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St. Charles Bike Ban Dies a Quiet Death 1 October 2010

Posted by magicdufflepud in Cycling.
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After so much uproar earlier this summer–really, nationwide uproar–over county councilman Joe Brazil’s proposed biking ban in St. Charles County, MO, you’d think more fanfare would surround its death, inevitable though that demise may have been. At any rate, the ban’s been voted down. Unanimously, I might add, which means that the bill’s sponsor himself, Joe Brazil, decided that maybe he’d made a mistake. His ban did go against state law, after all. So it seems road biking will continue on the narrow highways through the rolling hills, and if things remain as they always were, no one will get hurt.

Still, a couple other bills remain.

The first would require cyclists to ride single file, with a mirror, fewer than 20 inches from the white line. Those requirements would exist on only a few roads throughout the county, presumably the same ones up for the biking ban in the original ban bill. Although in theory, such requirements sound reasonable, I can’t imagine how to educate cyclists on exactly where they must be followed, especially for folks out of town who might not even know what the requirements were given that no they mirror nothing else in the US. And, as the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation points out, they even contradict Missouri bike laws while ignoring standard practice like head and tail light requirements. Silly Missouri.

The second, on the other hand, requires cyclists to request permit with the county if they plan to ride in groups of twenty or more on any road. This makes sense. Even at 25mph, a mini-peloton can clog country roads because they stretch several car lengths and prevent easy passing. Working with the county, group ride organizers can likely find ways to accommodate routes each week, so long as the permit process isn’t an attempt to create a de facto ban. A permit process does need to result in approvals from time to time.

Anyway, kudos to the St. Charles County Council for voting down a silly bill. Now comes the time to pass the right one.

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