For all Virginia cyclists: support SB 252 and SB 101



L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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.
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
B

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
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
M

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.
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
F

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"]
 
M

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.
 
F

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"]
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
D

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.
 
C

Curtis L . Russ

Guest
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.
 
C

Curtis L . Russ

Guest
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...
 
R

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.
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
B

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
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
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
 
F

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"]