Dear Assemblymember Bigelow:
I regret that I must write on behalf of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABObike.org) in opposition to your bill, AB 208, as presently modified. CABO opposes AB 208 as an unnecessary and overly restrictive proposal. The intent of the bill may have been to help motorists that are delayed by people bicycling in narrow lanes. We point out that CVC 21654 and 21656, about slow moving traffic, should already be considered to be applicable to bicycles. Although perhaps not generally understood, in California Vehicle Code, when the term “vehicle” is used it generally includes bicycles.
Courteous people – including people bicycling – should always try to be as courteous as they can to allow others to pass when it is safe to do so.
We especially oppose the bill’s replacement of “roadway” with “highway” in CVC 21656 as this would, apparently inadvertently inappropriately, require all vehicles and bicyclists to leave any portion of the otherwise available highway right of way, including any paved roadway, shoulder, designated pullout, etc.
We recommend that clarity might more appropriately be provided by the Legislators to CHP and others about when a double yellow center line may be lawfully crossed to pass slow moving bicycles. A clarification could assist traffic to flow with less delay when a bicyclist must use a full lane on a two lane roadway that thereby delays some faster traffic. A provision provided that explicitly allowed the currently frequent and wide spread practice of motorists safely crossing or straddling a double yellow centerline to avoid hazards including passing very slow moving vehicles or bicycles would be very helpful.