View Full Version : Virginia House of Delegates Considering "3-Feet to Pass" Bill

Mark Blacknell
01-19-2011, 01:14 PM
As some of you may know, Virginia is the only jurisdiction in the Capital area that doesn't require motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing them (it is presently 2 feet). Delegate David Toscano has introduced a bill - House Bill 1683 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1683) - to help bring Virginia's cyclists an expanded margin of safety. A similar bill died in the House last year, so it's important that Virginia's Delegates hear how important it is to their constituents. A list of the bill's co-patrons can be found here (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+mbr+HB1683) (all of Arlington's Delegates have signed on as co-patrons), and if your delegate is on that list, it would be nice to send a note of thanks (see my example to Del. Hope, below). If they're not on the list, please urge them to support it. FABB has a very helpful "talking points" post here (http://fabb-bikes.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-feet-passing-bill-in-house-trans.html).

Note: the bill died last year pretty much along party lines. There is no reason this should be seen as a partisan issue, and I urge those of you with Republican delegates to make an extra effort to reach out to them and make this point. Road safety is a universal issue.

Dear Delegate Hope:

I am writing to express the appreciation of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee for your co-patronage of House Bill 1683 being carried by Del. Toscano. As you know, Arlington has worked hard to become a bicycle friendly community, and Virginia's cyclists deserve basic safety on our roads. We thank you for your help in this effort to help educate motorists to pass cyclists with a wider margin of error and thereby reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries to cyclists.


Mark Blacknell
Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee

01-19-2011, 04:27 PM
I sent a letter to Mark Keam this afternoon.

01-19-2011, 09:10 PM
Awesome. Maybe I won't get my left elbow bashed around so much now!

01-20-2011, 05:02 AM
Elbow! Rats, I knew there was something wrong with my technique. I am just glad it would be my elbow that gets clipped and not my hip. Wish I had that line when I wrote that letter.:cool:

01-20-2011, 08:47 AM
Hurry up and pass that law. A Suburban clipped my elbow again this morning approaching a red light.

Fun part is that I was riding on the shoulder. What a jerk.

01-20-2011, 09:05 AM
May not want to refer to Arlington for Fairfax, Loudoun, et al respondees. Many in one particular party at the Statehouse refer to "the People's Republic of Arlington"...

01-20-2011, 10:36 AM
Glad you are ok. Elbows are overrated, heads are not. My favorite are minivans, the guided missiles of the road. I swear, instead of having heat-seeking technology they have bike-seeking. I can look over my shoulder and see one coming up on me, no matter what I do they wind up in my face. Maybe I will send another letter...

Mark Blacknell
02-02-2011, 12:00 PM
Posted a column about the three feet to pass law (http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/two-foot-three-foot-bills-head-to-richmond?ncid=following_comment) (House bills are dead, only hope is that Senate bill passes and succeeds in the House after crossover). Immediate reaction from commenter telling cyclists to get off the road. It's like clockwork.

Tim Kelley
02-02-2011, 12:19 PM
Posted a column about the three feet to pass law (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/01/AR2011020105889.html?hpid=moreheadlines)...

The link takes me to a story on Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Interesting read, but am I missing something?

Mark Blacknell
02-02-2011, 12:24 PM
Doh. At least you now have more evidence of what you already knew: Danny Snyder is an idiot child.

(Well, that and I'm not very good at paying attention to my own links.)

Tim Kelley
02-02-2011, 12:26 PM
So, for the lazy, are you going to repost the correct link or do I need to get out the old Google machine?

Mark Blacknell
02-02-2011, 12:28 PM
There's lazy, and then there's laaaaazy (http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/two-foot-three-foot-bills-head-to-richmond?ncid=following_comment). (Refresh would have worked as well :))

Tim Kelley
02-02-2011, 12:31 PM
Sorry, I didn't notice the Ninja Edit...but now no one will have the Dan Synder link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/01/AR2011020105889.html?hpid=moreheadlines) handy!

Mark Blacknell
02-04-2011, 09:43 AM
House bills dead, Senate bill passes, and it looks like we've got some *new* help in getting the Senate bill through the House. See Washcycle's summary (http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/02/3-foot-law-passed-by-va-senate-committee.html) (and please leave Del. Oder alone now :)).

02-07-2011, 09:02 PM
May not want to refer to Arlington for Fairfax, Loudoun, et al respondees. Many in one particular party at the Statehouse refer to "the People's Republic of Arlington"...

With good reason.

Seriously, without enforcement this law is just plain stupid.

02-07-2011, 09:35 PM
Far from stupid, strategically very smart. An awareness campaign, an educational tool, a small effort in the right direction. Legislation is incremental, attitude shifts are as well. Look beyond the face of the bill.

Mark Blacknell
02-09-2011, 08:33 PM
The Senate bill made it into the House, and we flipped a previous "no" vote on the House Transportation Subcommittee. That means Virginia is closer than it has ever been to enacting a 3 Feet To Pass statute. *Please* lend your voice (http://blacknell.net/dynamic/2011/02/09/virginians-3-feet-to-pass-needs-your-support/) and ask your friends to do the same.

02-09-2011, 10:02 PM
I will send another letter. Thank you for the update.