Volunteer training makes bicycle advocacy easy

By Renee Rivera : sfgate – excerpt

Whether you bike every day for your commute, get out on weekend road rides or ride for neighborhood errands, the experience is made better or worse depending on the streets you are riding on. Maybe you live in Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek and ride to BART on the Iron Horse Trail. Or perhaps your commute from Oakland to UC Berkeley takes you through the traffic-calmed Webster/Shafter corridor. If you have a low-stress commute on established paths, bike lanes or bike boulevards, those improvements make your ride feel much safer and more pleasant.

How do these bike lanes, bike boulevards and other facilities – Oakland alone has more than 140 miles of bicycle facilities on its streets – come to be on our streets? The impetus for these changes comes from people who live there but take the extra step of asking their city to make an improvement for walking and bicycling… (more)

So, we need to have a car advocacy group. Ready to join? sign the Stop SFMTA petition and stay tuned to  Metermadness and Grassroots Actions

OK to flash headlights to warn drivers of police speed trap, judge rules

By Jim Salter : Associated Press – csmonitor.com – excerpt

A US federal judge in Missouri agreed that flashing headlights to warn other drivers of a speed trap was protected free speech. Will this ruling set a broader precedent?

The order by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey in St. Louis stems from a lawsuit filed by Ellisville resident Michael Elli. On Nov. 17, 2012, Elli flashed his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of a radar set up by Ellisville police. A flash of headlights is a common way motorists communicate to oncoming drivers of either a dangerous situation or the presence of police — in essence, a warning to slow down.

An officer saw the flash and pulled over Elli, who could have faced a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted. The charge was later dismissed.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Elli’s behalf, claiming the arrest violated his First Amendment right to free speech…

“It is important that law enforcement officers in other jurisdictions take note of this federal court decision and the ACLU-MO’s commitment to free speech,” Mittman said in a statement… (more)

Many non-profit legal groups, including the ACLU, are fighting to protect freedoms most of us take for granted, ie: Due process,  freedom of speech and “the presumption of innocence until proven guilty”. National Motorists Association has taken up the latter cause.

Flashing Headlights To Warn Other Drivers Of Speed Traps Is Protected By First Amendment, Federal Judge Rules… In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, Rothert said the ruling marked a civil liberties victory….”