Rodney asked: Does the three-foot minimum passing statute apply to motorists if a cyclist is operating in a designated bicycle lane?
If not, wouldn’t it be more prudent to forgo the use of the bicycle lane with regards to unsafe speed differentials and passing clearances between the cyclist and motorist?
In the applicable statute, there is no reference to the use of bike lanes or any other lane considerations. A motorist is required to safely pass a bicyclists no closer than three feet, wherever they may be. See Bicycles May Use Full Lane.
There are many who believe, with some supporting evidence, that motorists pass bicyclists more closely when they are in a bicycle lane. I am not aware of any formal studies that provide definitive evidence one way or the other.