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How to change the laws

Old 05-09-12, 01:43 PM
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How to change the laws

I live in a small town in Texas just south of the DFW Metroplex. I have been observing the attitudes towards bikes in my town and for the most part they seem positive. We have about a half a mile of bike lanes (if you count both sides of the road) which people like to treat as parking spaces for the elementary and high schools. Very soon we will have a highway coming in from Fort Worth and with it a lot of commuters, Fort worth has a large biking community and I imagine that some of them will be moving to Cleburne. We currently have a sum total of six (6) laws relating to bikes:

70.36 MORE THAN ONE PERSON RIDING MOTORCYCLE, BICYCLE AND THE LIKE.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motorcycle, motor scooter or bicycle, which is designed or constructed to carry but one person, on the streets and public places in the city, when more than one person is riding on such vehicle.

(B) Any motorcycle, motor scooter or bicycle which is designed or constructed to carry the operator and one or more other persons at the same time shall be subject to the inspection of the Police Department, to determine the safety of such vehicle for the riders thereof, before such vehicle can be ridden by more than one person at the same time, on the streets and public places of this city.

70.37 RIDING BICYCLES ON SIDEWALK.
Any person who shall ride any bicycle upon any sidewalk within this city shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

70.38 LIGHT AND REFLECTOR FOR BICYCLES.
Every bicycle ridden within the city limits shall have a light on the front thereof and a reflector on the back and the same shall be in working order and turned on when ridden at night.

71.08 STOPPING AND TURNING SIGNALS MANNER OF GIVING WITH HAND AND ARM.
All signals required by 71.07, when given by hand and arm, shall be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows:

(A) Left turn. Hand and arm extended horizontally.

(B) Right turn. Hand and arm extended upward, except that a bicycle operator may signal from the right side of the vehicle with hand and arm extended horizontally.

(C) Stop or decrease speed. Hand and arm extended downward.

Sec. 14 REGULATION OF VEHICLES.
The City shall have the power by ordinance or otherwise to regulate and control the operation of all character of vehicles using public streets, including motorcycles, bicycles automobiles, trucks, trailers, buses, or like vehicles and to prescribe the speed of the same and to provide for the giving of bond or other security for the operation of same.

50.10 COLLECTION GENERAL REGULATIONS; YARD WASTE; RIGHT TO REFUSE COLLECTION.
(A) No rocks, dirt, hot ashes/coals, hazardous substances or construction debris shall be placed carts.

(B) Any garbage or waste not placed in the cart provided will not be collected by the sanitation department and shall remain the responsibility of the customer/generator for disposal. (With exceptions of the Christmas and Thanksgiving city observed holiday.)

(C) The City Sanitation Department shall have the right to refuse to pick up garbage on any property where dogs are loose in the yard.

(D) The City Sanitation Department shall have the right to refuse to pick up the following items: lawn chairs, barbecue pits, barbed or bailing wire, barrels, metal, tires, bicycle frames, appliance frames, vacuum cleaners, mattress or cushion springs, hazardous liquid cans, cushioned chairs, partially full paint cans or sealed paint cans, bundles of wood or brush tied with wire, propane cans or bottles, shock absorbers, large appliances, oil, and dirt or rocks.
We have an annual bike ride called Goat Neck, so there is plenty of awareness of the biking culture in our town. I would like to approach our city council about introducing new laws for both cyclists and motorists alike to improve the culture of bike safety in our town. Eventually I would like for them to add infrastructure, including bike lanes, bike parking and MUPs throughout the city. Does anyone have a clue where to start and how to go about it in a positive manner so as to endear the idea to the city rather than have them look at it as another budget point?
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Old 05-09-12, 07:11 PM
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Use extreme caution when lobbying for new laws. Once you submit the proposed law, you no longer have control and they too often get changed in a manner that harms cyclist.
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Old 05-09-12, 11:20 PM
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What CB HI said.

Allowing municipalities to regulate bicycle and motor vehicle operation (beyond setting speed limits, parking/no parking zones and similar minor matters) is a really bad idea. If I had the misfortune to be stuck in a state that does permit it, I certainly wouldn't want to provoke the local government to exercise that authority.

You might be surprised how many officials and influential people want to restrict your cycling behavior out of hostility and/or well-meaning ignorance.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:57 AM
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Check the state laws also. Municipal ordinances are in addition to or a supplement to exisiting state law.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:06 AM
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I was hopeing to lead into increasing the number of bike lanes and bike / MU paths
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Old 05-10-12, 08:40 PM
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I was hoping there'd be some indignation over the use of bike lanes for school parking! Demonstrate to the city the potential revenue stream there from tickets, and show up daily to laugh if/when they start.

People who diss bike riders like that make me want to carry expired-date tomatoes and eggs....
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Old 05-11-12, 10:17 AM
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I don't even know who to approach about that; the police, city council, the mayor?
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Old 05-11-12, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by miles.lowry
I don't even know who to approach about that; the police, city council, the mayor?
Start with police and when they do not do anything, then make a formal complaint to the mayor (noting how city may get sued if cyclist gets hurt after police refused to ticket those blocking the bike lane).

Personally, I consider parked cars in bike lanes the ideal reason for not riding in the bike lane.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:00 PM
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Perhaps you can have your mayor meet Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price for lunch one day? She has a few ideas and plenty of credibility. Nice to have her in our corner.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff
Perhaps you can have your mayor meet Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price for lunch one day? She has a few ideas and plenty of credibility. Nice to have her in our corner.
That would be great, once 121 comes in there will be more Fort Worth transplants and hopefully more cyclists. I wish I could get something like the bike rodeos that we had when I was a kid going, they taught rules and safety and spread awareness of biking culture.
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