Posted in 3 ft passing, bicycling, Columbus, Consider Biking, Cycling, Downtown Columbus, Educate, Education, Safety, women, tagged 3 ft passing, bicycling, bikes, cbus, commute, cycling, Downtown Columbus, Livable, Paradise Garage, safety, slow bicycle movement, women on May 25, 2013 |
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In mid April, HB 145 was introduced for a 2nd time to become a statewide law for motorists to give at least a minimum of 3ft safe passing clearance when approaching a person on a bike. Currently, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland have passed ‘safe passing’ bills so having this passed will create uniformity. Ohio will also be added to the list of 21 other states that have ‘safe passing’ laws.
I organized a ride from Paradise Garage to the Statehouse prior to hearing testimony. About 10-12 folks showed up and we had a diverse representation of advocates for this bill. I left the hearing not feeling all that confident. While, it was easily discernible that some legislators were in agreeance of the bill, others were asking questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the safe passing of a person on a bike. I felt that they were making a mountain out of molehill about how to actually enforce this. We’d be naive to think that there’d be 100% enforcement of this law. It’s about principal and the fact that more and more people are choosing alternate ways to move about the city. Clearly, in a car when you’re passing another car, you pass with enough clearance – it’s the same thing with the bike. When you try to convince ppl who live and die by the car, its an uphill battle b/c they turn into rocket science when its simple driver / biker etiquette.
I’ll keep you posted about the outcome of the bill. Let’s hope we’re added to the list of states that understand that biking is just another piece to the transportation mix.
Be safe and keep riding
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Posted in bicycling, Columbus, communities, Consider Biking, Cycling, Downtown, Downtown Columbus, Educate, Education, High St, Infrastructure, Livable, Ride of Silence, Safety, slow bicycle movement, tagged bicycling, bikes, cbus, commute, consider biking, cycling, Downtown Columbus, Education, Livable, Ride of Silence, safety, slow bicycle movement, women on May 17, 2013 |
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Posted in Bicycle detectors, Connect the Core, crash, Cycling, Downtown, Downtown Columbus, Educate, Education, German Village, High St, Infrastructure, Safety, slow bicycle movement, women, tagged bicycling, bikes, cbus, chic, commute, cycling, Downtown Columbus, Education, high st, Livable, predictable riding, safety, slow bicycle movement, women on May 15, 2013 |
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There’ve been previous updates on this but I just wanted to refresh y’all. I saw these bicycle signs pop up in German Village yesterday and I was thrilled.
More of these will continue to be installed along with the bike symbols on the ground to guide you on where to stop your bike at intersections. Once you place your bike ontop of the symbol on the ground, it acts as a detector to change the light. The city of Columbus’ Public Service Dept. plans to install both the signs and bicycle signals on the ground when you place a 311 request. This is why it is so important to utilize this easy service-request system (http://311.columbus.gov/). Our streets cannot get better unless we ALL are proactive in making them better. I recently placed three requests through 311 and one of them is already in progress.
People constantly ask me ‘where is the best and safest place to ride my bike?’ The honest answer is, is that there is no real answer but there are better practices than others. I tell people that if there are multiple travel lanes going in each direction, I always take the far right lane b/c there’s still another full lane(s) of travel. Now, what about a street like High St. There’s one travel lane, sometimes a dedicated left turn lane, and a far right lane that has buses, right turns, and now – parked cars. Engineers reinforce that this lane can be ‘shared’ and let’s face it, most drivers DO want us on the most far right lane as possible, so they can continue about their destination, not having to slow down. The fact is, is that that far right lane is 12ft wide (I counted) and clearly NOT enough for both a bike rider and an open car door to safely exist together. Take a look at the pics below:
Many car windows these days have tint to them leaving it as either a guessing game or a ‘Hail Mary’ for us bike riders riding in this lane. As you can clearly see, there’s a variety of width of these cars. I don’t care what people say, this is clearly not enough room. I’ve been door’d and I’m still intimidated at times.
We learn in drivers education to be ‘predictable’ when driving. Having drivers be able to anticipate your next move is both courteous and safe. You dont want a driver to abruptly turn right and not signal or a car to change lanes with out adequate space and time. The same goes with us on bikes. We want drivers, buses, and walkers to be able to anticipate our moves. Weaving in and out of lanes isn’t predictable. I would rather anger the driver behind me b/c I’m slow and predictable than create this bike rodeo of weaving in and out of lanes and parked cars. I know it’s engrained in us (slower traffic stays right) but when it comes to safety, drivers are just going to have to deal. I hope these images help along with my quasi-clear explanation. Again, its really difficult to answer b/c there are so many different levels of confidence when riding however, I hope these images give you a better idea of why its always not in the best interest to appease the cars behind you and for you to maintain the lane until the far right lane frees up for you to move into.
Be safe and keep riding.
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