Denton is the eighth Texas city to approve the Vulnerable Road User ordinance, aka Safe Passing, by a unanimous city council vote. Council member Dalton Gregory first brought up the idea in February of 2010, and after discussion this afternoon, the ordinance sailed through council at the evening meeting. The ordinance says cars must give 3 feet minimum passing distance, and commercial vehicles must give 6 feet passing distance. The law also criminalizes harassment of cyclists and right-hook accidents, and it explains that cyclists may ride two abreast as long as they don’t impede reasonable flow of traffic.
Gregory explained that the ordinance was one of many steps the city needs to take to encourage active transportation (biking and walking). He also said he’d like to see some educational signs representing the ordinance to replace the standard “Share the Road” signs seen around town.
During afternoon discussion of the ordinance, district 3 council member Jim Engelbrecht said the city should study cyclist ridership and accident statistics.