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Safe Passing Passes Senate Transportation Committee!

March 31, 2009

From Bike Texas:

After business hours yesterday, BikeTexas received a call with some great news – the Safe Passing Bill (CSSB 488) passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a 7-2 vote!

Voting for the bill were Senators John Carona (chair and bill co-author), R-Dallas; Kirk Watson (vice-chair), D-Austin; Wendy Davis (bill co-author), D-Fort Worth; Rodney Ellis (bill co-author), D-Houston; Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso; Joan Huffman, R-Houston; and Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.

Senator Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, did not support the bill as he received more negative than positive reaction from the constituents in his rural district. We appreciate the constructive way in which his staff communicated with us. We hope to win him over in the future as we make a better case for the economic benefits of cycling to rural communities.

Senator Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, also voted no. We haven’t been able to determine why she did not support the bill. If you are a constituent of hers you may call her office and ask. If you’re not a constituent, it would not be helpful tocall her office.

As we noted in our email yesterday, the next step will be for the bill to be scheduled for a floor vote by the full Senate. This could happen as early as next week. We are in the process of identifying which senators are supportive ofCSSB 488 and which are undecided. Once we do, we will contact those of you in the districts of the undecided senators so you can urge them to support the bill.

Thanks to all of you who helped get this bill through the Senate hearing, and stay tuned!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. ATX uc permalink
    April 7, 2009 8:04 pm

    I’m all for riding a bike vs driving whenever possible. I also support people who must ride bikes because they cannot afford vehicles. What I am AGAINST is the bikers who think they have a right to be IN MIDDLE OF THE ROAD causing traffic congestion and risking their own lives. If you cannot keep up with traffic (trust me, you can’t) stay on the sidewalk or choose a different route. That’s what I do and it works great.

    The fact that we have to sit behind some slow a## biker now and will get a ticket if we get pissed at them is stupid. It’s like holding my finger in your face while screaming “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you!” Of course you’ll wanna yell/hit/punch me!

    This is a stupid bill and a waste of taxpayer money. It’s giving bikers the right to be a pain in the ass.

  2. April 7, 2009 10:24 pm

    ATX uc, I have to agree that there are cyclists out there that abuse some of the privileges afforded them and it is disappointing to see.

    However, that does not give the motorist the right to run them into the gutter or play mirror tag with their elbows. It is unfortunate that we are even discussing a topic that should be common sense or at the very least human decency.

    So the guys an idiot. It doesn’t mean I should kill him to prove the point. I would add here that he is probably not an idiot. He is probably unaware and in that case we should work to provide more education.

    I would like to see more infrastructure for cyclists so that neither the cyclists or the motorist have to share the same road.

    Thanks for your comments.


  3. ATX uc permalink
    April 7, 2009 11:43 pm

    You’re right. Nobody should have the right to hurt anyone just because they are cycling. I should have made it more clear that what angers me is that we’re protecting people when they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

    Only cars belong on the road (sorry, it’s true) and bikes belong in bike lanes, sidewalks, and trails.

  4. roostertx permalink
    April 8, 2009 3:18 am

    Thanks for the dialog. I think it is good to have these discussions. Especially this topic because it can be very frustrating.

    I think your comment “what angers me is that we’re protecting people when they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing in the first place” could open up a lifelong debate that we will surely need a lot of beer for.

    I don’t think kicking bikes off the road is the answer because there are plenty of roads that have neither a sidewalk or a bike lane. I do think that we should continue to provide education and infrastructure.

    Thanks for the comments ATX uc. I look forward to seeing you around the blogosphere…if that’s a word.

  5. ATX uc permalink
    April 8, 2009 3:34 am

    Indeed, and I would start that discussion off with- “If bikes can ride down the middle of the left lane on Lamar near House Park and slow down traffic, why can’t we walk there to? Or maybe a Segway? Or my Nightrider BigWheel?”

    I am a frustrated tax payer who pays WAY to much money every year to share the road with a bicycle rider who didn’t pay squat when he bought his bike. Sales tax? Sure, but how about car insurance, registration, license fees, etc? I paid to get as close to hauling ass on that road as I legally can. I do NOT want some guy with on an entitlement trip to get in my damn way.

    Sure, bikes are cleaner and better for the environment- we all know that. Plus, they’re fun as hell to ride. But dammit, stay the F out of my way because I have places to be and time is money.

  6. April 13, 2009 6:15 pm

    To answer your question you posit….because it is against the law to walk, ride a segway, and a bigwheel in the middle of the street. And because it’s against the law to ride a bike on the sidewalk, the infrastructure needs to be enhanced, to ensure connectivity and flow for ALL “valid” forms of transportation. And yes, a bicycle is a valid form of transportation. Most of us work hard to not upset harried/hurried drivers. It’s not in anyone’s best interest. Unfortunately, there are drivers that also will deter you from getting to your destination as quickly as you seem to want to. Ideally, we can all work together to make living together as harmonious as possible. Baby steps. That’s what this bill is…..a baby step that will serve more to educate, and enhance common sense, and as rooster says, “decency”.

    This law will only do what is already written in the Driver’s education manual provided by the state. It will also give prosecutors tools needed to prosecute when a car mows down a cyclist. Happy riding!

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