Bicyclists would be banned from some four-lane highways if a bill that cleared the Senate Transportation Committee becomes law. The bill would prohibit bikes from traveling on four-lane divided highways when there’s a designated bike trail or paved shoulder running parallel to the road. Senator John Putney, a Republican from Gladbrook, is pushing the bill, which he says will apply to only 17 miles of four-lane highway in the state. Putney says he constantly comes up behind cyclists on Highway 330 — which has a recreation trail nearby.Putney says he’s never been an opponent of trails, but if they’re not going to be used, then there’s no need to spend more money to build more or extend current trails. Putney says the cyclists create a hazard on a busy path like Highway 330. but Ankeny cyclist Scott Sumpter says bike trails post their own risks for serious riders. Sumpter says he rides between 20 and 25 miles an hour, and encounters with families out with the kids on bikes with training wheels are a safety concern. Sumpter says there’s no need to pick on bicyclists.Sumpter says cyclists move just as fast as a combine, and shouldn’t be discriminated against. The bill has a long ride before it becomes law. It must pass the full Senate and the House before it would go in the law books.
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