For all Virginia cyclists: support SB 252 and SB 101

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Luigi de Guzman, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. The following forwarded by WABA:

    ****
    SUPPORT SB 252 AND SB 101 IN VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES

    SB 252 (Deeds) and SB 101 (Devolites), two bills that would improve bicycling conditions in
    Virginia, will be heard by the Transportation Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates this
    Tuesday and need *your* support TODAY. Both bills have already been passed by the Virginia Senate
    (with amendments) and are now before the House. Please email, phone, or fax your delegate and
    nearby members of the House Transportation Committee in support of these bills *today* (see contact
    info below).

    A short and simple request to please support SB 252 and SB 101 should be sufficient. Delegates
    must hear that these bills are widely supported, so please act promptly and forward this alert
    widely. During business hours, you can leave a brief phone message for your delegate with the
    Constituent Viewpoint Hotline, 1-800-889-0229 (or 804-698-1990), only knowing your address. To
    identify and contact your delegate, use the "Who's My Legislator" tool at
    <http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy/constinput.asp>. If you already know your delegate's last name
    or House District number, send email using <[email protected]> or phone their office
    at 804-698-10XX, where XX is their House District number. The main fax number for delegates is
    804-786-6310.

    Please act promptly. If these bills are approved (reported out) by the House Transportation
    Committee on Tuesday afternoon, the full House of Delegates will vote on these bills this week. Bill
    summaries follow. For more and updated information, go to <http://leg1.state.va.us/>.

    ******

    SB 252, Operation of Bicycles and Similar Vehicles (Deeds), would amend six sections of the Code of
    Virginia regarding the operation of bicycles and similar vehicles to 1) clarify a two-foot minimum
    safe passing distance for (motor) vehicles (Sec. 46.2-838); 2) allow bicyclists to signal right
    turns and stopping with either the right or left arm (Sec. 46.2-849); 3) allow bicyclists to ride
    two abreast when not impeding "the normal and reasonable movement of traffic" (Sec.
    46.2-905); 4) remove the authority for local mandatory sidepath ordinances (Sec. 46.2-905); 5) cite
    the current (CPSC) helmet safety standard in the section (46.2-906.1) that allows local bicycle
    helmet ordinances; 6) direct that all transportation on wheels move with (not against) other
    traffic (Sec. 46.2-932); and 7) allow (steady or blinking) lights and reflectors, in addition to
    a white headlight and a red rear reflector, for bicycling between sunset and sunrise (Sec. 46.2-
    1015). The Virginia Senate passed this bill (40-0) on 2/6/04 with minor amendments.

    *****

    SB 101, Pedestrians (Devolites), would amend Sections 46.2-923 and
    47.2-924 of the Code of Virginia, relating to pedestrians crossing highways, to require drivers to
    stop for--not merely yield to--pedestrians in crosswalks, when necessary. SB 101 would also
    benefit bicyclists crossing highways on sidewalks or shared-use paths. The similar SB 451
    (Whipple), which also passed the Senate, has been merged with SB 101 as one bill. A similar bill,
    HB 539 (May), died in the House last week because some delegates opposed requiring drivers to
    stop for pedestrians in crosswalks when necessary.
     
    Tags:


  2. This is what I wrote to my state delegate. It's rather too long, I guess, but it needed saying.

    ***

    Dear Mr. Petersen:

    I write to you as a flagrant and frequent violator of the law. As a cyclist here in Fairfax, I often
    ride along Old Lee Highway, which has a parallel bicycle path. I never use it, preferring instead to
    use the road itself. The path is dangerous, setting fast, downhill bicycle traffic against cars
    wanting to pull out onto Old Lee Highway--cars don't see or expect traffic to be approaching them so
    quickly from the wrong side. This is unacceptable, so I ride on the road. My action, however, is
    illegal under the present law, which compels me to use the parallel bicycle path when provided. SB
    252 would permit me to ride safely, responsibly, and legally.

    Moreover, the other provisions of SB 252 would bring the Commonwealth in line with best practice in
    terms of bicycle safety legislation. The provisions regarding lighting and the permitting the use of
    either arm to signal turns are already common practice among responsible cyclists everywhere in the
    world; SB 252 would remove a loophole that motorists can exploit to escape culpability for colliding
    with and injuring cyclists. They will no longer be able to hide their failure to determine the
    intentions of a cyclist wishing to turn behind the assertion that the signal was not made with the
    'proper' arm, as the present law would define it. Passage and enforcement of the minimum overtaking
    distance provision would make life much easier for law-abiding cyclists--cars and trucks overtaking
    us too closely are at best a major annoyance and at worst a life-theatening issue. Being struck by a
    side-mirror of a vehicle moving (as most do) above the posted speed limit is very bad for one's
    health, indeed.

    SB 101 must be passed; it is ludicrous for the General Assembly to reject it. Cars *must* stop for
    *any* pedestrian in a crosswalk, period. To do otherwise places the mere convenience of motorists
    above the safety of pedestrians. Is the few minutes' delay that such a stop would cause worth the
    life of a pedestrian--especially when that pedestrian may be a child on his way to school?

    Your support for these two bills would mean a great deal to me, personally, and to cyclists living
    in and visiting the Commonwealth.

    Sincerely,

    TLP de Guzman Fairfax City
     
  3. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 12:33:16 -0500, Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >The path is dangerous, setting fast, downhill bicycle traffic against cars wanting to pull out
    >onto Old Lee Highway--cars don't see or expect traffic to be approaching them so quickly from the
    >wrong side.

    I think I would have said 'extremely' dangerous and life-threatening <g>. Don't want him to think
    you're kidding around.

    Anyway, how many cyclists are there in Virginia? I think it would help a huge amt to give some
    numbers from some survey or something. That's what impresses lawmakers, -constituency-....

    Not logic, reality, safety, or any of the things that we're talking about. (ok maybe I exaggerate).

    If he could say he sponsored a bill knowing he had potentially 100K cyclists over 18, including
    everyone who's ever ridden on campus, recreational, health fans, etc., behind him/it, that could get
    his attention.

    Would there be something on the order of 50-100K bikers in the whole state?

    The total pop is about 7.5 million. ~180 counties.

    One percent of the population biking - 75, 000 bikers. Two percent 150,000 bikers

    I'm just guessin'...

    -B
     
  4. On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 15:37:01 -0500, Badger_South <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 12:33:16 -0500, Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>The path is dangerous, setting fast, downhill bicycle traffic against cars wanting to pull out
    >>onto Old Lee Highway--cars don't see or expect traffic to be approaching them so quickly from the
    >>wrong side.
    >
    >I think I would have said 'extremely' dangerous and life-threatening <g>. Don't want him to think
    >you're kidding around.
    >
    >Anyway, how many cyclists are there in Virginia? I think it would help a huge amt to give some
    >numbers from some survey or something. That's what impresses lawmakers, -constituency-....
    >
    >Not logic, reality, safety, or any of the things that we're talking about. (ok maybe I exaggerate).
    >
    >If he could say he sponsored a bill knowing he had potentially 100K cyclists over 18, including
    >everyone who's ever ridden on campus, recreational, health fans, etc., behind him/it, that could
    >get his attention.

    I'm under no illusions as to the chances of my letter actually being read. I'm just another kook for
    the mail filter do plonk, or fodder for some careerist kid down in Richmond, padding his resume by
    slogging through interminable constituent mail.

    >
    >Would there be something on the order of 50-100K bikers in the whole state?
    >
    >The total pop is about 7.5 million. ~180 counties.
    >
    >One percent of the population biking - 75, 000 bikers. Two percent 150,000 bikers

    That depends. Probably close to ten percent of the population at the very least own bicycles, if not
    more. As to actual cyclists-as-road-users, we're probably a very very tiny constituency. If we were
    a significant constituency in and of ourselves, someone would have offered me a spare tube yesterday
    when I flatted. (the one day I forget my pump! ain't it always the way....). As it was, yesterday,
    other than myself, I saw one other cyclist on the public roadway who would be directly affected by
    SB 252--a roadie/commuter.

    What I'd be interested to know is how many delegates are cyclists. Not many, I'll bet.

    -Luigi

    "We should go to the masses and learn from them, synthesize their experience into better, articulat-
    ed principles and methods, then do propaganda among the masses, and call upon them to put these pr-
    inciples and methods into practice so as to solve their problems and help them achieve liberation
    and happines."
    - Mao Tse Tung, "Get Organized!"

    >
    >I'm just guessin'...
    >
    >-B
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > "We should go to the masses and learn from them, synthesize their experience into better, articul-
    > ated principles and methods, then do propaganda among the masses, and call upon them to put these
    > principles and methods into practice so as to solve their problems and help them achieve liberat-
    > ion and happines."
    > - Mao Tse Tung, "Get Organized!"

    Luigi, when trying to organize something politically in the United States, DON'T QUOTE MAO TSE TUNG!

    :)

    Matt O.
     
  6. On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 21:32:54 GMT, "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Luigi de Guzman wrote:
    >
    >> "We should go to the masses and learn from them, synthesize their experience into better, articu-
    >> lated principles and methods, then do propaganda among the masses, and call upon them to put th-
    >> ese principles and methods into practice so as to solve their problems and help them achieve li-
    >> beration and happines."
    >> - Mao Tse Tung, "Get Organized!"
    >
    >Luigi, when trying to organize something politically in the United States, DON'T QUOTE MAO
    >TSE TUNG!

    I assure you that my interest in Mao is largely poetic. He has a lyrical style in his aphorisms
    which I admire. He might not have really known the first thing about managing a major national
    economy, but he had a poetical sense that was in every way superior to Lenin's prose, which feels
    cold and brutal by comparison. And let's not even get started on Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.

    This kind of lyrical style I think has been destroyed by the 24-hour news cycle, the press
    conference, and the soundbite culture. Political figures are not so poetic in their vision anymore.
    Reading speeches by William Jennings Bryan or Eugene V. Debs and comparing them with the present run
    of the political mill totally destroys my faith in progress and the perfectibility of men and
    institutions. Rhetorically and poetically, the present generation is merely mediocre.

    -Luigi
     
  7. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 21:32:54 GMT, "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Luigi, when trying to organize something politically in the United States, DON'T QUOTE MAO
    >>TSE TUNG!
    >
    >
    >
    > I assure you that my interest in Mao is largely poetic. He has a lyrical style in his aphorisms
    > which I admire. He might not have really known the first thing about managing a major national
    > economy, but he had a poetical sense that was in every way superior to Lenin's prose, which feels
    > cold and brutal by comparison. And let's not even get started on Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.
    >
    > This kind of lyrical style I think has been destroyed by the 24-hour news cycle, the press
    > conference, and the soundbite culture. Political figures are not so poetic in their vision
    > anymore. Reading speeches by William Jennings Bryan or Eugene V. Debs and comparing them with the
    > present run of the political mill totally destroys my faith in progress and the perfectibility of
    > men and institutions. Rhetorically and poetically, the present generation is merely mediocre.

    What you say may be true, Luigi.

    But what Matt says is still correct!

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

  9. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    In all seriousness Luigi, thanks for posting this. I got an email newsletter from the Bikeleague
    today, and they had no mention of it. Why not, says I?

    Keep up the good work.

    Matt O.

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > The following forwarded by WABA:
    >
    > ****
    > SUPPORT SB 252 AND SB 101 IN VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES
    >
    > SB 252 (Deeds) and SB 101 (Devolites), two bills that would improve bicycling conditions in
    > Virginia, will be heard by the Transportation Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates this
    > Tuesday and need *your* support TODAY. Both bills have already been passed by the Virginia Senate
    > (with amendments) and are now before the House. Please email, phone, or fax your delegate and
    > nearby members of the House Transportation Committee in support of these bills *today* (see
    > contact info below).
    >
    > A short and simple request to please support SB 252 and SB 101 should be sufficient. Delegates
    > must hear that these bills are widely supported, so please act promptly and forward this alert
    > widely. During business hours, you can leave a brief phone message for your delegate with the
    > Constituent Viewpoint Hotline, 1-800-889-0229 (or 804-698-1990), only knowing your address. To
    > identify and contact your delegate, use the "Who's My Legislator" tool at
    > <http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy/constinput.asp>. If you already know your delegate's last name
    > or House District number, send email using <[email protected]> or phone their office
    > at 804-698-10XX, where XX is their House District number. The main fax number for delegates is
    > 804-786-6310.
    >
    > Please act promptly. If these bills are approved (reported out) by the House Transportation
    > Committee on Tuesday afternoon, the full House of Delegates will vote on these bills this week.
    > Bill summaries follow. For more and updated information, go to <http://leg1.state.va.us/>.
    >
    > ******
    >
    > SB 252, Operation of Bicycles and Similar Vehicles (Deeds), would amend six sections of the Code
    > of Virginia regarding the operation of bicycles and similar vehicles to 1) clarify a two-foot
    > minimum safe passing distance for (motor) vehicles (Sec. 46.2-838); 2) allow bicyclists to signal
    > right turns and stopping with either the right or left arm (Sec. 46.2-849); 3) allow bicyclists to
    > ride two abreast when not impeding "the normal and reasonable movement of traffic" (Sec.
    > 46.2-905); 4) remove the authority for local mandatory sidepath ordinances (Sec. 46.2-905); 5)
    > cite the current (CPSC) helmet safety standard in the section (46.2-906.1) that allows local
    > bicycle helmet ordinances; 6) direct that all transportation on wheels move with (not against)
    > other traffic (Sec. 46.2-932); and 7) allow (steady or blinking) lights and reflectors, in
    > addition to a white headlight and a red rear reflector, for bicycling between sunset and
    > sunrise (Sec. 46.2-1015). The Virginia Senate passed this bill (40-0) on 2/6/04 with minor
    > amendments.
    >
    > *****
    >
    > SB 101, Pedestrians (Devolites), would amend Sections 46.2-923 and
    > 46.2-924 of the Code of Virginia, relating to pedestrians crossing highways, to require drivers to
    > stop for--not merely yield to--pedestrians in crosswalks, when necessary. SB 101 would also
    > benefit bicyclists crossing highways on sidewalks or shared-use paths. The similar SB 451
    > (Whipple), which also passed the Senate, has been merged with SB 101 as one bill. A similar
    > bill, HB 539 (May), died in the House last week because some delegates opposed requiring
    > drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks when necessary.
     
  10. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > In all seriousness Luigi, thanks for posting this. I got an email newsletter from the Bikeleague
    > today, and they had no mention of it. Why not, says I?

    Possibly because the League is now putting far too much priority on raising money, and far too
    little on preserving our rights to the road. :-(

    See http://www.labreform.org/

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]
     
  11. On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:08:51 -0500, "frkrygow"
    <"frkrygow"@omitcc.ysu.edu> wrote:

    >Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >> In all seriousness Luigi, thanks for posting this. I got an email newsletter from the Bikeleague
    >> today, and they had no mention of it. Why not, says I?
    >
    >Possibly because the League is now putting far too much priority on raising money, and far too
    >little on preserving our rights to the road. :-(
    >
    >See http://www.labreform.org/

    For your benefit, mr. K, I'm going to refrain from making the obvious Maoist reference to the masses
    being the true bastion of iron....It would probably ignite a debate as to the merits of frame
    materials anyway.

    But anyway. I'm a dues-paying (if somewhat inactive) member of the Washington Area Bicyclists'
    Association, which, as far as I can see, seems to be working vigorously for my interests as a
    cyclist in the Washington metro area.

    The LAB is just trying to fit in to a Washington lobby culture. Money and visibility on the Hill
    matter there; spiffy premises help to show that an interest group truly has arrived.

    To be perfectly honest, I think we can accomplish far more at the state and local levels. Somebody
    needs to educate me on how the Federal government affects my ability to share the road in my own
    little neighborhood--because from where I sit, it's the state that paved the road, planned it, and
    maintains the friendly traffic cops upon whose skills I rely to keep the worst of the motoring
    masses in check.

    I'm not a LAB member. From the looks of things, it doesn't seem like there's any benefit to
    being one.

    What the US needs is something like the CTC in Britain, that seems to encompass *all* aspects of
    cycling: social rides, commuting assistance, advocacy, insurance coverage.... and its president is
    Phil Liggett.

    -Luigi www.livejournal.com/users/ouij Photos, Rants, Raves
     
  12. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:53:04 -0500, Luigi de Guzman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >To be perfectly honest, I think we can accomplish far more at the state and local levels. Somebody
    >needs to educate me on how the Federal government affects my ability to share the road in my own
    >little neighborhood--because from where I sit, it's the state that paved the road, planned it, and
    >maintains the friendly traffic cops upon whose skills I rely to keep the worst of the motoring
    >masses in check.
    >

    I am not going to get into this debate, but this sentence did strike
    me. I believe this plan has been pretty gutted over the years, but on the federal level, there is
    ISTEA- some quick google links-

    http://www.bikeplan.com/mtwhat.htm http://www.dot.state.ny.us/istea/

    This isn't to dispute that most action takes place locally, but there has been an attempt to work
    federally and distribute money on programs other than highways. If it is of any interest, I imagine
    that there are people here and elsewhere who can educate you on this and other ways that the federal
    government does influence local transit matters.
     
  13. On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:53:04 -0500, Luigi de Guzman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm not a LAB member. From the looks of things, it doesn't seem like there's any benefit to
    >being one.
    >
    >What the US needs is something like the CTC in Britain, that seems to encompass *all* aspects of
    >cycling: social rides, commuting assistance, advocacy, insurance coverage.... and its president is
    >Phil Liggett.

    Funny - LAB used to be sort of like that about 20 years ago. Now their club involvement is nil and
    some of the largest clubs - once adamant supporters of LAB - are no longer supporters at all.

    OTOH, if you are really lonely, you can send LAB one check and get lots of mail asking for more.

    Curtis L. Russell LAB Life Member before the current board and management knew it existed.
     
  14. On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 22:42:55 -0800, Dan Daniel
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >This isn't to dispute that most action takes place locally, but there has been an attempt to work
    >federally and distribute money on programs other than highways. If it is of any interest, I imagine
    >that there are people here and elsewhere who can educate you on this and other ways that the
    >federal government does influence local transit matters.

    By funding the building of facilities. Yes, I know ISTEA, and I know that technically more can be
    done with those funds than that. But combined with the typical state process for evaluating and
    funding projects, ISTEA will basically fund bike lanes and paths. There is little for the
    transportational cyclist that wants to ride wherever he or she needs to go. There is little for a
    recreational cyclist that wants to go out for a 50-70 mile ride - because you are going to rarely
    see 50-70 miles of bike facilities strung together. You won't see advocacy efforts to put decent
    bike racks (not the toaster holders) at destinations funded either, and bike racks only funded as
    add-ons to larger projects.

    WABA does these things (mentioned before). LAB doesn't. ISTEA doesn't. The state process for funding
    cycling 'improvements' certainly doesn't encourage projects to go in that direction (starting with
    most ISTEA projects are reviewed by the State Highway Administration or equivalent).

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  15. Russ Baxter

    Russ Baxter Guest

    Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote in message

    >
    > I'm under no illusions as to the chances of my letter actually being read. I'm just another kook
    > for the mail filter do plonk, or fodder for some careerist kid down in Richmond, padding his
    > resume by slogging through interminable constituent mail.

    I've worked for and around the Virginia General Assembly for 15 years and personal letters
    from constituents are the ones most likely to be read by the members. Keep those cards and
    letters coming.
     
  16. On 26 Feb 2004 11:02:45 -0800, [email protected] (Russ Baxter)
    wrote:

    >Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    >>
    >> I'm under no illusions as to the chances of my letter actually being read. I'm just another kook
    >> for the mail filter do plonk, or fodder for some careerist kid down in Richmond, padding his
    >> resume by slogging through interminable constituent mail.
    >
    >I've worked for and around the Virginia General Assembly for 15 years and personal letters
    >from constituents are the ones most likely to be read by the members. Keep those cards and
    >letters coming.

    Incidentally, I was pleasantly surprised to get a response via e-mail that very evening from my
    delegate (Chap Petersen; D, 37th District), indicating his support for the bills. Yay!

    One small bit of my faith in government has been restored. silly isn't it? but I'm probably going to
    keep a much closer watch on the General Assembly from here on in.

    -Luigi
     
  17. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:58:10 -0500, Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On 26 Feb 2004 11:02:45 -0800, [email protected] (Russ Baxter) wrote:
    >
    >>Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>
    >>>
    >>> I'm under no illusions as to the chances of my letter actually being read. I'm just another kook
    >>> for the mail filter do plonk, or fodder for some careerist kid down in Richmond, padding his
    >>> resume by slogging through interminable constituent mail.
    >>
    >>I've worked for and around the Virginia General Assembly for 15 years and personal letters
    >>from constituents are the ones most likely to be read by the members. Keep those cards and
    >>letters coming.
    >
    >Incidentally, I was pleasantly surprised to get a response via e-mail that very evening from my
    >delegate (Chap Petersen; D, 37th District), indicating his support for the bills. Yay!
    >
    >One small bit of my faith in government has been restored. silly isn't it? but I'm probably going
    >to keep a much closer watch on the General Assembly from here on in.
    >
    >-Luigi

    Kool. How do I find the guy for Albemarle county. I'm politically inept. IOW I have no idea about
    districting, and soforth.

    Can you paste me in a name and I'll boilerplate?

    -B
     
  18. On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 16:06:34 -0500, Badger_South <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:58:10 -0500, Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On 26 Feb 2004 11:02:45 -0800, [email protected] (Russ Baxter) wrote:
    >>
    >>>Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> I'm under no illusions as to the chances of my letter actually being read. I'm just another
    >>>> kook for the mail filter do plonk, or fodder for some careerist kid down in Richmond, padding
    >>>> his resume by slogging through interminable constituent mail.
    >>>
    >>>I've worked for and around the Virginia General Assembly for 15 years and personal letters from
    >>>constituents are the ones most likely to be read by the members. Keep those cards and letters
    >>>coming.
    >>
    >>Incidentally, I was pleasantly surprised to get a response via e-mail that very evening from my
    >>delegate (Chap Petersen; D, 37th District), indicating his support for the bills. Yay!
    >>
    >>One small bit of my faith in government has been restored. silly isn't it? but I'm probably going
    >>to keep a much closer watch on the General Assembly from here on in.
    >>
    >>-Luigi
    >
    >Kool. How do I find the guy for Albemarle county. I'm politically inept. IOW I have no idea about
    >districting, and soforth.
    >
    >Can you paste me in a name and I'll boilerplate?

    http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy/constinput.asp

    the "who is my legislator" function on the GA's website. Go for it!

    >
    >-B
     
  19. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

  20. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:08:51 -0500, "frkrygow" <"frkrygow"@omitcc.ysu.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>See http://www.labreform.org/
    >
    >
    > ... I'm a dues-paying (if somewhat inactive) member of the Washington Area Bicyclists'
    > Association, which, as far as I can see, seems to be working vigorously for my interests as a
    > cyclist in the Washington metro area.
    >
    > The LAB is just trying to fit in to a Washington lobby culture. Money and visibility on the Hill
    > matter there; spiffy premises help to show that an interest group truly has arrived.
    >
    > To be perfectly honest, I think we can accomplish far more at the state and local levels. Somebody
    > needs to educate me on how the Federal government affects my ability to share the road in my own
    > little neighborhood--because from where I sit, it's the state that paved the road, planned it, and
    > maintains the friendly traffic cops upon whose skills I rely to keep the worst of the motoring
    > masses in check.
    >
    > I'm not a LAB member. From the looks of things, it doesn't seem like there's any benefit to
    > being one.
    >
    > What the US needs is something like the CTC in Britain, that seems to encompass *all* aspects of
    > cycling: social rides, commuting assistance, advocacy, insurance coverage.... and its president is
    > Phil Liggett.
    >

    At one time, the LAB (under it's old name, the League of American Wheelmen) was much more like the
    CTC. Not as good with legal assistance or insurance, but at least it had a wide and healthy network
    of volunteers, and it had close working relationships with hundreds of local clubs. Volunteers in
    each state monitored their legislatures (getting advice from the national folks), provided
    "Hospitality Houses" to touring members (directory of such available through the national office),
    ran annual rallies, etc.

    A certain financial ineptness caused bad problems on several occasions, nearly bankrupting the
    League. As I understand it, that led to the current pendulum swing: link up with any organization
    that can help get bucks. And if that takes energy away from providing benefits to members, or
    watching out for cyclists' rights, well, y'gotta have the bucks.

    But why they killed off all the volunteer involvement, I don't know. As it is, they certainly don't
    seem to want any "volunteers" on the board of directors. Only the hand-picked need apply - and the
    recent, unpublicized changes to the bylaws pretty much guarantee that. It's shameful.

    Incidentally, I don't see why an expensive office in DC necessarily pays for itself in terms of
    lobbying effectiveness.

    In any case, at this point I'm not sure what the benefits of membership are. The only things keeping
    me on board are 1) they're the only national organization of cyclists that's ever protected our
    rights to the road; 2) if I'm not a member, my Effective Cycling Instructor certification is gone;
    and 3) there's some hope that the current disgraceful situation can be corrected, if enough people
    make noise.

    Again, visit www.labreform.org

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]
     
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