A Picture

I am in a conversation with a CDTA rep on the topic of safe passing.  Phone and email.  At my request, he shared a portion of the the manual they give to drivers.  In it, drivers are instructed to leave 3 feet minimum and 5 feet recommended when passing cyclists and to slow.  5 feet would be luxurious.  I get that when operators fully leave the lane to pass.  Some do.  More often, though, I would guess I get something much less than 5 feet and sometimes less than 3 feet.  I thought a diagram would help so I put one together and shared it with the CDTA.Safe Passing Diagram 03.24.16

I measured the distance I am comfortable riding from the curb.  It’s 2.5 feet, but I put 2 feet in the diagram to be conservative.  I measured my on-bike height and width.  I measured the width of the lane by my house when cars were stopped.  From there I made some guesses.  I used the most conservative (smallest) bus measurements from this obviously old reference.  Can’t be far off.  Busses don’t seem to be getting smaller.  I determined mirror height by using dividers on a screen shot of a CDTA bus.

I hope he will better understand that bus drivers can never share a single lane side by side with a bicyclist.  Since they have to leave the lane to pass, they might as well give a lot of space.  They should also slow.  The manual directs it and decreasing speed differential is a big help in reducing road fatalities.  I also hope he gets the information to all drivers.  Some already know it.  Too many do not.

It’s beautiful outside.  I am going to go pedal.

2 responses to “A Picture

  1. 2 feet from a curb, sure, if you’re lucky to ride along the curb. If you ride beside parked cars, 2 feet puts you in the Door Prize Zone. On New Scotland, I ride 3 to 5 feet from parked cars. Not much of the lane left.

    • You are absolutely right. I was being conservative (making the argument in the light most favorable to the bus so that they’d see that even when a bike is snuggled up to the curb, there is not enough room to share side by side).

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