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Gov. +Jerry Brown,

You just single-handedly decided to put my life, and the lives of millions of Californian cyclists at risk, joining Rick Perry(!) as the only governor in the country to veto the long-overdue 3-feet-to-pass law. You most certainly just lost my vote.

Cycling friends -- if you agree, hit that reshare link and +-mention +Jerry Brown. Perhaps this can help deliver our message.

To the many of you who don't ride -- take a glance through , as I know it's not obvious to many non-cyclists just how much of a difference such a law would have made for cyclist safety. Consider how +Jerry Brown's veto affects the safety of friends and loved ones who bike for fun, commuting, or fitness; and consider passing this along.
Luca de Alfaro's profile photoDanny Wyatt's profile photoMoritz Hardt's profile photoFernando Pereira's profile photo
Alex, two questions about the bill: 1) On roads with bicycle lanes, I very often see cyclists riding on the white line, even though the lane is pretty wide, thus reducing their margin of safety relative to vehicles on the main lane. What's in the law to deter such unsafe riding? 2) Gov. Brown's objections, as given in the stories you linked to, are not about 3 ft, but about other provisions in the bill. If 3 ft is so important, why was it bundled with those veto-inducing provisions?
Meh, seems like a silly law to me.

+Fernando Pereira riding on the white line occurs for me when there are parked cars; dooring is a significantly higher risk than getting hit by a car.
+Fernando Pereira , it would help to know more about where you see that happening. I've commuted by bike for many years in many cities and have found only about ~1/2 of the bike lane miles I've seen to be safe for cyclists. The unsafe half is usually (1) completely in the door zone, (2) interrupted by storm drains, (3) full of glass, leaves, or other unsafe debris, (4) blocked by overgrown plants, or combinations of those. Even the safe half only seems accidentally so. Generally, bike lanes are afterthoughts, squeezed in without considering the actual flow of either bike or auto traffic.
I agree with the 3 ft but disagree about the 15mph. A lot of times I pass cyclists in roads w/o bike lane by giving them a lot of space (way more than 3ft), but without slowing down much from say 40 mph. I don't see why that should be illegal.

But the main problem is that bike lanes are an afterthought. They should be mostly separate from the car roads, otherwise, a wayward vehicle (distracted driving? checking a cellphone?) will kill you. I gave up on biking due to the risk, but I would happily bike in the Netherlands. The 3 ft law still does not protect you from incompetent driving, which is what I fear the most.
+Fernando Pereira I know that stretch well: . It's on one of my regular commuting routes. (In fact, I can say with certainty that I've ridden it exactly 29 times.) And you're right, it's a great bike lane. The only times I've had to move out of it are to pass slower cyclists (and once to avoid a dead deer). But it is a rare bike lane.

I imagine a law that properly covered that lane and e.g. the well-intentioned but poorly executed SFO bike lanes ( would be hard to draft.
The annoying thing here is the governor's complete failure to understand basic logic. The proposed bill said "3 feet distance" OR "15 mph when passing". Apparently, Brown vetoed because of the second part which only made the proposal more liberal for drivers. Had it only said "3 feet distance" (thus being much stricter) he would've been fine according to his own words.
A common situation when I am driving and stop at a traffic light is that one or more cyclists sneak up between my car and the side of the road, less than 3 feet from the side of the car. When the light turns green and my car starts moving, it's less than 3 feet from them. Would I be in violation of the proposed law? I read the text, and I can't figure it out.
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