Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Local bike "advocate" wants bikes off the road

 Not off the road in the cool mountain biking sense.

This, from Simsbury Patch, appears to be the best reporting so far on the stupid single-file rule that's proposed.

As you know, we've got SB 103, because one cop in Simsbury hates bikes and called  up Sen. (and fellow Canton officer) Witkos. That doesn't make me happy, but I can understand that process. I've done enough political things to understand that one person's well placed call can create legislation and maybe even pass it.

What got me about the Patch article is that the guy who runs Simsbury's bank share program thinks it's great idea.
Simsbury Free Bike Director and bicycling advocate Larry Linonis feels that the proposed legislation is necessary for the safety of bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians on the roads and multi-use paths.
"Many of our roads are so narrow that it forces drivers to cross over the center line when people ride side by side," Linonis said.
State law requires motorists to yield three feet when passing bicycle riders, which is not always possible when two riders are occupying several feet of the roadway, Linonis said.
Linonis' opinion is not one that is shared by all local bike advocates.
"My opinion is my own," Linonis said. "Most of us feel we should be policing ourselves, but we're doing a terrible job of that."
I understand that this organization lends out bike and it seems like their primary is use to be ridden along the bike path in Simsbury. As an advocate, I am unaware of what they do.

I know of no one else who rides a bike that feels this way, but I 'm certain that those in favor of forcing bikes off the road are going to quote Linonis to no end.

The thing that gets me about SB 103 is that the existing laws are already designed to limit cyclist's position on the road-- two abreast only when it's not impeding the flow of traffic and as far right as practicable. I don't understand what needs to change, but apparently the meager growth of cycling in the Farmington Valley means that we need to put a stop to it immediately.

I would also like to see some stats of tickets for violating the 3 foot rule in Simsbury. If this one town is granted the ability to ruin it for the rest of us, I'd at least like to see that they're enforcing the one safety measure for cyclists to the fullest extent possible.

Since it is highly doubtful that Witkos is going to change his mind about the bill, contact your senator or representative, testify at some public hearings in front of the Transportation Committee, talk to your friends and family, ride a bike two abreast in a courteous way, find a viable D to run against Witkos in 2014, practice acts of civil disobedience or do whatever else you feel will help the cause.

14 comments:

adventure! said...

I still don't understand why it's so hard for a car to pass two cyclists abreast. There is this whole other lane to pass in. If a car isn't able to use the other lane to pass bikes safely because of a car coming from the other direction, then how would it be safe to pass otherwise? I think some people still think "safe passing of a bicycle" means they can actually stay in the same lane with a cyclist.

Tony C said...

Hear hear! Contact your state representative and senator. Let them know this bill is misguided and damaging to a healthy, community building, environmentally friendly transportation mode.

Brendan said...

I have very little doubt that this has nothing to do with the safety of anyone and everything to do with cars moving as quickly as possible.

dougyfresh said...

I agree with Brendan. It is all about someone's agenda.

Same bullshit as with the newly proposed gun laws.

Does not address the root cause and/or real issue at hand....

Jane Macy-Painter said...

Transportation Committee
Room 2300, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0590

schleppi "why you hate abreast" longstocking said...

It's adorbs to do this in a town with amazing bike paths, but the rest of our state is not so fucking RICH or lucky enough to have this infrastructure. I'd gladly not ride two abreast if Simsbury wanted to share its money with Hartford and build some awesome paths everywhere.

Brendan said...

Actually, I think a good compromise would be that no one is allowed to be two abreast on the road anymore. So, no more riding shotgun, everyone has to move to the back seat.

Schleppi Longstocking said...

Don't be silly, Brendan! Nobody rides with more than one person in a car anymore

Brendan said...

Also, I still haven't totally figured out if adorbs is a word and whether or not the beat bike blog endorses its use.

dario said...

I don't think cars should ride two abreast either. It's very dangerous, and certainly not "adorbs".

Tony C said...

Word from Ken K is that the current statute will be interpreted to clarify "impede". Hopefully upon closer reading Witkos will be satisfied with the current statute.

Tony C said...

http://www.bikewalkct.org/3/post/2013/01/bike-walk-ct-on-proposed-bill-103.html

Official comment from Bike Walk CT. In line with most of what is stated above.

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