Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Idaho Stop on Front Page and a Third Reading Today

The piece on the front page today about the "Idaho Stop" bill is mostly pretty good!

But the headline's frame about "letting cyclists roll through stops" might not be the best, as it hits the tropes of the lawless cyclist and of special privileges for cyclists. It might better to have framed it as a measure for safety, efficiency, and climate.

Still, before the piece got to the autoist recalcitrance of some Legislators, it cited data. The juxtaposition implies a little shade, that some Legislators might be ignoring evidence even as they called for more support from the public.

It was also great to see a little journalistic conversation with BikePortland. (See BP here and here.)

Front page today
But it might have looked at problems with stopping cars. Even well away from stop signs, responsible stopping remains problematic for those who operate cars.

A couple days ago - but where's the driver?
A person crashed into the watermelons!
There's a long list here of local crashes where people crashed into inanimate objects well off the roadway.

Back in 2015
Any time we look at things that might seem specially or unfairly to advantage those who use bikes, we should be sure to situate it more completely in the context of our autoism.

Cars are deadly, dirty, and costly, and there are many reasons to give support to alternatives and to work towards rebalancing our transportation system to eliminate our compulsory autoism.

The bill's passed the Senate, and is scheduled for a Third Reading in the House today, and there is a real prospect for passage. (Update: It passed!)


Evan said...

Yay for Idaho stop. Passed 31-28 (whew! By a single vote a majority!)

Gladly, Rep. Smith Warner, Rep. Holvey and Rep. Helm brought actual data to the floor debate; whereas others had random fears and hyperbole.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

BikePortland has a nice piece on the vote along with some of the history of attempts at it over the last 15 years.

PhilipT said...

Any idea why Rep. Evans voted against it?

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Re: Rep. Evans - No specific idea, though in general terms parts of Polk County have been pretty anti-bike. If you are curious enough to ask him and get a response, please share!

PhilipT said...

I emailed him a while back and, coincidentally, just got a response yesterday (typos in his original email):

"The reason why I voted against SB 998 is because I think there is potential for this to create some confusion and uncertainty on the road, which makes our roads less safe. I am supportive of bicycle transportation and infrastructure, but am concerned about this making our roads less safer for bicyclist in areas where bicycle culture in not known. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out."

So, basically, he is "supportive of bicycle transportation and infrastructure," but only in areas where "bicycle culture" is "known." (I think he means Eugene and Portland?) The irony, of course, is that voting against sensible transportation reforms like SB 998 only makes the barrier to entry to bicycling that much higher, thus helping to keep the cyclists in Polk County and everywhere else in the area an occasional oddity/annoyance.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the update! Rep. Evans' reasoning is pretty specious, as you say, but perhaps it is responsive to significant parts of his district. You may recall that in 2014 his opponent (now on the School Board!) wanted to "reduce the amount of bicycle lanes" and called them "fringe things."