« Tolled, clip-on bike path proposed for NZ bridge. Could this work on American Legion or New York Avenue Bridges? | Main | REI sponsors District-wide free Capital Bikeshare rentals all weekend long »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This is the biggest legislative advance for cyclists in DC in a really, really long time. Indeed, la victoria trova cento padri, a nessuno vuole riconoscere l'insuccesso.

The fact this bill was approved unanimously makes me wonder about why AAA and the trial lawyers lobbying ended up being so ineffective. Is this really a tipping point where politicians are really worried about offending the all powerful bicycle lobby? If the answer is yes, then I can say I never thought I would see the day.

I think their arguments against the law appeared to be unsupported by the evidence (in the form of 46 states that don't follow contributory negligence, and still manage to have affordable auto insurance), and the negative effects were both easily comprehended and likely to be fixed by the proposed legislation. Not that even the most sensible laws always pass, but it helps.

I don't think the lawyers opposed this bill. It was just the insurance companies and AAA (which as D. Alpert pointed out is also an insurance company). I think what really helped was dropping the word bicycle from the title and more strongly emphasizing pedestrians/engaging the PAC and All Walks DC.

Everyone* hates cyclists, but everyone is a pedestrian.

*Not literally everyone

I think another contributing factor is the benefit to DC.
DC streets have a lot of Maryland and Virginia cars, and the local AAA lobby is located in suburban MD. By comparison, DC has a growing population of cyclists and pedestrians and those modeshares are associated with better economic development than drive through people from MD/VA.

Let's not celebrate too early, here. B21-4 only passed on first reading. The Council goes into recess this Friday so the earliest the bill will receive a second reading is in September. This is more than enough time for the insurance industry to muck things up. I've seen this happen plenty of times on controversial bills, where CMs with opposition will vote yes to "go along to get along" with the promise of bringing up any concerns or amendments at second reading. There are several CMs on the Council who hate this bill and I don't really believe that they have all been convinced.

Good first step, no doubt, but don't sleep on this. Get ready to pick up the fight in September.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader