48-foot-wide 3 feet message

Thanks to the gracious support of Wheel & Sprocket, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin‘s first Share & Be Aware billboard was installed two weeks ago.  The 48 ft wide by 14 ft high billboard was up along I-94 for a week and then it was moved to its current location at College and Howell. The sign is scheduled to move to different Clear Channel billboards around Southeast Wisconsin so the important message reaches the widest possible audience.

Depending on the location, between 20,000 and 100,000 motorists a day will see the message, which references Wisconsin State Statute 346.075, which states:

  • 346.075  Overtaking and passing bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, and motor buses.
  • (1) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device proceeding in the same direction shall exercise due care, leaving a safe distance, but in no case less than 3 feet clearance when passing the bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device, and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device.

Share & Be Aware is the Bike Fed’s campaign to educate pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists about their responsibilities for ensuring each others’ safety on the road. The statewide program is using a combination of outdoor, print and electronic media advertising along with in-person appearances by Share & Be Aware Ambassadors to educate all road users about their rights and responsibilities.

The Bike Fed’s Share & Be Aware campaign will reach more people in 2011 and 2012 thanks to a state and federal grant announced October 27, 2010, by the governor’s office. Through the grant, we’ll be working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety to teach pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists throughout the state about sharing the road. See our press release for details.

This partnership was made possible by a matching federal grant, and the Bike Fed needs to raise $75,000 in special donations to complete the funding. Please contribute now to the Share & Be Aware fund or call Hilary Carroll, director of development and membership, at 608-251-4456. Contributions are tax-deductible and a great way to honor the bicyclists in your life.

We can tailor our printed messages to fit any media, from magazines and newspapers to billboards or signs on buses.  Our public service announcements can be modified to fit specific needs of any television or radio station. Sponsoring a Share & Be Aware billboard or public service announcement is a great way for businesses to publicly support safer streets for all users of the road.

To make an online contribution click here.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

4 thoughts on “48-foot-wide 3 feet message

  1. Awesome. More motorists need to be aware of this.

    One almost made me crash last week as I was climbing Lincoln Memorial toward Lake Drive. The parking lane was full so I was in the right-hand lane of traffic. About half-way up the hill a motorist passed me and gave me about 6 to 8 inches. It startled me and I nearly fell. (I blame myself as well since I generally check for traffic more, but was focused on the hill.)

    • It is hard to ignore gravity. There certainly is an awareness problem even though I believe this law has been around since 1973. I got my drivers license in 1978 (yes, I’m old) when we still had drivers education in most high schools. I don’t remember ever learning anything about the laws related to bicycles. I remember learning about passing tractors, but nothing about bikes. I think I would because I rode my bike everywhere until I got my license. My daughter is now 15 and wants to get her learner’s permit. I am making her wait until next summer, but I will be interested to see if she is taught anything about the laws related to bicycles when she takes her class.

      • I received my driver’s license in 1994. At no point do I recall ever hearing about how to interact with bicycles on the street. It was not mentioned in the class I took, nor was it mentioned on the test I took at the DMV.

        Looking back, I really should never have been given a driver’s license at age 17. I barely passed the test, and I was a terrible driver for years. But, of course, in America not granting someone a license amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. It is through sheer dumb luck that I made it through those first few years driving having not injured myself and others.

  2. Let’s see more of these billboards around town! I’d like to confine my close shaves to my bathroom, not the public roads where I bike. Too many drivers don’t seem to know the difference between a Gillette Fusion and a Ford Fusion. Shave with the Gillette and drive the Ford.

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