Friday, March 5, 2010

Idaho is next to become the next Berlin

"A package of four bills aimed at protecting cyclists is to get a first hearing today in the Senate Transportation Committee. The hallmark of the package is a "three feet to pass" law, similar to the one Boise recently enacted, along with changes to state code to allow drivers to cross a double yellow line in order to safely pass a bike.

But the bills also contain a ban on riding bicycles without brakes on the street.
As the fixie craze went up, you see people not capable of riding bikes without brakes riding bikes without brakes,” said Kurt Holzer, an avid cyclist and attorney who sat in on negotiations on the bills.

The other two bills in the package create statutes against harassing cyclists and help fund "Safe Routes to Schools" through a new fund that is paid for with a $75 extra fine on cycle-related infractions (bike on bike or car on bike). Boise Sen. Elliot Werk is sponsoring all of the bills.

The hearing is today at 1 p.m. at Senate Transpo (West Wing 53), and Holzer has asked folks to refrain from wearing spandex to the hearing."

(via here.)

oh man, i have bones to pick with this one.

okay, in california we already have the three foot law and guess what- IT DOESNT WORK. cops have "bigger issues" and i have had my fair share of close calls. they usually do not enforce it due to the idea that the majority of the road is utilized by motor vehicles. silly i tell you, silly.

the harassing cyclist thing wouldnt be a problem if the streets were safe for cyclists. in the downtown chico area, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk wich in turn means we have to go on the street. this frustrates drivers EASILY. with more bike lanes come less hassle as well as no need for such a law.

now here's the part where i rant on and on about the brakeless bans. we all know about the berlin syndrome where berlin targets fixed gears over brakeless bikes. the other day, i rode a brakeless bmx bike on the street and i have to say, that is way more dangerous than a fixed gear (exhilarating, yet sketchy as fuhhhh).  what i dont understand is the fuss over fixed gear bikes on the street. sure kids are riding, but that's the thing- KIDS ARE RIDING. this is not only good for the obesity problem it's also good for the cycling economy. i would much rather have a kid riding out in the streets than pwning newbs in modern warfare 2. with that in the air, it's much easier (an probably better in the long run) to implement cycling advocacy and safety classes than it is to impose a law that is very discriminant to a certain set of riders.

all that  law is going to do is turn away one of the strongest waves of interest in recreation we've seen in recent history. all that law is going to do is box in fixed gear riders, or force them to find loop holes. all that law is going to do is piss off a growing segment of cyclists who my later on becomeextremely tenured in other segments of cycling (whether that be road bikes, mountain bikes, BMX, unicycling- WHATEVER)

if idaho would just put a little more money into cycling safety on the streets, there would be no need for all three of these laws. in turn that would lead to a certain regognition of being "green" (whatever the hell that is) as well as impose a healthy lifestyle. get your act together idaho. i dont want any city in the us to turn into  the next berlin (not to bag on berlin, because germans are awesome. i mean, VW's, Schnizel and bier? come on!)


ps, that spandex thing at the end made me chuckle a little bit. that only means half of that hearing will be decked in jerseys. rad.

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