Why SD’s 3 Foot Bike Rule Won’t Work
Lots of folks who bike in Sioux Falls are discussing the three foot bike rule currently in the SD House (HB1030) that would make it safer for bikers on busy roads. The bill would require a 3 foot gap between a bike and a car who chooses to over take the bike.
This sounds like a really great improvement.
Until you realize that the roads you need this most on, the busiest two and four lane roads, are often the roads with smallest gaps between the driving lanes and curbs. Often forced from four lanes to five with the addition of a turn lane, where is the three feet going to come from?
We installed sidewalks (and didn't require people to walk on the road with a three foot buffer) for a reason.
It’s time to be just as intelligent for bike safety and require that all new road construction/updates include a bike lane (one that ISN'T covered by parking traffic) and pass bills that facilitate installing bike lanes on the busy roads people need to bike down.
Arresting drivers for not giving someone three foot when the other option is hitting another car isn't solving any problems.
More importantly, passing a law that will only be cited during the trial of someone who hit a biker or when anti-bike lane people want to point out that “you should be safe with 3–6 feet of gap!” doesn’t seem to be the solution.