New Law May End Ongoing Slap Fight Between Philly Cyclists and Drivers

Most Philly commuters invariably fall into one of two categories that are fiercely opposed to each other’s right to exist. I’m, of course, referring to the perpetual slap fight between Philly cyclists and drivers.

Their feud usually manifests through impassioned public spectacles that take place either in the middle of a narrow street or at the bottom of a Philly.com article. But fortunately for the rest of us, Pennsylvania law makers recently enacted a bill that could put an end to the commuter impasse.

On Monday, Pennsylvania passed a new law which dictates that all vehicles must give at least four feet of clearance when passing cyclists, even if that means drivers have to cross over the yellow line. It also states that, when turning left, cars must yield to cyclists coming from the opposite direction.

Spokesman for the mayor’s office of transportation, Andrew Stober, says the law is meant to “codify what smart drivers and safe drivers already do.” While 20 states throughout the United States already have the law on the books, no one in Philadelphia seems to abide by the standard, which has certainly fueled the animosity between cyclists and drivers.

But before you cyclists claim victory, we should note that, somewhere within that new law, there’s also a line requiring that cyclists “use reasonable efforts” to avoid slowing down traffic by remaining “as close as practicable” to the right-hand curb.

Translation: Stop gumming up the works by not allowing cars to pass you.

Now if both parties could just meet halfway,  we may finally see an end to all these asinine arguments on Philly.com’s comment section.

Source and photos: Philly.com, Plan Philly

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Chris Lipczynski

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