New VA Legislation Includes Bike-Ban Bill HB 2008

Dave Levy bentbiking at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 17 22:19:07 CST 2009


Allen,
    Thanks for catching this.  Sounds like this might be used to keep us off of many 45 and 55 mph roads.  That could eliminate some urban as well as rural rides where we are in the travel lane because there are no paved wide shoulders as on a lot of Maryland roads.
Thanks.
Dave Levy
BikeWalk Alexandria
--------------------------
New VA Legislation Includes Bike-Ban Bill HB 2008
Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:55 PM
From:"Allen Muchnick" <muchnick at capaccess.org>

The Virginia Bicycling Federation (VBF) has been monitoring new
legislation at the Virginia General Assembly, which convened on January
14 and is scheduled to adjourn around February 28.

As of January 16, 17 bills that mention "bicycle" had been filed. You
can link to all such bills at
[http://leg1.state.va.us/091/lst/LS602476.HTM] , although the website is
apparently not working at present.

Four of these bills (all in the House) would prohibit either sending
text messages or emails or all cell phone use while operating a vehicle
or bicycle.

Three of these bills (two House and one senate) would require drivers
to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. The language looks good, and
is similar in each bill.

Most of the remaining bills have little or nothing to do with
bicycles, except for HB 2008 (introduced by Del. Robert Brink,
D-Arlington):
[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+fuh+HB2008+400046].

Although the bill title and amended Code of Virginia sections are
ostensibly limited to mopeds, electrically assisted bicycles, and
Segways, this bill would enact a NEW blanket prohibition on bicycling on
ALL "limited-access" highways with the following language:

"Operation of ..., bicycles....is prohibited on any (i)
Interstate Highway System component, (ii) other limited access
highway, and (iii) highway where the Commonwealth Transportation Board
has prohibited their operation in the interest of safety and such
prohibition is indicated by conspicuous signs posted by the Department
of Transportation."

I've just posted the following comment on the Richmond Sunlight website:
[http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2009/hb2008/] :

"This bill unnecessarily expands the number of highways where bicycles,
mopeds, electrically-assisted bicycles, and Segways are banned for no
valid reason, while failing to establish a fair and open process for
evaluating future and existing bans. The Code of Virginia already bans
these devices on all controlled-access highways 'where the Commonwealth
Transportation Board has prohibited their operation in the interest of
safety'. I will meet with Del. Brink on January 19 to ask that he
withdraw this legislation."

Fortunately, I know Delegate Brink reasonably well, and my own
Delegate, Adam Ebbin sits on House Transportation. I'll post an update on
Tuesday, after I return from Richmond.

The Richmond Sunlight page for HB 2008
[http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2009/hb2008/]
has a poll where the public can vote for or against this bill. For now,
I encourage folks to vote in that poll and post comments on that
webpage.

Allen Muchnick, president
Virginia Bicycling Federation
PO Box 5621, Arlington VA 22205-5621
much- at capaccess.org
703-271-0895
http://vabike.org




      


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