In this space two weeks ago the three-foot rule was discussed. Bicyclists were asked: Would a bicyclist prefer a motorist to swing three feet around and cross a double-yellow, or follow slowly behind until a passing lane was reached?
Numerous responses came in. Here are some of the wisest and funniest.
From Mello Velo: "As a cyclist, I would much rather the vehicle safely pass me than follow slowly behind. It would also be nice if they didn't flip me off in the process." (We now remind drivers that bicyclists have an equal right to the road.)
JBar accused us of hyperbole. To which we say: You just now noticed?
He also shed light on the matter: "Assuming that the more realistic distance the driver may be forced to slow is a block or two on a city street with a speed limit of 30 MPH, I suggest the driver take a deep breath, as the actual delay will likely be shorter than the typical red light. Unless, that is, the driver spends his time at red lights pounding the steering wheel in a rage while cursing traffic engineers. In which case I suggest counseling. Or a leisurely ride on a bike."
Charlie says this: "Responding to your invite, all cyclists would prefer the motorist to pass on a double yellow when it is safe to do so."
Terry from Newark paused a moment from watching the beautiful White River flow by to consider the law-enforcement position -- a double yellow is a double yellow. Thou shalt not pass until there is not a double yellow.
"Your law enforcement contacts, who insist that an illegal pass is an illegal pass, carry no weight unless a judge has agreed with them after citing a motorist for such a pass ... I consider the odds of being cited about as good as winning the Power Ball lottery. I will simply exercise care and not cause traffic to pile up, something I consider much more hazardous."
To pass or not? That is the question, writes Lynn.
"I prefer they pass once they have determined it to be safe for both the car and the bike, but please give us as least three feet. Your big four wheels are intimidating to my little carbon frame." (We think carbon frame refers to the bike, but couldn't it also refer to the carbon-based life form known in the Li'l Abner comic strip as a "hoomin bean?")
Final word and wisdom comes from Bill of Jonesboro, who should be a reporter.
"Through Freedom of Information Act requests last year, I discovered that since the passage of [the three-foot rule], I could locate zero [tickets] issued by police departments of the top 10 population cities -- only ASP had issued citations, two in 2014." Bill also located a handful of citations issued by sheriff's deputies.
"Thus the real issue -- it appears police are not aware of [Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-311]. I think it's unfair to say the other, that they are willfully ignoring it."
Metro on 02/20/2016
Print Headline: Pass or not? Mostly yes, cyclists say