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Trucks, buses, and other big vehicles sharing the road with bicycles – Tips for commercial drivers and people who bike

Help prevent collisions. Share the four brochures below, providing tips—in English and Spanish— for drivers of large vehicles and for people who bike.

Monterey County’s annual Car Week, with the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach and many other automotive events, brings lots of big rigs hauling cars as well as large tourism buses carrying people. Of course, here and elsewhere, large trucks and buses are also an everyday sight.

Year-round, you’ll see farm equipment and produce trucks operating in the Salad Bowl of America—the Salinas Valley—and other farms. Sometimes you’ll see big equipment because of fire fighting. Add in Monterey-Salinas Transit as as well as tourism buses and other large recreational vehicles, and you can see why these tips can help keep you and those around you safer.

Although these four brochures were created for Santa Cruz, they are also relevant for Monterey County or anywhere.

In addition, be aware that in all of California, the Three Feet for Safety Act is the law—not only in school zones but elsewhere too; click here to read the law, California Vehicle Code 21760. The brochures provided below were created before Three Feet for Safety became CA law. Note that while brochures 1 and 2 for commercial drivers simply state “Provide adequate space” (with three feet now required by law), brochures 3 and 4 for people who bike go further, stating that “Five to ten feet is recommended.”

  1. For people who drive commercial vehicles, i.e., large trucks and buses; in English: 
  2. Para los conductores de vehiculos comerciales, en español: “información sobre la seguridad de los ciclistas para los conductores de vehículos comerciales
  3. For people who bike; in English: “Sharing the Road Safely with Trucks and Buses”
  4. Para ciclistas; en español: compartiendo las calles de manera segura con camiones y autobuses”

Dealing with Gridlock” tips from Bike East Bay include info for people who bike and those who drive. Note that just as brochures 3-4 above advise, Bike East Bay’s tips remind too: “Do not pass to the right of buses, trucks, or other heavy vehicles at intersections!”

Car culture and bicycle culture sometimes seem at odds. Other times, such as the American Legion Lowrider Bike Show and Deadend Magazine’s Burrito Bike Rides, the two come together to maximize their fun. Few people live a car-free life; most of us bike-and-ride rather than bike exclusively. Here’s to harmony and sharing the road.

It makes sense that many people love the Concours d’Elegance and other Pebble Beach Automotive Week / Monterey Car Week events. Attendees provide a boost to the local economy and local charities, and they also bring a unique experience of car culture that’s appreciated by many locals and visitors every August.

Nonetheless, there are downsides to extra traffic on the roads, including that big rigs struggle to find good places to park where they won’t interfere with bike lanes and other needs. If driving such a vehicle, kindly keep in mind that bike lanes must be kept clear for people who bike. Avoid a ticket; make sure your vehicle is within the legally allowed parking zone.

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Below: “Sure, these big guys got us here, but now we’re gonna leave them parked. We came here to bike!”

Bike-and-ride RV trio (17)

Below: Truck alongside bike lane on Camino Aguajito at Fremont, across from Monterey Peninsula College
 SIGN - by big truck) Camino Aguajito yield to bikes (2)
Headsup to people who bike: As noted in Bicycling Monterey’s biking Pebble Beach tips, there are a few dates of the year when biking has not been permitted in Pebble Beach. Concours  d’Elegance dates have been one such time.
For tips about Car Week activities for 2018, visit the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau website:

* * *

The info below was previously published in August 2015.

Monterey County Car Week 2015

Monterey County expects an estimated 85,000 attendees—about half non-residents—at the annual Monterey Car Week and Concours d’Elegance events, happening August 10-16 in 2015.  The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau provided traffic schedule, road closures, and shuttle info; click here.

The visitor traffic includes many large trucks that haul automobiles, plus the usual tour buses. People who bike and people who drive large trucks, and buses,  can be better prepared to share the road safely by reviewing the PDFs above.

What else to know about Car Week? It’s not just about cars! Among activities is an annual lowrider bicycle show in conjunction with a classic car show and 50s-style sock hop, put on August 16, 2015. Click here for details on this event, which benefits Wounded Warriors and other veterans.

As David Schmalz wrote in the Monterey County Weekly, this week is an especially good time to get around by bike—also alluded to by Phillip Molnar in the Monterey Herald.

Make use of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, a 20-section guide. Share links to it online, or print and distribute 4-to-a-page mini fliers, posters, bike law summaries or other materials to help visitors and residents find these resources; click here for options.

The guide includes bike rental info, local bike shops, bike-and-ride tips for Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST/”The Bus”) and other transportation helpers, and much more. A very popular section is the one on riding skills, safety, and CA bike laws–tips for children, teens, and adults.

Agricultural produce hauling in the Salad Bowl of America

In her 2/15/15 “We Could Car Less” column in the Salinas  Californian, MacGregor Eddy wrote, “The Transportation Agency for Monterey County will hold a board meeting at 9.m. Feb. 25 at 1428 Abbott St., Salinas….I do not suggest bicycling, it is a road with a lot of trucks and the bicycle lane stops several blocks before the Agricultural Center where the meeting is held.”

There are indeed lots of big trucks hauling agricultural produce in this neighborhood. I reached out to MacGregor to share the above tips on biking around big trucks and buses. Although most attendees of the TAMC board of directors meetings do not bike there, you will occasionally see TAMC staff members or others of us in attendance who do.

The information below was previously published May 13, 2010.

Recycle, bicycle, love your planet

Our neighbors across the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz have an organization founded in 1970 that does a lot of good work:  Ecology Action.  When I lived in Santa Cruz, 1976-81, I appreciated them because of recycling.  I took my recyclables to their large yard devoted to that purpose–no curbside recycling back then!

Today I especially appreciate Ecology Action’s contributions to bicycling.

Sharing the Road – Tips for People Who Bike, and for Truckers and Bus Drivers

The Ecology Action website has provided some resources for bicycling anywhere, including these safety tips–in English and Spanish–Bicycle Safety Around Big Trucks and Truck Safety Around Bicycles.

Aiming to reduce crashes involving people who bike

Ecology Action created a map of reported bike crashes in Santa Cruz County, which they share toward the end goal of improvements in bike infrastructure and road-user behavior.  Curious?  Here’s the map.

Thanks to Ecology Action, and to Eric O ( ) for bringing these resources to my attention.


Special thanks to Rich Masoner of Cyclelicious for tracking down the above PDFs. Rich reported that as of 2/16/15, it appears the related web page is no longer on the Ecology Action website.

Also from Ecology Action: see “Taking the Lane” and “Making a Left Turn” videos.

A version of this post was first published May 13, 2010.


  1. Cyclelicious » Baaaa! and bike stuff for you. - […] published by Ecology Action of Santa Cruz CA several years ago, Mari Lynch in Monterey, CA has updated her…

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