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Boise City Council approves new rules to protect cyclists

The Idaho Statesman: Boise City Council approves new rules to protect cyclists

Bethann Stewart - bstewart@idahostatesman.com
Published: 01/12/10

Among Tuesday’s changes, motorists must now allow 3 feet when passing cyclists.

A controversial “whenever possible” clause was removed from the proposed 3-feet-to-pass ordinance.

"The safety of the cyclist is more important than the convenience of the vehicle," said Council Pro Tem Alan Shealy, who motioned to removed the clause. “Until we gain the collective wisdom that we must share the road ...there should be a 3-foot buffer in all instances."

The three new ordinances include other changes to city code:

• Making it a misdemeanor for a motorist or any person to intentionally intimidate or harass a cyclist by threatening physical injury or throwing an object.

• A new prohibition on reckless operation of a bicycle in a manner that could "endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property," also a misdemeanor.

• Specific rules for riding bicycles on sidewalks, including a requirement that the cyclist dismount "when the number of pedestrians using the sidewalk renders bicycle riding on the sidewalk unsafe."

• Clarification that motorists at intersections must yield to oncoming cyclists when turning left and cannot cut off cyclists traveling in the same direction when turning right.