Friday, February 20, 2009

Action Needed: TN Bicycle Ban Bill Gains Momentum

A bill to ban bicycles on River Road in Davidson County (House Bill 0342 and Senate Bill 0276) is proceeding through the Tennessee Legislature. River Road is a typical state rural highway with light to moderate traffic and no paved shoulder. There have been no bicycle-car crashes on this road in the last 5 years. If a ban is successful, many such roads across the state would be likely candidates for a ban as well. All bicyclists are urged to contact their representatives and members of the House Rural Roads Subcommittee. Bicyclists are also encouraged to attend the subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 1:30 in Room 31 of Legislative Plaza.

It is critical that everyone makes an effort to reach these representatives, regardless of where you live.

Please contact Rep. Johnson, the subcommittee chair, at or call 741-7477.

The other subcommittee members are listed at

To find your own representative, visit

You may also contact the bill’s sponsors:

Rep. Moore at 741-4317

Senator Haynes at 741-6679

Walk/Bike Nashville statement is as follows:

Walk/Bike Nashville strongly opposes any legislation that would ban bicycling from state and local roadways. Our roadways have historically been public corridors open to a variety of transportation modes that have changed throughout the years. Bicycling is becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transportation and as a means of healthy recreation. Bicyclists are legal users of the roadway in all 50 states, and Tennessee should not head down the path to become a state that is unfriendly to bicyclists while many states and cities are improving accommodations for bicyclists.
While we advocate for better road design that makes it easier for motorists and bicyclists to share the road, current law, including the recently-adopted 3 foot passing law, adequately addresses the safe use of our roadways by all users. We strongly oppose any attempt to ban legal and responsible bicycling on our highways for the benefit of a very small minority of motorists who are unwilling to obey the law and drive in a safe manner.


Anonymous said...

Yet another embarrassing example of Tennessee moving backward instead of forward--as the rest of the country tries to promote and encourage bike travel. we behave like a bunch of road hogging rednecks. Bike riders are tax payers too--we should be able to use the roads we've paid for.

Khal said...

Is there anything specific about this road which has led to a proposed bike ban, i.e., numerous past run-ins between cyclists and motorists, someone in a paceline flipping off a legislator in his GMC Tahoe, or some other thing that caught the attention of the Legislature? I'm trying to figure this one out from a long way away.

Los Alamos County, NM also has a lot of narrow country roads and lest such ideas of bike bans catch on, we need to stop these things in their tracks and ensure we can all share the roads in a civilized fashion.

Good luck in TN.

kelley said...

From what I have heard, it is the result of one vocal resident who is afraid she is going to hit a bicyclist because of the blind spots (it's a windy, hilly road, as many of our TN roads are).