Yesterday, I quickly put up a link to a Streetsblog DC article that gave a good rundown of the major aspects of the proposed US Senate transportation funding bill. While that article was good at giving a overall summary of this big piece of legislation, it did miss this small clause on page 226 of the Senate Bill:
(d) BICYCLE SAFETY.—The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit the use of bicycles on each federally owned road that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or greater and an adjacent paved path for use by bicycles within 100 yards of the road.No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. This is a mandatory sidepath law that forces bicyclists off federally owned roads (mostly in National Parks and Forests and military bases) and onto bicycle paths no matter how poorly the pathways are engineered.
Luckily, the hard working folks at the League of American Bicyclists didn't miss this egrigious little detail and fortunately for all of us, they are not going to take this lying down (HINT! This is a great example of why you need to join the League!). In his blog post (read it!), LAB President, Andy Clarke blasts this clause as "paternalistic," and a "pretty awful" precedent.
Well, you don't have to take this direct assault to your right to ride a bike on a public right-of-way lying down either! The LAB has put together a quick and easy petition that takes no more than a minute to fill out. As I write this over 2,100 have already signed this petition and about a hundred people have been signing it every hour.
Make you voice heard in the US Senate. Remind them that, "You ride and you vote!"