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Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 Testimony (Dc)

Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 Testimony (Dc)

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Published by wabadc
Testimony from the March 25 hearing of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 in the D.C. Council
Testimony from the March 25 hearing of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 in the D.C. Council

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Published by: wabadc on Mar 25, 2013
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03/25/2013

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 March 25, 2013Council of the District of ColumbiaCommittee of the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NWWashington, DC 20004RE: Testimony in SUPPORT of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013Members of the Committee:Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of the proposed Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013. This set of common sense updates to DC law will make travel by bicycle safer and moreconvenient, and will provide much-needed legal protections for the growing number of bicyclists on theroadways. The bill includes a number of important changes. My testimony will focus on four keypoints:
1.
 
Failure to Yield & Colliding
Currently, the District has laws protecting pedestrians from those who fail to yield or collide with them,but provides little such protection to bicyclists, who are also vulnerable to such behaviors. MPD and
DDOT have identified the “right hook” and “left
 
hook” crash types as
two of the most common crashesinvolving bicycles. Both crash types result from a
motorist’s
 
“failure to yield” the right of way to
abicyclist.
This bill would make clear to all, including enforcement officials, that the “failure to
 
yield” infraction
protects not just motorists and pedestrians, but bicyclists as well
and it includes appropriate penalties
for violation. Where the situation actually results in a collision, this “colliding with” bicycle provision
would provide clarity and an appropriate citation.These changes are significant improvements and, especially in the absence of enforcement of the threefoot passing law already on the books, WABA strongly supports these provisions.
2.
 
Safe Accommodation for Blocked Bicycle Lane or Path
Included in the proposed bill is a provision that would require those proposing to block or close publicbicycle facilities to provide a safe alternative during the period of blockage or closure. Every morning,many bicyclists ride down 14
th
 
Street NW, one of the city’s
major north-south routes and one with bikelanes for most of its length. But bicyclists must veer out into traffic, block after block, becausecontractors have closed the bike lane for extended periods of construction with no warning signs toprovide notice and no safe pathway to replace the one taken.14th Street is just one egregious example. The District has built an extensive network of bike lanes andcycle tracks which residents depend upon daily for transportation. Allowing construction companies toclose these facilities without providing a safe alternative is unacceptable. This bill
implemented withstrong regulations--could correct this problem.

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