That didn’t take long.
Three state legislators from northern Georgia say they will withdraw their bill — HB 689 — that would have required bicycle registration, license plates and new rules of the road for bicyclists.
The three — Republicans Carl Rogers, Lee Hawkins, and Emory Dunahoo — from the Gainesville area made their decision after a community meeting on Monday attended by hundreds of opponents.
Kudos go to the Georgia Bikes! advocacy group for getting some 200 cyclists out to attend the meeting. The group’s blog reported:
“Over more than two hours, dozens stood up to speak on the many reasons this legislation would harm the growing health and economic benefits of bicycling.”
Further, a state Department of Transportation official explained how the state’s Complete Streets policy would help solve many of the issues causing conflict between bicyclists and motorists.
The ill-fated bill was influenced by Jim Syfan, the owner of a Gainesville trucking firm.
The Gainesville Times reported that one cyclist after another told about run-ins with motorists. They told how they’d been victims of hit-and-run drivers, how motorists spat at them, cursed them and pulled guns on them.
Rep. Rogers concluded at the close of the hearing:
“The main thing I heard tonight was education, we need to be polite — we need to do more of it because it’s good for us, and we all need to be good citizens, good Georgians and good Americans. This bill will be pulled first thing(this) morning.”
In addition to requiring bike registration and a license tag on bicycles, the bill sought to prohibit side-by-side cycling, limit groups to four bicyclists riding at least 4 feet apart, and a 50-foot gap between groups.