By Jack Cochrane, Cycle MoCo
Wouldn’t it be great to air a public service announcement saying why cyclists don’t stay right all the time? After all, this blog can’t reach everyone. How’s this?
[Sound of driving]
MAN: Hey, there’s a bicyclist. Why is he riding so far to the left? Shouldn’t he move over?
WOMAN: Not if he wants to be safe. There are a lot of cars parked along the street. Cyclists should always stay well away from parked cars because a driver might suddenly open his door.
MAN: Even if there’s a bike lane?
WOMAN: You bet. A cyclist might also leave the bike lane to avoid leaves or potholes or to get ready to turn left.
MAN: I get it. Look, there’s another bicyclist up ahead. There’s no parking but he’s in the middle of my lane.
WOMAN: That’s because the lane is too narrow for cars to pass him in the same lane. But some drivers will try anyway and it’s very dangerous. If the cyclist rides in the middle of the lane, drivers will have to change lanes to pass or else wait until there’s more room. Everyone is safer.
[pause with more sound of driving]
WOMAN: And one more thing Mike. Drivers must always keep at least three feet to the left of cyclists when passing. That’s the law.
MAN: Wow. There’s so much I didn’t know. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for cyclists in my lane now.
To be honest it should be broken up into a couple shorter PSAs. For the next couple installments, maybe this: 1. Why aren’t cyclists using the bike path? (and what’s the difference between a bike lane and a bike path). 2. What are those funny bike markings with arrows in the middle of the road?