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Informal Survey

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 1 yr, 7 mos.

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ericf

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Feb 26 2013 at 8:57am #

A question to all:
In your experience, how many drivers obey the 4 foot passing law?

  • This topic was modified 1 yr, 7 mos ago by  ericf. Reason: grammar

StuInMcCandless

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Feb 26 2013 at 9:12am #

I’ve been looking, and in many cases rolling video. Probably about 65% are four feet or more. Maybe another 15% are three feet out. So, 1 in 5, roughly, comes within three feet, 1 in 20 comes within 2 feet.

To me, that’s still unreasonably high.


byogman

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Feb 26 2013 at 9:51am #

These are guesses rather than measured facts, but I think I can safely say that my experience has been better than Stu’s.

I’d say about 80% give 4 feet, 12-13% give 3 feet, 6-7% give 2 feet, and well yes, there’s a remaining fraction, 1% that are real jerks.

I’m sure it depends greatly on the road in question, how high the speeds, and how used to cyclists drivers on that road are. I’ve also mounted a defunct cell phone with apparent “eye” to my back rack to give drivers the idea I might be recording (I am, just from my cell phone in front, which they can’t see) and scrawled 4ft and an arrow on it. Junky, but maybe helps and probably couldn’t hurt.

I don’t want even 1% out there, and I think if we catch them in the act and report them we can fix this. If you’ve been having issues with close passing and aren’t necessarily ready to drop any serious dough you may want to check out this thread, a camera listed at 30$ then, and something you can do now with materials you have on hand if you don’t want to spend any money on the jerks out there: http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/anyone-with-a-smartphone-and-wire-hanger-can-record-their-rides/


Mikhail

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Feb 26 2013 at 9:52am #

My numbers are pretty close to Stu’s ones but I think there are more drivers violating 4 foot passing law during rush hours.


the beast

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Feb 26 2013 at 10:20am #

In my opinion, most people will obey the 4 foot law….if its easy for them. If there is enough space, most drivers swing pretty far out past me, however if there is minimal space, many do not wait until there is space and will squeeze past me.


edmonds59

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Feb 26 2013 at 11:05am #

^per Stu, with the addition that about 1% also swings insanely wide, like I’ve got C-4 explosive strapped to me.


Mick

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Feb 26 2013 at 11:12am #

I beleive it’s highly dependent on the time of day.

Rush hour? More close calls. Hasockey game ending? Ugh.

Leisurely times less so.

On a Friday or Saturday night after 10? Never.
At those times, I never let a car have the opportunity of coming within 4 feet of me. I cannot make the assumption that drivers at that time are sober enough to drive. I even worry when I’m on the sidewalks sometimes. Makes for extremely slow travelling as I cannot in good conscience go down a sidewalk at 10 mph.


jonawebb

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Feb 26 2013 at 11:20am #

My experience is similar — it depends very much on road conditions. If the road is wide enough to allow it, or has two lanes, it’s only an asshole who breaks the rule, and those are in the few percent range. But when the driver has to wait to pass because of traffic, or is unaware of their right to cross the double yellow line or is afraid to, many more will try to squeeze by to get where they are going, say in the tens of percents, with that number increasing the longer folks have to wait (or if they’re frustrated for other reasons.) Identifying situations where that’s likely to happen (so as to take the lane to prevent it) is important for maintaining safety.


byogman

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Feb 26 2013 at 11:34am #

I think part of my low numbers is avoidance of significant arterial uphill road riding at rush (I climb from jail trail most of the way home on sidewalk). I don’t enjoy that fact, but I do feel it has kept me safer (sigh). I do ride on the some sidewalks at 10+ mph (along the main artery through schenley park mainly). Of course, if there were a bike lane I’d gleefully jump on that instead, or reroute to Greenfield avenue if one were put there.


helen s

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Feb 26 2013 at 1:01pm #

I would have to say most of them do- seems like most days during my commute times there will be at least one or two who are close enough to elicit a response (yelling and gesturing, but usually no fingers). Hard to say how many cars total pass me though.
I am most aware of it coming up Boundary Street, where it seems to happen a few times a week. But I would say maybe only one in 20 come way too close, and maybe 50% give a very wide margin, or just wait if there is traffic.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 26 2013 at 4:04pm #

I’m going by my experiences on Perrymont Road in McCandless, where cyclists are rare (list of cyclists: me), it’s hilly, there are blind corners, narrow to no shoulders, no sidewalk, and traffic speeds are posted-35-plus-10-or-more. I have a couple of videos up, and will post more.

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