Thursday, February 21, 2013

Legislation of importance to NM Cyclists

Thanks to Diane Albert for the following:

BCNM Action Alert – Legislation Important to Cyclists Being Considered by the NM State Legislature
The Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico urges cyclists and others to support three bills that have been introduced in this session of the State Legislature. You all already know about SB 290, which BCNM supports.

Please write to your senator and representative expressing your support for the following bill, if you do support them:
1.     Senate Bill 17 / House Bill 43, which would prohibit texting while driving.  The importance of this bill for the safety of all New Mexicans, but especially for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists is obvious. 

Here are links to the Senate and House versions of the bill:
2.     House Bill 582 is a simple common-sense draft that provides that bicyclists could use their right hand to signal a right turn.  Here is the text of this bill:
A draft letter you can use to express your support for all three bills is attached to this e-mail.
You can find contact information for NM state representatives including e-mail addresses here:
 Thank you for contacting your Senator and Representative.  You can find your Senator and Representative here:

Diane E. Albert, PhD
Board Member, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico (BCNM)
League of American Bicyclists LCI #2292

LAB National Board Member

P.O. Box 30548
Albuquerque, NM 87190-0548

SB 290 Clears Senate Judiciary with Do Pass

Senate Judiciary committee sent SB 290 on with a "do pass" recommendation Wednesday evening about 10pm.
Thanks to those who contacted their Senator.
Next stop, floor of the Senate.

Duke City Wheelmen

Stay tuned for further alerts on this bill. Its died last two times around in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is good news.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Please write to support SB 290

I'll even leave in their email addresses so you can copy them.

Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:39:25 -0700To:,,,,,,,,

From: Khalil Spencer  
Subject: Please Support Senate Bill 290

Dear Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Martinez and Senate Judiciary Committee Members Cervantes, Griggs, Lopez, McSorley, Ryan, Sanchez, Torraco, Wirth, and Payne

I am writing to ask you to please support Senate Bill 290, which would give our judges additional sentencing options that distinguish between careless driving that causes property damage and careless driving that causes the death or great bodily harm of another road user. This bill, should it become law, would send the message to drivers that we take roadway safety seriously and thus the law would act not only as a sentencing option when a crash occurs, but will hopefully help prevent them from occurring by educating drivers to drive safely.

This bill is supported by the New Mexico Motorcyclist's Rights Organization, the Duke City Wheelmen (see their post on the subject at this link), and many bicyclists and motorcyclists throughout New Mexico. As a bicyclist and motorcyclist, I ask for your support to make our roads safer.

Thank you,
Khalil J Spencer
1799 Camino Uva
Los Alamos, NM 87544

League of American Bicyclists cycling instructor
Graduate, Motorcycle Safety Foundation Skilled Rider Course
Member, 2003-2012, Los Alamos County Transportation Board

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thank you!

I was riding the singletrack out to the end of Kwage Mesa this morning and stopped to take a picture. In the process, I dropped the Blackberry and had to clean off all the dust. Unbeknown to me, I also dropped my driver's license when I reached down to pick up the Blackberry. Later on in the ride I again pulled out the Blackberry to shoot another pic and noted the license was AWOL.

Tracing back my ride to where I had dropped the Blackberry, there was nothing on the ground. I hoped someone had found it and so I headed home. Sure enough, the license was stuck in the door of the house.

To whomever ("whoever"?) found it and dropped it off, thank you very much (and what's your favorite beer?). Lucky we live in Los Alamos!

Vista With Manhole, end of Bayo Canyon Bench
This is where I nearly rode off the end of the ledge
the first time I rode my then-new Stumpjumper (2005)and was adjusting
something as I rode towards the end of the trail. I looked up right about here.
Lesson Learned.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bicycling Access on LANL Roads

Just to help clear up some confusion lately about bicycling access through the LANL vehicle access portals ("VAPs"). I've vetted this with the LANL Security Division.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Associate Director for Safeguards and Security and the "pro force" (Securing Our Country-Los Alamos) provide the following clarification, based on the current security conditions (SECON), to members of the Protective Force and to bicyclists. For the following VAPs: 
  • West Jemez and East Jemez: bicyclists do not need to be ID'ed, but they must slow down to be acknowledged by the Protective Force.
  • Pajarito Road: Dept. of Energy badges are required for all, including bicyclists.
Changes in SECON (which can change the access protocols) will be reflected on the LANL home page and on signs near the VAPs; commuters, including bicyclists, should always pay attention to signs.

For more information, the public can access this link.  Note on that link: "all vehicles" really means "all motor vehicles".

 LANL employees can access the internal LANL site for additional information.

Renovating NM502 between Knecht Street and Tewa Loop

Dear: Transportation Board
         Eric Johnson, Marron and Associates
         Los Alamos County Council
         Pajarito Riders
         Los Alamos co-op,
         Diane Albert, League of American Bicyclists National Board member

I received a mailing on Friday inviting me to attend a Public Open House on 20 February at the Los Alamos Community Building/CouncilChambers to examine the latest proposal for rebuilding NM502/Trinity Drive between Knecht Street and Tewa Loop. In the brief discussion it is proposed that there be an assortment of travel lanes, intersection treatments, and pedestrian amenities.

You do not mention whether (or how) bicyclists will be accommodated.

This is a critical oversight and I hope it is merely because of the brevity of the mailing. Between Airport Road and Sombrilla Court, NM502 is presently one lane in each direction. Furthermore, it does not have shoulders and there are large central medians between the opposing lanes in many locations. This results in 35-40 mph motor traffic "squeezing" into cycling traffic at each of these medians, especially westbound, where the cyclist is laboring upgradient. That is not the least bit comforting to a westbound cyclist riding uphill and probably not for motorists either.**

Given the County has heavily developed the Airport Basin and can therefore expect more cyclists to be using this road for transportation, the section of NM502 in the proposed scope of work should be improved with safe cycling accommodations such as bike lanes or paved shoulders. The shoulders east of Airport road are excellent for the most part. I think regardless of the scope of this project, paved shoulders or some sort of safe cycling accomodation should be added to NM502 starting west of Airport Road.

I should mention, in case anyone else is thinking of it, that in my opinion as a skilled cyclist who wrote quite a bit of the Los AlamosCounty Bicycling Transportation System (2005) document, that the Canyon Rim Trail is not a safe substitute for roadway cycling. Whoever designed it unfortunately put aesthetics far ahead of safety. It is a beautiful trail, but was purposely built to be quite sinuous and often has very poor lines of sight. A quite responsible cyclist travelling at a reasonable cycling speed can come immediately upon a walker or walkers on one of the numerous blind curves on that trail. I've done that at a slow cycling speed and the reaction of walkers is often one of surprise and alarm. Trinity Drive from Diamond to Airport Road is one of the county's Priority 1 arterials for the purpose of cycling access.

If the information on how cycling will be accommodated is already posted somewhere, could you please send me a link? I'll post it on the LA Bikes blog.

** Note added later: The County Corridor study leaves bicycle facilities up in the air. The County Council voted thus: " ...This (design) option is to be modified to incorporate bicycle lanes or bicycle paths where it is physically viable and cost-effectively feasible to so do in the opinion of the NM Department of Transportation and Los Alamos County. The motion passed 6 – 1; Councilor Chiravalle opposed..."

Boldface mine. That's a lot of iffy wording.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Black Hawk, CO bike ban overturned!

See Steve Magas' site if you have not already!

If anyone ever wondered whether you could fight city hall, here is a win.