Thursday, January 22, 2015

HB1030 = 3 Feet Please:Committee Consideration

Today the House Transportation Committee considered HB1030 South Dakota's second attempt at passing a 3' Passing Bill for bicyclists. These are three of the very handsome folks who testified in favor of the bill. They are: Fred Deutsch freshman representative from District 04, Jessica Andrews from Chamberlain, & Chris Parsley from Sioux Falls.

If you want to know the gritty details of what went down in room 413 you simply must listen to this audio recording. Start at minute 24 and listen until they stop talking about bicycles. You'll catch Fred's Freshman Fashion Faux Pas - no helmets allowed in committee and Chris, when asked about shoulder rumbles bothered to mention the seeming inability of South Dakota drivers to stay on the road - to widespread chuckles I might add.

Speaking of inability to stay on the road... pedestrians were killed during the destruction of this sign...

...perhaps we should rumble Kiwanis Ave. That's glass, but I digress.

Seriously South Dakota riders owe these three a very big debt of gratitude. They did very nice work for all of us. Seriously. I mean it. Chris and Jessica did this on their own time.

There are some other folks heavily involved in the effort. DOT legal counsel Bill Nevin has been assigned the job by the DOT to present the bill. The American Heart Association of South Dakota has active transportation/healthly lifestyles on their advocacy agenda therefore they've done great work in support of this bill.

The broad strokes...District 09 Rep Steve Hickey moved an amendment to include the important word "minimum" to modify the required 3 feet. The amendment passed. Then the questions of obfuscation rolled in. The main concerns seemed to be about the possibility that existing laws already meet the goal of a 3' passing law and the question of whether riders already pay enough to be allowed on the roads in the first place.

Rounds moved to pass the bill with a second from Hickey. A substitute motion from Stalzer/Kaiser to defer the bill to Tuesday 1/27 prevailed.

In our estimation there are 2 strong opponents and 3 strong proponents of this bill. That leaves 8 on the fence. These folks will be talking about this bill between now and Tuesday. Quick notes to all the committee members, yes again, are important. The page to do that from is here.

...and come back here Tuesday.

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