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Public hearing set for Tuesday on Boise's proposed bike safety o

The Idaho Statesman: Public hearing set for Tuesday on Boise’s proposed bike safety ordinances

Bethann Stewart - Idaho Statesman
Published: 01/07/10


SIMILAR STORIES:

The hearing is part of the City Council’s regular meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers, third floor of City Hall.

The proceedings will be aired live on GET 98 (CableOne channel 98) and streamed on the City of Boise’s Web site (www.cityofboise.org).

The proposed ordinances were recommended by the 10-member Boise Cycling Safety Task Force formed by Mayor David H. Bieter in the wake of three tragic cycling deaths last summer.

The task force developed a set of changes to city ordinances that would affect both motorist and cyclist behavior.

The recommendations include:

• A new law 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 at him or her.

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

• A requirement that, whenever possible, a motorist provide a minimum safe distance of three feet when passing a cyclist.

• 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.”

• Creation of “heels down” zones on specific, highly congested sidewalks (such as downtown) where cyclists would be required to dismount at all times.

• 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.

A copy of the task force’s final report is available at www.cityofboise.org/Departments/mayor.