March 12, 2009

Dead Red... what does THAT mean?

SB 368, Dead Red for bicyclists & motorcyclists, passed Senate Transportation Committee Wed. & on Senate Consent Calendar...

That's only one of the latest headlines from MoBikeFed this week, courtesy Brent Hugh's latest email. 

But, it had me wondering... what IS "dead red", anyways? 

Here ya go:

Snippet from 3/27/2008 MoBikeFed post:
. "Dead red for bicycles".  Motorcyclists have been lobbying for this bill for years. This year MoBikeFed asked the motorcycle lobbying groups and the bill's sponsor to include bicycles in the provision as well.  The bill will allow motorcyclists or bicyclists who come to a traffic signal that will not change for them, to proceed through the signal, when safe, without any danger of receiving a traffic ticket.  The provision will also help put pressure on DOTs and public works departments to fix these traffic signals so that they properly recognize and activate for bicycles and motorcycles."

So, that basically means -- in Missouri -- if I'm commuting to work in the wee hours, and that pesky light won't change for me - I can go ahead and treat the intersection like a two-way stop. (if the bill passes)  CAREFULLY, of course.  And, I assume, after doing your required foot-down stop, and waiting for at least a little time to pass.  This should not take the place of common sense, and give cyclists license to determine if a light might not change for them.  Stop, look, wait, be safe!    That was originally from bill SB761, which now seems to be referred to as SB368.  In any case, the bill is moving forward, passing the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, and currently on the Senate Consent Calendar.

Also included are items like allowing motorists to pass in a "no-pass" or double-yellow line zone, when coming upon a bicyclist (or other slow-moving-vehicle), when safe.  This will go a long way to help prevent cyclists from getting squeezed by motorists trying to pass on a hill - trying to find that magic zone between your bike, and the solid yellow line.  Whew! 

Just a couple steps closer to a better world.  I just hope the old thinking dies away, people start acting with responsibility and respect.
I got squeezed just the other morning on 127th street.  I mean, some people are just gonna be that way.  I was fine - but dang-it anyways.  DEEEEP breath....  
It's still better than driving.  It's still better than driving.  It's still better than driving.  
I still contend, however, that we all have a responsibility to ACT APPROPRIATELY on the roads, and keep up our side of the bargain.  There are many that are working tirelessly to get bills like this passed, introduced, etc.  Let's all make sure we're doing our part, and riding by example.  Be safe out there...  

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