I don't see anything in here that offers any "new protections" to bicyclists or motorists.
Bicyclists in New Orleans will get new protections — and some additional responsibilities — under a package of ordinances passed unanimously Thursday by the City Council.In effect, all this really does is provide a new pretext for police to randomly stop people just for being outside. It's stop and frisk on wheels. So, you know, stay in your lane because they are serious about that stuff these days.
The new rules, recommended by the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, explicitly prohibit motorists from driving in designated bike lanes or harassing cyclists, clarify that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and require that bikes must be equipped with lights or reflectors plus bells or other devices that can provide an audible signal to those nearby in emergency situations
Another problem with bicycle policymaking in general is that it always combines the worst possible panders to the motorists who hate bicyclists with the worst possible panders to the bicyclists who love bicycling a little too much. Bikes and cars are different in the same way that cars and pedestrians are different. Cars are big and dangerous and the rules and infrastructure should protect everyone else from them. This is different from simply demanding that all vehicles on the road should have to follow exactly the same traffic laws. That doesn't make any sense no matter how cranky and loud drivers tend to be about it.
Meanwhile here's every cycling activist asking to be saddled with "additional responsibilities."
Stop doing that. Nobody cares. There are many great and good reasons to get around the city by bicycle when you can. But these are the top two.
1) It is convenient to be able to tie up anywhere instead of worrying about where and how expensive the parking might be. But a look around town will show you the universe of arbitrary rules is offering less and less protection there.
2) It is the best way to avoid getting snagged in one of these.
NEW ORLEANS -- Police will be looking for drivers under the influence Thursday night.(FYI: The "undisclosed location" was Louisiana and Tchoup last night, if the reports are to be believed.) Now that police have got a reason to watch for non-compliant bicycles just like they go after expired brake tags, I guess this advantage is going away too. Maybe the best answer is just for everyone to never leave the house.
The New Orleans Police Department is conducting a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also, what kind of protection does a "bell or other device" offer that just saying "excuse me" with one's own voice can't? Let's leave the horns on the trains where they belong.