“Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Posters Unveiled by Mayor Villaraigosa

August 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 32 Comments
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This morning, on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, Mayor Villaraigosa, in partnership with LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, LADOT, and LAPD, announced the winner of the Bike Awareness and Safety slogan contest by unveiling the “Give Me 3″ bus shelter posters, designed by graphic artist and LA cyclist Geoff McFetridge. The winning slogan was submitted by Danny Gamboa from Long Beach and will be visible in 150-200 bus shelters and Public Amenity Kiosks (PAKs) throughout the City. The remaining 800-850 ads will be installed between now and December on PAKs and bus shelters as space becomes available.

Mayor Villaraigosa, LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, and Geoff McFetridge unveil the "Give Me 3" posters.

Coming quickly after Mayor Villaraigosa’s historic Bicycle Summit, where he committed to “doing better for bicyclists in Los Angeles”, today’s unveiling was another step in the right direction. Beyond reaffirming his commitment to increasing bicyclist safety, the Mayor touched on building more bicycle infrastructure and initiating culture change in the “car capital of the world.”

The Mayor also announced that he would like to “make the 3 Foot Passing Rule a 3 Foot Passing Law” in California. He will be introducing the bill, going to Sacramento and working with the bicycling community to ensure that this becomes a reality. “We’ll keep at it until it becomes part of the California Vehicle Code.”

Rita Robinson from LADOT also spoke in support of the Mayor’s interest in bicycle safety and infrastructure. In regards to safety, she emphasized that the 3 Foot Passing Law really means 3 feet beside, behind and beyond.

Following the press conference, the Mayor’s office filmed some b roll and interviewed a handful of cyclists for a PSA they are working on developing in collaboration with LACBC that will be completed shortly.

We’d like to thank the Mayor for his outspoken support to make Los Angeles a more bike friendly city, to Midnight Ridazz, Geoff McFetridge, Danny Gamboa and to all the bicyclists who came out this morning to support this successful effort.

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  1. What a magnificent day. Villaraigosa truly displayed his affection for L.A cyclist…

  2. Thanks for your great work :) :) :) three smiles for each feet…what a feat!

  3. Only three feet? Are you kidding? I want a full lane change, which is usually more than 6′ of lateral separation, and I get it by controlling a lane. To “Give me 3″ would be a HUGE step backwards. Whatever this is; it isn’t a bike safety campaign…

    – Dan “Give me a full travel lane” Gutierrez -

    • There are already too many bicyclists out pulling crazy stunts and alienating drivers as it is, so let’s not get too sanctimonious, Dan.
      Three feet is reasonable and should be more than enough, except for reckless bicyclists who suddenly swerve without looking.
      When drivers see someone deliberately slowing down traffic by “controlling a lane”, or refusing to ride in a single file, it only creates more road rage, and cars are bigger than bikes…

      • Agree with Dan, 3 feet is hardly a full stretched arm; would be hard to deal with a car door opening suddenly. Here in Spain the law says 5 feet (1,5 m); not that drivers do actually respect that either.
        The graphics look really cool :) However, “Give me 5″ would have been equally cool and way safer.

  4. Great work, LACBC and all involved!!!

    And if we want more than 3 feet, we can take the whole right-hand lane because that’s the law.

    This awareness campaign is a huge step FORWARD for LA. Thank you!

  5. Too bad the energy for increasing bicycling safety is only on a 3 ft. Clearance campaign. Yeah it’l get attention; we who use bicycles lawfully could use some ttention, but how about real change? Educate motorists that lawful bicyclists can use the roads too. Train cops and judges that bikes DO belong. Make people responsible for their traffic misbehavior; stop killing Americans with cars! Reduce speed limits and enforce them. Roads are for people not just for people in cars.

    • totes! i think that is the point of all this. to start increasing bicycle rights & safety awareness amongst drivers in the city. today 3 feet, tomorrow the world! go LACBC!

  6. Here are some interesting facts regarding the benefits of having a 3 Foot Passing Law:

    As an education tool: Educates the public about how far is a minimum safe distance to pass a vulnerable road user.

    Also provides law enforcement, government officials and advocates with a a common measure to inform drivers what a safe minimum distance is.

    from http://www.cbcef.org/give3feet/
    Enables motorist to pass safely without worrying about contact,
    Reduces chance of injuring a cyclist with a car’s side view mirror, and
    Increases sense of security for cyclists, who can take the lane, without worrying about space and being side-swiped.

    A three-feet law has already been been enacted in these states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, Mississippi.
    Pending in 7: GA, MD, MO, OH, SD, VA, WA
    Internationally:France, Germany, Spain among others

  7. Here are some interesting facts regarding the benefits of a law requiring motorists to change lanes to pass a bicyclist:

    It would empower bicyclists to actually ride their bicycles as drivers of vehicles per CVC 21200 instead of cowering at the edge of the street.

    It would encourage law enforcement to actually enforce the law against motorists who do not treat bicyclists as drivers of vehicles.

    It would enable motorists to pass bicyclists without worrying about contact.

    It would increase the actual safety of bicyclists, not just their feeling of safety.

    A law requiring motorists to change lanes to pass motorcyclists is part of the Uniform Vehicle Code and the codes of most states. Why not California, too?

  8. Bravo. This is excellent news and I want to commend Los Angeles’ Mayor Villaraigosa, LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, LADOT, and LAPD for rolling up their sleeves to work together to champion the safety of Los Angeles’ cyclists. And I am especially excited to hear that the Mayor will take the lead in securing a “3 Foot Passing Law” for California cyclists. This law will make cycling safer and it will save lives.

    The value of this law won’t found in giving motorists tickets, but rather, using the law as a tool to help educate motorists on what is considered a safe passing distance: at least “3 feet, please”.

    Look, most motorists and cyclists get along very well together on our roads (and they are OUR roads). However, we have a lot of work to do to address the problems caused by the irresponsible and disrespecful scofflaws on both sides.

    There will be naysayers who will say a law like this is only a “feel good” law and unenforceable. I say hogwash. Energetic law enforcement agencies who understand their mission to protect and serve the members of their communities waste no time in rolling up their sleeves and finding ways to do their job. And some of the best do it without issuing one single ticket—pure education. (I have a fine example to share).

    So much of the noise surrounding cycling safety issues are focused on the actions of the few motorists and cyclists who just don’t get it. Most motorists and cyclists, thank God, are very respectful and responsible. But there are those few who don’t care about their own safety let alone others’ safety. We argue endlessly about the actions of these few scofflaws on both sides. And while we argue people are getting hurt and killed. Moms and dads and brothers and sisters and just good people are losing their lives because we cannot get it right. We cannot focus our attention on taking reasonable steps to provide “clear standards for behavior and ultimately safer roads for drivers, runners, cyclists, pedestrians and all others.” We have to push aside all the meaningless noise and do whatever we can to give vulnerable road users greater protection in our car centric society. And at the same time we need to let vulnerable road users know that they have rules to follow as well…and they too will be held accountable. Authorities must address the violation of the laws by all road users.

    Indeed, changing motorist behavior will save lives, but it is also important to understand that changing cyclist behavior is where we can make the greatest impact on cyclist safety because cyclists, not motorists have a very strong personal interest in modifying their behavior to be visible and predicable…the keys to safe cycling. Bottom line, cyclists can solve a majority of their own problems by riding visibly, predictably and responsibly.

    The message to motorists passing a cyclist from the rear is simple and clear: give the cyclist at least “3 Feet,Please”. If you can’t give a cyclist at least that amount of space when passing, then please wait until you can. It may cost you a few seconds, but it may also prevent a horrible tragedy from happening.

    Make it happen Mayor Villaraigosa. Lives are at stake.

    Good luck,
    Joe Mizereck
    Founder, The “3 Feet Please” Campaign

  9. [...] L.A. Mayor Vows to Push "3 Foot Passing Law" for Bicyclists in California (LA Bike Coalition) [...]

  10. [...] LACBC has their own viewpoint: “Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Posters Unveiled by Mayor Villaraigosa [...]

  11. Assemblyman Pedro Nava from Santa Barbara introduced a 3 foot law but it died in committee. He’s being termed out of office but I think it should be introduced again. He brought it up because a local UCSB student who was training for a triathlon was killed when the rear trailer wheels of a tractor-trailer crushed her. It was on the narrow road up to Gibraltar Peak here in Santa Barbara (the same road where Lance and his teams would practice during the winter months).

    I agree with some of the comments here that at least it might make drivers aware of giving me space. How many of us have been passed by drivers giving us only a few inches clearance?

  12. Three foot minimum passing laws are a misguided attempt to mitigate the effects of FTR (Far To Right) laws (CVC 21202 in CA). The existing the passing law in CA (CVC 21750) has good wording that is not being properly enforced, and adding a 3′ minimum will, and I know many of you will find this counterintuitive, actually weaken the law. The problem is one of police education and enforcement practices, which cannot be changed through minimum passing distance legislation. At present police simply use the FTR law to blame cyclists when crashes occur, and adding a 3′ minimum passing law will not change this sad state of affairs. Since CVC 21750 already requires drivers “shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken … bicycle”, there are plenty of situations, such as down hills or higher speed roads, where 5’ is not enough lateral separation, and in dense slow moving urban traffic, passes can be made safely at less than three feet (Ex: motorists moving to the right of a cyclist in a wide lane to make right turns, or even cyclists passing motorists [see below]), and training police to understand the varying scenarios is much more effective than imposing a problematic minimum.

    As long as police can use CVC 21202 to blame cyclists, passing laws can be ignored. In addition, three foot laws create an expectation that cyclists will stay at the edge so motorists can more easily give them three feet, rather than training cyclists to use a more visible and safer lane position and training motorists to treat them as drivers (per CVC 21200) by making lane changes to pass, just the same as motorcyclists are treated at present. Also note that in some states, bicyclists are also required to pass by three feet minimum, regardless of speed and this unnecessarily criminalizes both cycling and motoring in dense very slow moving urban traffic where both motorists and bicyclists can pass safely on the left with less than 3′ of lateral separation.

    The better solution is to repeal CVC 21202 and CVC 21208, and ensure POST training that teaches officers to:
    1) Recognize that a cyclist in a travel lane is not engaging in hazardous behavior; in fact they are doing the exact opposite, reducing risk, by making themselves more visible to overtaking traffic.
    2) Determine from the speeds and traffic conditions, what constitutes passing behavior that doesn’t interfere with the safe operation of a bicycle per 21750; sometimes much more than 3’ is needed, other times less than 3’ is acceptable.

    For reference, here is CVC 21750:
    CVC 21750. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated.

  13. [...] The City of Los Angeles unveils "Give Me 3," a series of new bike awareness posters designed by Geoff McFetridge. LA County Bicycle Coalition [...]

  14. [...] Mayor Villaraigosa wants motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet on the road — and says he’ll push to create a 3 Foot Passing Law in California. In the [...]

  15. Move to Oregon. It feels like 10 feet here.

  16. The posters are really great! And I loved seeing them as I walked down La Brea the other day. And congrats to LACBA – it’s such a large roll-out.
    It’s just too bad they were all installed with their backs to the street and will never be seen by passing motorists. I don’t think it’s the pedestrians we need to educate so much as the people in their cars, no?

  17. [...] Mayor Villaraigosa has unveiled a “Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Poster The Mayor also announced that he would like to “make the 3 Foot Passing Rule a 3 Foot Passing [...]

  18. [...] vía “Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Posters Unveiled by Mayor Villaraigosa « LA County Bicycle Coalition ww…. [...]

  19. [...] For more info about the project click here. [...]

  20. Where can I get one of these posters?

  21. Although i think a poster idea is good. What would be better is a CAMPAIGN of posters. Maybe three – four different posters with a similar slogan and different point-of-views that spread an entire message. It needs more coverage and more visibility. I see one of these posters every so often. I dont think one poster is powerful enough. Howabout a couple billboards as well!

  22. [...] morning, on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, Mayor Villaraigosa announced the unveiling of the “Give Me 3″ bus shelter posters and also announced that he would like to “make the 3 Foot Passing Rule a 3 Foot Passing Law” in [...]

  23. [...] of you may be familiar with the Give Me 3 bus shelter public awareness campaign LACBC and Midnight Ridazz spearheaded in 2010 with LADOT. To much [...]

  24. [...] Give Me 3 Poster Campaign, part of a larger Bicycle Safety and Awareness Campaign was the 1st official [...]

  25. [...] the spirit of our “Give Me 3” poster campaign, LACBC’s City of Lights program, in conjunction with the LA Department [...]

  26. [...] the spirit of our “Give Me 3” poster campaign, LACBC’s City of Lights program, in conjunction with the LA Department of [...]

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