Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From the American Bicyclist

From the American Bicyclist Update dated 12MAY2008, an email newsletter from the
League of American Bicyclists, followed by a response from Gary Parker, Tulsa bicycling
advocate and League Cycling Instructor:

Matsui Introduces House Complete Streets Bill

Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) took an important step last Thursday,
May 1, for safer, better designed streets by introducing the Safe and
Complete Streets Act of 2008 into the U.S. House (HR 5951). The bill
would make sure that roads built and improved with federal funds safely
serve everyone using the roadway, including pedestrians, bicyclists, bus
riders, as well as people with disabilities.

On the Senate side, Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) signed on this week
as first Republican co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, S2686,
the Complete Streets Act of 2008, introduced a few weeks ago by Senators
Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Thomas Carper (D-DE). This is the first time that
comprehensive complete streets bills have been introduced in the
House and Senate.

Visit the League’s on-line advocacy center and ask your Members
of Congress to support this legislation.

For more information on complete streets, please visit
www.completestreets.org. Click here to
read Congresswoman Matsui’s press

Gary's comments follow. The link he refers to is the first page at Complete Streets and it shows a cyclist riding in a door zone bike lane. I couldn't capture the image because it's part of an animation sequence.....Ed

At this link a bike lane is shown going directly adjacent to the door zone of parked automobiles. Below is my response.

As a regular bicycle commuter and LCI bike educator I know the real need for complete streets is equality of access to the right travel lane for bicycle drivers. Eliminate all language relative to "as far to the right as . . ." This separate but equal language is no better for bicycles than it was for African-American.

The legal language should provide that "Bicyclists have legal access to the entire right hand travel lane." Further specific language directing "Vehicles passing slower moving or stopped vehicles shall use the adjacent lane to the lane of travel." There is always an adjacent lane.

This equality of access eliminates the need for wasteful increased consumption of private land for increase right of way width for dangerous and always non-functional bike lanes. Even in the picture of the bike lane on your website the lane runs adjacent to and in the door zone of parked cars. Bike lanes do not operate in accordance with standard vehicle rules of the road.

You will have mine and other vehicular bicyclists and knowledgeable commuting bicyclist attention when you begin moving for Equality of access for bicycles to the right hand travel lane.

Gary Parker

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