Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 22nd, 2006 at 9:26 am
Dabby, (a veteran Portland messenger and regular commenter) just sent me an interesting bit of news.
The Washington Area Bicyclists Association, an advocacy group in DC, has worked with the Washington DC Department of Transportation to amend their law to explicitly allow fixed gear bicycles to be used without separate hand brakes.
Here is the recently adopted language of their law:
1204.1 Each bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which enables the operator to cause the braked wheels to skid on dry, level, clean pavement; provided, that a fixed gear bicycle is not required to have a separate brake, but an operator of a fixed gear bicycle shall be able to stop the bicycle using the pedals.
You can view the full PDF here.
Here in Portland, the fixed gear issue remains in limbo. Some cops are still citing cyclists for not having a separate handbrake, even though the law is not clear in this regard.
Some people think our law needs to be fixed in Salem. One Republican member of Oregon’s Senate has vowed to change the law in favor of fixies while others I have spoken to are hesitant to use legislation to solve the problem.
Whatever we end up doing, I hope it happens sooner rather than later. The confusing climate on the streets isn’t helping anyone.