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Old 11-19-10, 03:43 PM   #1
GriddleCakes
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Advocacy in action, and the new Slow The **** Down On The Sidewalk law.

The Anchorage Assembly has been re-hashing Title 9 of the municipal code, which deals with vehicles and traffic, since summer before last. Most of the re-write will only affect cars, but the bicycle section is getting a touch-up as well. And one of the proposed changes, dealing with right of way at driveways and intersections, has had cyclists up in arms.

The Anchorage Police Department had submitted a change that would have shifted the right of way, on the sidewalk/crosswalk wherever it crossed a driveway/roadway, from bikes to cars (peds would retain the right of way). The relevant ordinance would read (changed text bolded):

9.38.020 Applicability of traffic laws to riders.
C. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway, except when crossing a roadway or street intersecting a sidewalk, trail or pathway, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

Their reasoning, which I agree with, was that they needed some way to enforce safer sidewalk cycling, but their execution would've put cyclists at fault every time an incident occurred at a driveway or crosswalk. For example, a right turning motorist could strike a child riding legally across a marked crosswalk, and the child would be at fault.

So BCA, the local advocacy group, worked to get cyclists to call and email their representative Assembly members, and to get cyclists to show up at Assembly meetings during the public hearing period of the re-write. And then, through what I can only imagine to be an incredibly tedious campaign of networking with The Bureaucracy (the Lady G'Cakes works for the gov't, so I've heard horror stories) they got the re-write to read this instead (changed text bolded):

9.38.020 Applicability of traffic laws to riders.
C. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
1. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall not operate the vehicle at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour when approaching or entering an uncontrolled crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway, or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the uncontrolled crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp.
2. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway, when entering a controlled intersection, must obey the traffic control device and enter the intersection at a reasonable and prudent speed.
3. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall operate the vehicle at a reasonable and prudent speed when in the presence of pedestrians on the same sidewalk, trail or pathway, consistent with 9.38.070.


And cars are still required to come to a complete stop before crossing a sidewalk, trail, or pathway (and some of them actually do!), so basically it boils down to the APD having the ability to ticket whomever was acting the most recklessly. Plus, we get a 3 foot passing distance law, and some of the ambiguity has been removed from the ordinance stating when I can take the lane ("road too narrow" has been replaced with "when the travel lane is too narrow to provide for the cyclist and an overtaking motor vehicle to travel side by side with a safe distance of at least three feet between the two").

Go BCA, and go bicycle advocacy!
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Old 11-19-10, 05:57 PM   #2
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How about a Get The **** Off Of The Sidewalk law for bicyclists?
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Old 11-19-10, 08:49 PM   #3
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How about a Get The **** Off Of The Sidewalk law for bicyclists?
Better still:- How about cars get the **** off the sidewalk.
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Old 11-19-10, 09:01 PM   #4
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Should (fast) runners also have to slow below 10mph when crossing?
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Old 11-19-10, 09:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CritEastwood View Post
How about a Get The **** Off Of The Sidewalk law for bicyclists?
TOTALLY!! I mean, children should either learn to ride in the road and be able to maintain a 20 mph pace, or shouldn't be allowed on bikes in the city, which are ONLY transportation devices for the hale, hearty, and strong. What's that grandma? You just want to be able to ride your cruiser a few miles down to the post office or to the park, but can't pedal fast enough to be able to ride in traffic? Too bad, b****, guess that your gonna have to walk or take the car. Oh, you can't walk because of your aged hip joints? Cry me a f***in' river.

HEY, YOU THERE! WHAT'RE YOU DOING ON THE SIDEWALK!? Oh, too scared to ride on a 45 mph cross-town arterial with no shoulder, are we? Look, chump, I don't care that this town was built entirely for automotive traffic, and that there are no low traffic, low speed routes across midtown. Now you get in that road, and if you don't want to do it on a bike, then you better start driving. What's that? Can't afford a car? Tough s***, pauper. Ever heard of the bus? What? Woefully underfunded public transportation system? Look, if you have to get to work an hour early, get home an hour late, and end up walking three hours on Saturday and Sunday because the bus don't run until 10:00 am, how is that my problem, you poor piece of s***? You want to spend more time with your family? Give me your address, buddy, and I'll keep your wife company during your two hour bus commute.

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Should (fast) runners also have to slow below 10mph when crossing?
No, peds retain the right of way.
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Old 11-20-10, 01:35 AM   #6
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snip drama
well done...and you will be

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Old 11-20-10, 08:03 AM   #7
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Your revised ordinance has some drafting issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
9.38.020 Applicability of traffic laws to riders.
C. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Your revisions impose duties upon persons operating a vehicle by human power that are not applicable to a pedestrian operating under the same circumstances, which makes the conditions you list below inconsistent with the language of this general provision. This sentence should start with, "Except as provided below ..."

Quote:
1. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall not operate the vehicle at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour when approaching or entering an uncontrolled crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway, or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the uncontrolled crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp.
So if there is no motor vehicle approaching the uncontrolled intersection, a person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk etc. can operate his vehicle at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour? What is the rationale behind applying this limitation only when a motor vehicle is approaching? Why does it not apply when a non-motorized vehicle is approaching?

Quote:
2. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway, when entering a controlled intersection, must obey the traffic control device and enter the intersection at a reasonable and prudent speed.
Is there a provision in either the city ordinance or the Alaska state vehicle code that requires both vehicles and pedestrians to obey traffic control devices? If so, why is this provision necessary?

Why does this subsection use the word "must," when the other subsections use the word "shall"?

Putting aside those issues, the phrase "when entering a controlled intersection" is in an awkward place. The subsection would read much better if it said: "When entering a controlled intersection, person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway must obey the traffic control device and enter the intersection at a reasonable and prudent speed."

Quote:
3. A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, trail or pathway shall operate the vehicle at a reasonable and prudent speed when in the presence of pedestrians on the same sidewalk, trail or pathway, consistent with 9.38.070.[/b]
Does this mean that when the person operating the human-powered vehicle is not in the presence of pedestrians, and not approaching a controlled intersection, he may operate the vehicle at an unreasonable and imprudent speed?
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