I was reading this article about a Houston columnist’s first bike commute when I noticed this tidbit about a Bike Safety “three feet” law working its way through the state House of Representatives.
The law would make it a illegal for car and truck drivers to get closer than three feet from a biker or any other “vulnerable road user,” like a runner, child, disabled person, or highway construction worker.
In fact, lawmakers sponsoring this bill aren’t calling it a bicycle safety bill; they’re calling it the “Safe Passing Bill,” and oh by the way it benefits cyclists as well. For those having difficulty passing this type of law, can you imagine rewriting just a little to include construction workers and the campaign ads you can do with that? “Representative Smith voted NO on a law that would improve safety for highway workers.”
Back to Houston Chronicle column, in which Carolynn Feibel discovers the reality of bike commuting in the American South —
As your transportation columnist, I felt obligated to accept the Bike To Work challenge. First I had to buy a bike. Then I had a wonderful and amusing week dodging potholes, feeling a virtuous burn in my quads, and arriving at work looking like a wet, bedraggled chicken.
My one-way ride took about 15 minutes. So yes, it is possible. But is it desirable? I still say yes, though tentatively. But that has far less to do with traffic and distance than with, well, showers. I mean, it’s Houston. We should call it “National Bike to Work and Shower at Work Week.”
After college, I used to bike commute 20 miles from Forth Worth to Irving, Texas. In the Texas heat there is absolutely no way you can do a ‘stylish’ commute in your work clothes, even if you ride slowly for short distances.