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How's This For a Bicycle Law?

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How's This For a Bicycle Law?

Old 10-15-18, 08:53 AM
  #1  
Paul Barnard
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How's This For a Bicycle Law?

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_ro...69954fa61.html

A parish in LA is the same as a county in normal states. West Feliciana Parish is a rural county with low traffic density on beautiful low traffic density back roads. As a consequence the area attracts bicyclists from all over the region. I am dumbfounded by how poorly worded the law is. I am oddly fascinated that an inattentive motorist driving on a bright sunny day with great sightlines can mow over a cyclist, and the parish sees burdening cyclists with additional laws as the best course of action.
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Old 10-15-18, 09:49 AM
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Car centric society... what do you expect?

BTW everytime I followed the link to that news site, up popped a phishing "you won" site.

This may happen to others... perhaps you can paste the laws here... the article buries them.
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Old 10-15-18, 10:06 AM
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I don't know why you are getting that pop up. I have never had any issues accessing The Advocate. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Here's the details.

The ordinance includes the following new rules:
  • That cyclists "wear an outer garment above the waist of which a majority of the material must be high visibility fluorescent colors and must have a forward and rear facing light with daylight visibility a minimum of one half a mile."
  • That except for when passing, cyclists "will ride single file within two feet of the right hand side of the road" and "complete their passing procedure within 1/10 of a mile."
  • And that cyclists "will ride in groups of no more than 10 riders with a minimum separation between cycling groups of at least a quarter mile."
Another section of the ordinance applies to bicycle races within the parish, requiring organizers to obtain a permit beforehand and make sure road markings and signage are removed within 24 hours after the race.

The fine for violation is $100. And the council specified that the rules do "not apply to homeowners or renters living and riding within their … subdivisions, major organized bike rides that are legally permitted … individual riders on cross-country rides … or citizens that use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation."
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Old 10-15-18, 04:13 PM
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So bottom line, if a motorist hits you, because they failed to see you, you are at fault if you are not properly attired?
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Old 10-15-18, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
So bottom line, if a motorist hits you, because they failed to see you, you are at fault if you are not properly attired?

Probably. Beyond that, I doubt seriously a motorist would be more harshly sanctioned for hitting a cyclist who was lit up like a billboard.
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Old 10-15-18, 05:31 PM
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"I don't understand how the cyclists can still be upset about this," said Councilman Mel Percy, who chaired the council's bike safety committee. "You can still come up here and ride. The only difference is when a car comes up behind you, you have no excuse, you've got to get over to the side of the road and let them pass."
Good job Mel for outing your own cycling ignorance while writing dangerous and useless cycling laws.
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Old 10-15-18, 05:39 PM
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This has happened before in that area, although I don't recall if it was in the same parish. Clearly, they don't want bike clubs from the city using "their" roads. And they hope to annoy them enough that they'll move to other places.

I live in a rural area frequented by bike clubs and I'm sure some of the residents feel the same way. Fortunately they lack the political clout, especially given that a few prominent politicos are also riders.
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Old 10-15-18, 05:46 PM
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This is awful. It reminds me of the J walking law implementation. Were there cyclists on the group who created the laws? Did anyone look at the clothes visibility research https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...-safety-study/ ? Did they look at other state laws in terms of forcing cyclists to the gutter?
Good luck fighting this as it would be awful if it was held up as a safe
approach for cycling. I know you have a good guy at the biking NGO in New Orleans (can't remember the NGO name), which suggests to me they might be a helpful organization.. Perhaps you want to band together to gain some strength.
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Old 10-15-18, 06:11 PM
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The obtuseness of these legislators is baffling. Over 40,000 Americans got killed by cars last year, but no...let's focus on the big, bad bicycles.
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Old 10-15-18, 06:39 PM
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Event organizers have turned a cold shoulder on the parish.

https://apnews.com/d21392118534413ca23a6cafc5636ce9
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Old 10-15-18, 06:54 PM
  #11  
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Here's another worthwhile read. The bicycle advocacy attorney is spot on with his assessment.

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_ro...1c54e2b6a.html
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Old 10-15-18, 07:42 PM
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Louisiana is 6th in the US in obesity, with 36.2% of adults being obese.
https://stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/

Louisiana is 5th in percentage of adults surveyed at zero leisure-time physical activity.
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity...eport_2010.pdf

There's also this:

Louisiana is 47th in percentage of adults with a high school education and 46th in percentage of adults with a Bachelor's degree.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...nal_attainment

and this:

Louisiana has the 49th worst poverty rate:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...y_poverty_rate

And the 47th worst in terms of income disparity:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ni_coefficient

If you're looking for a place who's government is effectively working for the benefit of all its citizens, I'm just not thinking this is the place.

In perusing LA data, a real shocker for me - though not terribly related to bicycling - is their maternal mortality rates. 45 deaths per 100,000 births, up from 35 just two years ago and more than twice the national average. That's slightly worse than the Gaza Strip (2015 data).
https://www.americashealthrankings.o...ality/state/LA
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...elds/2223.html

Last edited by downtube42; 10-15-18 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 10-16-18, 12:11 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I don't know why you are getting that pop up. I have never had any issues accessing The Advocate. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Here's the details.

The ordinance includes the following new rules:
  • That cyclists "wear an outer garment above the waist of which a majority of the material must be high visibility fluorescent colors and must have a forward and rear facing light with daylight visibility a minimum of one half a mile."
  • That except for when passing, cyclists "will ride single file within two feet of the right hand side of the road" and "complete their passing procedure within 1/10 of a mile."
  • And that cyclists "will ride in groups of no more than 10 riders with a minimum separation between cycling groups of at least a quarter mile."
Another section of the ordinance applies to bicycle races within the parish, requiring organizers to obtain a permit beforehand and make sure road markings and signage are removed within 24 hours after the race.

The fine for violation is $100.
And the council specified that the rules do "not apply to homeowners or renters living and riding within their subdivisions, major organized bike rides that are legally permitted individual riders on cross-country rides or citizens that use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation."
I don't believe it is legal to have laws that don't apply equally to everyone. Something about that pesky US Constitution and equal protection. Alaska tried this decades ago with its "sourdough" laws and they were tossed. This one is even more illegal.

It's also interesting to note that the death that spawned this thing involved a cyclist doing what it prescribes. I'm not surprised that a cyclist who rides in the right-most two feet on a two-lane rural road got hit and killed. That's not a safe place to ride unless it's an incredibly wide roadway.
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Old 10-16-18, 03:22 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't believe it is legal to have laws that don't apply equally to everyone. Something about that pesky US Constitution and equal protection. Alaska tried this decades ago with its "sourdough" laws and they were tossed. This one is even more illegal.
There's a lot more than that rotten about that ordinance. With the exception of the racing regulation, I'm pretty sure the code is illegal. Municipalities do that all the time, but only the state can set those types of aws for the roads.
It's also interesting to note that the death that spawned this thing involved a cyclist doing what it prescribes. I'm not surprised that a cyclist who rides in the right-most two feet on a two-lane rural road got hit and killed. That's not a safe place to ride unless it's an incredibly wide roadway.
The assumption is that they have a choice?
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Old 10-16-18, 04:58 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Car centric society... what do you expect?

BTW everytime I followed the link to that news site, up popped a phishing "you won" site.

This may happen to others... perhaps you can paste the laws here... the article buries them.
I right-clicked on the link. To open it in another tab. That way, I avoided the phishing.
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Old 10-16-18, 05:04 AM
  #16  
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The Parish does not have the authority to adopt the ordinance.

Originally Posted by “R.S. Chapter 32
SUBPART B. POWERS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES

41. Power of local municipal authorities

A. Except as otherwise provided by law, this Chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local municipal authorities, with respect to highways other than state maintained highways within their corporate limits, from adopting ordinances:

(1) Regulating the standing or parking of vehicles;

(2) Enforcing the provisions of this Chapter, regulations of the department and of the commissioner and local regulations adopted pursuant hereto, by means of police officers or by the use of traffic-control devices approved by the department;

(3) Regulating or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the highways;

(4) Designating particular highways as one-way highways, or through highways;

(5) Designating no passing zones;

(6) Designating routes for freight carrying vehicles;

(7) Requiring the registration and licensing of bicycles, including the requirement of a registration fee;

(8) Directing the flow of traffic by designating the places and direction in which turning movements may be made or prohibited;

(9) Establishing speed limits and speed zones, provided that no speed shall be permitted which is in excess of the specific maximum speed limits established by this Chapter;

(10) Restricting traffic on limited access highways, or, temporarily reducing the permissible weight of vehicles which may be operated thereon, on other highways, when, because of deterioration, rain, snow, other climatic conditions, or the making of repairs, the highway will be seriously damaged or destroyed unless the use of vehicles thereon is prohibited or permissible weight reduced;

(11) Erecting stop signs at particularly dangerous railroad crossings;

(12) Requiring pedestrians to comply strictly with the directions of any official traffic-control signal and prohibiting pedestrians from crossing any roadway within a business district or any designated highways except in a crosswalk;

(13) Directing the installation of speed bumps.

(14) Creating additional regulations controlling traffic upon nonstate maintained highways within their corporate limits under their general police power so long as such regulations do not modify, or conflict with, the provisions of this Chapter or regulations of the department and the commissioner adopted pursuant hereto.

B. No ordinance or regulation enacted under paragraphs (4), (5), (6) or (10) of Subsection A of this Section shall be effective until signs giving notice of such local traffic regulations are posted upon or at the entrances to the highway or part thereof affected, as may be most appropriate.

C. Local municipal authorities also may adopt ordinances regulating traffic on state maintained highways within their corporate limits, so long as such ordinances do not establish regulations different from, or in addition to, the provisions of this Chapter and the regulations of the department and the commissioner adopted pursuant thereto. In addition, local municipal authorities may adopt ordinances which supplement the provisions of this Chapter and regulations of the department and commissioner adopted pursuant thereto but only after such ordinances have been approved in writing by the department. However, the municipal ordinance may provide for such penalties as are consistent with the authority granted by the local municipal charter or state statute under which the municipal government operates and the penalties imposed need not necessarily be consistent with the penalties provided by Section 57 of this Title.

Furthermore, local municipal authorities may adopt by reference, all or any of the provisions of this Chapter and/or regulations of the department and commissioner adopted pursuant hereto with respect to any highways within their corporate limits.

D. Upon request of either the owner or the person in charge of the general operation and control of a parking area, local municipal authorities may adopt local ordinances to:

(1) Order stop signs, yield signs, or other traffic control devices erected at specified entrance or exit locations to a parking area or at an intersection in the parking area.

(2) Regulate traffic in the parking area, including regulation by means of traffic control signals.

(3) Prohibit or regulate the turning of vehicles or specified types of vehicles at intersections or other designated locations in the parking area.

(4) Regulate the crossing of a roadway in the parking area by pedestrians.

(5) Designate a separate roadway, drive, or lane in the parking area for one-way traffic.

(6) Prohibit, regulate, restrict, or limit the stopping, standing, or parking of vehicles in specified areas of the parking area.

(7) Designate safety zones, loading zones, and other restricted areas in the parking area.

(8) Provide for the removal and storage of vehicles parked or abandoned in the parking area during snowstorms, floods, fires, or other public emergencies, or found unattended in the parking area, if the vehicles constitute an obstruction to traffic or if stopping, standing, or parking is prohibited, and for the payment of reasonable charges for the removal and storage by the owner or the operator of the vehicle.

(9) Adopt additional reasonable rules with respect to traffic and parking in a parking area as local conditions may require for the safety and convenience of the public or users of the parking area.

E. When requested by the owner of a private road located within its corporate limits, a municipal governing authority may adopt ordinances regulating matters enumerated in Paragraphs (A)(2) and (9) of this Section on the private road. Any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the municipality may enforce compliance with an ordinance adopted pursuant to this Subsection.

Acts 1962, No. 310, 1. Amended by Acts 1963, No. 33, 1; Acts 1977, No. 113, 1, eff. June 22, 1977; Acts 1978, No. 433, 1; Acts 2007, No. 187, 1; Acts 2010, No. 85, 1.




42. Power of local parish authorities

A. Local parish authorities or lake commissions shall, with respect to highways other than state maintained highways and with respect to public roads within their territorial limits, but outside corporate limits of any municipality therein, have henceforth, power to adopt ordinances regulating the matters enumerated in R.S. 32:41.

B. With respect to private roads when requested by the owner within recognized subdivisions within their territorial limits but outside the corporate limits of any municipality therein, local parish authorities shall henceforth have power to adopt ordinances regulating matters enumerated in R.S. 32:41(A)(9) and provides for stop signs at certain intersections.

C. Local parish authorities shall with respect to parking areas located outside the corporate limits of any municipality have, henceforth, the power to adopt ordinances regulating the matters enumerated in R.S. 32:41(D).

Acts 1962, No. 310, 1. Amended by Acts 1966, No. 217, 1; Acts 1974, No. 412, 1; Acts 1975, No. 637, 1; Acts 1978, No. 433, 1.
-mr. bill
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Old 10-16-18, 08:14 AM
  #17  
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"even arguing that people who visit West Feliciana just for biking shouldn't get to dictate how residents use their own roads."

Problem is, they are not "your" roads.
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Old 10-16-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post

If you're looking for a place who's government is effectively working for the benefit of all its citizens, I'm just not thinking this is the place.
LA should adopt a new state slogan: "At least we're not as bad as Mississippi."
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Old 10-16-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
And the council specified that the rules do "not apply to homeowners or renters living and riding within their subdivisions, major organized bike rides that are legally permitted individual riders on cross-country rides or citizens that use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation."
I don't believe it is legal to have laws that don't apply equally to everyone. Something about that pesky US Constitution and equal protection. Alaska tried this decades ago with its "sourdough" laws and they were tossed. This one is even more illegal.
Good point, and the last exception "citizens that use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation." is a little vague and so general that the law is meaningless. Citizens, that's all of us. Transportation, moving yourself from one place to another, that's any bike ride. Main mode, what's that mean exactly? Bike to work? Bike more times than drive? Rather be on a bike even when you drive? It's so vague that anyone on a bike might be the exception.
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Old 10-22-18, 04:52 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
So bottom line, if a motorist hits you, because they failed to see you, you are at fault if you are not properly attired?
Hey, maybe they can create a dress code for women so they aren't sexually assaulted.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
LA should adopt a new state slogan: "At least we're not as bad as Mississippi."
Not really a braggable statement, since Mississippi is the poorest state in the union, any state could make that claim.
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Hey, maybe they can create a dress code for women so they aren't sexually assaulted.
More than half of all women nowadays dress like men, so that shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Still, sexual assault is the work of a truly deranged individual. With the freedoms and technology of today's society, there's just no good reason for it.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:40 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Not really a braggable statement, since Mississippi is the poorest state in the union, any state could make that claim. More than half of all women nowadays dress like men, so that shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Still, sexual assault is the work of a truly deranged individual. With the freedoms and technology of today's society, there's just no good reason for it.
I was just trying to make the point that this was a "blame the victim" attitude.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:59 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I was just trying to make the point that this was a "blame the victim" attitude.
My quote was an aside, not intended to be a counterargument.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:04 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
My quote was an aside, not intended to be a counterargument.
I didn't take it as a counterargument but thought I should clarify my original post.
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Old 10-25-18, 11:45 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I don't know why you are getting that pop up. I have never had any issues accessing The Advocate. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Here's the details.

The ordinance includes the following new rules:
  • That cyclists "wear an outer garment above the waist of which a majority of the material must be high visibility fluorescent colors and must have a forward and rear facing light with daylight visibility a minimum of one half a mile."
  • That except for when passing, cyclists "will ride single file within two feet of the right hand side of the road" and "complete their passing procedure within 1/10 of a mile."
  • And that cyclists "will ride in groups of no more than 10 riders with a minimum separation between cycling groups of at least a quarter mile."
Another section of the ordinance applies to bicycle races within the parish, requiring organizers to obtain a permit beforehand and make sure road markings and signage are removed within 24 hours after the race.

The fine for violation is $100. And the council specified that the rules do "not apply to homeowners or renters living and riding within their … subdivisions, major organized bike rides that are legally permitted … individual riders on cross-country rides … or citizens that use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation."

Almost certainly going to be a court challenge to this--discriminating against some bicyclists in this way probably can't even pass rational basis review.

Am I getting this right? An individual rider can wear anything he/she wants and doesn't need lights, but a pair of riders have to wear high vis and sport half-mile visibility lights unless they use the bicycle as their main mode of transportation? How is that distinction related to safety? How does the cop determine if it's their main mode of transportation?
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