And AAA Responds

On July 14, in response to a post on BikinginLA to contact the Auto Club about its opposition to Senate Bill 910, (which would make it law for motorists to allow at least three feet when passing bicyclists), I wrote to the heads of the Northern and Southern California chapters, the letters of which you can read here.

In the mail yesterday came the following two-page reply from Stephen Finnegan, AAA’s manager of Governement Affairs and Public Policy (both images can be enlarged to readability if clicked):

In a nutshell it’s a restatement of what I knew already to be AAA’s position, with some insight offered into the organization’s initial interest in getting “clarifying amendments” added to the original bill. When those amendments were not included an “oppose unless amended” was the stance taken.

Finnegan also included some companion materials to reinforce a point he made about the Auto Club’s commitment to multi-modality. Unbeknownst to him those pieces did more damage than endearment as they were a slanted feature in Westways magazine that I took letter-writing issue with after reading it last year, and a booklet AAA published, whose first words disagreeably read by this previous 30-mile roundtrip bike commuter are “Bicycling is a great option for shorter trips…” and whose last page features the following image of a road sign showing an aggressive sportscar “sharing” the road by passing the cyclist with decidedly less than three feet between them:

Just as Finnegan wrote that AAA supports the intent of SB 910 but doesn’t think it will be effective in achieving this objective, so do I support the intent of his cordial and informative and timely response, which was ultimately as ineffective.