Day 14- Montana GOP attack on cycling

Background (Article)

House Bill 267 was carried by Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell. It had passed the House on a 62-37 vote and cleared a Senate committee last week on a 7-3 vote. It failed on a 24-26 vote on second reading in the Senate and was indefinitely postponed shortly after.

Current law now says vehicles must pass cyclists “without endangering the person riding.” But Sen. Jen Gross, D-Billings, who carried the bill in the Senate, said the perception of “safe” varies from driver to driver. The bill would have defined reasonable and prudent as at least 3 feet between vehicle and bicycle at 35 mph or less, and 5 feet at faster speeds.

 

“It’s a common language with defined distances we can all agree on,” Gross said.

Those who opposed the bill said it was unenforceable because drivers wouldn’t be able to gauge the distance. Sales said if cyclists want more safety, it’s up to them.

This is all the law was asking for

share-the-road-poster

And this is coming on the heels of another bill that looked to ban bicyclists and pedestrians from most 2 lane roads in Montana

The proposed bill, “A bicyclist may not ride on a two-lane highway outside the boundaries of a municipality when there is no paved shoulder on which to ride.” The same prohibition would apply to pedestrians and people in wheelchairs.

State law defines “highway” as “the entire width between the boundary lines of every publicly maintained way” that is “open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.” The term “roadway” also appears in the draft. It refers to the traveled-on portion of a highway, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.

It appears, then, that the bill would ban bicyclists from most two-lane roads in the state. It is not clear whether any dirt and gravel roads are classified as “two-lane highways.”(Article)

Luckily this bill seems dead in committee

So here is the rub- We try to eliminate bikes from roads because they are unsafe, can’t do that, ok well then we will make it safer for people to ride then, nope can’t do that.

And people wonder why Government doesn’t work?

The problem is the perception of bike riders

“They’re some of the most self-centered, rude people navigating on the highways and county roads I’ve seen. They won’t move over. You can honk at them. They think they own the highway.” Senate President Scott Sales

The Senate president also criticized cyclists by saying they use the road without paying a gas tax to support maintenance, and suggested cyclists over the age of 16 should pay a $25 tax.

“They have this entitlement mentality, many of them, that we should just wait for them, and quite frankly I think that’s wrong. … Quite frankly I don’t want more of them in the state because there’s already too many of them as it is.”

What I take from this is that cyclist are liberal freeloaders and that because I use fossil fuels, I am a better individual because I pay my gas tax and all these hippy snowflakes need to quit siphoning all my money with their entitlement programs.

Entitlement= the fact of having a right to something, last I checked public roads, were just that Public, which means we do all have the right to use them as long as we are following the laws of the land.

GOP Entitlement= A negative thing that coincides with anything they don’t like or don’t feel like they should have to pay for.

From the GOP website- entitlement programs do not incentivize work and ultimately hurt our nation and American’s who genuinely need our help. Republicans believe in welfare reform and helping Americans move out of poverty, not the expansion of people’s dependency on government. (link)

So I have to ask- Why do you think people Bike?

  1. To get healthy- If obesity rates go down and people are more healthy, than overall rates for things like health insurance would go down, how is this a problem?
  2. Because they can’t afford a car or gas- people complain about welfare and then if a person has to use a bike to get to work, that’s now a problem too?
  3. Because they care about the environment- Again, reducing carbon emissions, for most makes sense, but apparently now that means not paying the gas tax so its a problem.

If I had my way, every road would have a paved bike path right along side it. I know that it’s not financially feasible, but if you ultimately want to make things safer, that is the best way. And I would gladly pay a bike tax to ride it.

So to recap-(my attempt at his real feelings on the issue)

I am a cranky old man who can’t wait 30 seconds to safely pass a bicyclist and I shouldn’t have to impede my 60mph just so some freeloading, self-centered bicyclist can ride safely down the road that they didn’t help pay for anyway, so Fuck them and their trying to be healthy or save money or the environment, fuck them all. I hope they get hit, in fact, they shouldn’t be on the road at all if I had my way. This damn bicyclist is impeding my God given freedom to drive however I want to and I am white and rich and my freedom is more important than that godless, soulless, poor, hippy snowflake. 

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