New Cincinnati bicycle safety ordinance to be one of strictest in Midwest

In addition to the progressive Bicycle Transportation Program unanimously adopted by Cincinnati City Council last week, Cincinnati policy makers also approved safety ordinance that will be one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the region, and even stricter than what is found in Chicago.

“What this plan really does is not add additional transportation infrastructure,” said Gary Wright, President, Queen City Bike. “It adapts the existing transportation infrastructure to new needs in a cost-effective way.”

The new safety ordinance approved 8-0 by Cincinnati’s City Council requires motorists to maintain a three-foot distance when passing bicyclists. The ordinance also makes driving or parking an automobile in a bike lane illegal, and places extra responsibilities on drivers when opening doors as to avoid endangering bicyclists.

“This bike plan can help turn this into the 21st Century city that we all want it to be, one that can look forward to more streets, shops, cafes, and parks filled with people, where people will want to be,” Wright concluded.

  • I applaud this! I love seeing more and more bike friendly things come to pass here in Cincy. Looks like the new bike parking in Northside was only the beginning!

  • YES!!! thank you! now, how to enforce?

  • Bob

    This is a good start…now we need bike lanes not only in downtown Cincinnati but surrounding communities as well!

  • Aaron

    These laws seem to be on the right track. Coupled with the proper infrastructure more suited for cycling, they would be great. Hopefully the comprehensive bike plan will include physical barriers between riders and the road. Oh and sharrows are a joke. Seriously, they’re useless, drivers just ignore them.

  • EVERY “three foot” law is tough to enforce. This is one reason I encouraged a vigorous debate among my fellow OHio Bicycle Federation Board members before we voted to push for a statewide 3′ law. This law is percolating at SB 174 before the Ohio legislature right now. Enforceability is an issue – but it’s exactly the same issue we face with the current law that says you have to pass at a “safe distance” – The law, in either form, is basically unenforceable until someone is hit… or until they come with a “3′ laser” police can shoot to measure thepassing distance. The advantage of a 3′ law is in education. It’s a lot easier to say “Give ‘Em Three Feet” than it is to sell “Give ‘Em A REasonably Safe Distance”

    Steve Magas
    The Bike Lawyer

  • Sargent Obvious

    Dedicated bike lanes is the only way to go. No matter how many laws are passed the motorists will still make dumb mistakes.