The letter from Dave Faeth (Feb. 19) advocates banning bicycles from foothill roads and limiting bicycles solely to designated bike lanes. This idea is not supported by the California Vehicle Code.
CVC 21200 gives every person riding a bicycle upon a highway all the rights and provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. CVC 21760, the Three Feet for Safety Act, requires the driver of a motor vehicle to provide a three-foot buffer between the vehicle and the bicycle when passing. A driver who is unable to provide that buffer must only pass when doing so would not endanger the safety of the bicyclist.
The Department of Motor Vehicles advises drivers to respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with cars. In California cyclists have the right to ride on public roads whether there is, or is not, a bike lane. This includes foothill roads.
For practical purposes it is impossible to ride bicycles exclusively on roads which have a designated bike lane. The Fresno/Clovis area is gradually improving in the number of routes with bike lanes, but many roads still have only intermittent bike lanes.
Brian Lewis, Clovis