Saturday, February 07, 2015

SD House: I'm Just a Bicycle Bill

I'm monitoring with interest 3 bills in the South Dakota House.

HB1030 - the 3' bicycle passing bill. It is currently in the House Transportation Committee listed on the February 10th agenda as a "bill for possible action which [has] had prior hearing." At the moment I'm satisfied with the work that's been done on this bill. However it's been 10 days since I've heard anything about it so I'm a little nervous for what could happen while I can't see.

HB1032 - the protection for pedestrians in crosswalks bill. This is also listed as a "bill for possible action..." on the House Transportation Committee February 10th agenda.This one got hastily tabled January 22 by a 9 to 4 vote after Rep Stalzer pretended to know that traffic in Sioux Falls would get really backed up if it passed.

Perhaps the 9 yays were just annoyed to have to consider so much biking and walking in what they previously had experienced as an internal combustion transportation committee.

Five days later on January 27 Bolin and Duvall prevailed by a 7 to 5 vote to take another look at it. Feickert, Schaeffer and Werner had previously voted to table but were willing to go along for a second ride.

I'm not too worried about this one. I think it's extreme to have a legal requirement to wait for a pedestrian to completely cross a street before moving through an intersection. But I'm also guy who practices transportational walking and all too often I've got an idiot driving across my heels in anticipation of his next Big Mac. So pass the bill sure, but try to find a way to amend it.

HB1214 - the reflective or florescent bicycle clothing bill. This one is assigned to the House Transportation Committee but has not yet appeared on any agenda. It's an alarming bill that it is our duty as South Dakota riders to keep from becoming law. I understand Wyoming successfully fought off their 2015 version. Oklahoma is working one too. We must not become the first state to have this law.

I am currently happy with the work that has been done on this bill - but like HB1030 I acknowledge that bills can change when nobody can see.

Please. Let it be enough that the Federal standard for bicycles is that they ship with a white front and red rear reflectors. That South Dakota Law requires a lamp on the front and a reflector or lamp on the rear of every bicycle. Finally, that the problem with the visibility of bicycles is that too many riders fail to ride where they can be seen. Sometimes it's because they're afraid to be in the street and other times it's because the only place far too many drivers are looking is at a cell phone screen.

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