Bicycle Legislation Introduced

Roundup of legislation in Arizona affecting bicyclists, spring 2009 (49th 1st Regular Session):

1) HB2479 “Bikes safe at stop signs”. See Bicycle Stop Sign changes proposed and Why I support “Bikes safe at stop sign”.

  • Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee hearing scheduled for Wed March 4th.
  • Failed (3 for, 5 against — which was omniously strictly party-line. Patterson, a Democrat, backed it. Every Republican voted against.) to pass committee. The bill was amended to apply to only ages 16 and older. The hearing was pretty interesting; discussion of HB2479 went on for over an hour(!). I watched it on the internet, that worked really well –from what i can tell, you can only see it in real time, i.e. there is no archive. There was open skepticism that police in Tucson are issuing tickets to cyclists just because they “did not put both feet down”, there was further skepticism that such a citation would hold up in court “even in Pima county” (that got some chuckles), Patterson replied that judges tend to defer to police officers. When asked to support the claim that “hundreds” of these citations were being issued by TPD, Rep Patterson explained that he asked but that TPD does not keep records by bike vs. motorist. But the bottom line is that not one of these non-foot-putter-downers materialized to corroborate these claims. Another committeman (Seel?) quoted state ofIdaho Bike coordinator McNesse (out of context, in my opinion) to make it sound as though McNeese is against the stop-as-yield law — he is not.  Rep Barnes (i think) said something encouraging in effect: “I sense anti-cyclists sentiments and I don’t share them… we need to work to make cycling safer (in other areas)”
  • Hearing on Oregon’s stop-as-yield bill soon. They have been through this before, twice even, and I expect one of these times it will stick.

2) HB2546 “motor vehicles; bicycles; operation requirements”. Contains a bunch of things. It contains several of the same elements of HB2503 (46th 1st regular session, you MUST “change sessions” FIRST before clicking the link) that died in 2003.

  • As of mid-March, the bill looks dead. It never made it to hearing. It is “stuck” in the transportation committee. The bill’s main sponsor, Nancy Young-Wright, is not optimistic for this session.

3) HB2394 and SB1082 (identical) “technical correction; overtaking bicycles” is some wording changes to the existing §28-735(C). Seeing as how HB2546, above, seeks to completely replace 28-735(C), might this be a problem?

6 thoughts on “Bicycle Legislation Introduced”

  1. I didn’t get registered to enter information on the webdsite until late this afternoon so my input was not heard.

    I was in favor for many reasons.

    1. It will cost the City of Tucson many dollars to change our 4 stop sign round-abouts to yield signs. The statute would fix that.

    2. Cyclists have a heightened awareness at intersections and can make good decisions.

    3. Studies show that when no other vehicles are present, about 75 % of autos make rolling stops.

    4. Cyclists don’t unclip unnecessarily. 50% of bicycle accidents occur from single rider mishaps such as falling over. The statute reduces the exposure to such a situation.

    5. Cyclists that stop have a slower startup than motorists thereby increasing impedement of vehicular traffic.

    6. Cyclists that might not be very proficient at cliping back in fumble with the pedal while starting back up in the intersection instead of having their attention on the intersection itself and the associated hazards.

    7. Stop signs are often overused and used for the wrong purpose such as traffic calming. There are other methods of traffic calming that do not disrupt cyclists as much.

    8. A 150 horsepower engine can produce 100,000 watts and start up without any effort. The average cyclist produces 100 watts and over a long distance, simply will end up far more fatigued and very much delayed due to all the stopping and starting.

    9. Cyclists who are less proficient with traffic might still choose to use main arteries instead of neighborhoods because they can ride longer between stops on main arteries. Stop signs therefore put more cyclists on the main arteries (which can be a good thing) and this eventually may lead to more impedement.

    10. Targeted enforcement from TPD often is at the University of Arizona and generally targets cyclists who don’t come to a full stop. A review of police reports shows that very few cyclists who ran a stop sign were involved in a collision, but a very high percentage that rode the wrong way or were on sidewalks ended up costing the community for ambulance and medical services, etc., so targeted enforcement should focus on those behaviors rather than the stop sign issues.

    11. Once cited for 855 the cyclist has to prove that he stopped. It doesn’t matter what the officer said, ie, “I cited him because he didn’t put both feet down” because the bottom line for the judge is whether or not the cyclist stopped and likely the officer will testify that the cyclist did not stop (which is the real reason the 855 statute is used). So often the cyclist loses his case.

    12. Bicycles are different than automobiles. As are cars different from hazmat semi tractor trailers. As are helicopters different from airplanes. So the argument “same road/same rules” is not true and should not be true. We allow motorcycles to be two abreast in a lane but we do not allow two oil tankers to be two abreast in a lane because they are different. Know the differences and celebrate the differences. It is OK to have some different rules as long as they are well thought out and understood. It is dangerous to have different rules if they discriminate.

    I’m sorry I was not allowed to participate. I really wanted to be heard on this but I was given the information about 48 hours in advance and the person in charge of registering me for the website would not answer the phone or return my calls until it was all over. I do feel that the legislative process should be more fair and more open to the public and give more notice.

  2. tucson citizen article about the stop-as-yield bill hearing

    here is something that i missed but i guess should have been obvious: “members of the panel declined to advance the bill, voting against it 5-3 along party lines”

  3. Here is how Idaho implemented their stop as yield for bicyclists law.
    It was added as a separate section into their chapter on bicycles. it is 49-720

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