On Sunday, a new state law takes effect that requires motorists to maintain a minimum 3-foot safe distance when passing bicyclists. The fine is $118.50.
On narrow roads, like State Road A1A, a popular road for cyclists which has 12-foot wide travel lanes, motorists likely will have to cross the center line to comply with the new law. If there is oncoming traffic, drivers will have to wait until it's safe to pass.
"If a car is going slower than you want to go, you can't just blow your horn, yell and cuss at them and expect them to move off the road so you can pass," said George Martin, executive director of the Safe Bicycling Coalition of Palm Beach County. "Why should someone expect that of a bicyclist?"
New York City just released its first-ever study of bicycle crashes. There's good news and bad news. The good news is that four City agencies -- health, transportation, parks and police -- admitted, finally, that bicycling is good for New York City, and pledged to expand the City's cycling infrastructure. The study also didn't indulge in the NYPD's habitual victim-blaming in cycling fatalities -- a significant though unacknowledged shift.
But here's the bad news: The study has many methodological flaws and misleading "findings," leading it to over-emphasize helmets and bike lanes and neglect the need for universal street safety. And the study completely neglects the fact that most fatal crashes are caused by aggressive, self-entitled drivers, and laissez-faire policing that allows motorists to literally get away with murder.
The fabulous Katherine Roberts was taking the lane as usual, when a car tailgated her, honked, and then angrily zoomed around her, passing much too close. She caught up with it at the next light (of course). The driver insisted that she didn't belong in the lane. And why? "Isn't it obvious? I'm in my car, and you're on your legs!" A friend later suggested the perfect rejoinder: "No, I'm on my feet and you're on your ass!"
My campaign has brought me to every major intersection in the City. I see bicyclists "sharing" the road with aggressive drivers, many of whom are from Virginia and Maryland. Frankly, I've seen some pretty scary moments where drivers were careless, on cell phones or apparently unaware of the rights of bicyclists.
My administration will work with bicyclists to increase safety and the ease of bicycling. I believe there has to be consistable education of DC drivers, but particularly of Maryland and Virginia drivers who must understand that bicyclists have road rights in the District. My administration will enforce our laws and increase the security of bicyclists.
A few days ago I taught my 14-year-old cousin how to write a bicycle, and afterwards I was inspired, so I wrote 11 Ways Life is Like Riding a Bicycle, here it is:
11 Reasons Why Life is like riding a bicycle:
1. You need balance: if you lean too far to one side or the other, you'll fall off!
The Rambam writes (Hilchos De'os 1:4), regarding "all Midos," that a person should follow the golden "path of the middle" and not lean towards one extreme or the other.
Therefore in life, or while riding a bike, it is important that one always pays attention to where he is leaning!
2. You fall off, but in order to progress- you need to get back up!
There is a song that came out when i was in 3rd grade by Chumbawumba with lyrics like so, " i get knocked down, but i get up again, you're never gonna keep me down."
The point is, its not falling down that determines your worth- its if you get back up or not.
At one school my daughter walked to, traffic was a big issue. Most affluent parents who lived within walking distance of the school drove their kids to school. Some drove the kids just a few blocks. When I asked why their kids didn't walk they said "Too Dangerous, too many cars." Well the cars were from parents driving their kids to the school. The street had few cars at 8am during school breaks. All kids more than a mile from school got bussed. If all driving parents at that school participated and walked with their children to school on one day, it might open their eyes to the fact that the danger came from themselves. The parents might think they are doing their children a favor but my daughter liked walking to school until she became a teenager. When she grew up she confided to me that when she was getting bussed to school she and her friend would deliberately miss the bus so they could walk. Walking wasn't a burden for her it was an adventure.
"Cars are great! Fast! Convenient! Sexy! Freedom!"
Well, no, no, and no again.
First, cars aren't anywhere near as fast or convenient as they seem. Speed is, of course, the distance you go, divided by the time it takes. Problem is, the "time it takes" to get somewhere by car is not just the time spent driving. You also spend time