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To the editor: While I try to always give bicyclists a wide margin when I drive by them, I believe that the city's interpretation of the "3-foot rule" is erroneous.

As printed in the paper, the rule applies when a vehicle is "overtaking and passing a bicycle."

The phrase "overtaking and passing" means that the vehicle has to move onto a different path in order to continue. On the highway, for example, when you overtake and pass someone, you move into the left-hand lane to accomplish this action. In the absence of a dedicated bike lane, the law clearly applies to cars (and, buses) that overtake and pass a bicycle -- you have to move to the left to get by them.

But, in the presence of a bike lane, no such "overtaking and passing" action is required. Hence, the "3-foot rule" does not apply. Indeed, the fact that subsection C of the law suspends any penalty to a driver that has an accident with a bicyclist who is in a "traffic lane" when a bike lane is present would confirm this interpretation.

In that case, you are not required to have to make an "overtaking and passing" maneuver.

I would encourage the bus driver to challenge his ticket.

DENNIS FOSTER

Flagstaf

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