Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bikes Update

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 5:37 PM

As a preface, I'd like to say, I'm a cyclist. I ride my bike everywhere, whether it be to Tablerock, in the Ridge to Rivers trail system, or just down to the state capitol to work on Unda' the Rotunda. I'm a big fan of people-powered transit.

In case you haven't heard, the Idaho Legislature is looking to update the state's laws in regards to cyclists, with a package of bills by Sen. Elliot Werk. Unda' the Rotunda wrote about the package this week.

The status on the bills thus far is as follows:

The bill requiring all bicycles—that includes those fixed gear rides so popular around town—to have a working brake, has passed the full Sentate and awaits assignment to committee in the House. If it makes it through that, it'll be voted on by the House at large. The law would make brakeless bikes unlawful, and a penalty would be associated with not having a brake.

That being said, when the House sets a hearing for the brake bill, the public can testify. If you're unwilling to part with your fixie, Idaho hipsters, visit the Capitol building to testify.

The 3-feet to pass and the harassment against cyclists bills are currently scheduled for amendments on the 14th order of the Senate Calendar. Senator Werk tells citydesk that he's "working behind the scenes" to come to an agreement on the legislation. Expect an update in the next couple of days.

The last bill—which created $75 fines on infractions on drivers for biker harassment, and infractions on cyclists for recklessness—was killed by the Senate in a 7-27 vote, 1 excused. The money raised from these civil penalties would have benefited the Idaho Transportation Department's Safe Routes to School fund.

"That one got killed. It was a good bill, it used language that was standard throughout code," said Werk. "There's no use crying over spilled milk. There was some concern about the paperboy being charged $75 ... I personally think he should be charged $75 to remind him to be safe ..."

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