. Zoom in and select street view for details.

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