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New anti-bike law being proposed(14 posts)

New anti-bike law being proposedbimini
Jan 15, 2004 8:51 AM
Don't know a lot about it other than a blurb on the TV news this morning.

They stated IA is proposing a law that would ban bikes from 4 lane divided primary roads that have bike trails and routes running parallel to them.

I don't think it effect me or where I ride but I do not like the sounds of it. Some of the things they call bike routes around here are nothing more than wide sidewalks with entrances to stip malls crossing them every 50 feet. The few times I've ridden on those I've came close to getting creamed by cars going into and out of the strip malls. Just WAY too Dangerous.

Are there any similar law in other states?

Have similar laws been proposed and shot down?

I'm thinking about sending a letter to the Govenor. I had a neat experience during RAGBRAI last year, where I went to buy a piece of pie and there was the Gov in front of me. I said hello and then we sat down, at pie, and chatted about this and that for 20 minutes one on one. He claimed to be a runner and not a biker, the only reason he was riding that 20 mile leg was because it lead into his home town and the Des Moines Register blackmailed him. The paper (who organizes RAGBRAI) would not make his home town a layover city unless he rode in RAGBRAI.

Maybe it's revenge for being force to ride a bike. (I noticed he was not wearing spandex)
When bicycling becomes outlawed ...cyclinseth
Jan 15, 2004 9:02 AM
only outlaws will ride bikes. It will happen sooner or later.
re: New anti-bike law being proposedblackhat
Jan 15, 2004 9:11 AM
that seems like a very narrowly defined law. I live in ne iowa, I cant think of any 4 lane divided primary roads that have bike trails and routes running parallel to them that I ride with any frequency. maybe one, but I rarely see anyone who'd write me a ticket once I get out of town anyways so...
I dont think the Gov is much of a cyclist, Ive heard his wife rides but I could be mistaken. Did you see Dean there? I stumbled across his rally on the way out of town in whatever town that was and got him to sign a Dean for america shirt for my dad. I tried to ride with him for a few miles but, like the gov, he's not real fast on the bike and I eventually tired of the pace. Respect to both for getting out there anyways.
The law would not keep me off the road but the FEAR of idiotbimini
Jan 15, 2004 9:22 AM
motorist who would now believe they have a friggin law behind them that in all their glorious stupidity would believe it was now okay to mow down an OUTLAW spandex clad F@g on a bike in thier brand spankin new HEMI pickemup truck because heaven forbid they were committing a crime and slowing them down by 10 seconds on there way to the local Podunkville bar.
i would have to agree...Bonked
Jan 15, 2004 11:00 AM
most of the four-lane divided primary roads that i can think of are highways...someplace i wouldn't ride anyway! the only road i can think of that 1) fits the description and 2) i ride on has a really wide shoulder and no bike lane or sidewalk. i'm not sure that i wouldn't write to the gov., but i'm not sure that i would be all that worried either.
re: New anti-bike law being proposedKEN2
Jan 15, 2004 10:27 AM
These exist in some other states, usually going by the name "mandatory sidepath laws." They are ugly for the reason the poster above notes (motorist has basis to "order" cyclists off the road and onto adjacent path), and also because they erode our rights to travel on all roads.

Besides those objections, another problem that arises is the usual MUT user conflicts between walkers, joggers, baby buggies, roller bladers, etc. etc. If that kind of trail is the only option on a route, we have a problem...
This is why bike paths are a bad idea.Spoiler
Jan 15, 2004 10:32 AM
People who propose bikepaths as substitutes for bike lanes either never learned to ride with traffic, or they're anti-bikers in sheep's clothing. Once you put in a path, you have an excuse to retrict bike traffic to JUST that path, and ban bike travel on any nearby road.

Plus, nobody maintains bike paths. They turn into beat up, garbage-littered gutters. There's always a big deal made out of them when they first open, but no funds are ever raised to keep them ridable.

Also, eventually, you have to cross a road once the path ends. Since cars are now programmed to NOT look for bikes on the road, people get killed crossing roads trying to jump to the next available bike path.

Plus, all bike paths wind up giving priority to joggers, walkers, limpers, crawlers, skaters, and skippers. It's a bigger nightmare dodging the foot traffic than it ever was dealing with the much smoother flow of car traffic.
This is why bike paths are a bad idea.al0
Jan 15, 2004 12:31 PM
I live now in Germany which is quite bike-friendly, but bikes
b are prohibited
on all German highways (named Autoban in German). There are absolutely no bad consequences for biking on other roads, motorist (almost always) are quite friendly. BTW, in general, maximal speed on highways in Germany is unlimited and I would not dare to ride bike there even if it would be allowed. One more BTW - not only bike, any vehicle with maximal sustained speed less then 90 km/h is eligible for highways here.
Would be a bad story hereGeardaddy
Jan 15, 2004 3:15 PM
I totally agree that bike paths are a bad substitute for bike lanes (or shoulders) for all the reasons that you mention.

This would be a very disturbing law to pass around here (Minneapolis/St. Paul) because there are plenty of roads just like this, especially in suburban areas. This seems to be an increasingly popular style for newer road construction of "secondary" roads as well. I fail to understand why they want to design the roads this way. Sure it helps to handle the peak traffic times, but it also encourages people to drive faster and I think it also encourages people to take these roads as "cut-through" alternative routes rather than taking the freeways. In fact, I have seen push back by suburban communities because of these behaviors, which has led the city planners to repaint these roads as single lane with wide shoulders (yeah!) to both slow down traffic and discourage cut-through.

Yes, they often have invested in building a off-road "bike-paths", but as usual they don't work for those are going more than a mile or two. There is also virtually no coordination between linking bike paths from community to community either. So, these bike paths are a complete failure as far as a transit solution for cyclists. And forget about going at a speed of greater than 10-15 MPH on these paths, with all of the dips and jogs and turns and crossings and blind connections to intersections, yada, yada, yada!!!
Definition is too narrow (even for us)Scot_Gore
Jan 16, 2004 6:53 AM
Even up here (Minnesota) this language:

ban bikes from 4 lane divided primary roads that have bike trails and routes running parallel to them

wouldn't exclude too many roads.

If "divided" and a parallel trail is a requirement that's not too many roads. Normandale, France, Pilot Knob, etc are not divided highways. The only ones that come to mind that meet this is Hwy 5 between Eden Prairie Center and downtown Chan, Shepard Rd between the Ford Plant and downtown St. Paul. I wouldn't use 5 in any event and when I use Shepard I use the trail anyway, it's a bike freeway as MUTs go since it's tucked up to the river and has few crossings and is away from residential neighborhoods and the dog walkers that come with them. Do you think Pioneer between Flying Cloud and Hwy 169 meet the divided requirement, that might be another and I bike on that road versus the trail.

I'm one citizen who's quite proud of our bike infastructure investment, so I've got a different view than you. I look at the ability to bike from Victoria to Stillwater and never leave a dedicated bike lane as a pretty well connected system. Almost every commuter I know uses dedicated bike lanes durring some segment of their commute, so they are being used as transit, not just recreation.

Just another point of view.

Definition is too narrow (even for us)Geardaddy
Jan 16, 2004 11:13 AM
OK, I wasn't keying off of the "divided" part of the definition, so I agree that there are not that many roads like this. But, there are plenty of these 4-lane-no-shoulder roads that have short sections with medians. Burnsville parkway comes to mind, and I ride on that lots. The choice to ride on these roads comes down to knowing when the traffic is going to be busy or not. Burnsville parkway sucks during rush hour but is just fine otherwise. Roads like Normandale and France in Bloomington, and Pilot Knob and Lexington in Eagan more consistently have busy traffic, so you always feel a squeezed on them and I tend to stay away from them mostly. It frustrates me that there isn't room on those roads, because in certain cases they are the only good alternative.

I hold up Minnetonka as a shining example of friendly roads for cyclists. Although most other suburbs are OK, I see disturbing trends in new road construction. For example, the newest Eden Prairie Road construction and plans for East Bush Lake Rd in Bloomington are not good.

In fact a few years ago I went to a Bloomington City Council meeting and discovered their plans for East Bush Lake Rd at 494 and 84th street. I commented on how this 494 crossing was an important one for cyclists. I am dismayed at how they constructed that, and how they seem to want to increase the flow of traffic towards East Bush Lake Rd.

I'm sure that Pioneer Trail between 212 and Hwy 101 will see some work eventually, and I fear that they will build another 4-lane-no-shoulder road, just like they did between Hwy 169 and Hwy 212. Pioneer Trail is really the only good way to go from Bloomington to Chaska, so I'd hate to see cyclists pushed off of that road.
Yeah, I've been looking at E. Bush as well.Scot_Gore
Jan 16, 2004 11:49 AM
I'm trying to see the bright side but I'm not convinced it's not an on coming train.

They did all that work on E. Bush to facilitate the western terminus for American Blvd. The plan (hope) is that people will use American to move East and West across Bloomington because American is going to be wide and be complete all the way across town. So, I'm hoping that this will mean less traffic on 84th, 86th, and 90th. If that turns out to be the case it will be a real benefit to my cycling since those are mostly how I get outta Dodge.

East Bush has been an important route for me as well, but I've gotten use the West Bush Lake crossing over 494 since they closed the bridge last summer. I've been enjoying the climb and descent on Telegraph. Do you think the West Bush Bridge is in the sights for "improvements" next year.

See you on the road.

Yeah, I've been looking at E. Bush as well.Geardaddy
Jan 16, 2004 2:14 PM
The West Bush Lake Rd. bridge is a piece of junk, so I'm sure that is slated for tear down and reconstruction as part of the 494 project too. I'm not sure when they plan on doing that though. Now that East Bush Lake Rd. is near done, maybe it is soon. :(
re: New anti-bike law being proposedmargoC
Jan 15, 2004 12:35 PM
I live in Savannah GA where they have banned bikes in the downtown squares, which are all over the place. I didn't really see the problem. A lot of art college students use a bicycle as sole transportation, they should be encouraging bikes as the downtown area is congested and there is no parking.