Safe Passing Ordinance…Passed!
December 12, 2012 § 3 Comments
Bicycling magazine’s ranking of Dallas as the worst bike friendly city earlier this year, is starting to erode away with time and muscle from the Mayor and pro-bicycling councilpersons Griggs, Hunt, Kedane & Greyson.
At this mornings council meeting, the city passed the Vulnerable user ordinance, a.k.a “please pass bicycles and other lawful user types carefully without killing them intentionally or without intent”
Here’s the entire recap from the Dallas Morning News:
A seemingly controversial debate about protecting bicyclists on city streets was apparently not all that controversial.
The Dallas City Council approved a new set of regulations this morning unanimously and with little discussion. The ordinance was created to forbid motorists from passing or pulling in front of cyclists in an unsafe manner and penalize drivers who throw objects at riders.
The City Council declined to act on the ordinance in October and asked a pair of committees to evaluate the proposal. Mayor Mike Rawlings had placed those new rules on the agenda a couple of months ago in an effort to make Dallas more bike friendly.
Those council committees met twice – including this week – to examination the regulations and hash out any changes. By the time the “vulnerable road users” ordinance returned to the full council, it has already been thoroughly reviewed and concerns sorted out.
The new ordinance also penalizes motorists for reckless actions and not just intentional ones and makes the provisions apply to bad behavior by cyclists. The fines would be up $300 or a maximum of $500 if someone was injured.
Assistant Police Chief Tom Lawrence who briefed two council committees on Monday said the department expects to have a 30 day grace period before enforcing the ordinance. He said that would give police and the city time to educate the public about the new rules.
While this part of the cycling debate is settled for now, a City Council briefing on a more costly and more divisive issue is scheduled for February. The council will discuss the use of dedicated bike lanes and shared bike lanes. Some council members are concerned about the dangers posed when bicycles and cars mingle in the same lanes.