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Programs; Advocacy; Safe Passing; In the News

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Dallas Morning News
August 6, 2009
Cyclists criticize Texas Gov. Rick Perry over veto of safety measure
Some Texas cyclists are using Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign as a platform to lash out against him for vetoing a bicycle-safety measure last legislative session. Among their opponents is the father of a man who is accused of killing two bicyclists in a car accident in Grand Prairie last year. Despite overwhelming support in the House and Senate, Perry vetoed SB 488 in June. The measure would have required motorists to give cyclists and other vulnerable road users at least 3 feet when passing.
By Jon Nielsen

WFAA-TV / News 8
August 6, 2009
Leader linked to tragedy that spurred bill he fought against
Last summer, an early morning crash killed two North Texas cyclists. Since then, there's been a push for a bicycle buffer zone, a cushion for passing. The bill made it through lawmakers but never got the final signature. A local city leader who pushed for it to be defeated has a connection to that deadly crash.

Houston Chronicle
Austin Bureau - Top Stories
August 5, 2009
Lawmaker vows to renew bike bill after granddaughter hit
AUSTIN — A state legislator's unsuccessful efforts to pass a “safe passing” bill for cyclists said Wednesday that an accident involving her granddaughter has renewed her interest in the issue. Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, sponsor of a bill to protect bicyclists, expressed relief Wednesday that her granddaughter and a friend suffered only minor injuries after getting hit by a SUV.
By Gary Scharrer

USA Today
August 4, 2009
States give cyclists room to ride
As more riders take to the roads on bicycles, more states are giving them a bigger chunk of pavement — 3 feet to be precise — so they won't get swiped by cars.
By Trevor Hughes

Houston Chronicle; Texas Politics
August 3, 2009
Dad's email to Perry raises ire of Texas cyclists
Texas bicyclists are still miffed that a gubernatorial veto knocked out their signature issue. And many were upset last week when they learned one of the persons urging Gov. Rick Perry to veto their "safe passing" bill was the father of a young man facing involuntary manslaughter charges for running over two cyclists last summer.
Posted by Gary Scharrer

San Antonio Express News
August 1, 2009
Cyclists’ death stirs emotions after e-mail to gov
AUSTIN — The father of a driver accused of killing two bicyclists last summer recently urged Gov. Rick Perry to veto a bill that generally would have required motorists to give vulnerable road users more space when passing them.
Posted by Gary Scharrer

Austin on Two Wheels
July 14, 2009
Bicycle Sport Shop Leslie Luciano work on petition
In the wake of Governor Rick Perry’s veto of the Safe Passing Bill in June, Bicycle Sport Shop’s community relations person, Leslie Luciano, worked with BikeTexas to promote a petition to collect the names of people who were upset by the blocking of this safety bill which had overwhelming bi-partisan support.
Posted by Elliott

The Austin Chronicle
July 24, 2009
Perry and the Demise of Safe Passage
It seems like simple courtesy: If you're driving past a cyclist or a roadside worker, move over. But Gov. Rick Perry ignored lawmakers, the overwhelming majority of Texans who contacted him, and common sense when he vetoed Senate Bill 488, the Safe Passage bill that would have made that courtesy mandatory.
By Richard Whittaker

Austin American Statesman
July 20, 2009 / Fit City Column
Cyclists angered by governor's veto of Safe Passing Bill
A lot of cyclists are still steamed by Gov. Rick Perry's recent veto of the Safe Passing Bill, which would have required motorists to give a three-foot berth (six feet for commercial vehicles) when passing cyclists or other so-called vulnerable road users. Robin Stallings, executive director of the Texas Bicycle Coalition, which has been pushing for safe passing legislation since 2001, is pretty hot under his bike helmet. Now he's leading the charge to hold Perry responsible to his constituency.
By Pamela LeBlanc

San Antonio Express News
July 17, 2009
Cyclists, Perry on collision course
AUSTIN — Texas cyclists have turned their wrath toward Gov. Rick Perry into a petition drive asking voters to keep him in mind during the election — and not in a good way. They want Perry to pay for his veto of a bill promoting safety for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
Posted by Gary Scharrer

BikeTexas / Texas Bicycle Coalition / BikeNews / Advocacy
June 30, 2009
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Fellow Texas Cyclists, BikeTexas staff and board thank so many of you for your hard work on behalf of bicycle advocacy during the now-ended 81st Texas Legislative Session. We had hoped we could do so in light of a new Safe Passing Law in Texas. As you all know, Governor Rick Perry chose to veto SB 488 on Friday, June 19, 2009 at a time when the 176 supporting Texas Legislators (out of 181 total) had no opportunity for an override.
By Robin Stallings

BikeTexas / Texas Bicycle Coalition / BikeNews / Advocacy
June 29, 2009
Sign the Safe Passing Petition
By BikeTexas Website Administrator
Brazoria County
June 25, 2009
Perry's veto hurts Brazoria County
We’ve known since his days as lieutenant governor that Rick Perry doesn’t mind letting other folks know he’s important. Many might recall the incident in which Perry’s entourage was stopped for speeding. A video from the state trooper’s car showed passenger Perry getting out of the vehicle, approaching the trooper, informing him as to his identity and saying, “Why don’t you just let us get on down the road?”
Posted by Glenn Krampota
Tampa, FL, USA
June 24, 2009
Bill to make road safer for Cyclist is vetoed
Four million bicyclists in Texas have to be a bit more careful after a bill ensuring safe passing was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. Texas, a state with a reputation as one of the most unfriendly places to ride a bike, was set to gain a little breathing room on their roads, creating safer streets for not only bicycles, but also pedestrians, highway construction and maintenance workers, people on horseback, motorcyclists, and moped riders, to name a few.
Posted by Beth Janicek
June 20, 2009
Texas governor affirms Texas as bike unfriendly by vetoing bike safety bill
Texas Governor Rick Perry affirmed his state's reputation as one of the country's most bike unfriendly places to ride today by vetoing a “safe passing” bill that would have given cyclist 3 feet when being passed by cars. Perry, who is a cyclist himself, shocked the cycling community by vetoing the hard fought bill and saying: "While I am in favor of measures that make our roads safer for everyone, this bill contradicts much of the current statute and places the liability and responsibility on the operator of a motor vehicle when encountering one of these vulnerable road users."
By Roman Mica

San Antonio Express News
June 20, 2009
Governor slams door on cyclists
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry, who recently broke his collarbone in a one-man mountain biking accident, stunned the cycling community Friday when he vetoed a “safe passing” bill that was a top priority for bikers and other vulnerable road users.
By Gary Scharrer and Peggy Fikac
Houston Chronicle
June 20, 2009
Perry vetoes of ethics, bike bills surprise some
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry vetoed an ethics-related measure that would have mandated a waiting period before former Harris County employees could lobby the county or benefit from contracts they worked on as employees. It was among 35 bills that Perry vetoed this session, along with measures that required motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing on most highways, that would have expanded the state’s pre-kindergarten program and given the state new powers to seize children and their medical records without a parent’s consent or a court hearing. He also vetoed three resolutions.
BikeTexas / Texas Bicycle Coalition / BikeNews / Advocacy
June 19, 2009
Governor Perry Vetoes SB 488
Dear fellow Texas cyclists, We are stunned. After passing SB 488 through both houses of the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan margins and responding to every legislator's concern with information or compromise, Governor Perry killed the bill today. In spite of the huge number of phone calls in the span of two very intense hours, Governor Perry vetoed the Safe Passing bill, SB 488.
By Robin Stallings
Office of the Governor - Rick Perry
June 19, 2009
Gov Perry vetoes SB 488
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME: Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14 of the Texas Constitution, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto Senate Bill No. 488 of the 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, due to the following objections:
ATTESTED BY: COBY SHORTER, III Deputy Secretary of State

Austin American Statesman
June 19, 2009
Safe-passing-for-bikes bill reportedly on Perry veto list
Gov. Rick Perry today will veto Senate Bill 488, which would require that drivers give bikes, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other “vulnerable road users” at least a three-foot berth when passing, according to Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas. Commercial vehicles and large trucks would have to leave six feet of space.
By Ben Wear
BikeTexas / Texas Bicycle Coalition / BikeNews / Advocacy
June 19, 2009
ACTION ALERT! Governor Perry Plans to Veto Safe Passing Bill Today
Dear Fellow Texas Cyclists, Every cyclist in Texas must call Governor Perry today and insist that he allow SB 488 to pass! The governor mistakenly thinks that the bill puts all of the responsibility on the motorist. There might be time to save the bill if you hurry and make the calls. This is the most important call we have ever asked you to make. Our lives depend on it.
By Robin Stallings

Mineral Wells
Associated Press content © 2009
June 9, 2009
'Safe Passing' law awaits Perry's signature
Palo Pinto County roadways – frequently used by bicyclists, motorcycle riders and even horseback riders – could become safer if Gov. Rick Perry signs Senate Bill 488 into law. What is known as the “Safe Passing Law” would require drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles throughout the state to give vulnerable road users – including construction workers, cyclists, motorcycles, scooters, pedestrians, runners, people whose vehicles have broken down, people riding horses and unprotected farm equipment – room when passing on any roadway.
By Libby Cluett
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