HB2217/Greason, Trail Users to Stop Before Crossing Highways

Allows local governing bodies to adopt ordinances requiring users of shared-use paths to stop before crossing highways at marked crosswalks.

This bill, which is the House version of Favola’s Senate bill, was reported out of House Transportation unanimously.

I did get a chance to speak and make a few suggestions, but I had to butt in to do so, and was told to be brief, as the 1/2 hour after Adjournment meeting started at 4:10 and Chairman May was trying hard to move things along with a big docket still ahead and was not in the mood to hear much discussion of bills that had been passed by the Sub committees. Michael Gilbert and Brantley Tyndall arrived just in time to hear the bill get handled.

The bill has been amended, from that you will see on the website, and though I haven’t seen a copy of the amended version yet, I believe it now applies to all jurisdictions in the state, and to all highways crossing shared use paths regardless of their speed limits.  (It was originally meant for the W&OD.)

I did get a chance to discuss with the State Police Rep, the DMV rep, the VDOT rep, and the Loudoun county lobbyist (who is an attorney), and all agree with me that STOP, & COMPLETE STOP mean the same thing, which is to CEASE MOVING.

Further there is no requirement in that definition that a cyclist remove a foot from a pedal, or put a foot on the ground, since you can still be moving with a foot off the pedal, or a foot on the ground. The requirement is to CEASE MOVING, and there is no requirement for how long that cessation has to be, so it can be momentary.

The Loudoun county lobbyist, Jeffrey Gore, was not aware that any tickets had been issued for running stop signs on the W&OD in Loudoun since it was not yet legal to do so, and promised that he would convey the above definition of STOP to the county Sheriff, and ask him to convey it to his officers.

Also, in his presentation of the bill to the committee, Greason cited a large number of injuries in the last few years, as well as some fatalities, at trail crossings which was the primary reason for this bill.

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  • I encourage anyone in a position to ask, to inquire why Loudon isn’t issuing tickets to pedestrians entering crosswalks in disregard of traffic, if safety is the primary concern. Also, how many citations for speeding and failure to yield the right of way has Loudon issued to motorists at these dangerous intersections? And why isn’t there a actual stop light to halt traffic, if the intersections are so dangerous for pedestrians?

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