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Old 04-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #1
specterunseen
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interested in legalizing lane-sharing? do something about it.

THIS IS NOT A THREAD TO DEBATE, BUT TO TAKE ACTION.
Start a new thread if you wish to debate.

To those who have paid attention, raging debats have gone on about lane filtering in the US. I'm going to post a generic letter. PLEASE if you actually care anything about motorcyclists and their safety and rights:

1. Email District135.Elkins@house.state.tx.us to advise them you were made aware that they are researching and thinking about submitting bill to House in January 2009 promotting lane filtering and you support motorcyclists having this right.

2. Go to: FIND YOUR REP and find your representative.

3. Add in your name and his information and email him the letter.

4. EMAIL THIS THREAD TO EVERY MOTORCYCLIST YOU KNOW TO GET THE SUPPORT WE NEED. We must have grassroots contact with as many state reps as possible. Post this on every forum you are part of, and lets make a step for motorcylists rights in the great state of Texas.


5. Even if you WOULDN'T lane split, you should support the right to if you choose. Its common in many foriegn countries where riding a motorcycle isn't a luxury but a common form of transportation. Its about support the RIGHT to if we so choose. Its about making the motorcycle a more viable option for commuting. And its about taking a step from changing the mentality of motorcyles as "toys and luxury" to a choice of transportation and a passion. Its about having the option to do something to promote motorcylists safety.

Sincerely,
Sheldon
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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General Letter to Send to State Rep

General Letter to Send to State Rep


Dear State Representative.

I believe an issue critical to the rights and safety of motorcyclists in our state has an opportunity to be brought forward by State Representative Gary Elkins this next legislature session of 2009. I would like to bring it to your attention and please ask that you review it, and also contact Gary Elkins office to support this bill.

His office contact email is: District135.Elkins@house.state.tx.us

Debra Clounts his Chief of staff is currently handling the research on this issue to gather relevant information and support. Please contact her to advise her of your support or to gain more information.

I would like to bring to your attention an issue that has been mentioned to Law Enforcement committee and continued to sit there since 2005. I think, perhaps, the significance of this bill to the motorcycling community has been devalued, or perhaps not appreciated. HB 1522 was submitted in 2005 for review regarding legalizing “lane splitting”. The proper term I will use is “lane filtering” or “lane sharing”.

Lane sharing, in essence, is allowing a motorcycle to go between the lanes of congested traffic to bypass the stop and go of car traffic. This is permitted only on the dotted white, inside, lanes (not next to incoming traffic or the curb). California is currently the only state allowing it, and it has been greatly beneficial to many motorcyclists commuting there, reducing their commute dramatically., and improving their safety. California Highway Patrol (CHP) was the pioneer of this utilizing the empty space between cars to travel and perform their duties. They allowed and encouraged the other motorcyclists on the road to do the same, mainly for its uses to prevent engine damage (many motorcycle engines are air-cooled, thus needing movement to prevent damage), commute efficiency, and safety.

Stop and go traffic is one of the most feared types of riding for motorcyclists, mainly due to the visibility of a motorcycle, and unprotected by any safety devices other than their own gear, they can be severely injured. Being rear ended by a car in stop and go traffic can be anything from just an normal accident to physically crippling to a motorcyclist due to the lack of protection. Also take into account that a safe and prudent cyclist wears full gear, i.e. gloves, vest, boots, pants, and full-faced helmet, the Texas weather can be extremely hot, to the point of heatstroke. Many motorcycle engines are air cooled, needing movement to prevent possible damage.

Lane sharing is common in California, and in many other foreign countries. The main issue that I believe has held it up from approval is the misconception of protecting motorcyclists from doing something dangerous. As CHP could testify, for a motorcycle, to keep moving between cars at a safe (no more than 10 over traffic speed), is safer than stop-and-go behind another vehicle.
For those with lower incomes a motorcycle provides a financial freedom from having to maintain and buy a car. The gas mileage on a motorcycle can easily go over 50 miles to the gallon, this type of economical travel should be encouraged. Basically the state of Texas is adding 2+ HOV lanes for motorcycles by doing this, reducing further vehicle congestion.

To summarize the benefits.
1. Motorcycles that are air-cooled are prevented from engine damage during congestion
2. Rider safety is promoted by continuing to move through traffic rather than sit and potentially be rear ended to the injury of the rider.
3. Rider health promoted by movement, air is the only coolant a motorcyclist is provided.
4. More motorcyclists are encouraged to commute due to the benefits or less problems with traffic congestion, and overheating.
5. Less gas, and less smog/pollution, per a motorcyclist is able to get to location quickly, rather than sit behind a car, emitting fumes while sitting on idle.

Negatives
1. People will construe it as “cutting in line”. Answer: Motorcyclists do not have the benefit of protection, airbags, and air climate controlled. To keep moving helps their safety, and reduces the traffic waiting in line, benefiting everyone.
2. Some can construe it as dangerous. Answer: While the idea initially may seem dangerous to those who are uninitiated into the practice, it is safer for a motorcyclist to travel with this added benefit.
3. “Why should a motorcyclist be given special rights, when I have to wait in line” Common objection. A motorcycle moving through traffic actually takes up ZERO traffic space and causes no one inconvenience. It also is safer for a motorcyclist to continue to move than sit and potentially be overlooked by a merging car, or car behind them.


I believe many in Houston garage their motorcycles many times rather than riding because of the aggressive driving of many large vehicles, and the stop and go traffic accentuates the heat, and the danger. Promoting this bill would be a tremendous step towards promoting the motorcycle as a viable and beneficial option for commuting

The bills should be modified from requiring health insurance, since it is a normal traffic procedure, any responsible motorcyclist should be able to take advantage of this opportunity, especially the lower income that this could affect.

Also the requirement of filtering only when at a standstill defeats part of the purpose, which is stop and go traffic and congestion. I believe we should listen to the normal practice of CHP, which is allowing filtering when traffic is congested, and done safely at not more than 10 mph than the current traffic. The general practice is allowed at 35 mph and below, and at no more than 10 mph faster than the traffic.

The Hurt Study is the only definitive thorough study done on motorcycle accidents and according to it, being able to move through traffic by riding between slow/stopped traffic was safer than sitting in stop and go and having the potential for a rear end collision. Remember that a rear end collision at low speed is merely an inconvenience to an automobile. To a motorcyclist, it can be life threatening and devastating.

Allowing this bill would be pioneering safety and benefits to motorcyclists everywhere. Please consider this.

Sincerely,
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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before any of you send that off, you should probably get Mala Lingua to check it for grammatical errors. gotta be professional you know. I found a few things that i think would be errors but she, being the college english teacher, should offer more insight
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sbfuller View Post
before any of you send that off, you should probably get Mala Lingua to check it for grammatical errors. gotta be professional you know. I found a few things that i think would be errors but she, being the college english teacher, should offer more insight
fair enough, i'm busy and at work, so this took my whole lunch, ... feel free to ask her to proof. Thats fine, i don't think a error or 2 will ruin the point, but it can't hurt.

Riders, please take some action!
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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you know i posted this over @ Msgroups.com (site for motorcycle safety).... never had a problem there, and i got banned within 5 mins?!?!?! I just mentioned for texas motorcylists to look and support this, and now i can't even contact the admin staff to ask why it happened.
I get so frustrated when admins do this kind of stuff as a reactionary response. You don't have to agree to support the right of motorcylists to choose.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldonhull View Post
you know i posted this over @ Msgroups.com (site for motorcycle safety).... never had a problem there, and i got banned within 5 mins?!?!?! I just mentioned for texas motorcylists to look and support this, and now i can't even contact the admin staff to ask why it happened.
I get so frustrated when admins do this kind of stuff as a reactionary response. You don't have to agree to support the right of motorcylists to choose.
I can think of many other things that are way more important than this to contact your representatives about.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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I can think of many other things that are way more important than this to contact your representatives about.
You know what, i completely agree. However this is important to some of us, and its the representatives job to submit whats important to the people and for our welfare.

I commute daily and my quality of life would be improved by having this right. Not to mention taking this step would be a great step for motorcylists rights everywhere, and who knows what could follow after this.....

Just because its not important to you or another person, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be addressed. There's far too many insignificant other issues being submitted, that aren't important to me, but i'm sure are important to others....

Not to tirade, i just am tired of hearing that "i can think of more important issues"..... Who are we to judge what's important to any other person within reason. This would be a progressive step for me.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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The web form for submitting email is kicking this back - 5000 character limit. I haven't found an email address for Rep. Cohen yet to bypass the web form.

Error: Please limit your email message within 5000 characters.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rhenriksen View Post
The web form for submitting email is kicking this back - 5000 character limit. I haven't found an email address for Rep. Cohen yet to bypass the web form.

Error: Please limit your email message within 5000 characters.

Ok, i'll work on it, i didn't realize the character limit. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Called her Houston office, this address format should be easily adjusted for your rep's last name & district number:

district134.cohen@house.state.tx.us
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #12
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2nd Version of Form letter UNDER 5000 Characters

Dear State Representative.

I believe an issue critical to the rights and safety of motorcyclists in our state has an opportunity to be brought forward by State Representative Gary Elkins this next legislature session of 2009. I would like to bring it to your attention and please ask that you review it, and also contact Gary Elkins office to support this bill.

His office contact email is: District135.Elkins@house.state.tx.us

Debra Clounts his Chief of staff is currently handling the research on this issue to gather relevant information and support. Please contact her to advise her of your support or to gain more information.

I would like to bring to your attention an issue that has been mentioned to Law Enforcement committee and continued to sit there since 2005. I think, perhaps, the significance of this bill to the motorcycling community has been devalued, or perhaps not appreciated. HB 1522 was submitted in 2005 for review regarding legalizing “lane splitting”. The proper term I will use is “lane filtering” or “lane sharing”.

Lane sharing, in essence, is allowing a motorcycle to go between the lanes of congested traffic to bypass the stop and go of car traffic. This is permitted only on the dotted white, inside, lanes (not next to incoming traffic or the curb). California is currently the only state allowing it, and it has been greatly beneficial to many motorcyclists commuting there, reducing their commute dramatically., and improving their safety. California Highway Patrol (CHP) was the pioneer of this utilizing the empty space between cars to travel and perform their duties. They allowed and encouraged the other motorcyclists on the road to do the same, mainly for its uses to prevent engine damage (many motorcycle engines are air-cooled, thus needing movement to prevent damage), commute efficiency, and safety.

Lane sharing is common in California, and in many other foreign countries. The main issue that I believe has held it up from approval is the misconception of protecting motorcyclists from doing something dangerous. As CHP could testify, for a motorcycle, to keep moving between cars at a safe (no more than 10 over traffic speed), is safer than stop-and-go behind another vehicle.

To summarize the benefits.
1. Motorcycles that are air-cooled are prevented from engine damage during congestion
2. Rider safety is promoted by continuing to move through traffic rather than sit and potentially be rear ended to the injury of the rider.
3. Rider health promoted by movement, air is the only coolant a motorcyclist is provided.
4. More motorcyclists are encouraged to commute due to the benefits or less problems with traffic congestion, and overheating.
5. Less gas, and less smog/pollution, per a motorcyclist is able to get to location quickly, rather than sit behind a car, emitting fumes while sitting on idle.

Negatives
1. People will construe it as “cutting in line”. Answer: Motorcyclists do not have the benefit of protection, airbags, and air climate controlled. To keep moving helps their safety, and reduces the traffic waiting in line, benefiting everyone.
2. Some can construe it as dangerous. Answer: While the idea initially may seem dangerous to those who are uninitiated into the practice, it is safer for a motorcyclist to travel with this added benefit.
3. “Why should a motorcyclist be given special rights, when I have to wait in line” Common objection. A motorcycle moving through traffic actually takes up ZERO traffic space and causes no one inconvenience. It also is safer for a motorcyclist to continue to move than sit and potentially be overlooked by a merging car, or car behind them.


The bills should be modified from requiring health insurance, since it is a normal traffic procedure, any responsible motorcyclist should be able to take advantage of this opportunity, especially the lower income that this could affect.

Also the requirement of filtering only when at a standstill defeats part of the purpose, which is stop and go traffic and congestion. I believe we should listen to the normal practice of CHP, which is allowing filtering when traffic is congested, and done safely at not more than 10 mph than the current traffic. The general practice is allowed at 35 mph and below, and at no more than 10 mph faster than the traffic.

The Hurt Study is the only definitive thorough study done on motorcycle accidents and according to it, being able to move through traffic by riding between slow/stopped traffic was safer than sitting in stop and go and having the potential for a rear end collision. Remember that a rear end collision at low speed is merely an inconvenience to an automobile. To a motorcyclist, it can be life threatening and devastating.

Allowing this bill would be pioneering safety and benefits to motorcyclists everywhere. Please consider this.

Sincerely,
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhenriksen View Post
Called her Houston office, this address format should be easily adjusted for your rep's last name & district number:

district134.cohen@house.state.tx.us
You are a genius... All hail.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sheldonhull View Post

Not to tirade, i just am tired of hearing that "i can think of more important issues"..... Who are we to judge what's important to any other person within reason. This would be a progressive step for me.
So because this is important to you, it's OK to tell me what should be important to me?

I don't understand how you can say you're tired of hearing that, I'm the only one that's said that.

I commuted for 15 years every day, I understand the issue and also think it's silly to get a ticket for lane splitting. However, I'd rather my reps concentrate on actual items of importance (like the Trans Texas Corridor, securing borders, enforcing existing laws of fair trade, etc, etc, etc) which is what I write them about. Not because my morning commute was extended by 10 minutes because of traffic. Asking them to concentrate on lane splitting, when placed in order of importance, would rank way down the list of things I'd rather them take care of.

But, if that's what you want to concentrate all of your effort on, be my guest. Just don't get sassy when I don't agree with you, and don't get upset because I have a different opinion
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #15
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
So because this is important to you, it's OK to tell me what should be important to me?

I don't understand how you can say you're tired of hearing that, I'm the only one that's said that.

I commuted for 15 years every day, I understand the issue and also think it's silly to get a ticket for lane splitting. However, I'd rather my reps concentrate on actual items of importance (like the Trans Texas Corridor, securing borders, enforcing existing laws of fair trade, etc, etc, etc) which is what I write them about. Not because my morning commute was extended by 10 minutes because of traffic. Asking them to concentrate on lane splitting, when placed in order of importance, would rank way down the list of things I'd rather them take care of.

But, if that's what you want to concentrate all of your effort on, be my guest. Just don't get sassy when I don't agree with you, and don't get upset because I have a different opinion
I'm not impressed by the efficiency of the government anyway.... i'm not upset, just pointing out, we have rights to different opinions, and if you don't think its important, go on your way. To me, its a matter of safety, convience, and would be a really nice in Houston traffic. I don't rate it up there with border control etc, but its something i'd like addressed.

I'd rather address an issue i consider important, rather than just split lanes illegally. Its my way of trying to change something the right way, rather than just breach the law without trying to make a difference...

Wish you well. (wasn't upset, just friendly debating!)
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:14 PM   #17
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Exclamation Edited version of original letter....

Posted by: KenH
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthre...750#post390750
Thanks! He did a great job rewriting this effectively. You can use either letter. His does a great job and addresses other issues as well.

Dear Representative --------,

Please support State Representative Gary Elkins's efforts to promote motorcycle lane sharing during the legislative session of 2009. Representative Elkins’s Chief of Staff, Debra Clounts, is currently handling the research on this issue to gather relevant information and support.

Lane sharing is the practice of a motorcyclist riding at a speed no greater than 10 miles per hour than the speed of other vehicles on the white lines separating lanes congested with other vehicles when the other vehicles are stopped or moving at a very low speed. California is the only state in which lane sharing is currently legal and lane sharing in California has been found to benefit both motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles. The benefits of lane sharing include:

1) Motorcyclists are much less likely to be injured or killed by a following driver while stopped at a traffic control device.
2) Motorcyclists are less subject to fatigue and illness from overheating, increasing mental focus on driving tasks. (Motorcycle protective gear is hot.)
3) Motorcyclists do not suffer exposure to poisonous exhaust of other vehicles as when sitting in traffic.
4) Motorcycle engines, especially of the air-cooled type, tend to overheat quicker than other vehicles. Slow movement promotes better cooling than idling at rest, reducing disabled vehicle congestion.
5) Motorcycles provide fuel economy up to double that of the most efficient cars currently available, and up to 10 times the efficiency of some large SUVs and pickup trucks.
6) Drivers of other vehicles experience less congestion than if motorcycles take up additional places in a line of vehicles.
7) Due to superior horsepower-to-weight ratios, motorcycles easily and safely accelerate from a stop more quickly than other vehicles, leaving the way clear for other vehicles.
8) Lane sharing allows motorcyclists to safely reduce commute times, resulting in fewer vehicles on the road at any given moment during peak traffic periods.
9) Net reduction in smog from commuters’ exhaust due to shorter commute times promoted by less traffic congestion.

HB1522, introduced in 2005 to legalize lane sharing, does not adequately provide for the potential benefits. Problems with HB1522 and potential solutions are:

1) A 5 miles-per-hour speed differential is inadequate when other vehicles are stopped because most motorcycles do not enjoy the benefits of gyroscopic stabilization at such a low speed. Allowing a 10 miles-per-hour speed differential provides a significant increase in gyroscopic stabilization when other vehicles are stopped.

2) Requiring motorcyclists that share lanes to be covered by medical insurance, be 21 years old, and to have successfully completed a motorcycle safety course is discriminatory and a regulatory nightmare for our Law Enforcement Officers. Perhaps a better alternative would be to require all first-time applicants for any class of license or endorsement to have successfully completed a training program.

3) Drivers of other vehicles may object to lane sharing and react in a manner that endangers motorcyclists, such as weaving in front of a motorcyclist, opening a door in front of a motorcyclist, or throwing objects at a motorcyclist. An act permitting lane sharing should make it clear that such actions will be construed as qualifying as the various levels of seriousness as assaults and the perpetrators should face criminal charges.

Thank you for considering this matter.

Sincerely,
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:38 AM   #18
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Want Husky 510SMR or KTM 690 SMC to continue the hooligan activity






change the title

I caught the mispelling on title to late. Can some admin please change the title to Please STICKY this... and also send it to whoever approves stickies. We need this promoted and covered with texas riders everywhere.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #19
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Want Husky 510SMR or KTM 690 SMC to continue the hooligan activity






Thanks admins, i appreciate it. I hope this thread will start being spread... Riders, make sure you link this in any other forums and get the grassroots community of texas riders to take 3-4 mins out of their day to make a difference. Even if they don't want to split lanes, its about the right to choose to do what others in CA, and foreign countries do without penalty, and a step towards legitimazing the publics recognization as lane sharing as a viable transporation vehicle, not just a "toy".
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:04 AM   #20
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I support your view Sheldon. So much in fact, that will write a letter to my district representative requesting to bring forward such subject. While I understand they must have a multitude of more important subjects to address, lane sharing does not critically affect other drivers and it further contributes to the minimization of CO2 emissions.
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