Archive for May 4, 2010

Bikes In The House

May 4, 2010

Double good news today:

The House voted 87-1 for legislation that would among other things require driver’s education course to include information about sharing the road with bicyclists and encourage development of bicycle lanes when roads are widened.

House Bill 1137 sponsored by state Rep. Patrick Williams, D-Shreveport, now heads to the Senate for debate.

Earlier, the House killed legislation that would have required red lights on the rear of bicycles traveling on state and parish roads and city streets at nights.

State Rep. Wayne Waddell, R-Shreveport, said the legislation, House Bill 1121 is aimed at saving the lives of bicyclists. “They are difficult for motorists to see. This will alert that there is a cyclist up ahead,” said Waddell.

But state Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco, said he is concerned about the penalty to which bicyclists would be subject for non-compliance. And he asked how night-time is defined.

I couldn’t care less about the bike lanes. Even if any are built, they’ll be built poorly; i.e., as nothing more than shoulders which get filled with road trash and parallel parked cars. They also have the unintended consequence of causing drivers to think bikes should ONLY be in the bike lane, which, due to the poor construction, are often dangerous places to ride.

The education requirement, though, is a good thing. At least people will know we have the same right to the road as they do. Whether they act on it is another issue, but at least they won’t be ignorant.

As for Waddell’s bill, I’ve already expressed my doubts about the sincerity of his motives. Regardless, the law has no business protecting cyclists (or anyone else) from themselves. Good riddance to his bill.

What Is Wrong With Robert Adley?

May 4, 2010

First the Benton Republican wanted to police what soft drinks young adults are allowed to enjoy. Now he wants to exempt the state, and some of his own friends, from the rule of law:

Senate Bill 549 by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, would prohibit law clinics at any state or private university that receives state funding from suing government agencies. In addition, the bill would forbid clinics from suing individuals and businesses for financial damages and curtail the ability to raise constitutional challenges.

The deans of Tulane and Loyola both say this would all but end the ability of law schools to offer practical educational opportunities to law students.

But all the bill prohibits is suing the state or businesses. The students could stillĀ  provide free aid if they were defending the state or a business. So don’t worry, eager young students, you might not be able to provide free help to all the poor folks whose livelihoods are wrecked by this oil spill, but you can certainly donate your time to defending BP.