Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Share the Road License Plates: Armstrong's bikes recovered, and NJ Senators offer lesser safe passing bill

Utah is now offering Share the Road license plates for an extra $25 fee. Can you imagine, it will cost YOU more money to advertise a fact that should be known by all drivers on the road--if it weren't for their ignorance and the lack of proper testing by state motor vehicle departments.

The proceeds will go to a local bicycle advocacy group, the Utah Bicycle Coalition, and will be spent on education, advocacy and restocking the plates, according to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune today.

That same article however says that the lawmakers and advocates who came up with this plan say "some cyclists earn disdain and risk injury by ignoring rules of the road."

Anyone who has ever spent any time on a bike knows that the truth is far different: that for the number of times a cyclist can count disobeying the law, they can count three to four times more incidents of motorists flouting the law and directly endangering cyclists' lives.

So now, not only are we paying to make drivers more aware, we're also paying more when they aren't.

Armstrong's Bike Recovered

Whether he wants it or not, the police have recovered Lance Armstrong's time trial bike which was stolen this past February during the Tour de California, reported the NY Times.

Police arrested Lee Crider, 39, and Le Dung, 34. Armstrong’s time-trial bike was allegedly stolen by Crider from the back of a rental truck in February who then sold it to Le.

It is not clear why Le was arrested, since he turned the bike in to the police four days after it was announced stolen.

Delaware Bike Summit Announced

A group of cyclists rode through the rain to announce among other things, that Delaware will be holding its first bike summit on April 24, as reported by the website.

The event will focus on creating the right conditions for bike safety in the state, said Amy Wilburn, chair of the Delaware Bike Council.

The announcement set off a flurry of emails among advocates in New Jersey bemoaning the fact that New Jersey does not have a bike summit.

New Jersey Senators Offer Lesser Bill for Safe Passing

That point was glaringly obvious last month in the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council (NJ BPAC) that was formed by project managers, Ranjit Walia and Leigh Ann Von Hagen at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, when after spending hours debating how and when advocates would try to begin introducing new safe passing legislation, out of left field a senator from Sparta, NJ Senator Steven Oroho, (R-Sussex), and Sen. Brian Stack (D-Hudson) on March 16, introduced their own, lesser version--a 3-foot passing regulation-- in the state legislature.

Camille Savoy's crushed bike lying on the ground on Rte. 9w on Nov. 9, 2008. It was crushed beyond recognition--and so was Savoy's head.

Members of the NJ-BPAC are made up of cycling advocates from Voorhee
s, as well as New Jersey department of transportation employees who have been working on making cycling safer for New Jerseysians--and care deeply about the outcome of their work.

The lack of coordination and even awareness that each group is working on the same measures could prove difficult for all parties--in particular if the Senator's version is an inadequate second to the BPAC intent.

The reality of a 3-foot measure is simply this: it's not enough. Already motorists are driving on top of the white line when they are supposed to be several feet away from it; driving 50 mph in 40 mph zones, and in general disobeying the law. Three feet is barely the width of a cyclist's profile. And the way that people measure from their car seat looking over to a person on the right hand side, certainly has at least a three foot capacity for error.

Bent Rasmussen--when he was still alive, and before he was hit by a hit and run school bus driver.

This is an insult to the people who have been killed by cars who did not pass safely. At least one of them hit the rider, Bent Rasmussen with a large mirror: the driver surely did not take the size of their massive mirror into account when passing Rasmussen, and no doubt other drivers with big mirrors will do the same with this inadequate bill.

If you are concerned about the lesser measure being passed, please write to the two senators, and ask them to coordinate their actions with the people who have been working on these measures, and understand the need for a half lane passing bill.

Senator Oroho:

Senator Stack:

If you want to join the newly established Bike Ped Group of New Jersey, contact Andrew Besold at the Alan Voorhees Transportation Center,

Andrew was also responsible for doing an extensive study of Title 39 of NJ motor vehicle regulations governing safe passing, and comparing it to similar state regulations across the United States.

To reach the chiefs of the NJ BPAC, contact either Leigh Ann Von Hagen, or Ranjit Walia,

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