Traffic Safety - Bike Pretty Style
Demonstrating the 3 Feet Passing law. Gold jackets count as high-visibility, right?
Biking in San Francisco means biking near cars. While we do have some great bike paths, and new bike lanes are being added or improved all the time, it's common to find yourself skirting around an Uber car that is unloading passengers in the bike lane, or right next to a huge truck.
And because bikes have not been taken into account in 99% of urban roadway planning, drivers don't intuitively understand how to, well, act right when driving around people on bikes or people walking. That's because most of the infrastructure is built for automobiles only!
Fortunately, the policies of Vision Zero are working to correct this imbalance. If you are seeing more and more bike- and pedestrian-friendly improvements in your area, it's probably because your city is starting to adopt these practices too.
One of the cheapest ways to make a difference is with driver education. To that end, Vision Zero SF is working on a series of videos that train drivers in how to operate their large vehicles safely. And they just released the first one.
Along with a few other cool people on bikes, I volunteered to take part, playing the role of a typical San Francisco bike commuter. And yes, I did all my own stunts.
The Large Vehicle Urban Driving Safety Program ensures, using a short training video and training requirements, that people who drive large vehicles in the City of San Francisco have been informed about the dangers and challenges of driving on the crowded streets of San Francisco near people walking and biking.
This video is really well done. It clearly explained the challenges that people who bike face (like the dreaded door zone!) and also empowered drivers to make a difference.
Slightly more colorful than the average bike commuter since 2002.
As cities in North America start making improvements for people on bikes, I'm really looking forward to seeing more and more of you out riding!