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  1. #1
    Crotchety Twentysomething
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    progressive states for cyclists?

    I'm doing a paper on bike laws and I was wondering if anyone had a sense of any states that are particularly progressive when it comes to bikes. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    no surrender
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    California I'm sure
    Just, There Are No Poseurs, everyone has a reason to ride... if you're reason is to dress up like Marco Pantani on Sundays and pretend you're winning the Giro and TdF back to back, that's a great reason to ride! -- ultra-g

  3. #3
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    You will have a fun time defining "progressive." As this thread shows, some cyclists consider bike lanes progressive, others consider them oppressive. For one perspective on what makes a community "progressive," check out the LAB Reform website. ("LAB" is the League of American Bicyclists.)

    If you want an example of the debate, compare Portland's description of its extensive bike lane network with a strong critique.

    This website discusses various pro- and anti-cycling laws and breaks them down state by state.

    Here's a site that grades state laws by these criteria. So far, North Carolina has the best grade, a "B." The list is not complete.

    At this site, the Ohio Bike Federation explains why it gave its "Cyclist Friendly Community Award" to Vandalia, Ohio.

    Disclosure: My bias (and that of most of the sources I cite) is that bike lanes are generally not "progressive." In order to avoid a threadjack, I'll just refer you to the thread mentioned at the top of this post for the reasons.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-25-05 at 07:46 AM.

  4. #4
    Crotchety Twentysomething
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    thanks umbra, i'll look into their laws. paper's due in about 4 hours, though, so not sure how good its going to come out.

  5. #5
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    The European Union is proposing that all of Europe adopt Holland's law: if a cyclist is injured by a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle operator must pay the cyclist's medical bills. Holland has discovered that the rule: "the motorist is always liable" causes drivers to be MUCH more respectful of people on bikes.

    I do not know of any place in the USA with such a law. The motor vehicle industry is so powerful in the USA that I am surprised that bicycles are still allowed on public roadways.

    The "unofficial" rule of the Houston Police Department is: when a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the cylist had it coming. Just one driver has gone to jail for killing a cyclist in the past ten years in Houston...out of dozens of fatal collisions.

  6. #6
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    Oregon is a fairly good state for cyclists... especially in Portland, Eugene and Corvallis...

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    Idaho : bikes treat stop signs as yields and stop lights like stop signs. Rock out!
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakey
    Oregon is a fairly good state for cyclists... especially in Portland, Eugene and Corvallis...
    I'll second that Jakey, there are several law firms in Portland that specialize in bike issues and law. Plus you can find information from Bicycle Transportation Alliance at http://www.bta4bikes.org/

    I've lived in lots of places, this beats them all for bike friendly backed up in law.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
    Dart Board velocity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty
    I'll second that Jakey, there are several law firms in Portland that specialize in bike issues and law. Plus you can find information from Bicycle Transportation Alliance at http://www.bta4bikes.org/

    I've lived in lots of places, this beats them all for bike friendly backed up in law.
    I third that- it has over 400+ miles of bike lanes in the Portland area alone. Laws that say evertime a road is built or restored the addition of a bike lane is manditory.
    Velocity

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    <snip> North Carolina has the best grade, a "B." <snip>
    That's shocking. Really. Good to hear, but shocking...

    I think we have much further to go.
    Until the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) starts looking like Portland or Madison, I'll still have my doubts.
    Bike lanes are rare, so I guess 50% of the people think that's a good thing

  11. #11
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    I live in a particularly regressive state: Illinois. If you need negative examples, check out the League of Illinois Bicyclists' website and search on the "Boub" legislation.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

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    I'm Melting..... 03FinestAL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakey
    Oregon is a fairly good state for cyclists... especially in Portland, Eugene and Corvallis...
    Now only if "Bubba" in his BIG FORD truck could figure this out......

    Two days ago I was riding on West Union Rd just north of Hwy 26 when a MORON who was driving a big black Ford pick-up (the opposite direction) made absolutely positive that I could see him "giving me the bird" as he drove by.

    The laws here are good, the drivers are idiots......

  13. #13
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    South Carolina's bike laws are pretty much basic "same rules, same rights" as autos with just a few exceptions. Very few special statutes have ever been written for bikes. Other then the blinking red light law, I can't remember anything special added in my adult life.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Drive the Bicycle.
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    - - And check out this entry from our own Bike Forums in November 22, 2004.

    The LAB Bicycle Friendly Communities Awards
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  15. #15
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I think States might be too large a category. You may want to try municipalities. I'd say Santa Barbara ranks pretty high on the progressive scale if for no other reason than we have a strong bicycle coalition that has had a lot of effect on how roads are designed. That they would even be listened to seems progressive to me. Seems like university towns are usually progressive about laws in general.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HumdrumPG
    I'm doing a paper on bike laws and I was wondering if anyone had a sense of any states that are particularly progressive when it comes to bikes. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
    I think New York City is very prograssive when it comes to bikes. We have a militant organzation (Transportation Alternatives) who fights and won many victories for the cyclist. They managed to get bike lanes, bike paths, 24/7 train access for bikes, access to many bridges etc.

    However, as progressive as it seems, the city issues thousands of summons to cyclists each year. Bike theft is out of control and many bike lanes are in terrible shape.

    I'm one of those who thinks bike racks are oppressive because they force you to park next to crooks on department store cycles.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumdrumPG
    ... any states that are particularly progressive when it comes to bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    You will have a fun time defining "progressive."
    From the Bicycle-Specific Considerations in General Driving Rules section of the Bicycles and the Traffic Law paper by Dr. Paul Schimek
    All the general rules for driving vehicles apply to bicycles. There are very few bicycle-specific rules that are necessary. There are only a few sections of the general traffic rules that need to be revised to take bicycles into account. In fact, several states (AR, IN, IA, KY, NC) have hardly any statutes that apply exclusively to bicycles.
    BTW, I've been traveling by bicycle in one of those states (NC) for over a dozen years. I've found that having all the vehicle drivers (cyclists are legally drivers here) use the same set of rules increases both safety (less confusion about who does what, when they do it, where they do it & why they do it) and efficiency (cyclists have the same right of way as motorists).

    Same roads, same rights, same rules.
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    California rates pretty well among states, and I think much of San Diego County rates above most of the rest of the state. Never underestimate the power of a well-organized coalition!
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  19. #19
    18 dog baby
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    Not Hawaii!
    Legality is one thing: Oahu, the capital island, is meant to have a comprehensive masterplan. Officially, the establishment backs bikes all the way.
    Reality is another: Our government siphons money away from bike projects like crazy.
    One huge sticking point in Hawaii law: bicyclist are treated as motorists: they must follow all rules and regulations, including that silly thing about not speeding. Except when it comes to right of way. We are forced into the extreme fringe of the road. And if there's a wide enough shoulder, the law says were MUST get off the road.
    mah-ha

  20. #20
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Oregon seems to rock in most every way. I'm lookin' to move there in a little bit...
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2mtr
    ... One huge sticking point in Hawaii law: bicyclist are treated as motorists: they must follow all rules and regulations, including that silly thing about not speeding. Except when it comes to right of way. We are forced into the extreme fringe of the road. And if there's a wide enough shoulder, the law says were MUST get off the road.
    Actually, Hawaii closely follows California law:

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscur...0291c-0145.htm

    including exception conditions under which you are NOT obligated to use the shoulder. We have argued this one in the bicycle coalition; in practice, I am not convinced I see a problem.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  22. #22
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    There should be an informal rule that anyone who uses this forum to request information for a paper or for publication should post a copy of the completed project (with names deleted, if the writer wants to).

    HumdrumPG, could you post the paper when you're done?

  23. #23
    chicharron
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumdrumPG
    I'm doing a paper on bike laws and I was wondering if anyone had a sense of any states that are particularly progressive when it comes to bikes. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
    I would not include Missouri,where I live, as a progressive bicylce state. Scottogo, who lives in Oregon, knows about Oregon, which seems pretty progresive as far as bicylces go.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    The European Union is proposing that all of Europe adopt Holland's law: if a cyclist is injured by a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle operator must pay the cyclist's medical bills. Holland has discovered that the rule: "the motorist is always liable" causes drivers to be MUCH more respectful of people on bikes.

    .
    Has it made the cyclists more responsible? I would be against a law such as this because it would hold a driver with a green light responsible for the injuries of a cyclist that ran a red light.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2mtr
    Not Hawaii!
    Legality is one thing: Oahu, the capital island, is meant to have a comprehensive masterplan. Officially, the establishment backs bikes all the way.
    Reality is another: Our government siphons money away from bike projects like crazy.
    One huge sticking point in Hawaii law: bicyclist are treated as motorists: they must follow all rules and regulations, including that silly thing about not speeding. Except when it comes to right of way. We are forced into the extreme fringe of the road. And if there's a wide enough shoulder, the law says were MUST get off the road.
    hawaiian law enforcement most likely will be slanted against those who live in the mainland of the U.S. 'Cause of the accusement in that they took the land away from the others.

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