Last night the Baltimore City Council passed the city’s first-ever Cyclists Bill of Rights, a collection of “tenets” validating the rights of bikers, and reaffirming that cycling is, yes, a very good thing for the city. It states:
1. Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
2. Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
3. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4. Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure, or kill cyclists will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
5. Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
6. Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development, and design that enable and support safe cycling.
7. Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
8. Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the planning and implementation of roadway and transit projects.
9. Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit.
10. Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
11. Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
12. Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Well, good luck with that, Baltimore. No. 12 seems pretty doable, but every other “right” enumerated here is violated on a daily basis in the city. And will continue to be violated every day. Undereducated, unsupportive cops; one of two commuter rail systems in the country that bans bikes; oh my, the fear; insufficient road space still full of parallel drainage grates; bike lanes that just start and stop randomly or disappear altogether. We could go on. Come to think of it, a bill of rights with no actual action behind it, full of by-definition toothless tenets, could even be construed as insulting.
But it’s something, so we’ll be happy about it and rest knowing that Baltimore’s City Council is remotely aware of other cities’ progressive ideas. And that other cities’ progressive people generally think Baltimore is a shithole. Maybe this will change their minds.
Full text here.