Bike Bills Killed


It amazes me how much Facebook and other social media is essential to the game of legislative reporting. Tweetdeck and Twitter keep me abreast of the issues through my colleagues whilst writing Unda' the Rotunda, and Facebook provides the longevity of networking with Legislators and other press.

Or in some cases, you can get the full story on the innerworkings at the marble mansion north of Downtown, as was the case with a message from Kurt Holzer, a Boise attorney and cycling advocate.

"For lots of reasons of timing and politics those things will not happen this Legislative session but another attempt will be made to develop more allies in the next Idaho Legislature," said Holzer in his message to members of the Idaho Bicycle Law and Safety Advocates group.

Unda' has been reporting on Sen. Elliot Werk's bills, which essentially created a package of bills that strove to advocate cyclist's rights on Idaho roads, while also balancing the responsibility for the "vulnerable road users."

Without Holzer's message, however, this reporter might have continued to hit up Sen. Werk for an update on the bills and continue to forlornly lurk on the Senate floor, desperately pining for them to move to the 14th order of business, the amending order.

"The misnomer that somehow biking is only important in Boise is one that needs to be dispelled," Werk said a few weeks back. "There are people who ride their bikes all over Idaho. ... It's not a good situation if people feel like they're taking their lives into their own hands to get to the corner store."

Sadly, two of the four bills will sit until the session ends, effectively ending their brief lives. Senate bills 1348 and 1350 both offered protection to cyclists, with 1348 providing the three-foot to pass law enacted Boise on all Idaho roads, and 1350 protecting bikers from harassment. Kristin Armstrong, cyclist from Idaho and Olympic Gold medalist, testified during the proceedings, citing abuse on Idaho roads.

1351, the bill that set up a fund into which funds from the above infractions would have been funnled, died on the Senate floor.

Hipsters and their fixed gear stallions should rejoice, after Senate bill 1351, which created a law mandating brakes on all cycles in Idaho, was held at the Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney's desk after it passed the Senate. It too, will die.

We may see all, or some, of these provisions rise from the grave once more, and considering the high-profile accidents the state's cycling community has endured, the issue won't stay silent.

Expect euphoric status updates on Facebook from fixed-gear fans.