Hey Chicago! Voice your opinion for the Ordinance for Bicycle Safety 2008!

I was just recently made aware that the CBF has been working hard at an amendment for some city ordinances on cycling which will help define some legal lines that drivers & cyclists can count on.  I think it’s quite reasonable from a purely safety perspective; I do not view this as a way for cyclists to get back at drivers or anything sly, but as a way to help guarantee everyone’s safety by outlining reasonable bits of understanding for cyclists and drivers.  If this is passed, this will be a good way to inform drivers of reasonable expectations so they can be better educated on how to interact with cyclists on the road.  This is a win for both drivers and cyclists in my book!  This amendment if passed, will mandate (snipped from CBF email verbatim):

  • Requiring a minimum of three feet of clearance while passing bicyclists
  • Prohibiting a motorist from opening a door into moving traffic, reducing the danger of “dooring”
  • Raising the fines for vehicles parked in bike lanes or marked shared lanes
  • Requiring motorists to yield to oncoming bicyclists when turning left, which prevents a “left hook” crash
  • Prohibiting motorists from turning right in front of a bicyclist, which prevents a “right hook” crash
  • Requiring motorists to exercise due care for bicyclists in addition to pedestrians

It also outlines some fines for doing bad things as outlined here, but I think that’s just to motivate drivers and I’m not concerned with the money values.  This amendment will help with some of the usual concerns that both myself and several others I’ve ridden with have had in Chicago; it can be quite worrysome cycling in the city and this is a good thing!

So, if you’re living in the city, please voice your two cents to your alderman!  From my understanding, not all of them sit on the Traffic Control & Safety Committee who votes on this, but it’s still good to voice your opinion.  The next meeting of the committee is quite soon – Wednesday March 5th at 9 AM.  If you support this amendment, please make yourself heard to make cycling in the city a safer place!

Feel free to check out a copy of the email going around about this.

The actual legislation is online as well.

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