Cyclists in Grand Rapids, Michigan are divided over proposed legislation that would require all bicyclists to stay off roads and sidewalks in areas where bike lanes are present. The idea was met with such opposition from cycling advocates that legislators decided to put it on hold.
“Cyclists do have a legal right to be on the road,” said Barbara Schmid, chairwoman of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition. “This would be a step backward for all cyclists in the state. It’s probably a better idea to take a step back and really think it through. There’s so many nuances from a cyclist’s perspective that we have to be aware of.”
There were many aspects of the new legislation, including a provision requiring cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes across crosswalks. The issue that caused the coalition to oppose the legislation, however, was forcing the cyclists from roads and sidewalks. The coalition was concerned about issues where the bike lanes are blocked or cyclists need to make a left-hand turn that is not permitted within the lane.
“I really look to the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition for expertise,” said Second Ward Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss. “When they raise issues, I take them very seriously. The concerns raised by the coalition are significant enough that I think we should take that proposal out. It requires a lot more discussion.”
It is great that local legislators listen to the cycling community and put so much stock in the coalition’s concerns. Please visit our site for more information on bicycling safety.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer.