I lived in Pullman, WA for 6 years. During that time I spent 3 years as a student representative on the WSU University Health and Safety Committee. The chief of the campus police chaired the committee and its membership included the fire chief, and many department heads. During my first year on the committee, a wheelchair bound man came before the group and complained of cyclists on campus and asked what could be done to slow them down. He seemed reasonable and didn’t call for an outright ban or anything. I offered my assistance to the Police Chief saying that I’d seen many different methods for smoothing out cyclist/pedestrian interaction at other universities that could be implemented at WSU. I gave him my contact information, but never heard about it again.
The following year, a student on campus tried to get a coalition of cyclists together to start protests advocating cyclist rights. I again offered my assistance to the Chief stating that my position as student representative to the committee put me in an ideal position to facilitate positive change in this matter. Again, I was ignored.
During my third and last year on the committee, the campus newspaper ran a commentary criticizing bicycles on campus. I brought a couple of friends that commuted to campus on bicycle (one rode 17 miles each way every day) and had them speak before the committee. Each of us asked for some sort of improvements to help cyclists get through traffic. I found out that the Chief was actually working on changing the laws regarding scooters on campus and asked if he could write in some laws about cyclist/car interactions. I’d heard that some states have a three foot passing law and suggested this. He referred me to the campus trails committee. The trails committee chair told me that they tried to get bike lanes put in when the main road through campus was remodeled. They were told that a median with trees was more in the interest of public safety than a bike lane would be. The median won out and now nobody can turn left on that road. The trees are hiding pedestrians from the view of the drivers and it is only a matter of time before one is hit. Many members of the trails committee commuted to campus and said that they had already tried everything that I was trying.
I am no longer a member of the committee. I have exhausted all the proper channels to no avail. I now live in Spokane (which is no more cyclist friendly than Pullman). I have given up on beaurocracy and am wondering if there are any critical mass events in Eastern Washington? If so, does anybody know how to get in on it? It has become apparent that events like Critical Mass are the only way to get the attention of the man. Thanks.