My first exposure to the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights came in an online forum.
Someone had posted a comment about it, complaining that cyclists expected drivers to treat them like porcelain dolls.
I had to agree with him. Because that’s exactly the point — if you hit a bicyclist with your car, he or she will break, just like a glass doll. Except the clean-up will be a lot longer, more complicated and more painful for everyone involved.
The Cyclists’ Bill of Rights doesn’t create any new rights. All it does is gather rights that cyclists — and human beings, for that matter — already enjoy in various forms, under various statutes, and codifies them in a single document.
Created by the Bike Writers Collective — I may have mistakenly said Coalition on today’s AirTalk program — it’s been endorsed by a long line of individuals and elected officials, neighborhood councils and organizations, just a few of whom are shown here. And countless cyclists have requested that it be officially adopted as part of the new L.A. bike plan.
I’m including the full text below, for anyone who heard me mention it on the show.
I’m also including a link to something I wrote earlier, explaining why cyclists do some of the things we do — and one driver’s exceptional response to it. Along with a link to the single best explanation of how to share the road, from a cyclist’s perspective, that I’ve ever seen.
Because really, we all want the same things out on the road.
We want to get where we’re going. And we want to get home safely.
And that shouldn’t be too much to ask.
CYCLISTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
WHEREAS, cyclists have the right to ride the streets of our communities and this right is formally articulated in the California Vehicle Code; and
WHEREAS, cyclists are considered to be the “indicator species” of a healthy community; and
WHEREAS, cyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions; and
WHEREAS, cyclists are, first and foremost, people – with all of the rights and privileges that come from being members of this great society; and
NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE CYCLING COMMUNITY, do hereby claim the following rights:
1) Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
2) Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
3) Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
5) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
6) Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.
7) Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
8 ) Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities.
9) Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.
10) Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
11) Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.
12) Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.
And further, we claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride!