Virginia's Proposed Bicycle Safety Act Puts the Onus on Drivers

Three-foot passing rules are safe. Requiring drivers to change lanes to pass people on bikes are even safer.

January 25, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Cops on Bikes

Barry Blackburn / Shutterstock

Wyatt Gordon reports on the Bicycle Safety Act, recently proposed in the Virginia General Assembly.

The Bicycle Safety Act, HB2262 and SB1263, "would require drivers to fully change lanes to pass people biking, allow cyclists to ride two abreast in a lane, and permit people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yield signs," according to Gordon.

The bill has already made progress, advancing out of the Senate Transportation committee earlier this month. According to Gordon, the new Bicycle Safety Act would build on the safety improvements of the hands-free law approved by the General Assembly in 2020.

According to Gordon, the Bicycle Safety Act is modeled on the example of the Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act approved in the First State in 2017. Delaware built on the limited success of an iteration of the passing law—requiring three feet of space for divers passing people on bikes.

"Since 2013, Virginia law has required drivers to pass cyclists with three feet of clearance. In Delaware, the same rule was never enforced until it mandated a lane change," according to Gordon.

Friday, January 22, 2021 in The Virginia Mercury

A conceptual rendering of three high-speed rail trains. The middle train is orange; the other two are black.

The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues

Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.

May 22, 2022 - Eric Carlson

Parent and child walking, holding hands on mixed-use trail with trees

What Role Does Health Care Play in Community Development?

Cities are economically diverse and require accessible health care systems, but this can be challenging to implement. Urban developers are working alongside health professionals to create affordable care for city residents.

May 18, 2022 - Devin Partida

Multi-Family Development

Density and Driving: A Second Look

A common argument against more compact housing is that increased population density will only reduce vehicle miles traveled at moderate levels of density, as opposed to very low-density and very high-density areas. But this might not be so.

May 22, 2022 - Michael Lewyn

A row of white pickup trucks at a car dealership.

Want to Drive a Big Pickup Truck in D.C.? It’s About to Get (Even More) Expensive

D.C. is considering a $500 vehicle license fee for private vehicles over 6,000 pounds.

2 minutes ago - Bloomberg

Arlington County, Virginia

Zoning Reform Gains Momentum in Northern Virginia

Arlington County and Alexandria are moving forward with actions that could potentially launch a new era of planning and development in their respective communities.

1 hour ago - Greater Greater Washington

Multi-Family Housing

Zoning Reform Works, but Is No Magic Bullet

Improving housing affordability and boosting housing production requires more than just eliminating single-family zoning.

May 26 - Bloomberg CityLab

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.