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What perecent of TE money is funding bikes?

In terms of the road law, the problem with laws like that is they are accidentally broader than intended. I'd be much happier with a federal "no biking on GW parkway" law.

I'll be to far into the weeds with state and local stuff to play any role in this. But if any of you talk to LAB, I suggest that the paragraph (d) may represent an opportunity for a friendly amendment. I suggest it be amended to say

(d) BICYCLE SAFETY.—The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit OR ALLOW the use of bicycles on each federally owned road [snipped] CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW OF THE STATE THROUGH WHICH THE ROAD RUNS.

Tea partiers should like deference to federalism.

@JimT; my understanding is that is the problem with the GW parkway. It already has a compact with Maryland and Virginia (BW parkway as well) to govern traffic law.

Anyone have a form letter than I can customize and send to my Senator?

Good to know I can ask the cops parked in bike lanes to ticket the non-cops parked in bike lanes.

This makes bicycle advocates temporary allies with the Heritage Foundation.

Why? If we're going to see legislation banning cycling in roads where there's a multi-use path, then frankly I'd prefer to get rid of multi-use paths.

This is seriously messed up. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the current programs and the proposed replacement: http://www.bikeleague.org/news/pdfs/sidexside_safetealu_boxer_inhofe.pdf

Allowed activities include "Redesign of a street to enhance connectivity
and increase the efficiency of network
performance." In other words, the money could all go to new pavement on roads. The proposed program pretty much kills Safe Routes to School by removing the requirement that states hire a SRTS coordinator to keep that program moving forward.

I hope the bicycling-advocacy orgs are working on a coordinated response.

This "safety" bike ban could be a very slippery slope if other jurisdictions were to model after it.

If a "path" 300 feet removed from the road lack entry and exit points it could prevent a cyclist from getting where they need to go. This is a setup for conflict. Seems to be more blindness to the fact that cycling is not exclusively recreational.

What are the chances all federal roads get new 25mph speed limits?

@charlie in reference to JimT ... I do not think I follow: Are you saying that in some way the compact with the states is what leads to cyclists being prohibited from GW Pkwy?

More generally, I see this as related to too many advocates conflating "safe" -- without any real clear definition and/or metric -- with "preferred" or "pleasurable".

@charlie. Can you elaborate? You seem to be saying that NPS follows state law in allowing or prohibiting bikes. Not so. Both Suitland Parkway and the 35 mph Clara Barton from Glen Echo would allow bikes if MD SHA operated those roads.

I don't know VA law: Are you saying that if VDOT ran the GW-Pkwy along the Mt Vernon trail, bikes would be prohibited?

Hey WC, just to be clear, the p.226 proviso only covers roads through federal lands, not "federal roads." So yes, it would cover GWP and a road through Yellowstone or other federal lands, parks, etc.

But this is not a blanket statement that would cover federal-aid roads or federal highways adjacent to the Capital Crescent or Met Branch or whatever path out there in the rest of the country. Only roads through federal lands, which is the section that p.226 is in (Federal Lands.)

Huge ramifications for us in DC, of course, but this isn't quite how I was seeing this characterized on twitter a little bit ago, (and the broad definition you use of "federal roads.") Hope that helps.

I don't know VA law: Are you saying that if VDOT ran the GW-Pkwy along the Mt Vernon trail, bikes would be prohibited?

North of Old Town probably would be. South of Old Town probably wouldn't.

Correction: What are the chances all roads on federal lands get new 25mph speed limits?

SD, your correct. Perhaps my wording was inelegant, but that's what I meant. Roads on federal lands.

One thing I hate about this is that it works on the assumption that currently Secretaries are making the wrong decision when they allow cycling in these situations and that Congress, without reviewing each situation specifically, knows best.

I'm trying to channel Contrarian...This provision is basically a warmed-over version of the widely discredited passage in the Uniform Vehicle Code circa 1970. It was put into the Maryland code in 1971 and removed in 1977. Many other states had it in the 1970s; all but a few have repealed it.

They can't possibly be serious if they are awake. This is an opportunity for a federal consistency provision, but it will probably just be struck.

@JimT; not at all; I am just saying feels the need to get rid of bikes there, and it might take an act of congress to do that. I don't have a problem with that.

I do have a problem with overly broad laws that might accidently hit other "federal" roads. Not sure what they would be, and I'm sure NPS doesn't either.

SD's corrction is neccesary.

Of course, is the parkway even on federal land? ;-)


I was tempted to vote for the Republican congressman who stands to lose his seat in Maryland, as a protest of the extreme anti-minority, anti-democracy gerrymandering going on in the state. But thank you WashCycle for reminding me of the real world consequences of voting Republican. Friends (and blogs) don't let friends vote Republican.


I don't know VA law: Are you saying that if VDOT ran the GW-Pkwy along the Mt Vernon trail, bikes would be prohibited?

North of Old Town probably would be. South of Old Town probably wouldn't.

In Virginia only controlled access highways can be made off limits to bikes. The problem with the GW parkway south of Key Bridge is that while it has the character of a controlled access highway, it isn't truly controlled access -- it has all those pesky trail crossings at grade.


I'm trying to channel Contrarian...This provision is basically a warmed-over version of the widely discredited passage in the Uniform Vehicle Code circa 1970. It was put into the Maryland code in 1971 and removed in 1977. Many other states had it in the 1970s; all but a few have repealed it.

They can't possibly be serious if they are awake. This is an opportunity for a federal consistency provision, but it will probably just be struck.

I'm going to apply Occam's razor and say this has nothing to do with reverting to the 70's and everything to do with a congressman or staffer getting stuck behind a cyclist on Rock Creek Parkway on his morning commute.

I'm wondering how many miles outside of DC are even affected by this. In most of the country NPS, BLM and other stewards of federal land are the furthest thing imaginable from builders of bike paths.

NPS has been building multi-user trails in the heavily-used portions of many parks, in order to give peds and cyclists an alternative to busy roads. They also serve employees who are commuting to work from housing areas within the parks. I have seen such trails in Glacier National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite, and others. There's also paved trail parallel to the road through Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, not far from DC. So the provision could have a wide impact.

Grossly unfair. Bicycles are excluded but unicycles and tricycles would be allowed.

"In most parts of the country NPS, BLM and other stewards of Federal land are the furthest things imaginable from builders of bike paths"

Au contraire, consider the Cape Cod National Seashore -- Map:

http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/upload/CACOmapweb.pdf

A photo tour of the Province Lands paths (near the tip of the Cape):

http://bikexprt.com/massfacil/capecod/pland.htm

The Nauset path near the south end of the park also parallels a road. These paths were built long ago to a very low design standard. Roads paralleling these paths now have Share the Road signs, reflecting the reality that many bicyclists prefer to ride on them. With the proposed law, the NPS would have to take these signs down and replace them with bicycle prohibition signs, and the park rangers would have to busy themselves with chasing bicyclists off these roads, reflecting a prohibition which is inconsistent with traffic law elsewhere in Massachusetts.

@John Allen, thanks for the list. And it's an important point that many of these paths are older and sub-standard. As I noted above, there are also parallel paths in Zion and Glacier National Parks. Grand Canyon has them too - on both rims. I am sure there are more. NPS often builds multi-user paths in order to reduce conflicts with auto traffic in heavily-visited portions of parks.

The federal government owns 30% of the land in the US. I don't think that pointing to five bike trails negates my point that most of the federal land is not bike-friendly.

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