John Forester is a well known traffic engineer and advocate for vehicular cycling. He has written a book, Effective Cycling, and has lobbied extensively for cyclist to be given the same right as motorists. His views go a bit beyond my own but I tend to agree with him most of the time.
His belief is that cyclists should be treated as true equals on the road, not confined to the shoulder, adjacent bike lane or path. To limit cyclists right to the road in any way is a form of discrimination and serves to potentially threaten cyclist right to be on the road at all.
Policy Statement to share Download
His website http://www.johnforester.com
An interview with him http://bicycling.about.com/od/thebikelife/a/forester.htm
Three feet of space, that is what the law gives us. We gladly take that space and expect it to be there when cars pass. When they only give us two, or one, or six inches, we feel violated, become enraged, and demand justice. I like having three feet of space, if it was always there I could loose the nervous feeling of an approaching truck from behind.
The protection that we get from the law is a result of compliance by the drivers. Just as we expect them to follow the law, they expect us to follow the law and act in a predictable manner. This means no running red lights, stopping at stop signs, and yielding at a roundabout. In short, if you don’t obey the law, don’t expect them to obey it either.