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Help Beat Back Georgia Anti-Bicycling Bill

Our friends in Georgia are currently working to beat back an anti-bicycling bill, HB 689, in the state legislature. The law would require tags and registration for bicycles, remove the right to ride two abreast in the road, place strange requirements on group rides and make some unrestricted public roadways “off limits” to bicyclists. Georgia Bikes is working to stop this anti-bike bill from becoming law. This blog is cross-posted from their site — read more below to learn how to make your voice heard and stop this bill.

State Representative Carl Rogers, one of the sponsors of HB 689, has requested the use of the Hall County Commission meeting Room on Monday, October 7 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. for a hearing on the bill. This room is located in the Hall County Government Building located at 2875 Browns Bridge Rd.  Gainesville, GA  30504.

The meeting will be open to the public to discuss complaints and concerns from both motorists and cyclists regarding road usage that he and other representatives are fielding on a regular basis.

Below is a quick summary of questions that point to why this bill goes against all common sense and would make Georgia the most anti-bicycling state in the nation:

Where does a tag and license requirement stop? Do children have to get a tag to ride their bike around the neighborhood or to school? What if you own multiple bicycles? Do we also tax and require registration for pedestrians? The reason we tax, register, and require licenses for motorists is because cars are inherently dangerous and create negative externalities and social impacts (congestion, sprawl, physical inactivity, air pollution, crashes, fatalities, road wear & tear, etc, etc). A bicycle does none of these things, and in fact is a common sense solution to many of these problems. Why would we create legislation that discourages and penalizes a healthy, fun, affordable, and sensible form of transportation and recreation?

What about the person that depends on a bicycle as transportation because of economic reasons? This would present an unfair burden on low-income Georgians who are already underserved by streets and roads designed only for automobiles in many areas.

What about the economic impact of this bill? Would the fees even cover the administration of the tags? Would out-of-state visitors to north GA’s mountains, the Golden Isles, the Silver Comet or the Atlanta BeltLine have to register and obtain a license? How would this impact bicycle tour companies across the state? How would this affect the hundreds of charity bicycle events across GA?

This legislation is bad. Very bad. It is poorly thought through and represents an unnecessary expansion of government that would penalize hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens and visitors who are engaging in a simple, healthy activity. Plenty of laws already exist to regulate motorist and bicyclist behavior on the public roads. Show up in Gainesville Monday, or contactyour state representative and join Georgia Bikes to show your opposition to HB 689.

Learn more here.