Monday, February 9, 2009

Stimulus, Transportation and Cycling

A whole bunch of cycling/alternative transport links. Of biggest note are a bunch of amendments and a couple of proposed amendments to the current stimulus bill in the Senate that would limit and/or redirect some of the funding in it exclusively to the use of highway use.

First, via one of my friends reading lists, Bike Pittsburgh is putting out the word about amendments proposed to redirect some alternative transportation funding exclusively to the use of highway projects. There is a link on the Bike Pittsburgh post that allows you to send comments to your Senators about these amendments.

Second, Mark Dietrich at Providence Bicycle Coalition is warning of some proposed amendments to the stimulus that would specifically bar spending stimulus money on cycling projects. Feel singled out? While it hasn't been presented, this one is worth contacting your Senators over as well. Links from Mark's post go the the League of American Bicyclists to lookup and contact your elected representative's.

And lastly, there is a lively debate scheduled for next month to discuss the "3-foot rule" that has been proposed and will be heard by the Judiciary Committee next month. Some interesting points have been made so far. Personally, I think the law has flaws and needs to be amended before it is passed, but I think that better defining a safe distance to maintain between vehicles when passing is a reasonable idea. To read some other opinions that have been voiced so far, see the PBC post, and information about the upcoming discussion on March 5th. I certainly think it isn't an enforceable law and I think its largest application is in educating cyclist and drivers that cyclist are entitled to use most roads. If you can point to a law to back up a statement in a drivers manual, it is hopefully more effective than simply making a statement of what is judged to be prudent.