Friday, May 14, 2010

NC ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE OPPOSES HB 1686

(See 1:00 pm update below:)

NCATA has gone on record as opposing House Bill 1686 entitled  AN ACT TO ENSURE THE SAFE OPERATION OF BICYCLES BEING OPERATED IN  GROUPS OF TWO OR MORE ON THE STATE'S STREETS AND HIGHWAYS, AS  RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. This position appears to validate my concern as posted yesterday that the bill is not truly a cyclist safety measure but more a measure to reduce cyclists rights to the road usage.

The NCATA released their position late May 12th.

All concerned cyclists are encouraged to contact their local representatives and urge them to oppose HB 1686 as IS CURRENTLY WRITTEN.

Until later,

- Zeke

INFORMATION UPDATED 1:00 PM 05/14/2010

From an email sent by Steve Waters regarding his meeting, along with Alison Carpenter (President of NCACA), with Rep.Cole on 05/13/2010.

“This confirms the bill now goes to the House Transportation Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Becky Carney, an outspoken advocate for public transit and transportation choices.  Then if it is reported favorably it goes to House Judiciary III.  Co-sponsors are Rep. Sandra Hughes, Wil Neumann and Jane Whilden.  Rep. Hughes is not running for re-election and Rep. Neumann lost his primary, but Rep. Whilden is an ally.


Today Alison Carpenter and I met with Rep. Nelson Cole and Rep. Grier Martin.  Nelson said he would be willing to exempt cities because they can pass their own ordinances, but he said he "can't" add a requirement for a passing clearance of three feet because rural roads are too narrow for that to be possible without crossing the double-yellow lines. (And according to Grier he may be right.)


My guess is that enough concerns have been raised by legislators that it would be difficult for the bill to pass all the way through the House and Senate in the short session, but we should still come to consensus on how the bill can be amended so we can speak with one voice as a statewide bicycling community.  I defer to the NC Active Transportation Alliance to craft that consensus language.


The members of the House Transportation committee can be found here:

http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House%20Standing_45
And the members of the House Judiciary III committee can be found here:
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House%20Standing_31

 

In my reply to this email, I noted that all of us cross the yellow line in a safe manner for many reasons. I posited the question as to what Rep. Cole would do should he come upon a slow moving farm tractor in his lane of travel. Would he simply stay behind it until the tractor moves from the roadway some mile(s) down the road or would he more likely pick a safe time to accelerate around it? Rep. Cole’s belief that the rural roads of N.C. don’t provide for sufficient space for a 3’ passing requirement is balderdash.

Is exempting cities from the legislation a good thing or does it merely break up the fight into smaller pieces? I have no idea…

Until later,

- Zeke

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