Sunday, March 1, 2015

Who really has the back of road bicyclists in Delaware?

1st State BIKES is disappointed to see this recent claim attributed to Senator Dave Sokola:

The following is the list of Sokola-sponsored bills related to bicycle safety in Delaware, and who was actually responsible.
  • SB-269, Vulnerable Road Users Law. On August 12, 2010, Delaware’s Governor Markell signed SB 269 into law. The bill, a project of the Delaware Bicycle Council, enhances the penalty for drivers convicted of careless or inattentive driving who cause serious physical injury to cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Other than a blog post reporting its passage, there was no formal support from Bike Delaware.
  • SB-38, 3 Foot Passing Law. On July 25, 2011, Governor Markell signed SB 38, Delaware’s 3 Foot Passing bill. A project of the Delaware Bicycle Council, Delaware became the nineteenth state to have a passing law to protect cyclists. The law not only provides additional legal protection, it provides an important educational opportunity. Bike Delaware's Executive Director made it clear that Bike Delaware would "support" the bill, but not "babysit" (be present) when the bill came up for vote in the General Assembly.
  • SB-120, an amendment to Title 21 that legalizes the use of right turn-only lanes as shoulders for bicyclists. This bill was required by DelDOT in order to proceed with experimental right turn-only lane/shoulder treatments, which at the time was a Bike Delaware project. Bike Delaware's Executive Director James Wilson publicly declared that the bill was unnecessary and refused to assist in its passage until the 11th hour, when he helped usher it onto the House floor at the insistence of the Delaware Bicycle Council Chair. He has also referred to bike lanes as "human meat grinders" and never actually advocated for converting shoulders.
  • HB-235, cycling as Delaware's official sport. Does this even effect "rules of the road?"
That said, Bike Delaware did have the back of a road bicyclist who was following the rules of the road as stated in Title 21, 4196. They helped him prevail after being ticketed for putting safety first while biking in a sub-standard width lane.

Also visit our 4 part series: Who is advocating for on-road safety in Delaware?

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