After many months of hard work and support from Senator William Brownsberger and other key bike friendly legislators, the Bike Lane Protection Bill has moved forward and is now on Governor Baker's desk!
In a flurry of activity on the last day of the legislative session, Beacon Hill lawmakers sent several pieces of legislation through that had remained stalled due to elections and holidays. Included in this last minute activity was H.3072/S.2534 the Bike Lane Protection Bill.
The Bike Lane Protection Bill addresses a common problem: It makes it a ticket-able violation statewide for a motorist to park or stand in a marked bicycle lane or other on-street bicycle facility (with the exception of emergency vehicles). When a motorist parks or stands in a bike lane, it endangers bicyclists by causing them to merge into traffic or squeeze between the parked vehicle and the curb or other parked cars. Cities such as Boston and Cambridge have local ordinances restricting motorists from parking or standing in bike lanes but without a statewide law we run the risk of a patchwork and inconsistent situation for motorists.
MassBike has worked in partnership with Massachusetts legislators throughout this session to craft a number of bicycle related bills, a number of which will be revised and revisited during the 2017/18 session, to be filed soon. As more information becomes available as to the nature of the new bills, we will continue to keep our membership informed.
Full Bill Text:
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 2534
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court
(House, No. 3072) by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in place thereof the following text:-
“SECTION 1. Chapter 89 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4C the following section:-
Section 4D. The operator of a motor vehicle shall not stand or park the vehicle upon an on-street path or lane designated by an official sign or marking for the exclusive use of bicycles, except in a case of emergency.
SECTION 2. The first paragraph of section 5 of said chapter 89, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- Whoever violates section 4D shall, upon complaint made within 3 months after the commission of the offense, forfeit not more than $50.
SECTION 3. Said section 5 of said chapter 89, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 10, the words “four C” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 4D.
SECTION 4. Said section 5 of said chapter 89, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-
A violation of section 4D shall not be considered a conviction of a moving violation of the motor vehicle laws for the purpose of determining a surcharge on a motor vehicle premium pursuant to section 113B of chapter 175.”.