Bills would improve cycling in Wisconsin
The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is working with state lawmakers legislature to make a number of changes to existing law that would make Wisconsin a bit more bicycle-friendly and would legalize some common and safe cycling practices.
In September, Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, introduced Assembly Bill 265 which would add handcycles to the definition of bicycles so they so can be legally allowed to operate on Wisconsin streets and roads; allow vehicle operators to pass slow moving vehicles, such as bicycles, across a solid yellow line when it is safe to do so; allow bicyclists to signal turns or stops with either arm; allow the use of studded tires on bicycles on roadways; allow the use of a red rear light in lieu of a rear reflector; and allow municipalities to regulate moped parking.
The bill is sponsored by eleven Republicans and eight Democrats in the Assembly and is cosponsored by two Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate.
Two Madison Democrats in the state Legislature are also seeking to restore funds for bicycle transportation. Rep. Mark Pocan and Sen. Fred Risser have proposed restoring $5 million in state funding for bicycling cut from the budget.
The pointed out that recreational biking and related industries generate $1.5 billion annually in economic activity in Wisconsin, including approximately $535 million per year in tourism from outside the state, according to a report last year. That's more than the $1.4 billion economic impact of deer hunting.
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