Yesterday I reported that the current version of the Senate’s federal transportation authorization bill, S. 1813 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, includes a law that will ban bicycles from using roads on federal lands if there is a parallel side path anywhere near the road. The law would force cyclists off certain roads and onto trails and paths, even if the paths were not paved.
The feelings behind this little legislative gem of a bike ban are that if the “taxpayers” pay to build a path, bicyclists damn well better use it and get out of the way of motorists on the road. This is akin to demanding that motorists use interstate highways rather than parallel roads.
As pointed out yesterday in the comments section, this is a big a deal in other areas of the country (such as the southwest) where federal roads sometimes provide the only access across large areas of the states. The staff at the League of American Bicyclists are watching this legislation carefully and are raising this issue with Congress. Right now, they want to show the Senate how important the right to the road is to cyclists – and voters. As part of the League’s “I Bike. I Vote.” campaign. So please sign our petition opposing the mandatory sidepath provision.
You can stay up to date on effort to remove this mandatory sidepath clause and other critical issues in the proposed legislation by subscribing to this blog with the easy to use Feedburner above to the right. Simply type in your email address and you will automatically get one email per day with a short intro to the blog posts published in the last 24 hours. This is much easier for folks who check their emails on a regular basis but don’t use an RSS based blog reader.