The third time is the charm: motorists trying to pass bicyclists on Palos Verdes Drive North in Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Drive East in Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Drive West in Palos Verdes Estates, as well as all other streets on the Peninsula, will soon have to stay at least three feet away under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
AB 1371—which aims to protect bicyclists from harassment from passing motorists—will go into effect next September.
Previous legislation asked drivers to pass cyclists only at a safe distance.
This is the third attempt to pass such a law in as many years. In 2011 and 2012, Brown cited safety concerns when he vetoed two previous versions of the law. Last year's law would have allowed motorists to cross the double yellow line to give the required three feet; 2011's version would have required motorists to slow to 15 mph if they could not provide three feet of passing room.
AB 1371 does not allow motorists to cross the double yellow line; if there is not enough room to provide a three-foot buffer zone, motorists must slow to a safe and reasonable speed.
Across the South Bay, cities and communities are adding dozens of miles of new bike lanes. The city of Rolling Hills Estates just wrapped up the multimillion-dollar Palos Verdes Drive North Bike Lane Project, which partially repaved and re-striped the city's signature street to add designated bicycle lanes.
—Patch editor Jessica Davis contributed to this report.
Do you think this new law will prove difficult to implement in Palos Verdes, or will it be a welcome change? Will it make bicycling in the city safer? Tell us in the comments.