Tuesday, January 23, 2007

D.C. fixes bicycle brake law

Washington D.C. changed the regulation about bicycle equipment requirement to specifically exclude a brake requirement for fixed-gear bikes:
1204.1 Each bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which enables the operator to cause the braked wheels to skid on dry, level, clean pavement; provided, that a fixed gear bicycle is not required to have a separate brake, but an operator of a fixed gear bicycle shall be able to stop the bicycle using the pedals.<

The Washington Area Bicyclists Association worked with the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation on the wording of this regulation.

I read this first at Gwadzilla, who read it at WashCycle, who saw it (with analysis and commentary about the situation in Portland) at Bike Portland, where I totally missed it when it first appeared last November.
Photo info: jason skid by pseudothoughts.


  1. I chased this down after I was wandering the streets of nyc at streets blog

    thanks for the mention

  2. And this is good? -- It needs to read:

    an operator of a fixed gear bicycle shall be able to stop the bicycle using the pedals, or he will probably die.

  3. Interesting. I'm no lawyer, but might this survive a court challenge?

    This probably doesn't apply to DC because of its unique status, but I was under the impression that local municipalities could only supplement state law.

    That is, the City of Portland could say 'no riding on the sidewalk in the City of Portland' but that the brake, light, etc. requirements for bicycles remain part of the State of Oregon vehichle code. No?

  4. Santa doesn't think rolling a fix without HAND brakes is a good idea, NO matter the skill of the fix'r. When things get HAIRY, it gets REAL hairy REAL quick.

    During rush, there's NO margin for error between going home in one piece and meeting yer Maker in a NYC heartbeat.

    But, hey, who's Santa to judge? Hell, the Fat Man INSISTS on rolling during rush, with NO hands, rockin' out to Rolling Stone's NO Satisfaction, while jammin' out some mean-ass riffs on a custom STRAT.

    There may be NO legal prohibitions against the act. The legal eagles, aka Bike Nazis, and the TPD Santa Task Force, can't even charge Santa with RECKLESS driving. There is NO government interest to ban the rock-n-rollin' Santa. But, you gotta agree that's INSANE!

    So, kiddos, DON'T try it at home. Leave it to Santa and the PRO's.