Share the road, y’all: Part V

Other states have safe-passing laws for cyclists. Why can’t Texas?
USA Today provided an update a few days ago on states that have enacted or considered safe-passing laws this year.
They include Colorado, Louisiana, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Texas. But in Texas, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.
The “Colorado law recently signed by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter not only requires motorists to give riders at least a 3-foot-wide berth, it also makes it illegal to throw things at riders, says Dan Grunig, executive director of Bicycle Colorado,” according to the Aug. 3 USA Today story. “Previously, he says, police could only cite a motorist if they actually hit the rider.”
3feetplease jerseyJoe Mizereck of the Web site says other states with such laws include Arkansas, Maine, Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin, Arizona and Oklahoma.
States that enacted or considered safe-passing laws this year, according to USA Today:
— Louisiana passed a 3-feet-to-pass law in June. Motorists who fail to give riders enough room to pass can be fined up to $50. The law also makes it unlawful to harass, taunt or maliciously throw objects at cyclists.
— Wisconsin lawmakers in June eliminated a requirement that bicyclists ride three feet away from parked cars. The law also prohibits motorists from opening car doors without checking for cyclists.
— New Jersey’s General Assembly passed a 3-feet-to-pass bill on June 25. It is now being considered by the Senate transportation committee.
Share road signA Washington, D.C., law that took effect March 26, 2008, also requires motorists give riders three feet of space when passing.
In Texas, a safe-passing bill, Senate Bill 488, emerged this spring from the 81st biennial session of the Legislature. The House passed it unanimously, 142-0, and it cleared the Senate by a vote of 26-5. But Perry vetoed the bill June 19. (See June 8, June 20 and July 13 posts to this blog, “Share the road, y’all,” Parts I through IV.)
USA Today reported that the number of bike commuters rose from about 483,145 in 2003 to about 664,859 in 2007, a 37.6 percent increase, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
The relatively good news about safe-passing laws and the increasing number of bicycle commuters is countered by a report today from Adventure Cycling Association.
Iowa share the roadThe Citizens for Safety Coalition of Iowa, organized by Dan Jones of Van Meter and others, Adventure Cycling Association said, is trying to have cyclists banned from the state’s farm to market roads (defined as state or county roads that connect agricultural areas to market towns — in other words, some of the best cycling roads around).
“At this writing, the coalition had received about 730 of the 1,500 signatures from Iowa residents they hope to get in order to have a ballot initiative on the voting slate in November 2010,” said a post on Biking Without Borders by Michael McCoy, Adventure Cycling’s field editor. “The good news, in my humble opinion as a cyclist and former Iowan, is that the Iowa Bicycle Coalition has crafted a counter petition opposing the bike ban — and garnered more than 1,500 signatures in just three days.”
Check out this video of a Wisconsin cyclist who has been recording on video his close encounters with motorists.


1 Comment

Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Texana, Urban cycling

One response to “Share the road, y’all: Part V

  1. Excellent site, keep up the good work

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