Monday, June 16, 2008

dallas county to all bicyclists:

huh huh. huh huh huh.
On June 24th at 9:30 am the Dallas County Board of Supervisors will meet
at the Adel City Hall, 301 S. 10th Street Adel, IA 50003, to discuss the attached ordinance.
It is imperative that we have as many people as possible to attend the meeting and speak to the Board. If this passes in Dallas it is on to the next County.
This is not a Dallas vs Polk vs Warren County issue, this is an Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) vs Bicyclist issue! If this ordinance passes it is coming to your county next, with the intent that Cities will enact the next level of blocking your rights.
The highlights of the ordinance:
* Based on discussion with county engineer, the number of riders participating could be as low as 10-20, that means any group ride of 10-20 cyclist would require a $1,000,000 insurance rider listing Dallas County as additional insured.
* One of the criteria is if the event is advertised, the language includes internet, that means if it is posted on Bike Iowa, that would be considered advertising, therefore about any ride in Dallas County would be included.
* The ordinance includes all County Roads, but on the trails you must cross County Roads, therefore even a trail ride would include this insurance requirement.
Reasons this is wrong:
* What difference does it make how many riders there are, 1 rider can hit a pothole and become injured, why would 15, 20, or 5,000 make any difference? The policy does not solve the Counties perceived problem.
* The Crawford County issue was so much more than a simple bike accident that the insurance required would have provided no protection from the accident. The County had negligence, therefore the lawsuit was legally valid, and that is why they paid, not because of road design, but because of negligence by the County in its actions. It is unfortunate that this did not go to court and sort out the real issues at hand!
* Iowa state law protect the rights of riders to the level that we have the same rules and rights to the road. How can the county set aside State law?
* The County does not require the same insurance for other group events such as tractor rides or classic car rally¢s, thus preventing equal access.
* Roads not designed for bikes, this is too long of a subject to address in this email. I can argue this with two hands tied behind my back.
* This would require many small fundraising rides to not happen due to the cost of insurance.
Other problems: The Iowa Association of Counties is pushing all counties in Iowa to pass this ordinance. Yet with all of the problems with the ordinance they think this is a good move. If an ordinance is bad, it should not pass, after a ordinance is drafted that makes sences, then lets debate the merit of the item being considered, but to debate poor language and badly written law, that is a waste of the time of all of us.
I will warn you, Bob Ockerman denied me the right to speak in a public session at the last meeting, as the newest member of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors he is doing a fine job of keeping the people in the process.
As a former elected official, while not required by law, I always allowed the public to speak.
I was amazed that after seeing me sit in a meeting for two hours he would not allow any comments that would help the board make an educated decision. I hope he is more open minded on June 14th. From the Iowa Bicycle Coalition: ·
This ordinance is unnecessary.
--There is no legal precedent since the Crawford County case was settled out of court.
--There has only been one bicycle lawsuit of this nature in 36 years. This is not a frequent legal problem for the counties. A wayward Illinois Supreme Court decision that produced a uniquely increased liability situation has produce no additional lawsuits or increases in insurance rates over the past 10 years. ·
Counties have legal protection under Iowa law in common law.
--Bicyclists are required to keep a proper lookout to avoid hazards. With the bicycles lower speed and higher maneuverability bicycles can easily avoid hazards.
--Counties must foresee the issue that could cause damage and have time to act.
--Bicycle facilities are protected from negligence under 670.4(14) & (15). ·
This ordinance could infringe on freedoms protected in the Iowa Constitution.
--Iowans have the right to freely travel.
--Iowans have the right to associate.
--Iowans have the right to assemble.
As gas our price rises, as our climate warms, and as our children are suffering from obesity related diabetes and high blood pressure, we need to make sure exercise and physical activity are freely allowed in our communities. We need to make sure our transportation system has options for those who cannot afford to travel by car. We need to make sure people may ride their bicycles and not be excluded. --jeff mertz
seems like a great time for a
. . . . .
what do you say:
leave des moines around 800 am?
can you believe we have to go through this shit,
just to ride our fucking bikes?


Ed W said...

To you have a link to the text of the proposed law?

the mostly reverend said...

right here, on

KB said...

Nice work, Kim, Keith B.