Governmental Policies and Programs

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The California Highway Patrol Puts Motorist Convenience Above the Safety of Cyclists:
It Is Not To Be Trusted in Matters Concerning Cycling

Ever since 1963, whenever the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has acted in a matter involving the policy regarding bicycle traffic, its recommendation has placed the convenience of motorists above the safety of cyclists and the Legislature has followed this advice. By these acts the CHP has failed in its duty toward the safety of all road users and its acts amount to defying those portions of modern bicycle traffic law that the Legislature enacted to preserve the safety of cyclists. See The Slow Cyclist Political Problem

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Government Should Not Discriminate Against Cyclists:
The Case Against FTR Laws

The rights and duties of drivers of vehicles enable traffic to flow safely and efficiently. But motorists, for their own convenience, denied cyclists important rights, thus making cyclists second-class road users, trespassers subject to discrimination by police and harassment by motorists, and unable to take advantage of the safety and efficiency of obeying the standard traffic rules. Repealing the restrictive laws that deny cyclists the full rights of drivers of vehicles is the most important task for those cyclists who recognize the value of obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. Because the restrictive laws violate both traffic-engineering and legal principles there are reasonable arguments for repealing them. See The Case Against FTR Laws

I have prepared two one page letters to persons who may be persuaded to take action towards repealing California Vehicle Code 21202, the FTR law. The first page is an attention-getter. The second page contains more details supporting repeal of CVC 21202. First Page Attention Getter.The second page has more legal details. Second Page Details.

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Governmental Mis-Education of Bike Planners

How Government Teaches Bike Planners: Review of FHWA's Graduate Course in Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation

The Federal Highway Administration's graduate course in pedestrian and bicycle transportation puts anti-motoring bikeways ahead of cyclist safety and convenience.

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The government's supposed scientific basis for its bicycle policy and program is utter hokum.

Federal Cycling Science Reviewed

The Synthesis of Bicycle Safety-Related Research is the supposed scientific justification for the cycling policy and program of the nation. It purports to contain a summary of all the important research since 1981 into cycling transportation. That information, when added to the valid portions of the work done before 1981, ought to support our nation's cycling policy and program. According to Clarke and Tracy, it does. (Hereafter, I list the authors as C&T.) However, they have made it do so only by ignoring half or more of what was done and by misquoting and maligning much of the rest. The result probably persuades the politicians and highway administrators, and many bicycle advocates as well. However, to one who knows what actually was done and the amount of scientific support possessed by each report, the result demonstrates that our nation's cycling policy and program are so far from reasonable that, instead of being supported by scientific knowledge, they can be supported only by ignorance and/or mendacity. That demonstration is the important work of this document.

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Are all bicycle commuters beginning cyclists? Government says they always will be, and designs accordingly.

Defects of the ABC Classes of Cyclists in AASHTO Guide

The government plans to design our cycling transportation system for beginners and incompetents, on the false arguments that 95% of its users will always be inexperienced (that's like asserting that 95% of married people are virgins) and that bikeways make cycling much safer for beginners.

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America's bicycle transportation program appears to be an engineering system, but it is not

America's Bicycle Transportation Program Considered as an Engineering System

To support its bicycle transportation program, the federal government set up a system of laws, funds, research, and standard designs that looks like the normal highway engineering management system. This indicates to the typical designer that he can use these designs with confidence that they are properly based on scientific investigation and engineering testing. However, the system was started on the basis of superstition and the later research has either failed to support the system or has utterly discredited the system.

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The Little Studies That Couldn't

Review of National Bicycling and Walking Studies

The federal government funded 24 studies to discover how best to make cycling and walking transportation better, safer, and more useful. Since the bicycling parts of the National Bicycling and Walking Studies were based on the superstition, or were intended to support the superstition, that bikeways are great for cyclists and cycling transportation, they are either useless or misleading. 

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What Needs To Be Done About The Government's Bicycling Program

Recommended Changes to Federal Bicycling Policy

The Federal bicycling policy is not one of making cycling better but is one of preventing bicycling from bothering motorists. Thus, ironically, it is encouraging motoring rather than bicycling. The whole program is supported by claims from junk science. The whole program needs to be changed into one that makes cycling transportation safer and better.

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Reclaiming Safety Standards for California's Bike Paths

How to Reclaim Safety Standards for California's Bike Paths. Call_to_Action

For thirty years, California has had mandatory safety design standards for bikeways, the standards that have largely been adopted by the rest of the nation. However, by a series of ill-judged opinions, California's courts have determined that a carefully engineered bicycle path has only the legal status of a dirt trail through the wilderness. That means that California's city, county, and state organizations that operate bicycle paths may make them as dangerous as they choose. The court has said that it is better to have a dangerous path than to pay the costs of a path that is safe for public use. We now have the opportunity to overturn this judicial mistake, but we need money for legal expenses.

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California Vehicle Code as Applicable to Cyclists

The parts of the California Vehicle Code most relevant to cyclists and cycling are discussed herein. California Vehicle Code


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Government page last changed: 22-Jul-16