Minnesota Legislature will hold hearings on new bicycle laws

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February 13, 2013 // UPDATED 6:39 pm - February 13, 2013
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter

The Minnesota Legislature will soon hear two bills that make changes to the state’s traffic laws that would benefit bicyclists.  

The bills, introduced on Feb. 13, would make it illegal to park or stop a vehicle in a designated bike lane and would also give bicyclists the right-of-way when a vehicle is trying to make a right-hand turn across a bicycle lane. 

If the bills sound familiar, it’s because they’re the same as two requests that the Minneapolis City Council made to the Legislature last fall.

Sen. Kari Dziedzic from Northeast is the chief author of the bill in the Senate. Rep. Phyllis Kahn, who represents the U of M area and St. Anthony Main, is the bill’s chief author in the House.

Dziedzic’s bills are scheduled for a hearing at the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee on Feb. 20. Kahn’s bills have been referred to the Transportation Policy Committee in the House, but haven’t been scheduled for a hearing.

 

Here’s selected text from the bills. You can see the complete text here and here.

 

Section 169.18, subdivision 4

Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane adjacent to the driver's lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall first signal the movement, then drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn, and shall make the turn, but only after it is safe to do so. The driver shall then make the turn consistent with any traffic markers, buttons, or signs, yielding the right-of-way to any vehicles or bicycles approaching so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Section 169.34, subdivision 1

No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device, in any of the following places

 (14) within a designated bicycle lane, except when posted signs permit parking;