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Archive for March, 2013

Street designWheelchairs in the bike lanes, Cyclists on the sidewalks, are all symptoms of a car-centric universe that is finally being recognized as the road to poor human health and erosion of community. Let’s take back our streets and return to human-centric design.

AB145 – the Complete Streets bill would be a big step in that direction. The bill would provide funding – through a $2 optional fee on vehicle registration – for Complete Streets projects throughout Nevada.

Complete Streets are streets that are designed, constructed and maintained to be safe and convenient for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities, and transit users as well as motorized vehicles. Example Complete Streets projects would be crosswalk striping, bike lanes, handicapped accessible transit stops – anything that makes streets safer and more accessible for all users.

This is a great opportunity to develop local funding for complete streets projects.

For bicyclists, this means additional dollars for bicycle facilities, e.g.: lanes, paths, etc. Better facilities encourage more bicyclists to ride. More bicyclists on the streets leads to increased motorist awareness, which leads to increased safety for all.

The best way to support this legislation is to complete this form – https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/77th2013/A/

Or, even better, attend the hearing at 3:15 on March 7th. I plan to be there.

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bicycle loop detector

Three bills important to Nevada bicyclists are before the legislature in this 2013 legislative session. If you’re a bicyclist, a quick note to your Assembly Member or Senator, voicing your support, will make a difference when they are deciding how to vote. The first to be heard is…

AB117 – Left Turn on Red

Isn’t it frustrating to be waiting for a green arrow so you can make a left turn and you discover that the detector loop hasn’t recognized you? What do you do? If you’re like me, you wait to see if it’s going to pick you up on the next cycle. Sometimes I wiggle around to try to make it see me. Then, if I don’t get a green, I “run” the red light, violating the traffic law and risking a citation.

It turns out that motorcyclists have this problem, too. It’s not the mass of the vehicle or the weight that triggers the signal, I’ve recently learned. It’s the metal surface area and orientation of that metal that triggers the detector.

AB117 addresses those legal issues. Here is the formal title on the bill:

Title: “AN ACT relating to rules of the road; allowing a person driving a motorcycle, moped or trimobile or riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle to proceed through an intersection against a red traffic signal in certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.”

Essentially what it says is that it will now be legal to ride through a red left turn signal that has failed to detect you if 1) you have sat through two cycles of the light and 2) you have yielded to all of the other traffic. Probably the most important aspect of the bill is that it clarifies who is responsible in a collision. Since the bicyclist or motorcyclist riding through the red left turn signal is always required to yield to other traffic, in a collision he or she is always at fault.

AB117 will be a law that makes legal what all safe cyclists do already. That is a good thing.

Please send a note of support to the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees and your representatives:

Assemblyman Richard Carrillo, Chair – Richard.Carrillo@asm.state.nv.us

Senator Mark A. Manendo, Chair – Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us

Find out who represents you here – – http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

All you need to say is something like this, “I’m a bicyclist in ____________, Nevada. I support AB117 and urge you to vote for its passage”.

Here’s another way, through the system, to express your opinion – https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/77th2013/A/

Here’s a link to the full AB117 – http://legiscan.com/NV/text/AB117/id/741841

And here’s a link fpr advice on triggering the light – http://youtu.be/Sj-mNB6dLkk

(Next up is AB145 – Complete Streets)

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