One of the most anti-bicyclist bills in history was introduced 2 weeks ago by Orange County’s own Diane Harkey. AB738 absolves cities and all irresponsible employees thereof for all liability for death or injury to a bicyclists resulting from poor road maintenance, faulty engineering, and plain old bad design of “bicycle facilities.” And all a city would have to do to enjoy this blanket immunity would be to paint a bike lane on that roadway, any bike lane no matter how short or bad.
No wonder. Harkey is from Dana Point, a city that sees all bicycles as toys and all bicyclists as children who must be protected at all cost, no matter how dangerous or ridiculous that protection actually is. DP is the city that brought you the “cattle chute,” the substandard width multi-user trail between Palisades and Camino Capistrano, a so-called “Class 1 Bike Trail” populated by stroller pushers, dog walkers, brain-dead runners, and walkers with-their-backs-to-you and iPods shoved in their ears. Mix in a few high-speed peletons and you’ve set the stage for bloody head-on collisions or worse. We’re still waiting for the first peleton to roll into a double-wide stroller carrying infant twins!
But that’s not all DP is famous for: consider the wandering “buffered” bike lanes north of town , sand bag laden debris collectors, seldom swept, that move in and out from the curb giving motorists no clue of where they’ll be when they pass. “Is that cyclist moving left with the lane or will she continue across my path into the left turn pocket? Who cares, she doesn’t belong on the road anyway.”
Or so Diane Harkey must feel. For AB738 singles out bicyclists among all other road users, and would deny us alone of our right to sue for damage or injury for these and other irresponsible installations.
YOU MUST HELP KILL THIS BILL
We’ve watched, dumbfounded, as it moved through the legislature. Surly common sense would prevail. But no. At this writing it has proceeded to the Judiciary Committee.
PLEASE WRITE OR CALL DIANE HARKEY’S OFFICE NOW
- » Steven La Motte – Senior Field Representative
- » Bill Brough – Chief of Staff
- » Jody Vaughn – District Director
29122 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite #111
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 347-7302 fax
- » Gino Folchi – Capitol Director
- » Andrew McElhinney – Legislative Director
- » Allison Wescott – Legislative Aide
Sacramento, CA 94249
(916) 319-2173 fax
Tell them you bicycle and you vote in Orange County. And ask them why bicyclists alone deserve such blatant discrimination.