Friday, January 6, 2012

The 3-feet rule

This morning, on my ride to work, I noticed a higher-than-usual number of drivers who seemed to forget about the 3-feet rule: a safe distance to pass a bike. Three feet is just barely a meter - still too close to a cyclist, in my opinion, but not much of change in direction from driver's perspective. Even though, many drivers still fail to obey it. Maybe I should blame it on chilly winter morning, making everyone lethargic and slow to start up?
The route I take has some nice shoulders, divided from traffic lanes by white lines. This makes them look like some informal bike lanes and very suitable for bicycling. I tend to ride just on the outside of the white line, which means that I stay off the traffic lane but still very close to it. This way I don't block the faster traffic but I am more visible to drivers. The lanes are so wide that cars don't even have to enter the opposite lane in order to pass a bicycle. They usually just more more toward the center line.

I remember that my childhood bike in Poland had this funky orange arm attached to the rear rack to force passing bikes and drivers to maintain the distance. It turned out I can still easily get it from Amazon. It is called Safety Wing.
Safety Wing (Picture from

But then, after reading about it on Urban Velo, I figured that Ghost Rider's solution (see comments at Urban Velo) is much, much better.
Ghost Rider's "Safety" Wing

1 comment:

  1. I saw a guy with a flimsy flexible utility marking flag. I think that's a good bet, as the less flexible other options could lead to crashes, if a large vehicle encroached on your 3 feet.