Chicago passes bicycle safety ordinance

(I almost wrote “ordnance,” which could either be really good or really bad for cyclists).

The City of Chicago passed the Bicycle Safety Ordinance this afternoon. The new law now establishes fines for turning left or right in front of a bicyclist, passing a bicyclist with less than three feet of space, and opening a vehicle door into the path of a bicyclist. Fines range from $150 to $500 and go up to $500 if the violation results in a bicycle crash.

It also establishes a fine for double-parking in a marked shared lane, and increases the fine for driving, standing or parking in a bicycle lane.

“We are committed to making Chicago the most bicycle friendly city in the country, and safety is a very critical part of the plan,” Daley said after the measure passed. “More than 6,000 crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles were reported in Chicago between 2001 and 2005. Unfortunately, 30 bicyclists were killed. These new laws will help prevent injuries and save lives.”

Daley defended bike messengers when asked about their sometimes risky riding and rude behavior. “The bike messengers are a breed unto themselves,” Daley said, smiling. “I got to meet a lot of them so I know a lot of them. They’ve got a job to do, and like anything else, they are respecting the laws on the road and all that, and the rules.”

From Chicagoland Bicycle Federation via Jennifer in Chicago. Dave also points us to an illustrated PDF with photographic examples of the types of actions this law prohibits.

9 Comments

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2008 - 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Effective advocay pays large dividends. Now let's hope that law enforcement is properly trained. My kind of town!
    Jack

  • Anonymous
    March 12, 2008 - 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Effective advocay pays large dividends. Now let's hope that law enforcement is properly trained. My kind of town!Jack

  • bikesgonewild
    March 12, 2008 - 10:17 pm | Permalink

    …i gotta agree w/ jack…hopefully the laws will be applied intelligently & judiciously so as to not foment more cyclist/ motorist negativity…

    …that & i'd like to go for a ride & a beer in his town w/ mayor daley…

  • bikesgonewild
    March 13, 2008 - 5:17 am | Permalink

    …i gotta agree w/ jack…hopefully the laws will be applied intelligently & judiciously so as to not foment more cyclist/ motorist negativity……that & i'd like to go for a ride & a beer in his town w/ mayor daley…

  • Noah
    March 13, 2008 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I think I would rather have explosives at my disposal than more laws to be ignored by officers.

  • Noah
    March 13, 2008 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I think I would rather have explosives at my disposal than more laws to be ignored by officers.

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  • Dan Gutierrez
    September 11, 2011 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how a bicyclist is ever found at fault given that another ordinance, “at all times”¬†gives motorists explicit right of way over bicyclists:

    9-52-040. Yielding right-of-way. …(c) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right-hand side of the roadway, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction and at all times giving the right-of-way to other moving vehicles.Given this ROW ordinance, I don’t see whjy a police officer ever has to find a bicyclist at fault when a crash occurs.¬† The law allows him to blame the cyclist, since they didn’t yield to the motorist.- Dan Gutierrez -Long Beach, CACABO District 7 Director

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