FRANKFORT – Senator Robin Webb, D-Grayson, testified Tuesday before the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation on making roadways safer for bicyclists and vehicular traffic.
Bicycle use is on the rise for transportation, recreation, health and fitness and accommodation in sharing the road safely is becoming more of a transportation priority.
From a tourism and economic development standpoint, and as part of the Trail Town initiative, the rise in the number of cyclists demand attention.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, Webb filed Senate Bill 80, to educate road users and enhance safety for sharing the road with cyclists. The measure would require cyclists to travel on the right side of the highway, travel on the shoulder of the highway, and requiring motorists to allow a distance of three feet when passing a cyclist with the ability to cross the double yellow line when passing a bicycle if safe, to ensure the three feet safe zone.
SB 80, which had the support of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission, passed the full Senate, but was not called for a vote in a House committee.
“I am pleased that Chairman Hubie Collins held a meeting to discuss Senate Bill 80 and bicycle safety,” Webb said. “I am encouraged that we are taking the time during the interim to discuss this important safety issue. I will take the dialogue from the meeting and use it as I work on a bicycle safety bill to prefile for the 2017 Legislative Session.”
Tourism officials in east Kentucky were present, along with urban cyclists, and the Mayor of Prestonsburg Les Stapleton. Dr. Dixie Moore of Lexington, Lynn Soporowski, coordinator of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program of the Transportation Cabinet, and Raceland Police Chief Don Sammons provided testimony in support.
“I was honored to have Chief Sammons at the table supporting legislative efforts for transportation, recreation, tourism, health and road education,” Webb said. “He truly represented Raceland well as he spoke about the cycling efforts in Raceland and how the community and students came together on the initiative.”
Chief Sammons has been the driver of several related initiatives with his vision of a cycle friendly region.
“I, like Chief Sammons give credit to the Ashland Cyclist Enthusiasts for their input, ideas and education on these issues,” she added. “I look forward to working with area cyclists on future bicycle safety legislation for the upcoming legislative session.”
Senator Webb represents the 18th senatorial district that includes Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties.