City Hall Wants to Make It Clear to Drivers: Don't Be a Dick to Cyclists
Just last week, we noted that while those long-delayed bike lanes downtown are great and all, it'll be a long time before Dallas drivers give cyclists their space. Texas motorists tend to feel entitled to the road, which they are loath to share with some spindly, non-motorized conveyance.
We learn today from the Morning News' Steve Thompson, that the city would like to encourage drivers' good behavior by fining them $500 for being dicks to cyclists.
The encouragement comes in the form of an ordinance governing bike-car interactions at intersections, which was added at the last minute to tomorrow's City Council agenda.
Under the ordinance, cars will have to give a lot more deference to "vulnerable road users," aka poor, unsuspecting cyclists. Rather than rocketing past a bicycle with the passenger-side mirror mere centimeters from slamming its rider into the pavement, cars and trucks have to leave the lane and re-enter it "only after passing at a safe distance." Cars are also not allowed to make a right turn in front of a cyclist until they are safely past. Last but certainly not least: The operator of a motor vehicle cannot throw items at a vulnerable road user.
The fine for violating any of those provisions would max out at $500. The damage caused by the pissed-off bike rider's house key will probably cost you more than that. So drive nice.