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Bill requires more room for bicyclists

The Virginian-Pilot: Bill requires more room for bicyclists

By Bill Sizemore
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 12, 2010

RICHMOND

How cars and bicycles share the road has become a concern of some Virginia lawmakers.

After hearing testimony that 11 bicyclists were killed in crashes with cars last year, the House Transportation Committee approved a bill this morning to increase the required clearance when passing a bicycle from 2 to 3 feet.

The bill, HB1048, sponsored by Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax County, drew support from bicyclist groups, Drive Smart Virginia, Fairfax County and Virginia Beach.

The closeness of the vote, 11-9, signals that the measure has an uncertain future on the House floor.

Some panel members noted that with a typical travel-lane width of 11 feet and a typical vehicle width of 8 feet, a 3-foot passing clearance doesn’t leave much margin for error.

One committee member, Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, suggested that “bicyclists ought to police themselves.”