Bike backlash for Barbara Boxer

Cycling advocates around California react to the “Bicycle Safety” mandatory sidepath clause in Senator Barbara Boxer’s “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) transportation spending bill.

Bicycle ban sign

BICYCLE SAFETY. — The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit the use of bicycles on each federally owned road that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or greater and an adjacent paved path for use by bicycles within 100 yards of the road.

Damien Newton summarizes reaction from the various cycling advocates (including Yours Truly) in California to this bike ban language.

Meanwhile, in DC, Tanya wondered what could be wrong with this clause. Why shouldn’t cyclists be forced to use paths that we asked to build for millions of dollars. After reading the arguments, however, she came around pretty quickly and signed the LAB petition. I’ve also heard from a couple of path advocates here in the Bay Area who, at first, didn’t see a problem but have since fired off a letter to Senator Boxer asking for a change in the law.


  1. When we ride on the road, the drivers complain, “Why don’t you ride on that bike path my tax dollars paid for?”.  When we ride on the path, the pedestrians complain, “Why don’t you ride on the street?”.

  2. If I’m understanding the above correctly, the wording is such that bicycles are prohibited both on roadways *and* adjacent paved pathways. Huh?

  3. Is there a place that has the concise arguments?  I mean, the fact that sidepaths are often more dangerous because of the conflicts is the obvious one, and the women not wanting to be on the side of the road (I’m one of ’em! You’re going to mandate me to navigate through the campustown drunks?) … I know there are more…

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