If you're ever looking for a reason why it's good to have elected officials who share your passion for riding a bike, here's one:
Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley is a bike enthusiast who helped put the city on the League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly Community list in 2005. Now he wants to beef up penalties for motorists who recklessly endanger bicyclists.
Daley has proposed fines of $150 — $500 if there's a bike crash — against motorists who open car doors in front of cyclists, turn in front of them or pass too close. He also proposed fines for cars parking or waiting in a bike-only lane.
“Yes, it's taken place. And [there were] a few choice words. Every biker does that — salutes the driver in a Chicago way.”
The mayor told the Chicago Sun-Times that he's had many such close calls on his bicycle.
The city has had 6,000 car vs. bicycle collisions reported to police between 2001 and 2005, resulting in 30 deaths.
Daley also has formed the Bicycling Ambassadors to talk to residents about bicycling.