Can a bicyclist pass on the right?

By Rick Bernardi. J.D.

Can a bicyclist pass on the right?

This is a question that we’ve come across more than once, most recently in a crash that happened in California. As the cyclist explained,

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Bike The Vote

By Rick Bernardi

Tomorrow, the nation heads to the polls. Of course, the election that is on everybody’s mind is the one that determines which candidate will be our President for the next four years. But as in every general election, there’s more on the ballot to consider.

In the 2010 election, a Republican tidal wave inundated the House of Representatives, sweeping in Republican control and sweeping many Democratic Congressman out of the Capitol. One of the most stunning losses for cyclists was Representative Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who had been a long-time champion of cycling issues in Congress, and as Chair of the House Transportation Committee, had actually been in a position to include support for cycling in federal transportation policy.

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Jerry Brown 2.0: Bicycle Crank?

By Rick Bernardi

There was a time when California had the nation’s hippest, most innovative, progressive young Governor. I grew up in that California, and Jerry Brown was about as different a politician as you could find in a Governor’s mansion, or anywhere else. In fact, Jerry Brown didn’t even live in the Governor’s mansion. Thinking the mansion too ostentatious, Brown preferred sleeping on the floor of a modest Sacramento apartment. And instead of being chauffeured in the Governor’s limousine, Brown drove a Plymouth Satellite to work.

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Aggressive and Unsafe Drivers vs. Cyclists, Round Two

Last year, California nearly joined the growing ranks of states that are enacting 3-foot passing laws. The California Legislature did its part, passing a law and sending it to the Governor’s desk. But Governor Brown shocked California cycling advocates when he vetoed the legislation. As if the veto wasn’t shocking enough—placing him "squarely in Governor Rick Perry territory”—his rationale for vetoing the safety legislation was at least as shocking. As Bob Mionske wrote at that time,

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Making Bicycling Environmentally-Friendly Again

In 2005, San Francisco was poised to begin construction of a network of bike lanes. But that same year, San Francisco’s plans came screeching to a halt when a local gadfly with an anti-bike bee under his bonnet filed a lawsuit. To the surprise of San Francisco’s bicycle advocates, the lawsuit alleged that by making room for cyclists on San Francisco’s streets, bicycle lanes would create more air pollution. Although this seems counter-intuitive, the lawsuit alleged that bicycle lanes would increase automobile traffic congestion, and this congestion would have a negative impact on air quality. And because the bike lanes had a potentially significant impact on air quality, the lawsuit argued that the city was required to conduct an environmental review of the project—which it had not done.

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Bike Thief Gets Busted: Guy Drives From Portland To Seattle To Get His Stolen Bike Back!


Cameras Act as Black Boxes When Cars and Cyclists Collide

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The New York Times: Cameras Act as ‘Black Boxes’ When Cars and Cyclists Collide

Published: July 20, 2012

WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the blue pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.

But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

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Bob Mionske, Fight Or Flight

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

cdmCyclist, Corona Del Mar ,CA, Frank Peters interviews bicycle attorney Bob Mionske. June 6, 2012. 

Bob Mionske, Fiught Or Flight

He’s the author of Bicycling and the Law; this former bicycle racer writes Road Rights, a monthly column in Bicycling magazine.

I wanted to get his thoughts on bike riding on sidewalks, because it’s a subject that keeps on coming up. But first we chat about mirrors, eye wear, distracted drivers, riding in the rain and 3-foot laws, like the one that’s coming back around to Governor Brown’s desk again soon. Bob reminds me of the most important part of any 3-foot rule. Then he adds the motorists’ most common defense when charged with violating the rule. Can you guess?

Early on I mention Tim Kreider’s “Cycle of Fear” commentary in the New York Times, where he connects our primal fight-or-flight mechanisms to the source of our joy of riding a bicycle.

We wrap up with Bob as my judge, grading me on my impromptu response to a neighbor who asks me my opinion on bike licensing. How does Bob rate my response? You’ll enjoy listening as he elaborates on this and many other topics in today’s show.

KPOJ Interview: Bob Mionske On Portland, Pedalpalooza, And More

 This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

KPOJ radio, Portland, OR, Carl Wolfson interviews bicycle attorney Bob Mionske. May 23, 2012.

Unbelievable. Inexcusable. And Unacceptable.

Three years ago, a popular and well-known member of Chattanooga’s cycling community was buzzed by a driver who claims he never saw the cyclist, even though the cyclist was, according to friends, “lit up like a Christmas tree,” and was riding with “an obnoxiously bright blinking red light on the back of his bike when he was hit.”

The cyclist, David Meek, was sideswiped by the passing truck and thrown under the rear wheels. He suffered severe injuries, and was taken to a local hospital. He did not survive, succumbing to his injuries.

Although the driver had sideswiped Meek, and although a 3 foot safe passing law had already been on the books in Tennessee for nearly two years, the driver was never charged with a traffic violation. In fact, as Bob detailed in False Protection, Chattanooga police seemed to be bending over backwards to invent new legal theories to exonerate the driver.

David Meek was denied justice by a police department that didn’t understand, or didn’t want to understand the law. But what’s done is done. Three years have passed. Since then, more states have adopted safe passing laws, and slowly, the laws are beginning to be enforced

Except, apparently, in Chattanooga, Tennnessee. Or more precisely, the enclave of Red Bank. Recently, a cyclist on a ride with the Chattanooga Bicycle Club was buzzed and run off the road, sustaining minor injuries. Another club member was able to get the license number of the fleeing vehicle, and the cyclist who had been run off the road called the Red Bank police to report the incident.

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