The Cleveland Bikes Safety Committee  has begun contacting city governments to advocate for better (safer and more fair) local ordinances covering bicycle operation. We have rated the ordinances in 67 NE Ohio communities and what we found is not good. Until very recently, only one city, Brook Park, had excellent ordinances (rated A-) . About half (32) are mediocre (rating C) and the rest are worse -- D's and F's (some even F-).
The rating scheme is simple, based mostly on whether laws require unsafe operation or are discriminatory. One of the most serious defects is requiring riding on sidewalks (especially for adults).
Details are in the article Bike Laws Ratings, http://bikelaws.org/cb/neo-bikelaws.htm Examples of better ordinances are in Model Laws,http://bikelaws.org/cb/Model-Muni-Code.htm.
We need your help -- It's easy. Please speak up in favor of better bicycle driving laws. We need one or more cyclists from each community to act as local representatives:
We have a Powerpoint slide show to present to city officials. You can see this as either a compact (3 slides/page) pdf file with notes (best for viewing on your own computer) or the full PowerPoint slide show (~ 2Mb) for showing to an audience.
 Contact Fred Oswald (see below) for information.
 It is in Brook Park that we had the greatest success. Until 2003,
the city's rating was an F. Ron & Cathy McCutcheon gave copies of the
article Bike Laws Ratings to all members of
council, inspiring the significant reforms passed in 2003. There is a
small remaining problem in the Brook Park ordinances, a requirement for brakes
that can "make the brake [SIC] wheel skid".
Recently, other communities started responding to reforms in the Ohio Revised Code that require local ordinances to be consistent with the uniform rules of the road. Unfortuantely, several failed to repeal their worst ordinances that mandate unsafe practices.
For comments, questions, contact
The author is a certified "League Cycling Instructor and a professional engineer in Ohio.
Last Revised 8/10/08
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