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FCBC Newsletter

June 2021

Sharing the Road -- For Motorists

Bicyclists and motorists usually get along fine on the road, but sometimes there are conflicts.  A little respect and understanding can go a long way to promote peaceful coexistence and safety.  After all, many bicyclists are motorists and vice versa.  Also, each additional bike on the road is potentially one fewer vehicle, and there is plenty of room to accommodate all users.  Here are a few things that motorists can do to share the road.:

  1. Understand that all users are entitled to use public streets.  A bicyclist is allowed to ride on any public street or highway with the exception of freeways and toll roads with signs that expressly prohibit bicycles.  Bicyclists may take a lane if it is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle.  If a lane can accommodate both a vehicle and bicyclist, the law states that bicyclists should stay as far to the right as practicable.  However, the motorist should understand that sometimes bike lanes or shoulders have debris or rough pavement, and the bicyclist has the right to travel farther into the lane in those instances.
  2. Understand that bicyclists, like pedestrians, are more vulnerable than motorists should physical contact be made because they are not protected by steel cages.  The law states that motorists must give 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist to provide a margin of safety.  If that distance is not possible, then the motorist must slow to a safe speed.
  3. Avoid right-hook situations.  When turning right, a motorist should not cut off a bicyclist but instead should merge into the bike lane or shoulder 100 to 200 feet prior to the intersection.  This is one of the few times it is legal to drive in a bike lane, and it is safer to do so than not.
  4. Don’t honk unless it’s an emergency.  Horns should not be used for greetings or to express displeasure, as they can startle bicyclists and cause them to lose control.
  5. When parking on the street, watch for bicyclists to prevent dooring, which can result in serious injuries.  Consider doing the “Dutch reach,” which is using your right hand to open the door.  Grabbing the door handle with your right hand makes you pivot your body, which makes it easy for you to look left to see any approaching bicyclists.,

Next month, we’ll go over a few things that bicyclists can do to share the road with motorists.

Fresno COG Regional Safety Plan

The Fresno Council of Governments, the regional planning agency for Fresno County and local governments, is developing a 2021 Regional Safety Plan for all modes of transportation to reduce crashes regionally and within local jurisdictions.  Input is being requested from the public from a short 5-minute survey to learn more about the concerns of those who travel in Fresno County.

Upcoming Cycling Events

With things slowly returning to normal, some of the major group bicycle events are returning.  The 10th Annual California Classic Weekend ride originally scheduled for April 4, 2020 will be on October 2, 2021.  Several FCBC members regularly participate in this 35- to 100-mile ride, of which a 10-mile stretch is on a closed portion of the State Route 168 freeway in Fresno and Clovis.

For those who are into gravel bikes, The Hammer Road Rally will take place on October 16 in Shaver Lake.  There are four routes with various degrees of difficulty, and the easiest route, which is 27.5 miles long, is free to entrants.  The longest route is 85 miles with lots of climbing.

The grueling Climb to Kaiser ride is canceled again this year but is expected to return next year.

Legislative Update

Assembly Bill 122, which brings the “Idaho stop” to California and allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.  The bill had a reading in the Senate, was amended, and sent back to the Transportation Committee.

Assembly Bill 117 would establish incentives for electric bicycles.  The bill was passed by the Assembly and went to the Senate and is now in the Transportation Committee.

Assembly Bill 43 modifies the method that speed limits are set and gives more guidance as to when speed limits can be reduced an additional 5 mph from the 5 mph increment below the 85th percentile speed.  The bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Next Board Meeting

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 17 at 7:30 pm via Zoom.  Everyone is welcome to join the virtual meeting.  If you would like to participate, please send an email to info@fresnobike.org, and the login information and call-in number will be sent to you.


If you are not yet a member of FCBC or need to renew, please visit https://fresnobike.org/join to become a member or renew your membership.

Have a comment or suggestion?  Contact us at info@fresnobike.org

Fresno County Bicycle Coalition

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