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

A graduate of Temple University, Chris Lipczynski continually spreads himself too thin, endeavoring in documentary films, “computer music,” first-person shooters, and manly hikes through the wilderness. Follow him on Twitter for daily musings and meaningless philosophical reflections: @RealChrisFlip.

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  • Jawn

    The problem with “remaining ‘as close as practicable’ to the right-hand curb.” is that most Philly streets have parking on the right. This puts you directly in harm’s way of people who errantly swing their door open after parking, which can throw you into traffic and kill you. “Death by door” is not fun, I’ll gladly slow down the cars behind me  instead.

  • Dorsia

    Is it not a law that cyclists should obey stop signs and red lights?  I think this would aleviate some of the problems

  • Tom

    Is it not a law that cyclists need to obey stop signs and traffic lights?  If they did, it should alleviate some of the problems

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