Better bike signs

June 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm 7 comments

If you drive by one of these “Share the Road” signs along a Fort Wayne street, do you in any way adjust your driving? What should you do when you see such a sign?

Do you even notice the signs?

I really appreciate the intention of the bicycle signs. But I’m not sure drivers get good, firm instruction from them.

Now, my dear wife tells me that the signs remind her to keep her eyes open for bicyclists. That’s great!

But it looks like Utah and other states have tweaked the idea and come up with something better. Check out the photo below that I discovered on Flickr:

Very nice! Now drivers and bicyclist have a shared understanding of their relationship on the road.

My only suggestion is to replace the “Share the Road” portion with something like “Allow 3 Feet.” The words would be easier for drivers to read and “Share the Road” doesn’t add any important information.

Such signs would help the relationship between motorist and cyclist be a little less rocky.

— Sign image is from the Manual of Traffic Signs, by Richard C. Moeur

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Entry filed under: Jon Swerens, Transportation. Tags: , , , .

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7 Comments

  • 1. MichaelK  |  June 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I don’t know that we actually have 3 feet legislated here, off the top of my head.

  • 2. Anthony Juliano  |  June 19, 2008 at 6:46 am

    How about just saying “please don’t kill me”?

  • 3. Jon Swerens  |  June 19, 2008 at 8:53 am

    @MichaelK: I haven’t been able to find anything on the BMV’s Web site about firm traffic rules for distance between motorized vehicles and bicycles.

    @Anthony: Or “Please put down the burger and phone”?

  • 4. MichaelK  |  June 19, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Ah, I thought I remembered there being debate somewhere, it was last year I saw this:

    http://bikeportland.org/2007/01/30/safe-passing-law-debate-begins/

    then

    http://bikeportland.org/2007/06/14/house-passes-safe-passing-legislation/

    Which ditched the 3-foot specification.

  • 5. Mary S.  |  June 20, 2008 at 10:01 am

    So, someone tell me how to share the road safely or allow even 2 feet when the cyclist is on a busy road where I cannot go into the other lane to get by him.

    Some enforced rules for the cyclists would be nice, too. Many run red lights, drive erratically, don’t wear helmets, etc. How about some responsibility on their parts, too?

    Mary S.

  • 6. MichaelK  |  June 20, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Well, Mary, you wait until it is safe to pass. Just like you would wait to pass any other traffic safely.

    Yes, some cyclists aren’t perfect drivers either; just like many people driving cars and trucks aren’t. Obviously we haven’t set perfect compliance with the laws as a prerequisite for people driving, doing so for cyclists is a red-herring argument.

    (As is the mention of wearing a helmet – it’s not required by law – and not all of us believe the magic piece of styrofoam is going to help.)

  • 7. PJ  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I ride my bicycle to work every day and I would like to thank all of the people who commute to suburbia via Crescent who do look out for me and do give me 2-3 feet.
    This whole argument is a difficult one because a year ago there weren’t many of us on bikes. This is something new for a lot of people in automobiles. They are seeing people on Bicycles, riding in the street as if they are a vehicle (which we are) and they are not used to “Sharing the Road”. With time I know that it will improve and hopefully the City will do the things necessary to help with that.


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