Early in the week, Bike Pittsburgh went to the Capitol in Harrisburg for a day of meeting with our state elected officials to talk to them about cycling issues at the state’s first ever Bike Summit. Aside from getting to know our legislators better, on the agenda was to get them to support safe passing legislation in Pennsylvania. Basically, it would require cars to pass cyclists with four feet of space, as well as make the “right-hook,” where a car passes a cyclist only to turn right into our path, illegal. That we lack this legislation is one of the reasons that the League of American Bicyclists consistently lists Pennsylvania at the bottom of their “bike-friendly” ranking.
For more information on these laws, see our post on the PA Bike Summit.
Advocates line up for a picture before the first PA Bike Summit in Harrisburg, May 5, 2009
Below is a message from PA Walks and Bikes President, Michele Barrett:
Thank you so much for your support of bicycling in Pennsylvania. Our first PA Bike Summit was a resounding success. Perhaps your local news station or newspaper covered the story? If so please send a copy or link to me so that we can keep a record of the coverage from across the state. I’ll make sure to post the stories on PA Walks & Bikes Livable Communities site. Berks County’s coverage is provided here: Bicyclists Push To Make Their Riding In PA Safer.
Some folks are already sending in pictures of the day. To be sure we keep them organized in one place for everyone to see and share, please add your pictures to our Flickr Group created by John Boyle. Anyone can upload photos to this group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/pabikesummit/.
The single most important action that you can take now is to contact your legislator and encourage them to support the safe passing legislation HB1110 (House) or SB776 (Senate). You may also considering supporting HB1109, a harassment bill meant to protect cyclists from “bullies” on the roadways. An email, phone call or brief letter will only take a moment of your time, but is vitally important to the success of these laws.
Please also be sure to ask your legislator to push for the release of the more than $21 Million dollars in Federal Safe Routes to School Funding so that children can safely walk or bicycle to school. Talking points and summaries are attached.
If you were able to meet with your State Representatives or Senators yesterday, please do complete a Feedback Form (attached) and return it to PA Walks & Bikes. The information you provide to us will enable us to continue the work that we started yesterday. You are welcome to forward this message to others who you know share our interests. Thank you so much for all that you have done and will continue to do to improve bicycling in PA.
PA Walks & Bikes
Not a member of Bike Pittsburgh? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride.For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership