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  1. #1
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Rick Perry just lost a bunch of votes, should he ever run for office again

    Dear fellow Texas cyclists,

    We are stunned. After passing SB 488 through both houses of the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan margins and responding to every legislator's concern with information or compromise, Governor Perry killed the bill today.

    In spite of the huge number of phone calls in the span of two very intense hours, Governor Perry vetoed the Safe Passing bill, SB 488.

    Thanks to all of you who responded to the BikeTexas Action Alert today and called the Governor's office.

    We are extremely disappointed with the Governor's action. In our view, this reflects a cavalier attitude on the part of the Governor toward the deaths of the 1000 vulnerable road users that are killed annually in Texas.

    It is well known that Rick Perry rides a bike on the streets and on the trails. Unfortunately, ordinary Texans do not have a security detail to shield them from motorists who drive dangerously.

    BikeTexas strongly disagrees with the reasoning stated in the veto message from the Governor below. Law enforcement, prosecutors, AAA, AARP, Texas Motorcycle Rights Association and Texas Towing and Storage Association joined BikeTexas in supporting SB 488 because they also believed this bill could have saved lives.

    We will keep you informed regarding the next steps. Please stay tuned.

    Respectfully,

    Robin Stallings
    Executive Director
    BikeTexas

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From the Office of the Governor website
    http://governor.state.tx.us/news/veto/12636/

    Gov. Perry Vetoes SB 488
    June 19, 2009

    TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:

    Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14 of the Texas Constitution, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto Senate Bill No. 488 of the 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, due to the following objections:

    Senate Bill No. 488 would create a new class of users of roadways, called “vulnerable road users,” which would require specific actions by operators of motor vehicles. These vulnerable road users would include pedestrians; highway construction and maintenance workers; tow truck operators; stranded motorists or passengers; people on horseback; bicyclists; motorcyclists; moped riders; and other similar road users.

    Many road users placed into the category of vulnerable road users already have operation regulations and restrictions in statute. For example, a person operating a vehicle being drawn by an animal is subject to the same duties as a motor vehicle, and a pedestrian is required to yield the right of way to a motor vehicle, unless he or she is at an intersection or crosswalk.

    While I am in favor of measures that make our roads safer for everyone, this bill contradicts much of the current statute and places the liability and responsibility on the operator of a motor vehicle when encountering one of these vulnerable road users. In addition, an operator of a motor vehicle is already subject to penalties when he or she is at fault for causing a collision or operating recklessly, whether it is against a “vulnerable user” or not.

    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this the 19th day of June, 2009.

    RICK PERRY
    Governor of Texas
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  2. #2
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Pisser.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  3. #3
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    http://texans.forkay.com/

    She could be aiding and abetting the communists and she's got my vote now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    There were parts of the bill that had me scratching my head, and feeling a bit uncomfortable about some unintended consequences that could arise from some aspects of it. (I would be one of the badge guys, enforcing it, and a cyclist on my own time, as well as a driver of cars.) I am not surprised to see it vetoed, and am not angry about it. Just to be clear, I certainly DO believe we need some tweaking of the current traffic laws involving bicycles, OK? I hope the next session can result in a more practical bill being passed. Meanwhile, I would be all for more TRAINING being mandated for Texas police officers. There are actually some very good laws in the Traffic Code that can be used to make the streets a safer place for cyclists. Too many police officers do not know the bicycle's place on the streets, and make bad decisions when investigating collisions, or encountering violations of a cyclist's R.O.W. while on patrol. Quite a few officers think cyclists do not belong in the street, or think that a cyclist must act as a pedestrian when in the street.

    It is already illegal to right-hook a cyclist, for example, because it is already illegal to right-hook a car, pedestrian, or anything/anyone else that already has the right-of-way. It is not codified as a right hook, per se, but is included in failure-to-yield R.O.W. offense titles. "Failure to Yield Right-of-Way, Making a Right Turn" is a ticketable offense, whether or not a collision occurred, and whether the wronged party is a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. Yet, it is probable that many, if not most, police officers would take no action if they saw car right-hooking a cyclist, if the cyclist managed to dodge the car.

    Moreover, bumping something up to a higher misdemeanor does NOT mean enforcement will increase, and can result in LESS enforcement. An example, not involving cyclists, was when "passing a school bus while loading or unloading children" was bumped up to a Class B misdemeanor some years back. Something for which I used to write tickets, was suddenly going to take several hours to complete. With so many other things competing for my time and attention, what had been a focus of mine, became one of the things I did once upon a time, back in the day.

    Another example is the offense "Exhibition of Acceleration," which was a useful tool against aggressive drivers, when it was not possible to actually pace someone, or otherwise get a measure of their speed. When that charge was bumped to a Class B misdemeanor, it suddenly became something much less practical to enforce, except in the most egregious of cases, such as when going after people who are street-racing.

    Edited to add: Just to be clear, I was not against SB 488, just really wondering, and concerned, about parts of it
    Last edited by Rex G; 06-20-09 at 12:32 AM.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    He is a politician.

    From The Chronicle:

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry vetoed an ethics-related measure that would have mandated a waiting period before former Harris County employees could lobby the county or benefit from contracts they worked on as employees.
    It was among 35 bills that Perry vetoed this session, along with measures that required motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing on most highways, that would have expanded the state’s pre-kindergarten program and given the state new powers to seize children and their medical records without a parent’s consent or a court hearing. He also vetoed three resolutions.
    In his veto message, Perry said he rejected the ethics bill, authored by Sen. Mario Gallegos, because it addressed lobbying matters and related criminal penalties only in Harris County, not statewide, and thus characterized it unconstitutional.
    Gallegos, a Houston Democrat, said he was surprised at the veto because the bill’s language had been revised to address constitutional issues and further because the governor’s office called him around noon Friday saying Perry was going to bless it.
    But around 7:15 p.m., Gallegos said, the governor’s office called again and said the attorney general’s office had declared it unconstitutional.
    “I was told several people from Harris County called him (the governor) and told him to the veto the bill. It was a good ethics bill,” Gallegos said.
    The so-called “revolving door” restriction required former county employees to wait two years before lobbying.
    Perry, a cyclist who recently broke his collarbone in a mountain-biking accident, also vetoed a “safe passing” bill that was a top priority for vulnerable road users.
    The veto of the cycling measure, which would have required motorists to give cyclists and others at least 3 feet of clearance when passing on most highways, drew a strong reaction from some cyclists.
    “We are stunned because he’s our guy, and we feel disappointed, even betrayed by our guy,” said Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas, the educational arm of the Texas Bicycle Coalition
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  6. #6
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus View Post
    http://texans.forkay.com/

    She could be aiding and abetting the communists and she's got my vote now.
    I would agree if I didn't think we needed her more where she is now........

  7. #7
    just a commuter
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    Thumbs up Guv did the right thing this time

    This is a rare courageous thing for a politician to do: listening to reason and doing the right thing despite popular opinion. Have you read PM Summer's comments? With the interest caused by the follow-up publicity over this ill-considered bill, now is the time to start doing something that will actually benefit cyclists.
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  8. #8
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Perhaps now is the time to urge our "bicycle advocates" to do something that will help cyclist safety right now while we wait for the next legislative session to begin.

    We should tell them that we want our local police and district attorneys to enforce Texas vehicle code Sec. 545.401.* Then, rather than having them seek redundant new laws that erode cyclist's standing as recognized vehicles under the law, they ought to make the penalties for existing law stiffer.

    They should urge that ninja, sidewalk, and salmon behavior be strictly enforced as well. Perhaps they don't advocate for such immediately life saving things because our "advocates" are not really interested in reducing the carnage.

    *Sec. 545.401 RECKLESS DRIVING; OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  9. #9
    insert witty comment here Mr_Christopher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus View Post
    http://texans.forkay.com/

    She could be aiding and abetting the communists and she's got my vote now.
    ANYONE not named Perry has my vote, and my feelings have nothing to do with this bill.

  10. #10
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Christopher View Post
    ANYONE not named Perry has my vote, and my feelings have nothing to do with this bill.
    Yeah, same here.

    As for the bill, I think the whole campaign for passage was a feel-good, yay-rah-rah for the Texas cycling advocacy community up until yesterday. It was an opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and how to rally and motivate the cycling community toward a goal. They fell short, but I think their effectiveness is increasing.

    I think they still have more to learn as to what really is needed as far as cyclists. This law would have been very visible in terms of the prestige of the cycling community, and could have built public awareness for cycling in the greater community. But as a commuting cyclist, I think there are things that can be done with less hoopla that would be more effective (such as requiring discussion of traffic laws pertaining to cyclists during the 6-hour course people take to get their tickets thrown out, for instance).

    I really didn't think passage of the law would have much effect on me. The people who buzz me (either out of inattentiveness or maliciousness) would buzz me regardless of the law.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  11. #11
    member
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    Reading the PM Summer comments makes me sick.... IMO he's one of the reasons Dallas is in the dark ages of cycling and is regularly rated one of the worst cities for cycling.

  12. #12
    Rumblefish jtarver's Avatar
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    You can't "lose" a vote you never had...Still plenty of Republicans in Texas to keep the Neo-Con ball rolling. Oh well, that's Democracy at work, I suppose....
    1973 Crescent Pepita FG, 1987 Panasonic DX-4000, 1991 Trek 1400 FG, 1990's Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-e-Koo SS, 1990's Denti Road Tech Five, 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  13. #13
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedaljeeps View Post
    Reading the PM Summer comments makes me sick.... IMO he's one of the reasons Dallas is in the dark ages of cycling and is regularly rated one of the worst cities for cycling.
    Just curious about what makes a "bike friendly" town. Is it bike lanes? Is it MUPs? Is it just having more cyclists on the street? I don't put much stock in the ratings game.

    I was always under the impression that Austin was more bike friendly than Dallas. That is, until I spent a day riding around there. My daughter and I were were buzzed more times in our time riding in Austin than in a year of riding in Dallas. Each and every time it happened, we were in a bike lane and two of those were by city buses.

    I used to think I wanted bike lanes, but I'm learning that, unless they have a physical divider, they actually do less to protect cyclists. Here's an example of what to expect with after-the-fact bike lanes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV3gfabmrnc

    PM Summer may have his issues and come across as a jerk (I've never met him, so he might actually be a jerk). But, one thing he has done right is help keep the bike lanes out of Dallas.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  14. #14
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Would things have been different if this guy made a phone call?


  15. #15
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedaljeeps View Post
    Reading the PM Summer comments makes me sick.... IMO he's one of the reasons Dallas is in the dark ages of cycling and is regularly rated one of the worst cities for cycling.
    Sorry, to address his comments on the veto...

    He has some valid points. However, what evidence do we have that we can get better enforcement for the laws already on the books? Most of these laws have been around for decades and are rarely, if ever enforced.

    The publicity that could have been generated by a safe passage law would have, at least in the short term, put cyclists' right to the road in the forefront of many drivers' minds.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  16. #16
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
    Would things have been different if this guy made a phone call?
    Maybe, but we'd have to get him off the trails and onto the streets.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  17. #17
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Maybe, but we'd have to get him off the trails and onto the streets.
    It's too dangerous on the streets.








    ...and the cycle continues...

  18. #18
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    Thanks for helping me understand why it might have been vetoed, Rex. In the abstract, the bill sounded like a needed thing, but when you look at the working parts it might not have helped the current situation. I agree that better training and awareness among the police officers would probably have a more positive impact for cyclists.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    There were parts of the bill that had me scratching my head, and feeling a bit uncomfortable about some unintended consequences that could arise from some aspects of it. (I would be one of the badge guys, enforcing it, and a cyclist on my own time, as well as a driver of cars.) I am not surprised to see it vetoed, and am not angry about it. Just to be clear, I certainly DO believe we need some tweaking of the current traffic laws involving bicycles, OK? I hope the next session can result in a more practical bill being passed. Meanwhile, I would be all for more TRAINING being mandated for Texas police officers. There are actually some very good laws in the Traffic Code that can be used to make the streets a safer place for cyclists. Too many police officers do not know the bicycle's place on the streets, and make bad decisions when investigating collisions, or encountering violations of a cyclist's R.O.W. while on patrol. Quite a few officers think cyclists do not belong in the street, or think that a cyclist must act as a pedestrian when in the street.

    It is already illegal to right-hook a cyclist, for example, because it is already illegal to right-hook a car, pedestrian, or anything/anyone else that already has the right-of-way. It is not codified as a right hook, per se, but is included in failure-to-yield R.O.W. offense titles. "Failure to Yield Right-of-Way, Making a Right Turn" is a ticketable offense, whether or not a collision occurred, and whether the wronged party is a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. Yet, it is probable that many, if not most, police officers would take no action if they saw car right-hooking a cyclist, if the cyclist managed to dodge the car.

    Moreover, bumping something up to a higher misdemeanor does NOT mean enforcement will increase, and can result in LESS enforcement. An example, not involving cyclists, was when "passing a school bus while loading or unloading children" was bumped up to a Class B misdemeanor some years back. Something for which I used to write tickets, was suddenly going to take several hours to complete. With so many other things competing for my time and attention, what had been a focus of mine, became one of the things I did once upon a time, back in the day.

    Another example is the offense "Exhibition of Acceleration," which was a useful tool against aggressive drivers, when it was not possible to actually pace someone, or otherwise get a measure of their speed. When that charge was bumped to a Class B misdemeanor, it suddenly became something much less practical to enforce, except in the most egregious of cases, such as when going after people who are street-racing.

    Edited to add: Just to be clear, I was not against SB 488, just really wondering, and concerned, about parts of it

    Interesting points Rex.

  20. #20
    insert witty comment here Mr_Christopher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
    Would things have been different if this guy made a phone call?

    Probably not, that guys is so yesterday's news. I wish someone would get him a road bike. Something classic, lugged steel, maybe something with more upright bars. I mean riding a competition worthy mountain bike at WRL? Come on George, let's ride something a little cooler on the pavement. Maybe one of those Gary Fisher's Simple City with the 8 speed internal hub or something.

  21. #21
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    I can't honestly say I'd vote for Perry, despite his veto, but I could not see ANYTHING the bill did that would actually HELP cyclist rights - and it definitely had possible negative interpretations.

    Why cycling advocacy groups expended political capital on such a bill in the first place (AGAIN) is a mystery to me - what were there, maybe ONE prosecution nationwide under such laws last year? If we're going to get worked up about something, why not just repeal 551.103 and be done with it? Looked at rationally, 551.103 is just "Jim Crow" for cyclists. In my book, a cycling advocacy campaign that supports something like SB488 when 551.103 exists isn't worthy of that designation...

  22. #22
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedaljeeps View Post
    Reading the PM Summer comments makes me sick.... IMO he's one of the reasons Dallas is in the dark ages of cycling and is regularly rated one of the worst cities for cycling.
    It is only rated the worst city to ride in by folks who have never ridden here. Here is a write-up about an actual experience of riding in the city of Dallas. Perhaps if those who rate the bicycle-friendliness of cities would rate them by actually riding in the said cities rather than how much paint is on the streets, they would be more meaningful.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  23. #23
    Senior Member kwrides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A View Post
    I can't honestly say I'd vote for Perry, despite his veto, but I could not see ANYTHING the bill did that would actually HELP cyclist rights - and it definitely had possible negative interpretations.

    Why cycling advocacy groups expended political capital on such a bill in the first place (AGAIN) is a mystery to me - what were there, maybe ONE prosecution nationwide under such laws last year? If we're going to get worked up about something, why not just repeal 551.103 and be done with it? Looked at rationally, 551.103 is just "Jim Crow" for cyclists. In my book, a cycling advocacy campaign that supports something like SB488 when 551.103 exists isn't worthy of that designation...
    I have not read the bill, so shoot me if I'm wrong here, but there is another post that says cars would have been required by law to leave 3 feet when passing a cyclist. I would say that is something good for cyclists.

    Now, there may be a million reasons this was not a good bill, but you said "ANYTHING".

  24. #24
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    I have not read the bill, so shoot me if I'm wrong here, but there is another post that says cars would have been required by law to leave 3 feet when passing a cyclist. I would say that is something good for cyclists.

    Now, there may be a million reasons this was not a good bill, but you said "ANYTHING".
    And commercial trucks would have to give six feet of clearance. However, neither automobiles nor trucks would have to deviate from their line of travel if a bike lane were present. How's that for good bicycle "advocacy"?

    And some states like Florida that have had this on their books for awhile, (They have the highest mortality rate for cyclists.) they have not yet cited ONE SINGLE person for violating their three-foot rule. I wonder, has anyone, anywhere in the nation, been cited for passing too close?
    Last edited by ChipSeal; 06-21-09 at 10:57 AM.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  25. #25
    Rumblefish jtarver's Avatar
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    IMO the best thing Texas could do is retire the "Click it or Ticket" campaign and replace it with a new one dealing with bike law. I mean, everyone knows you must wear a seat belt by now, it's been the law for decades. Why not a media blitz regarding bicycle law as it applies to cyclists and motorists?
    1973 Crescent Pepita FG, 1987 Panasonic DX-4000, 1991 Trek 1400 FG, 1990's Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-e-Koo SS, 1990's Denti Road Tech Five, 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker

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