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Assembly Approves 3-Foot Passing Rule

A bill calling for a 3-foot passing rule moves to Senate as another bill to exempt new bike lanes from state environmental review heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

In a move that could make biking on busy roads safer for cyclists, the California Assembly on Monday passed a bill that would mandate a 3-foot buffer zone for passing cars.

Senate Bill 1464, which also allows cars to cross a double yellow line to give cyclists enough room, passed 52-19. The state Senate will vote on the bill before it reaches Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

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In addition, lawmakers approved AB 2245 on Friday, which would exempt new bike lanes being added along existing roadways throughout Los Angeles County from the California Environmental Quality Act. It was endorsed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency and is expected to accelerate approval of some bike lane projects.

Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2011 that would have required drivers to slow to at least 15 mph if they could not provide three feet of passing room; however, the 2012 amendment removed the 15 mph provision.

Across Los Angeles, cities and communities are adding dozens of miles of new bike lanes. The South Bay Bicycle Master Plan covers seven South Bay cities, including the three beach cities. Currently, Redondo, Manhattan and Hermosa beaches have 14.1, 3.2 and 5.1 miles of existing bikeways, respectively. The plan calls for a total of 36.7 miles of bikeways in Redondo Beach at a cost of $1,881,250; 27.4 miles in Manhattan Beach for $1,089,350; and 8.3 miles in Hermosa Beach for $256,850.

On the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Rolling Hills Estates is considering its own controversial plan that calls for several miles of new bicycle lanes along Palos Verdes Drive North.

—Patch editors Jenna Chandler and Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.

Bob Wilkins August 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Well, let's just take this to it's logical conclusion. Bicycles are using roads intended for automobiles (and we now are mandated to give them right of way), so let's make sure all bicycles have license plates and a paid annual registration!
Matt August 30, 2012 at 01:42 AM
California allows individual cities to license bicycles. Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Long Beach require licenses for bicycles and have for many, many years.
Pasgetty August 30, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Already being abused. Today had to clog traffic for a cycler who needed 3 feet between him and the parked cars, 2 feet for him and now 3 feet between him and me. Thats 8 feet into a lane built for flow of auto traffic. Dump regulatiion.
Dale Smith August 31, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Dont forget, they should also have liability insurance.
SL Burns October 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Let's enforce this law as much as we enforce the law requiring cyclists to come to a full stop at Stop signs and lights.

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