Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.

Jaime Fearer has now joined the GGW contributor team! Jaime recently moved to Logan/Shaw after 3 years in the Northeast neighborhood of Woodridge, where she ran the blog Stop, Blog and Roll. Please welcome Jaime!

After Alice Swanson was struck and killed while riding her bike to work on July 8, bicyclists across the region have been clamoring for enforcement of seemingly basic safety standards.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association / WABA has dedicated much of its time in the past few months working with the DC Council to draft legislation. In October, Councilmember Jim Graham, chair of the DC Council’s Public Works and Environment Committee, introduced the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008. The bill includes:

  1. A requirement that blind spot mirrors be installed on all DC owned heavy duty vehicles
  2. New bicyclist and pedestrian awareness training for DC heavy vehicle operators
  3. A requirement that motorists give three feet of space when passing cyclists
  4. A fine for the use of restricted lanes (bus/bike lanes or bike lanes) by unauthorized vehicles

Bicycle advocate Joe Mizerek has even created bike jerseys to promote the importance of passing cyclists with three feet of space. That’s already the law in many states, and hopefully DC will soon join them.

The Council will hold a hearing tomorrow (Friday, November 14th) at 2 pm. WABA, Matthew Yglesias, and countless others urge you to express your support for the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act. If you can testify in person (which makes by far the most impact), email or call Maria Angelica Puig-Monsen at 202-724-8195 or today.

If you can’t testify, please send your Councilmember a letter via WABA’s action alert site. I sent one to my Councilmember, Jack Evans of Ward 2, and within minutes I received a confirmation from his office. You can also send written statements to Puig-Monsen

Please take a few minutes today to show your support for this long overdue legislation!