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Press Conference on Bicycle Bills & Bicycle Action Day

The Virginia Bicycling Federation and RideRichmond will be holding a press conference on current bicycle bills and Bicycle Action Day rally tomorrow, Tues. Jan. 29, 10:30am. Download the press release, and please share.

PRESS ADVISORY: PRESS CONFERENCE ON BICYCLE BILLS
TOMORROW, JANUARY 29TH, 10:30AM 

The press conference will be held in House Briefing Room at 10:30am, followed by a rally and opportunity for cyclists to engage legislators and their aides. The rally will begin at 11:00am and will end at 12:00pm. All Senators and Delegates below will be in attendance to discuss and answer questions on the bills.

The event will focus on informing legislators and their aides on the significant economic impact bicycling has on our Commonwealth; positive benefits cycling has on Virginia citizens including military recruitment, health, and environmental impact; as well as the need for legislation that protects cyclists under the current Virginia code of having the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles.

Current advocacy issues will be discussed in detail at the press conference. These topics include:

  • SB736, Patroned by Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax)
    • This bill intends to prevent collisions when a car door is swung into the path of a traveling vehicle.
  • SB1060, Patroned by Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania)
    • This bill intends to prevent collisions from a motor vehicle following a cyclist more closely than reasonable.
    • This bill intends to make the minimum passing distance when overtaking a cyclist three feet.
  • HB1950, Patroned by Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington)
    •  This bill intends to prevent collisions from a motor vehicle following a cyclist more closely than reasonable.
  • HB2041, Patroned by Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax)
    • This bill intends to provide flexibility for creation of bikeways to public recreation areas and historical sites.

RideRichmond, Virginia Bicycle Federation, BikeVirginia, and other groups across the Commonwealth are united in protecting the freedoms of cyclists through making Virginia a safer and better place to enjoy bicycling.

Champe Burnley, President, Virginia Bicycling Federation:
“Making it safe for a child to bike to school, safe for a mother to cycle to the market for a gallon of milk, safe for someone to leave the car at home to commute to work on a bicycle is simply common sense public policy. I hope the General Assembly will support our efforts to make this a reality.”

Tom Bowden, President, BikeVirginia:
“If Virginia wants to compete with other states as a place where people want to live, to work, relocate their business, or to raise their families, the Commonwealth must provide them with safe, affordable and viable means of transportation. A multimodal infrastructure which includes the option to safely ride a bike is essential.”

Cycling has a number of positive benefits. Given the fact that the number one reason U.S. Army recruits are rejected is due to obesity, cycling is not only fun, but also an excellent cardiovascular workout that positively contributes to our national defense and security. As Governor McDonnell notes, with a large active duty and veteran military presence across the Commonwealth, this is something that must not be overlooked. Additionally, cycling helps cut our dependence on foreign oil. Legislation that protects human cyclists on the road creates incentives for increased ridership, decreased obesity, and decreased dependency on foreign oil. 

The time is now for the General Assembly to take cycling seriously as a transportation choice. If Virginia is truly committed to remain at the forefront of business friendly states, it must make a commitment to cycling and other transportation choices. We cannot pave our way out of congestion – we must encourage cycling, walking and public transit for our fiscal and physical well-being. Young creative workers will not move to or remain in a state that limits their transportation choices. Enlightened businesses know this, and increasingly, they seek to locate in bike friendly states and communities. Virginia will not remain the best place to do business with a narrow-minded and outdated transportation policy. Bikes mean business.

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