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Old 04-28-09, 09:22 AM   #1
lluciano
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Bike Texas Members Mean Strength

Bike Texas is working relentlessly this session to pass legislation on behalf of cyclists across Texas. More members means a louder voice, and the attention of these lawmakers who want to make their constituents happy. During Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day last week, the Chamber was full of over 100 cyclists. When we were asked to stand, the Senators turned and gazed at the numbers. Senator Dan Patrick, who was putting up opposition to the Safe Passing Bill looked left and right at the cyclists, and walked over to Senator Ellis, the bill's author, and said he would vote for our bill. If you aren't a member of Bike Texas now, more than ever is the time to join! Bicycle Sport Shopis selling premium memberships in the store for half of the premium membership price. Help them help you, and buy a membership today, while those bills are fighting for their life in the current legislative session.
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Old 04-28-09, 10:07 AM   #2
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Austin Texas is the only place I have ever seen "Share the Road" signs on the freeways for MOTORCYCLES.

Ya gotta wonder.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lluciano View Post
Bike Texas is working relentlessly this session to pass legislation on behalf of cyclists across Texas. (snip) Help them help you (snip) while those bills are fighting for their life in the current legislative session.
I wish they would fail! If this is who cyclist's friends are, I like our enemies better! At least they do horrid things to us in our face, rather than stab us in the back.

There is nothing in this "safe passing bill" that they are promoting that isn't already codified into our law, except for the new restrictions on cyclist's freedom.

What Texas cyclists need is an organization that is interested in promoting our continued access to the public roads and encouraging more vigorous enforcement of the laws we already have.

If they must muck about in the Texas Transportation Code, they could work to repeal Sec 551.104(a)(b), at least then they would be representing our interests.

BikeTexas is a self-promoting Judas organization that deserves our contempt, not our money.
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Old 04-29-09, 12:26 AM   #4
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I agree with you on (a). When my dad got me an Italian racer in 63, I thought the Campy brakes were lame because every 10 year old loved having longest-skid contests with his friends. It was explained to me they were designed to not lockup, because that could be fatal at racing speeds.

I don't understand your objection to (b). Full-moon riding on desert singletrack doesn't require illumination, but I wouldn't even think about going night riding in car traffic w/o lights. I use flasher front and rear to be seen, and a steady 400/800 lumens front to see the road surface ahead of me, avoid potholes, debris, etc.
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Old 04-29-09, 12:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
I agree with you on (a). When my dad got me an Italian racer in 63, I thought the Campy brakes were lame because every 10 year old loved having longest-skid contests with his friends. It was explained to me they were designed to not lockup, because that could be fatal at racing speeds.
Corrections:

Campagnolo Record/NR/SR/Victory/Triomphe/GS sidepulls can lock up under normal circumstances, and most certainly when equipped with Scott-Mathauser (Kool-Stop) pads.

That said, there is absolutely nothing faulty with a brake system that has the power/capability to lock the wheel. The fault lies in the person who fails to modulate said brake correctly under emergency (or any other) circumstances.

Fatal at "racing speeds?" If one is traveling at "racing speeds," I would hope - for their sake - that they understand how to modulate a brake properly in the first place; unlike a child back in 1963 who perceived the existence of a braking system solely as a method to spread burnt rubber on the tarmac.

For that matter, if your logic about locking a wheel had any merit, V-brakes, disk brakes, and dual pivot sidepulls would have been condemned before the designs ever had a chance to leave AutoCAD. The only folks who share your sympathies are the CPSC and inexperienced riders.

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Old 04-29-09, 06:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
I wish they would fail! If this is who cyclist's friends are, I like our enemies better! At least they do horrid things to us in our face, rather than stab us in the back.

There is nothing in this "safe passing bill" that they are promoting that isn't already codified into our law, except for the new restrictions on cyclist's freedom.

What Texas cyclists need is an organization that is interested in promoting our continued access to the public roads and encouraging more vigorous enforcement of the laws we already have.

If they must muck about in the Texas Transportation Code, they could work to repeal Sec 551.104(a)(b), at least then they would be representing our interests.

BikeTexas is a self-promoting Judas organization that deserves our contempt, not our money.

I'd like to know what you find so objectionable about SB488 (posted below)

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...f/SB00488I.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by SB488
By:AAEllis, Carona S.B.ANo.A488
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
An act relating to the operation of a motor vehicle in the vicinity of a
vulnerable road user; providing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTIONA1.AASubchapter B, Chapter 545, Transportation Code,
is amended by adding Section 545.428 to read as follows:
Sec.A545.428.AAVULNERABLE ROAD USERS. (a) In this section,
"vulnerable road user" means:
(1)AAa pedestrian, including a runner, physically
disabled person, child, skater, highway construction and
maintenance worker, utility worker, other worker with legitimate
business in or near the road or right of way, or stranded motorist
or passenger;
(2)AAa person on horseback; or
(3)AAa person operating equipment other than a motor
vehicle, including a bicycle, motorcycle, horse-driven conveyance,
or unprotected farm equipment.
(b)AAAn operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road
user operating on a highway or street shall:
(1)AAvacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user
is located if the highway has two or more marked lanes running in
the same direction; or
(2)AApass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.
(c)AAFor the purposes of Subsection (b)(2), the operator ispresumed to have passed the vulnerable road user at a safe distance
if the distance between the operator ’s vehicle and the vulnerable
road user is more than:
(1)AAthree feet if the operator ’s vehicle is a passenger
car or light truck; or
(2)AAsix feet if the operator ’s vehicle is a truck other
than a light truck or a commercial motor vehicle as defined by
Section 522.003.
(d)AAAn operator of a motor vehicle that is making a left turn
at an intersection, including an intersection with an alley or
private road or driveway, shall yield the right-of-way to a
vulnerable road user who is approaching from the opposite direction
and is in the intersection or in such proximity to the intersection
as to be an immediate hazard.
(e)AAAn operator of a motor vehicle may not overtake a
vulnerable road user traveling in the same direction and
subsequently make a right-hand turn in front of the vulnerable road
user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road
user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road
user is traveling and the braking requirements of the vehicle
making the right-hand turn.
(f)AAAn operator of a motor vehicle may not maneuver the
vehicle in a manner that:
(1)AAis intended to cause intimidation or harassment to
a vulnerable road user; or
(2)AAthreatens a vulnerable road user.
(g)AAAn operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care
to avoid colliding with any vulnerable road user on a roadway or in
an intersection of roadways.
(h)AAA person may not open the door on the side of a vehicle
that is adjacent to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to
open the door without interfering with the movement of traffic,
including vulnerable road users. A person may not leave a door open
on the side of a vehicle that is adjacent to moving traffic for a
period longer than necessary to load or unload passengers or goods.
(i)AAA person may not harass, taunt, or throw an object or
liquid at or in the direction of any vulnerable road user.
(j)AAA violation of this section is punishable under Section
542.401 except that:
(1)AAif the violation results in property damage, the
violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not to exceed
$500; or
(2)AAif the violation results in bodily injury, the
violation is a Class B misdemeanor.
(k)AAIt is a defense to prosecution under this section that
at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was a person
operating a bicycle in violation of Section 551.103 or
551.104(b)(2).
(l)AAIf conduct constituting an offense under this section
also constitutes an offense under another section of this code or
the Penal Code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or
both sections.
SECTIONA2.AAThis Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
And what you think is so terrible with Texas Sec. 551.104? (posted below)

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes....000551.00.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sec. 551.104(a,b)
Sec. 551.104. SAFETY EQUIPMENT.
(a) A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(b) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:

(1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and

(2) on the rear of the bicycle:

(A) a red reflector that is:

(i) of a type approved by the department; and

(ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; or

(B) a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

I donno, perhaps I am reading these wrong, but it sure seems like a vulnerable road user law, that SPECIFIES a specific passing distance, is NOT already codified in state law. And frankly I don't see what is wrong with Sec. 551.104(a,b) (that you cite above) which requires lighting for cyclists.


Could it be that you are just poorly informed and are following some political agenda set aside by some group you don't fully understand?

Staunch Vehicular Cycling groups (Vehikular Psyclists) also opposed California 3 foot laws. Why? Please point out the specific clause of SB 488 that you think is so harmful to cyclists.


Now bear in mind I am a vehicular cyclist, I regularly ride in traffic and have toured from CA to Texas, where I was raised... I understand what vehicular cycling really is, and I also understand the difference between a human powered vehicle and a 3/4 ton pickup moving at 70MPH.

What I really want to know is what is wrong with a "vulnerable road user" bill that also supports horseback riders?

Last edited by genec; 04-29-09 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 04-29-09, 10:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
There is nothing in this "safe passing bill" that they are promoting that isn't already codified into our law, except for the new restrictions on cyclist's freedom.
All right, I've read the proposed law -- quoted by Gene a few posts back -- and I'm failing to see the new restrictions on cyclists. It does refer to existing restrictions in 551.103 and 551.104, but can you tell us more specifically what new restrictions you see it as adding?

The bill does have several features that I like, including explicit rules against dooring and right hooks...acts which are probably illegal under existing Texas law, but which are laid out here in a way that even the dullest traffic court judge can understand.

Quote:
If they must muck about in the Texas Transportation Code, they could work to repeal Sec 551.104(a)(b), at least then they would be representing our interests.
Hmm...I agree with you on 104(a); the "skid test" is a lousy way to determine whether a brake is adequate, and sets the stage for nuisance harassment by cops who insist that you show them you can skid a tire. (A dangerous act, if they want to see it for the front tire.) It also doesn't translate well to all types of bikes; I doubt I could skid the rear wheel on my recumbent when it's fully loaded for touring -- too much weight on that wheel, even during full deceleration -- but the brakes are perfectly good. Could easily skid the front wheel under those conditions, but it would be a very bad idea.

I don't see much problem with 104(b), though. Lighting requirements at night, check. Acknowledging (unlike some states' laws) that if you have a rear light, you don't also need a rear reflector, check. About the only potential glitch I see with it is the lack of a definition of "nighttime"...again, that might be used for nuisance harassment by a cop who really just doesn't like the look of a given cyclist.

If anything, I would be more adamant about repealing 103 than 104. 555.103 is the standard "as far right as practicable" dribble that you see in a lot of states. It's not a particularly egregious variant, as these things go. It makes the usual exceptions for passing, left turns, road hazards, and narrow lanes, but not for destination positioning at intersections. It also has the "no more than two abreast" requirement, which makes no sense under conditions when a single cyclist would be taking the lane anyway.

Rather than continuing to add exceptions, laws like this should be tossed out and replaced by a "slower vehicles shouldn't act like jerks" law that applies equally to everyone.

Last edited by sanitycheck; 04-29-09 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Correct my initial misreading of 555.103
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Old 04-29-09, 12:30 PM   #8
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If a cop asked me to skid my front tire, on either of my bikes, I'd just ask for the ticket. I'm not going to incur any further expense by destroying tires by skidding, nor am I going to try and fall down for their amusement.

Neither of the laws seems worth a thread, frankly. Lobbying is bad - didn't you get Obama's message with your check? And existing lighting laws in Texas aren't terrible.
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Old 04-29-09, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec View Post


And what you think is so terrible with Texas Sec. 551.104?
Oops, my bad, I meant, Sec 551.103

Quote:
Sec. 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:

(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;

(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;

(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or

(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:

(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or

(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.

(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway.

(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
Now that I cleared up that confusion, I will respond to all other questions in turn. I regret my error.
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Old 04-29-09, 02:27 PM   #10
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Gene, my error was to cite the wrong section of current law, your error is to cite the original language of SB 488. So others may follow along, here is the text of SB 488 as passed by the Texas senate on April 21 last:

Quote:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the operation of a motor vehicle in the vicinity of a vulnerable road user; providing penalties. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subchapter I, Chapter 545, Transportation Code, is amended by adding Section 545.428 to read as follows:

Sec. 545.428. VULNERABLE ROAD USERS.

(a) In this section, "vulnerable road user" means:

(1) a pedestrian, including a runner, physically disabled person, child, skater, highway construction and maintenance worker, tow truck operator, utility worker, other worker with legitimate business in or near the road or right-of-way, or stranded motorist or passenger;

(2) a person on horseback;

(3) a person operating equipment other than a motor vehicle, including a bicycle, handcycle, horse-driven conveyance, or unprotected farm equipment; or

(4) a person operating a motorcycle, moped, motor-driven cycle, or motor-assisted scooter.

(b) An operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road user operating on a highway or street shall:

(1) vacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user is located if the highway has two or more marked lanes running in the same direction; or

(2) pass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.

(c) For the purposes of Subsection (b)(2), when road conditions allow, safe distance is at least:

(1) three feet if the operator's vehicle is a passenger car or light truck; or

(2) six feet if the operator's vehicle is a truck other than a light truck or a commercial motor vehicle as defined by Section 522.003.

(d) An operator of a motor vehicle that is making a left turn at an intersection, including an intersection with an alley or private road or driveway, shall yield the right-of-way to a vulnerable road user who is approaching from the opposite direction and is in the intersection or in such proximity to the intersection as to be an immediate hazard.

(e) An operator of a motor vehicle may not overtake a vulnerable road user traveling in the same direction and subsequently make a right-hand turn in front of the vulnerable road user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road user is traveling and the braking requirements of the vehicle making the right-hand turn.

(f) An operator of a motor vehicle may not maneuver the vehicle in a manner that:

(1) is intended to cause intimidation or harassment to a vulnerable road user; or

(2) threatens a vulnerable road user.

(g) An operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any vulnerable road user on a roadway or in an intersection of roadways.

(h) A violation of this section is punishable under Section 542.401 except that:

(1) if the violation results in property damage, the violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not to exceed $500; or

(2) if the violation results in bodily injury, the violation is a Class B misdemeanor.

(i) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law.

(j) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code or the Penal Code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both sections.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
Right now the quickest way to tell them apart is to note the change in clause (i)

As I stated in my original post, each part of this law is redundant. We already have laws governing how to pass. It is already illegal to strike anything with your vehicle. It is already against the law to intimidate and endanger others.

Under this law, on many of the roads I travel on, commercial vehicles will be prohibited from passing me, even though they overtake me safely all the time now. As such, Texas Bicycle Coalition is squandering it's resources on meaningless legislation that has no increased benefit to cyclists over present law. TBC is violating their fiduciary duty work in our behalf to promote cycling.
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Old 04-29-09, 03:46 PM   #11
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Gene asked: "Staunch Vehicular Cycling groups (Vehicular Cyclists) also opposed California 3 foot laws. Why? Please point out the specific clause of SB 488 that you think is so harmful to cyclists."

I object to (b)(1);

Quote:
An operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road user operating on a highway or street shall: vacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user is located if the highway has two or more marked lanes running in the same direction;
As long as the "vulnerable road user" is not in your lane, this implies that you have met the burden of the law. This will generate a groundswell of political support for more bike lanes on our streets to avoid having to merge into the next lane. Please note that nearly all our streets sport 11 foot lanes.

Which would you prefer, what we have now; A 11 foot bike lane next to an 11 foot car lane, or two nine foot lanes next to a three foot bike lane, where motorists (based on this law) need not change lanes to pass?

As to objecting to three foot laws, they are wrong-headed because they are seeking to make a redundant law rather than enforce the ones already on the books. Maybe the current law is adequate- How will we ever know if they are not enforced?

Current passing laws are already ignored, first by motorists and then by law enforcement, prosecutors and our courts. Three foot laws will be no different until we -as a society- again place public safety above traffic flow.

It is already the responsibility of the vehicle operator to overtake with due care. But when a motorist fails in his duty and he claims "he just came out of nowhere!" everyone gives him a pass. He is not held to account for his dereliction. No one is alarmed. 40,000 deaths a year is acceptable collateral damage in the name of keeping traffic moving.

No un-enforced law will change that attitude. If current law isn't being enforced and found wanting, new laws will be treated just the same. Three foot laws are just another way to blow smoke in your face.

So TBC works for two years to get this law passed, and the soonest it can "protect" us is September 2009. They could've demanded that current passing law be enforced. They could've demanded current reckless driving laws be enforced. That would help protect us today! It could've protected us for the past two years when TBC was off farting around with this instead!
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Old 04-29-09, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
All right, I've read the proposed law -- quoted by Gene a few posts back -- and I'm failing to see the new restrictions on cyclists. It does refer to existing restrictions in 551.103 and 551.104, but can you tell us more specifically what new restrictions you see it as adding?
Sec (i) will will cause cyclists to have to defend their movements if they leave a bike lane and get hit, and will give license to motorists to buzz anyone not in a bike lane if one is near.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
The bill does have several features that I like, including explicit rules against dooring and right hooks...acts which are probably illegal under existing Texas law, but which are laid out here in a way that even the dullest traffic court judge can understand.(SNIP- sorry for the confusion)
Perhaps all laws should be repeated multiple times then. Or maybe we should get rid of judges that cannot understand the law! (And yes, both dooring and right hooks are explicit illegal acts under current law.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
If anything, I would be more adamant about repealing 103 than 104. 555.103 is the standard "as far right as practicable" dribble that you see in a lot of states. It's not a particularly egregious variant, as these things go. It makes the usual exceptions for passing, left turns, road hazards, and narrow lanes, but not for destination positioning at intersections. It also has the "no more than two abreast" requirement, which makes no sense under conditions when a single cyclist would be taking the lane anyway.
Yes, 103 was what I meant. As FTR laws go, Texas's is about the best. Seeing how 14+ foot lanes are as rare as hen's teeth, I am always able to claim the lane. But 551.103, when compared to our slow moving vehicle law (quoted below) makes a lie out of 551.101:RIGHTS AND DUTIES.(a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this subtitle, unless: (1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or
(2) a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.


Quote:
Sec. 545.051.(b) An operator of a vehicle on a roadway moving more slowly than the normal speed of other vehicles at the time and place under the existing conditions shall drive in the right-hand lane available for vehicles, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
Rather than continuing to add exceptions, laws like this should be tossed out and replaced by a "slower vehicles shouldn't act like jerks" law that applies equally to everyone.
I would be happy to comply with 545.051 quoted above (SMV) since then cyclists would in fact have both the rights and duties as a motor vehicle operator. As it stands now, 551.103 grants us lesser rights and higher duties than slow moving motorists.

Cyclists would be better served by our "advocates" if they went about repealing 103 than the legislative ************ they do on our behalf now.
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Old 04-29-09, 05:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
Which would you prefer, what we have now; A 11 foot bike lane next to an 11 foot car lane, or two nine foot lanes next to a three foot bike lane, where motorists (based on this law) need not change lanes to pass?
I hate to say it but you lost me on this point. You can't have a 3' designated bike lane. If AASHTO says a 3' curb lane does not constitute a bike facility then being far right as safe does not include that space so you end up with a 9' bike lane.
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Old 04-29-09, 11:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Corrections:

Campagnolo Record/NR/SR/Victory/Triomphe/GS sidepulls can lock up under normal circumstances, and most certainly when equipped with Scott-Mathauser (Kool-Stop) pads.

That said, there is absolutely nothing faulty with a brake system that has the power/capability to lock the wheel. The fault lies in the person who fails to modulate said brake correctly under emergency (or any other) circumstances.

Fatal at "racing speeds?" If one is traveling at "racing speeds," I would hope - for their sake - that they understand how to modulate a brake properly in the first place; unlike a child back in 1963 who perceived the existence of a braking system solely as a method to spread burnt rubber on the tarmac.

For that matter, if your logic about locking a wheel had any merit, V-brakes, disk brakes, and dual pivot sidepulls would have been condemned before the designs ever had a chance to leave AutoCAD. The only folks who share your sympathies are the CPSC and inexperienced riders.

-Kurt
That was the only bike I ever had with non-locking brakes. Kool-stop pads weren't available in 63, were they? I only remember the pads were ivory colored new, turning brown with age and softer than black Schwinns. Bear in mind that this was a bike that had 5 rear cogs, downtube shifters, rectangle-profile rims (possibly steel, can't remember) and a leather saddle conditioned with fish oil (will never forget the smell).

Chipseal cited the wrong law, but if he had objected to skidding being a test of brakes' proper function, I would have agreed with him, because skidding is not the fastest way to stop, controlled modulation and continued tire rolling is, and it sure doesn't help you control your bike in most circumstances involving most cyclists.
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Old 04-29-09, 11:13 PM   #15
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That was the only bike I ever had with non-locking brakes. Kool-stop pads weren't available in 63, were they?
Mid '70s were when they first came out, IIRC. Don't know when the Model C's (for Campagnolo holders) came out officially.

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I only remember the pads were ivory colored new, turning brown with age and softer than black Schwinns.
On the Schwinns or on Campagnolo brakes? The stock Campagnolo pads were black for the longest time, until Victory popped up in '84/5 with tan pads. My biggest gripe with the old Campag pads is that they are prone to getting small aluminum shards from the rim sides stuck in them. Metal on metal, anyone?

-Kurt
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Old 04-30-09, 07:03 AM   #16
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So ChipSeal, basically your objections to the new law are based on:

First, that safe passing laws already exist, never mind that a motorists version of "safe pass" can be quite a bit different from a cyclists view of a "safe pass." And never mind that a clear cut definition would come out of the new laws.

Next, you believe that if the law passes, the state is going to suddenly run around and paint substandard bike lanes "everywhere," to "keep cyclists in their place." Your biggest fear is bike lanes... yet, I do not see a "mandatory bike lane use law" in your state... and if such a law did exist, why haven't such bike lanes already been painted "everywhere" to keep you in your place.

Sorry ChipSeal, but it sounds to me as if your fears are hardly founded, and based on some powerful false impressions, or perhaps what we might call "cyclist rights inferiority syndrome."
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Old 04-30-09, 11:42 AM   #17
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Quote: "(i) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law."

Just wanted to point out that a "defense to prosecution" is lesser than an "affirmative defense to prosecution," and that both are lesser than an "exception" to a law. I am still trying to read and comprehend the bill as it exists, but wanted to clarify that one point. Judges and juries must consider "defenses to prosecution," but a defense is something that must be considered, whereas affirmative defenses and exceptions are more absolute.

To put this into perspective, a defense is something that a defense attorney brings up in court, to try to get the case thrown out, in a criminal or civil case, or to mitigate damages awarded in a civil case. An affirmative defense or an exception is something that should be heeded at the scene of the investigation. A citation can be issued, or an arrest made, even though a "defense to prosecution" exists.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:57 AM   #18
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Quote: "(i) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law."
I'll note a freind was killed by a motorist doing 50mph on a 35mph road while he was trying to cross the road. Sight lines were such that there is not enough reaction time to see a motorist traveling that fast, but since the cyclist had the stop sign and the obligation to yield he was at fault.

In short the motorist should not be allowed to be acting in violation of the law either.
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Old 04-30-09, 12:08 PM   #19
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Because none of the present laws are being enforced, why should we think this law (identical to present laws, but without defining "safe distance") will be enforced? Is that why the laws governing overtaking are ignored, because a precise distance is not codified in the law? Yeah, I bet that's the problem.

The law we have now is known. New legislation is not known. There is plenty of mischief and unintended consequences with "new" laws. Far safer for preserving our rights and liberties to enforce present law over writing new laws.

And by identical laws I mean the "opening your door into traffic prohibition", and "yield to oncoming traffic when turning left". Both which are in the "new" law. Huh?

I know I am repeating myself, I just want to be clear.

And yes, I am very jealous of our rights. That's one thing that makes Texans different from Californians.



Edit: It has come to my attention that the red portion of the above post has been lifted from the context of the paragraph in order to twist it's meaning.

These apparent illiterates, (And you know who you are!) make it out to mean "All citizens are familiar with all the laws", rather than the intended meaning (made obvious from the context) of "present law is codified and fixed". This was to be contrasted with the plastic and unformed statute percolating in the legislative process- which when finished, the end product can be quite different in its final form than the proponents had expected when the process was initiated.

Last edited by ChipSeal; 05-03-09 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Slanderous use of this post by removing context.
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Old 04-30-09, 12:35 PM   #20
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I'll note a freind was killed by a motorist doing 50mph on a 35mph road while he was trying to cross the road. Sight lines were such that there is not enough reaction time to see a motorist traveling that fast, but since the cyclist had the stop sign and the obligation to yield he was at fault.

In short the motorist should not be allowed to be acting in violation of the law either.
This is quite true. If evidence existed that the driver of the car was moving at such an excessive speed, the charge of manslaughter should at least have been considered by the legal system.

Unfortunately, most judges, grand jurors, and petit jurors are drivers, and tend to be hesitant to throw the book at drivers who kill, unless alcohol or other intoxicants were a factor. Drivers who RAN OFF THE ROADWAY, when distracted by such things as mobile phones, and then struck police officers, have been acquitted. If the system won't protect police officers, will it protect the rest of us?
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Old 04-30-09, 07:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
Because none of the present laws are being enforced, why should we think this law (identical to present laws, but without defining "safe distance") will be enforced? Is that why the laws governing overtaking are ignored, because a precise distance is not codified in the law? Yeah, I bet that's the problem.

The law we have now is known. New legislation is not known. There is plenty of mischief and unintended consequences with "new" laws. Far safer for preserving our rights and liberties to enforce present law over writing new laws.

And by identical laws I mean the "opening your door into traffic prohibition", and "yield to oncoming traffic when turning left". Both which are in the "new" law. Huh?

I know I am repeating myself, I just want to be clear.

And yes, I am very jealous of our rights. That's one thing that makes Texans different from Californians.
I'm willing to bet there are plenty of motorists out there that have no clue about the rights of cyclists on the road.

Do yourself a favor and at the next public event you attend, where folks don't know you... (wedding, party, that sort of thing) ask around and see what folks really think of cyclists on the road. Just bring it up in casual conversation.

I think you might be quite surprised.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:44 AM   #22
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I'm willing to bet there are plenty of motorists out there that have no clue about the rights of cyclists on the road.

Do yourself a favor and at the next public event you attend, where folks don't know you... (wedding, party, that sort of thing) ask around and see what folks really think of cyclists on the road. Just bring it up in casual conversation.

I think you might be quite surprised.
(ChipSeal shrugs.) I am not waiting for motorists to become aware of my rights, I simply assert them. When I am in the lane in front of them, they have to deal with cyclist's rights whether they know what they are or not.
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Old 05-01-09, 06:15 AM   #23
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(ChipSeal shrugs.) I am not waiting for motorists to become aware of my rights, I simply assert them. When I am in the lane in front of them, they have to deal with cyclist's rights whether they know what they are or not.
Shrug all you want... you're the one that said "The law we have now is known."
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