Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Invitation to Action: Of Safe Passing & Complete Streets

Hey! Thanks for checking in before you head off for your July 4 holiday. It's good you did, I have a pressing issue for Sioux Falls riders Tuesday July 7 that I must communicate.

But first, July 1.

Today is the day that  HB 1030 - that's the bill that requires 3' of passing space when a car is passing a bicycle at less than 35mph and 6' of passing space when a car is passing a bicycle at more and 35mph - becomes South Dakota law. All over the state drivers have begun to move over when they overtake a bicycle on the roadway. I can just feel that it's true.

That previous sentence was a bit sarcastic. HOWEVER, it is my unresearched, unscientific, completely experiential and subjective opinion that as I ride on city roads drivers are trying to get used to how this space will work. League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly Community Specialist Steve Clark commented that this is probably the best safe passing law in the country. We said yes, we are aware.

If you're looking for an article to share there are plenty.  Because it has my name in it this one is my favorite. It's a WNAX Radio production which means it's audience is people sitting in tractors all across the state. There's this one from KELOLAND that is an excellent example of how to bury a lead in a news article. Sheesh! And finally South Dakota Public Broadcasting talked to SDDOT staff and showed again what I already knew - there's a lot of people in SDDOT that don't understand bicycle law and what it means for safe roadway use.

Speaking of burying the lead - Second, the 7th.

Yesterday the Sioux Falls City Council heard about a proposed Complete Streets Policy. I know this because the Argus Leader published an article about it. Here's the thing. When something lands in the informational meeting it means the council usually votes on it the following Tuesday.

Tuesday July 7th 7pm meeting the Sioux Falls City Council will likely vote on a Complete Streets Policy for the City of Sioux Falls. It would be great if riders and walkers came to this meeting and asked the council to approve the policy.

"City Planning Director Mike Cooper made his first pitch to the council...a complete streets policy that would direct multiple city departments to consider all modes of transportation when planning road rebuilds and new streets."

It's is a big change to have this become a city policy. The policy means streets for every user get created because "it's what we do." The current situation is more - streets for every user get created if someone brings up the possibility at the right time, in the right place, and with the right people.

Please consider coming to the council meeting and voicing your supportive opinion on the matter. Read the Argus article. Go a step further and watch the Informational Meeting video - relevant portion starts at 17:50. Pick a point and echo it to the council Tuesday, July 7, 7pm.

Not sure what Complete Streets are?  Watch the Informational Meeting video. Look-in while city staff explain it to city council.

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