Northwest Portland State Representative Mitch Greenlick proposed the bill. I've got a call into his office to discuss the bill, but I assume he'd agree with people like this woman who think biking with children is risky behavior. Kids on bikes are common in Portland, whether they're riding on the flat back seats of Xtra Cycles, sitting in handlebar seats, or hanging out in trailers. If this bill passes, it would definitely be a blow to Portlanders who try to get around without a car.
The $90 fine proposed in the bill reminds me of the recent story of a Utah mom who was ticketed for letting her son walk to school.
Clever Cycles is a Portland bike store that caters specifically to families with children, selling bakfiets (those boxy cargo bikes with seats for kids). Since Clever Cycles opened in June of 2007, co-owner Dean Mullin says he has not heard of a single local bike crash involving a kid being carried on a parent's bike. "I imagine there's been cases of that, but I've never heard of one," says Mullin. "This is how the helmet law in Washington got passed. People who are going to be voting on this are not necessarily people who are riding with their kids."
The director of Oregon's Safe Routes to School program, Shane MacRhodes, was quick to respond to the bill:
I am not sure the motivation behind the bill but as a parent of three children under three (twins!) and as a family who only owns one car we rely on cycling as a major form of transportation and I can tell you from both personal and professional experience that cycling with kids is healthy, safe, and fun and should be encouraged not outlawed!