Mayor Applauds New Bicycle, Auto Rules of the Road

By Ted Cox on June 5, 2013 5:17pm 

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel told both car drivers and cyclists, "They have to drive and ride responsibly."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel told both car drivers and cyclists, "They have to drive and ride responsibly."
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Without citing it as a cure-all, Mayor Rahm Emanuel cheered new rules of the road for cyclists and car drivers passed by the City Council Wednesday.

The 2013 Bicycle Safety Ordinance calls on cyclists to obey the rules of the road by increasing fines from $25 to a range of $50 to $200 for violations. Yet it also doubles fines for cars that cause "dooring" accidents to $1,000, and to $300 for leaving a door open in traffic.

"I don't think it will solve everything. There's no city ordinance that does that," Emanuel said when asked if it would prevent incidents such as the collision that killed Bobby Cann. "Do I think it will make an improvement so people will actually ride with responsibility, with the notion that they're going to be held responsible? Yes."

Emanuel said the city's residents have to agree to share the road. "We are bicyclists, we are drivers," he said. "I want bicyclists to know they have a responsibility just like drivers."

Emanuel said it was a two-way street for cyclists and drivers — as well as passengers, adding, "They have to drive and ride responsibly."

The council passed the measures approved in committee earlier this week without debate. Included in the safety initiative is a campaign to get taxi passengers to watch for cyclists when they enter and exit cabs.

According to city figures, 250 dooring incidents were reported last year, in which cyclists crashed into car doors opened in traffic.

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