(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.”