Louisville Bicycle Club

Louisville Bicycle Club Newsletter -- July-August 1996

Club Joins Movement for Safe Roads

by Earl Jones, VP of Advocacy

The Executive Committee voted on June 2 to join the Kentucky Coalition for Safe Roads, a constituent organization of the national Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, to help defeat the move to increase the weight limit of trucks/trailers on interstate highways from 80,000 lb. to 95,000 lb. and to open the entire federal highway system to double and triple trailer loads (known as LCVs or Longer Combination Vehicles). he debate over weight and size limits arises as part of the talks between the U.S., Mexico and Canada to harmonize transportation regulations under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Act). The issue is likely to be decided when Congress votes in 1997 to reauthorize the National Highway System.

The Coalition opposes larger trucks because of safety concerns—trucks have been linked with more than 5,000 roadway fatalities annually and an additional 100,000 injuries; and because of the infrastructure damage resulting from heavy vehicles—heavier trucks and LCVs increase damage to roadways and bridges, draining scarce resources away from other improvements.

The League of American Bicyclists, the Bicycle Federation of America and several highway safety and environmentalist organizations are members of the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks.

The Executive Committee agreed to join the Coalition and speak out for the interests of Club members who, in addition to being concerned about highway safety as motorists, would face increased risks as cyclists by the presence of larger trucks on feeder and approach roads used by Club members. In addition, the increased need for infrastructure repair caused by larger vehicle damage will drain resources from construction of cycling-related facilities (e.g., road widening projects) as the competition for scarce transportation dollars increases in future years.

Based on the above considerations, the Executive Committee determined that joining the Coalition furthers the Club's purpose of promoting recreation, health and mobility... through cycling-related activities. Approval does not entail any financial obligation but permits listing the Club as a Coalition member.

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last updated: 26 June 1996
by Duc M. Do