|This gentleman, a public edu-activist whose creative methods appeal mightily to my own dash-camming heart, capitalized on Houston's new 3-foot passing ordinance by creating (drum roll, please) a 3 foot space on the traffic side of his bicycle. This screengrab from his helmet cam shows a car entering his space, and the scary part is that he was in a dedicated bike lane when that happened. It's not like he was sharing a shoulderless road with traffic such that they were squeezed into proximity. Drivers in our area won't even give clearance to cyclists when they have their own lanes! That's how bad things are here. |
Video screengrab from this YouTube entry by the cyclist.
|Sure, it's against the law, but that doesn't mean that people stop doing it: Photo of a car after its driver rammed and killed a bicyclist. Screengrab courtesy of this site.|
|And of course it's not just in Houston that cyclists are being killed. Just over a month ago, this story of a fatal hit-and-run riveted the attention of folks all across greater Houston in part because LCPD was so effective in using surveillance footage and social media to help track down the alleged guilty party.|
Screengrab courtesy of KHOU.
|When I searched through Municode, which is the third-party repository for current ordinances, it mostly contains boilerplate reflecting the fact that bicycles must be operated in conformance with existing rules of the road.|
Screengrabbed from Municode.
I have a hunch that, some day, 3-foot traffic lane flags are going to be widely available commercially for bicycles and the expectation that they be honored by motorists will be standard. Until that time, we can continue to push for additional culture-changing measures that help inch us in the direction of that better place. Safe passing laws are one of the tools that provide us with additional concrete options in that regard.