Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Study: In Baltimore, One in Six Drivers Pass Cyclists Illegally

8:09 AM PDT on April 13, 2012

This is one of the worst parts of biking on a typical American street: You're riding your bike and you hear a car coming up from behind you. It's loud; you can tell it's going fast. Does the driver see you?

WHOOSH ... the car passes you at arm's distance. Nothing like a little trip through the blood pressure spectrum first thing in the morning.

Discourteous, dangerous and illegal passing by cars is uncomfortably common, according to a new study out of Baltimore [PDF], even as three-foot passing laws are beginning to become the norm. But it looks like plain old painted bike lanes make a difference. Seth at Baltimore Velo files this report:

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health published a study this week that takes a look at how well the law is being followed by vehicles. Unfortunately, the answer is not very well.

Here are some key findings of the groundbreaking study:

  • Overall, bike lanes in Baltimore improve cyclist safety
  • Without bike lanes, drivers had trouble sharing the road with cyclists
  • One in six Baltimore drivers, or about 17 percent, violated the 3-foot law
  • Researchers found a 20 percent increase in motorist adherence to the 3-foot law for bike lane streets compared to standard streets

Having this quantifiable data makes a very compelling case for the city to continue (and increase) its funding for dedicated bike lanes around the city.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Walkable Dallas Fort Worth offers new revelations about the benefits of small blocks for pedestrians. Systemic Failure examines the creepy subtext of a Toyota commercial involving children's experience as car passengers. And Bike Delaware wonders if we will we ever be safe from distracted driving in an increasingly connected world.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Solis Motion Demands Community Benefits for Stadium Gondola to Proceed

A motion from Supervisor Solis would require the gondola project commit to many community benefits - from robust, affordable housing to truly committing to using no public funds

February 22, 2024

SGV Connect 121: El Monte and South El Monte, with ActiveSGV and Libros Monte

Podcast features ActiveSGV's David Diaz on various multimodal/complete streets projects - and Pedro Gonzales on Libros Monte and Mt. SAC's El Centro: Latinx Student Program

February 20, 2024

This Week In Livable Streets

CicLAvia, Metro lower 710 Freeway widening plan, C Line construction, Alternative Traffic Enforcement at Transportation Committee, street racing, and more

February 20, 2024
See all posts