Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vienna Town Council public hearing update

The agenda for the Monday August 17 Vienna Town Council meeting has been posted. The meeting starts at 8 p.m. The public hearing is item 7, after two other public hearings. Background material is also posted, starting on page 75 of the PDF file. We expect the bicycle amendment to public hearing to begin some time after 8:30.

The main item of interest to bicyclists is Sec. 21-10 Riding on Sidewalks and Bikepaths. There are two proposals regarding bicyclists approaching an intersection:

(e) Bicyclists riding on sidewalks and bikepaths shall be required to stop at all intersections, crosswalks and/or street crossings.

Alternative proposed new (e)

(e) Bicyclists riding on sidewalks and bikepaths shall be required to yield or follow posted signage at all intersections, crosswalks and/or street crossings.

The first proposal requires bicyclists to "stop" and was proposed by the police. It was presented to the Transportation Safety Commission which suggested that stop was "overly constricting for cyclists" and they suggested the use of "yield" (see page 80 of the background material), by a vote of 6-0.

We believe that either option is unnecessary, and both may be more restrictive than existing state code which states that "No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic" (bicyclists riding on the sidewalk are considered pedestrians).

FABB will attend the public hearing and testify against the proposals. Draft FABB testimony before Vienna Town Council.


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