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 bike 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.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.
"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 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.