Well, the news about the petition to ban cyclists from Iowa roads has gained international notoriety. There is a counter petition to ban cars from farm to market roads, which is just a huge waste of time, in my opinion, and the petition to ban cyclists continues to gain steam. Even our local T.V. station picked up the story on its website: http://www.kwwl.com/global/story.asp?s=10847729
I wrote this missive on The Cyclist about it, and I think what I said there is being bourne out in the comments made on the site against cycling on blacktops. These folks (A) think they are doing cyclists a favor by "protecting them" and (B) are not something that belongs on any road. You know it is true. Just look at how folks react to us on city streets. How they think you are "nuts" for riding on the road. Like it or not, cyclists are in the vast minority here in Iowa when it comes to the population at large. Most Iowans will have zero problem with a law banning cyclists from the county blacktops. Think I am crazy? Just wait till the legislature picks this up and the law becomes reality. There is a very good chance that it could happen.
But you might say, what about RAGBRAI? What about these other organized charity rides? Oh....they'll happen all right. With a special clause written in that they must have insurance up the yazoo and police escort/barricades and what not. Those "big" rides will happen all right with or without the proposal. These folks against the cycling on farm to market roads are not going to be against RAGBRAI. They are against the group rides, the one and two cyclists out there enjoying the road. That is who will be kicked off the road if this gets through the House and Senate.
And the "bean counters" in the gubmint will love it too. No special provisions for cyclists means less money to cyclists and more to spend on highways, which are underfunded already. There is a move afoot in the Federal branch to cut all alternative funding for transportation like cycling and pedestrians out of the new transportation bill. Yeah! For real.
Your rights to move about the country in the manner that you choose is under fire here folks. If the county roads are made "cycling free", you will see moves to ban cycling from city streets as well. Especially in budget crunched cities that can not afford potential conflicts between cyclists and cars/trucks. They'll point to the bike paths and tell you to ride there. Bicycles are like golf, and stick and ball sports that should have their own "arenas" for use, not the public roads. You don't take green practice on a street, so why should you ride a bike there? Bicycling is just another sport, another game that people play, it isn't serious transportation.
Think that sounds crazy? They are going to start asking who rides a bike as transportation and they are going to find out that very few folks that consider themselves as cyclists in Iowa actually ride to work, or for their primary means of transportation. They are going to find out that not many cyclists are writing their representatives to protect the rights of cyclists......unless you actually do write them.
If the minority (ie: Cyclists in Iowa) do not make themselves known to the representatives in government, the government is going to take away the right to ride on farm to market roads. Signing a stupid petition banning cars is a waste of time. Get the ears and eyes of State Representatives on this matter. That's where the rubber meets the road!
Click here to find your State Representative and how to contact them.