Though the push for the new law focused on bicyclists, the version approved also applies to pedestrians, disabled travelers such as the wheelchair-bound, horseback riders, highway and utility workers, tow truck drivers and those on motorized bicycles and scooters.
“It is not just about bicycles,” said Councilwoman Wanda Adams. “This is about everybody.”
Anyone convicted of failing to safely allow cyclists and others to use the road – behavior that ranges from crowding them to throwing objects at them – can be fined up to $500. Officials said they hope the law creates awareness that all users must share the road.
“I want to see the police department enforce this ordinance change, but also include the enforcement on bicyclists,” Mayor Annise Parker said. “You have a right to the road, and you have to follow the same rules everyone else does.”
Councilman C.O. Bradford said greater enforcement of traffic laws for bicyclists is needed.
“Very, very few cyclists I see respect the rules of the road,” Bradford said.