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Bill survives a 7-6 vote. On to the Senate floor. This will need help in the future.

(And thanks to everyone who wrote in today.)

looks like some Repubs broke ranks to support - YAY!

Correct. The Republicans who voted were 5-3 against, while the Democrats who voted were 5-0 in favor. The recorded vote was 8-5, I am not sure why some reports say 7-6.

Blevins, McDougle, and Smith were the Republican YEAS.

The chairman opposed the bill, but there was a vote anyway. In Maryland, cycling bills are killed all the time because the Chairman has absolute power to block a vote.

Apparently there was an error wrt a proxy vote. Sen. Petersen himself first reported a 7-6 vote.

I'm not sold on this bill as currently written. The first sentence is fine (and apparently it's necessary for establishing liability based on court history). The second sentence however imposes a rather arbitrary and unnecessary requirement to close the door immediately. I see no reason for this requirement, unless that open door is blocking a designated bike lane.

Since the danger is the act of opening a door, why must it then be closed as soon as passengers have gotten out? If the door is open, it's easily visible to bicyclists and other traffic, and no longer presents the same hazard. Certainly folks should not be allowed to obstruct a bicycle lane any longer than necessary, but why should motorists otherwise be forbidden from leaving a door open when there is plenty to room to do so? (e.g. a wide suburban residential street with minimal traffic)

Even regarding obstruction of a bike lane, a better solution would simply be not to install bike lanes in a parallel parking door zone in the first place. And if there's inadequate space for a door-free bike lane between the travel lanes and the parking spaces, then the cyclists should be taking the lane anyway. In that case, sharrows would be more appropriate than a bike lane (which might give motorists the wrong idea that bicycles need to stay in the bike lane).

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