Late Post: Oklahoma City Approves Bicycle Ordinance Changes

Someone asked me about this the other day and I realized that in my earlier absence from the blog I had forgotten to post about it.  The previously mentioned ordinance changes being considered by the Oklahoma City Council were passed on May 24th during the normal meeting.  The highlights of the proposed changes are as follows:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.
You can read the specifics on all the changes here.

Edmond Seeking Consulting Services for Bicycle Master Plan

Edmond has made several important bicycle changes lately including the simplification and clarification of bicycle regulations and the installation of new bicycle route signs.  It now appears that they are making a concerted effort to put together a bicycle master plan for the entire city.  They are currently seeking a consultant to provide “Engineering and Planning Services for a Bicycle Master Plan”.  Full details on the RFQ can be found here.   Glad to see that Edmond is putting a concerted effort to improve cycling in a town that I have always found difficult for cycling.

Hat tip to Alan S. for the link.


Oklahoma Legislative Update

Oklahoma Capital Building Topaz

Photo By: George Thomas

With the end of the legislative session, we now can report on the final disposition of the four major cycling bills that were being considered this year:

  • SB443: Requires bicycle safety questions on the driver’s license exam.
    Passed and signed by the governor.
  • HB2049: Designates Route 66 as the Historic Route 66 Bike Trail.  Originally, the bill only partly covered Route 66, but in the end it was expanded to cover the entire length.
    Passed and signed by the governor.
  • SB487: Would have allowed for  an optional $5 donation during driver’s license renewals to go for bicycle safety education.
    Died waiting for final vote after reconciliation.
  • SB951: Probably the most important bill in this year’s session would have clarified the 3-foot rule and would have increased penalties for people throwing objects at cyclists.
    Died in Senate Subcommittee.

MAPS 3 Timeline Approved including Bike Trail Schedule

With more than a little controversy, the Oklahoma City Council has approved a timeline for all the MAPS 3 projects. Included in this timeline for the 57 miles of new bicycle trails included in the MAPS projects:

Trails

• Fifty-seven miles of trails for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities are planned. The locations of the trails are still being worked out, but they expect to make use of lakes and other well-used areas of the city. They will be built in three phases beginning in 2013.

• Estimated cost: $40 million

• Planned completion date: Late 2017

via MAPS 3 timeline at a glance | NewsOK.com.

The locations of these bike trails is still to be decided. I would expect there will be several city council meetings during the next year or so to make those final decisions.


Oklahoma City Council Conducts Public Hearing on Bicycle Ordinance Changes

Sorry folks, but I’m back to playing catch up.  Firstly, the Oklahoma City Council is holding the public hearing phase on the major changes to the city’s bicycle ordinances.  The meeting is occurring today starting at 8:30 AM in the City Council Chamber on the 3rd floor of 200 N. Walker.

As you can see from the full agenda, there is a lot of ground being covered so I can’t really say when the ordiances will changes will be considered.  If it happens when I happen to have a free moment, I will be live tweeting the discussion at @okcbicyclist.

As previously reported and in brief, these ordiance changes consist of the following:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.

You can read the full list of changes here.


Edmond City Council Passes 3-Foot Rule

Following the cue of Oklahoma City and Norman, the Edmond City Council has passed an ordinance change that requires vehicles to pass cyclists with at least 3-feet of distance. Violation of the ordnance comes with a fine of not more than $500. The Ordinance also makes several other changes to cycling rules in Edmond:

  • It officially defines a bicycle as a vehicle when traveling on the road ways.
  • Clarifies the definitions of bike lane and shared-use paths.
  • Requires that cyclists stay under the posted speed limit.
  • Allows cyclists (NOT REQUIRES) to ride on the sidewalk everywhere in Edmond except for the downtown area which is defined as “south of Thatcher, east of the railroadright-of-way, north of Second Street, and west of Littler.”  Not that I would ever recommend taking up the extremely dangerous practice of cycling on the sidewalk.
  • Removes the requirement that cyclists have a bell, whistle or other noise maker on their bike.

You can read the full ordinance and background information in the City Council Agenda packet: http://edmondok.com/docs/city_council/meeting_agendas_and_minutes/03_28_2011_packet.pdf


OKC Traffic Commission Considers Broad Changes to City Cycling Ordinances

Today, at 1:30 PM, the Oklahoma City Traffic and Transportation Commission will consider a recommendation to make several large changes to the city’s cycling ordinances.  In brief, the changes consist of the following:

  1. The proposal would allow cyclists to have full use of the lane on any road designated as a bicycle route.  A bicycle route is a designated piece of a road way primarily consisting of the 200 miles of bike routes laid out in the city’s cycling master plan, not just a road containing a “Share the Road” sign.
  2. In relation to the proposal above, the ordinance would specifically state that a vehicle would be required to fully change lanes to over take the cyclist on designated bicycle routes.  If there is no room, to change lanes, the vehicle would be required to yield to the bicycle as a piece of normal traffic and comply with “all traffic control devices and pavement markings which prohibit lane changes.”
  3. Limits the conditions upon which more than two people can ride upon a bicycle.
  4. Broadens the places where cyclists can park their bicycles on sidewalks.
  5. Limit the use of “tall handlebars” (handlebars taller than 12 inches) except upon recumbent bicycles.

The full documentation for the proposed changes by Mr. Randall Entz of the Planning Department, can be found at the Meeting Agenda website: http://www.okc.gov/AgendaPub/meeting.aspx?cabinet=published_meetings&docid=30140.  If approved by the Traffic Commission, the proposal would then move to the full city counsel for consideration.  The meeting agenda does allow for public comments from citizens.  The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 200 N. Walker.

Thanks to Pete on the OBC Voices mailing list for the heads up.