Several weeks ago, a friend was swiped in a hit-and-run while riding her bike to work. What breaks my heart is that she lay in the middle of an intersection for three turns of the traffic light without anyone stopping. Cars from all directions veered around her, until a passing RPD officer helped her out of the road.
A week later, another friend was hit while biking. Cars swerve at bicyclists, beeping. People shout while driving dangerously close.
Instead of supporting these clean, cheap, efficient vehicles, a proposed Senate bill targets bicycle lanes for onerous new bureaucracy. Language in SB 617 would weaken municipalities’ ability to develop useful bike lanes by requiring that changes to state roads (like Wade Avenue) must be made by super-majority vote in the State Department of Transportation board. Instead of allowing communities to make decisions, this bill centralizes power.
This despite the fact that municipalities help pay to improve state roads through sidewalks, bike lanes and drainage. Making roads safer for bicyclists is something everyone can contribute to. Removing this provision of SB 617 is an essential first step.
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Creating infrastructure for safer, easier bicycle commuting is not expensive and should be developed at the community level.