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Local Lawmakers: Don’t Mess With Texas Cyclists and Pedestrians

9:15 AM PDT on April 13, 2011

Today we have a positive development from the land of mega-highways. The city of Denton, Texas recently approved a vulnerable road user ordinance, making it the eighth town statewide to enact such a law, reports Network blog The City Fix.

Denton and other communities across Texas are becoming more bike friendly. Photo: The City Fix

Texas cycling advocates suffered a setback when Governor Rick Perry vetoed statewide legislation that would have accomplished the same thing. But Texans are pursuing protections for cyclists and pedestrians by advancing legislation on the local level.

When you get down to it, Texas leaders aren’t as unfriendly to the cause of cycling as you might assume. Check out this account from The City Fix’s Itir Sonupariack:

Passed with a unanimous vote by the City Council, the ordinance establishes the rights of the road to all users, provides safety guidelines and encourages alternative modes of transportation.

Councilman Dalton Gregory introduced the ordinance in February 2010, based on a similar ordinance passed in San Antonio the same month, the Denton Record Chronicle reports.

“So the presumption is, the driver is probably in the wrong,” Gregory says in the article. “It’s not always the case, but at least we’re working from a different point of view and making the big guy, who is not likely to get hurt, think a little more carefully before they operate.”

Thanks to smart policy in Denton, San Antonio and other localities, the state will be a safer place for cyclists. And Texas will have a healthier, more equitable, more connected populace as a result. Kudos to everyone involved.

Elsewhere on the Network today: M-Bike.org reports that the state of Michigan is abandoning a highway expansion project for metro Detroit. City Parks Blog comments on the complicated dynamic between city parks and residential densities. And X-ing Columbus laments the apparent death of the Cincinnati streetcar project.

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