Tag Archives: bike commuting tips

Allowing motorists the option to pass bicyclists in a no passing zone makes the Share the Road campaign, 'Allow 3 Feet When Passing,' safer.

Bicyclists 3-Feet Rule Just Became Easier For MN Motorists To Accept

Thanks BikeMN (Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota) for pushing the legislature to update the law making it easier for bicyclists and motorist to Share the Road. This new revision allows motorists the option to pass a bicycle and use a portion of a no passing zone to stay minimum of three away from cyclist. This makes it more comfortable for all, plus Minnesota becomes a more bike-friendly state.

Bicyclists Now Have An Added Layer Of Protection On MN Roads

When Governor Dayton signed the new  transportation bill into effect it enacted a change to the law. This revision to the law was advocated by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. It allows motorists the ability to pass a bicycle in a no passing zone, if safe to do so. Before this recent change in the law motorist had to allow a minimum of three feet when passing, only passing zones. They had to keep a distance of when passing a bike, staying on the right side of the double yellow line. In many cases this rule was an impossible feat for drivers to perform as many of the states roads are to narrow without using a passing lane. This new update to the law now makes it legal so an automobile can change lanes to pass a bicycle even in a no passing zone when safe to do so.

A Win-Win For Motorists and Cyclists

“This change, proven successful in nine other states, is a win-win. We’ve made things both safer for bicyclists and more convenient for drivers,” said BikeMN volunteer lobbyist Joe Olson while thanking legislators for helping to make this happen.

“This revision to the law is a convenience for motorists because it legalizes a current practice of reasonable driving, especially on the many flat and straight low-speed roads in our communities,” says Dorian Grilley, BikeMN’s executive director. “Many people see the double yellow line and they think ‘Oh, I can squeeze by that bicycle in the 12-foot lane ahead,” Grilley said. “Now we hope drivers will allow bicyclists a little more space without fear of getting a ticket.”

BikeMN encourages bicyclists to ride where they are visible and have room to maneuver. The law states bicyclists should ride as far to the right as practicable, which does not mean as far to the right as possible. Bicyclists should ride away from the curb in the right wheel track of vehicles and at least a minimum of 24 inches away from the road edge. A motor vehicle should either wait to pass or change lanes to overtake the bicyclist. This law change expands opportunities for safe automobile passing while improving the flow of overall road traffic.

Details To The Changes

The change can be found on Line 62.4 of the transportation bill, House File 3. It states: Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 169.18, subdivision 5 (Subd. 7.Laned high (c)), is amended to read: a motor vehicle may be driven to the left side of the roadway (in a noway (c passing zone) to safely overtake a bicycle under the following circumstances:

(1) the bicycle is proceeding in the same direction as the motor vehicle

(2) the driver of the motor vehicle either (i) provides a safe clearance distance, in no case less than the greater of three feet or one-half the width of the motor vehicle, or (ii) completely enters the left lane of the highway

(3) the operator of the bicycle is not (i) making a left turn, or (ii) signaling that the bicycle operator intends to make a left turn and

(4) the driver of the motor vehicle complies with all other applicable requirements under this section.

Now that it’s legal to pass a cyclist in a double yellow, as of July 1st,  advocates around the state hope drivers will be more willing to make a wide pass around cyclists.

The new law is intended to reinforce the rule that you must give at least 3 feet to pass a cyclist on the road.

Alisa Reckinger, who bikes frequently around Minneapolis, wasn’t aware of the new law until now and hopes it makes her trips a little safer.  “I think a lot of it comes down to common sense a little bit,” she said. “I think sometimes drivers don’t realize how close they are, but I think giving a little more space makes everyone feel a little safer out there.”

About BikeMN

The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota is working to make Minnesota a place where bicycling is an easy, safe, and fun for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to unite and strengthen bicycle advocacy, provide education, and work for a more bicycle friendly Minnesota. Visit www.bikemn.org to learn more about local advocacy around Minnesota.

‘Bikes vs. Cars’ documentry showing in Minneapolis

You may be interested in an upcoming bicycle related documentary that will be showing in Minneapolis in early March.  The documentary is titled ‘Bikes vs. Cars’, and is described by the film team as ‘an award-winning film that explores issues facing bicyclists, improving urban mobility, and implications for the world if we do not work together on proactive transportation measures‘.
The film will follow the individuals around the world that are fighting to create change. We meet Aline at Sao Paulo’s Ciclofaxia, the weekly Sunday ride where one lane of Paulista Avenue is opened for bikes only. Aline is an inspirational person in the city’s bicycle movement, who tries to focus on the positive aspects of being a cyclist. But that can be difficult in a city where one bicyclist is killed every four days. And in Toronto, where mayor Rob Ford strips away the city’s bike lanes in his battle to win the “war on cars,” we watch as members of the Urban Repair Squad infiltrate the streets at night, using spray paint and stencils to replace them.
Picture promotes the screening of 'Bikes vs. Cars' March 7-8, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN.

Picture promotes the screening of ‘Bikes vs. Cars’ March 7-8, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN.

According to the promoters website – Urban automobile congestion is a global problem. This compelling documentary that takes a close look at Los Angeles and São Paulo and the cyclists who are on the front lines of change. Inspiring, timely and a perfect means of seeing how Minneapolis and other cities might become an even better bike friendly city. Promotional support is provided by the Hiawatha Bicycling Club, carsrcoffins.com and other Twin City bicycle activists.

You can see the movie trailer for ‘Bikes vs. Cars’ here at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et8iEIPhooM

Where:  Trylon Microcinema,  3258 Minnehaha Av,  Minneapolis

When:  March 7th and 8th; 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Tickets are $8.00.  According to Trylon’s website, you can purchase in advance here, or at the door
I hope you consider attending one of these screenings.  It seems pertinent to our cycling passion.  Thanks.

Bike Pic Dec 1, rain, sleet or snow with a smile

Rain, sleet or snow, this guy is ready for anything while driving his trust commuter bike, wearing the right gear and a smile!

See more at “Dashing through the snow winter bike commuting basics,” from People for Bikes.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure