I write in opposition to H.408, “legislation to establish civil or criminal penalties for motorists failing to yield to bicyclists,” which you sponsored.
Bicyclists are legally prohibited from riding in crosswalks. To use the crosswalk, a bicyclist is legally required to dismount from his bicycle and walk it, thus making him a pedestrian and therefore protected by the existing law. If he does not dismount, he is legally required to operate his bicycle as a vehicle, which means (among other things) staying out of the crosswalk.
Bicyclists riding in crosswalks are dangerous both to pedestrians and other vehicles on the road. It is both unnecessary and unreasonable to enshrine into law protections which would encourage bicyclists to violate other laws and operate their vehicles dangerously.
Drivers can already be cited for driving unsafely; there is no need for a new law protecting bicyclists in this particular context. This is especially true since the law would create a presumption that the driver of a car that strikes a bicycle in a crosswalk was at fault, when in fact it is just as likely, if not more so, that the bicyclist was at fault for darting into the crosswalk too fast for the driver to stop in time.
I speak from the point of view of someone who regularly walks, bikes, and drives in Boston; someone who strives to adhere to the law in all of those contexts; and someone who resents the many bicyclists who do not.