No Biking With Kids Under Six in Oregon?!
BikePortland just posted a story about a new bill (House Bill 2228) that has entered the 2011 session of the Oregon Legislature that would prohibit anyone from carrying anyone under six years old on their bike or trailer! The legislation was introduced by Mitch Greenlick (a Democratic who represents Northwest Portland/Forest Park). The infraction would come with a fine of $90 (max). BikePortland is trying to find out more information but hasn’t heard back from Mr. Greenlick or his staff. Here’s the letter (and photo) I just sent off to him. Not sure what his thinking is but…. seriously?!
As the Safe Routes to School Program Manager for the 4J School District in Eugene and one of the founders of Kidical Mass, a family friendly ride held every month in communities throughout the country, including Portland, I would like to respectfully request that you remove your House Bill 2228 from the Legislature. I am not sure the motivation behind the bill but as a parent of three children under three (twins!) and as a family who only owns one car we rely on cycling as a major form of transportation and I can tell you from both personal and professional experience that cycling with kids is healthy, safe, and fun and should be encouraged not outlawed!
More information on Kidical Mass: http://www.kidicalmass.org.
Here’s a shot of all three of my kiddos on our first outing.. with my 20 month old daughter and 6 month old sons- in car seats for safety =)
That’s a Burley trailer (made right here in Eugene FOR hauling kids!!!!) and a Bakfiets (sold in Portland at Clever Cycles), again FOR hauling kids.Please remove this very unnecessary bill ASAP.Shane MacRhodes
UPDATE: The net and Twitter are all abuzz about the issue now and BikePortland has an update with an interview with Rep. Greenlick where he states “safety concerns” for his reason for the bill! Someone in the comments asked for his email addres- it is firstname.lastname@example.org . Please email him your concerns with this bill! Also, it might not be a bad idea to contact your local representative (Find them here).
UPDATE 2: I received a response from Rep. Greenlick and have another post on the subject with a copy of the response.