Monday, August 18 2008 @ 07:28 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
[Apparently it is illegal to ride in the center of a bike lane in Madison.]
MADISON (WKOW) -- To Madison's Linda Willsey, her day in municipal court next week, is to stand up for all bicyclists in urban settings.
Willsey is refusing to pay a $10 ticket for failing to ride her bicycle at least three feet away from a parked car.
Willsey was ticketed July 16 while she was in a hospital emergency room after being hit by someone's car door as Willsey bicycled on Henry Street in downtown Madison.
"I'm going to fight this because it's not right," Willsey, 50, told 27 News.
"Most bikers who bike regularly are very wary when they're travelling along a line of parked cars," Willsey said. "But you've got traffic on the other side, so you're trying to find a safe zone between the parked vehicle that could open a door on you, and the traffic."
27 News used a tape measure in a downtown Madison bike lane, and discovered if a bicyclist maintained the legal clearance of three feet, the bicyclist would in the third of the lane closest to traffic.
Madison's Teena Morey has been on the other side of a car door, when a bicylclist hit. On Oct. 19, 2005, Morey said she barely opened her car door after parking on Langdon Street and a bicyclist was right next to her.
"Definitely less than three feet," Morey told 27 News. "I mean my door may have been open maybe twelve inches, and it was right there." Morey said the bicyclist hit her door and fell to the ground. But Morey said she was assigned no fault for the accident. Police reports indiciate no one was ticketed.
Willsey said state senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is considering drafting a proposal to modify or abolish the three-foot-standard for bicyclists.
Willsey's date in Madison municipal court on her ticket is August 20.