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The budget cut is indeed disturbing.

With all this talk of safe passing distances, I'm wondering about a provision in the DC traffic code.

Section 1201.2 requires cyclists to travel "as closely as practicable" to the right of the lane, and then enumerates a broad list of exceptions.

One of those exceptions is a lane too narrow for safe passing, a category that includes lanes "11 feet wide or less." Now, I'm not a great judge of length, but I think that nearly every lane in the District is 11 feet wide or less.


Generally lanes in DC are 10 feet. There are a fair number of roads that were laid out wider, but not wide enough for two lanes. I'm thinking of roads like Arizona Ave., Park Road, or downtown one-way roads without bike lanes.

Most of those roads are clearly wide enough for a bike and car to ride side by side. Where it gets dicey is when the road is in the 12 to 13 foot range -- some vehicles can share with a bike, some can't. That's where the 3-foot distance becomes important.

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