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Bike Safety Discussion Returns

City of Boise takes another look at the issue

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Bicyclists, here’s your chance to have your say about bike safety in Boise.

The Boise City Council will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan.. 12 to discuss a new set of proposed ordinances to improve bike safety in the city.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall, and will be aired live on CableOne channel 98 and streamed on the city’s Web site. The discussion is part of the Council’s regular weekly meeting.

The recommendations came in the wake of three bike-vs.-car deaths last summer. Boise Mayor Dave Bieter put together a task force which worked with representatives from bike groups and motorists to host two public open houses.

The resulting recommendations for changes to city laws include making it a misdemeanor for anyone to intentionally intimidate or harass a biker by threatening to hurt him or her, or to throw an object.

They would also prohibit reckless biking that would “endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property,” and make such activity a misdemeanor.

Changes would also require drivers to, whenever possible, provide a minimum of 3 feet of clearance when passing a biker, while requiring bikers to dismount and walk their bikes on sidewalks whenever there is a lot of pedestrians, or in specific “heels down” zones in congested areas, especially in downtown Boise.

The task force is still working on more recommendations, which would expand cycling safety programs and improve safety measures at high-risk intersections.