City Times

Editorial: Three feet too far

Troy Orem

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To say that bicycles are the scourges of the road is an understatement. They are some of the most inconsiderate users of the public roadways and yet our government continues making special concessions for them.

A new law which went into effect Sept. 16 forces drivers to ensure that there is at least three feet (about the length of an open car door) between the cyclist and themselves before trying to get past them.

Worryingly, there is no mention in the verbiage of the law that requires bicyclists to return the courtesy. A bike could ride down the middle of the lane at tedium and the driver would be unable to pass them.

As everyone is “sharing” the road, it is obvious that those using the road should be as courteous as possible with every vehicle whether powered by gasoline, electricity or a hearty breakfast. Yet bicyclists never seem to get the memo.

All one needs to do is go to a “bikey” part of San Diego like Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach and they will be inundated by bikes running red lights and stop signs, moving in the wrong lane against traffic and switching between sidewalks and streets in less than a moments notice.

That is how they “share” the road.

There is no “riders license” necessary for bikes to traverse the sprawling roads of this or any city. Registration of individual bicycles exists in some city’s with a hodgepodge assortment albeit rarely enforced rules.

However, San Diego’s city council voted to remove that requirement in May of 2013 to prove their dedication to being bike friendly.

Anyone that drives a car is not as lucky, driving without a valid license is a fine between $100 and $1000 depending on the state. Driving without registration is another $190 with options to reduce the fine if it is remedied in a set amount of time.

Putting people on the road without a standard knowledge of the way the way the roads work, the way traffic is supposed to flow, is problematic at best. Couple that with segment of people who are deluded Into thinking that they are the most important and impervious thing on the road and it’s, well, laughable.

And yet bicyclists, either those in hilarious spandex atrocities (because you’re definitely in the Tour de France) or hipsters with no helmet and a super cool beard (proven effective in crashes) are media darlings.

Any slightly slow news day will feature those huffing and puffing folks as they power their way through the desolate waste land evil dirty cars.

The point of all this is not that bikes shouldn’t be on the road nor that cars shouldn’t do their best to be courteous to any and all users of the road, it’s that everyone should have to obey the rules as they stand.

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Editorial: Three feet too far