St. Charles Co. considers banning bicycles

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http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.as ... yid=206725

St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil has proposed banning bicycles on major roads in the southwest part of the county as a safety measure, because "The speed limit is 55 mph. You come around a corner and there are two bikes in your lane. You can't pass them, and it becomes a hazard."

Of course, lowering the speed limit to reduce hazard is out of the question.
Eliminate travel lanes and add bike lanes? Banning bikes is silly.
I think bikes should be relegated to "ride at your own risk" and motor vehicles should be given right of way on roads.
^ I think that's the reality today.
MODOT says the proposed ban is unenforceable:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stch ... 78c22.html
Joe Brazil is a proponent of Smart Growth so I find his position really odd. He ran against Scott Rupp a few years back.

http://summitcountyski.wordpress.com/20 ... iking-ban/

Well, ok, never mind. I can kind of see where he's coming from insofar as people shouldn't be biking on roads like Highway D. I lived immediately off it. Let's say people tend to drive excessively fast, it winds, and has no shoulders. There are a lot of auto fatalities. If this isn't about banning bikes in downtown St. Charles then I might not object. These roads were not designed for bikes or anything really going below 50 MPH.
The answer is that drivers should slow down. If the roads are in fact dangerous then let's lower the speed limit to 50mph and enforce it. One problem (among many) on this proposed ban is that St. Charles County roads are not laid out in a grid, meaning that if bikes aren't allowed a one, two or three state roads then they will also not be able to access many, many more.
Alex,

This isn't a street grid, has no shoulders, and often the roads have several feet of drop off into trees, shrubs, rock, or grassy holes. If someone was forced off the road they could easily be killed. Most importantly though the roads are extremely windy, hilly, and lined with thick trees. You can be going around a corner or up/down a hill then suddenly at the bend/bottom/top we have two cyclists and then they're dead. There is no way to anticipate cyclists in the same way you can't tell if a deer will pop out until it's too late. These roads have a lot of drunk drivers as well, both from the wineries or hoosierdom -- and kids who don't know how to drive. Fatalities happen more often than not. At any speed they are dangerous. I know because I've driven on these specific roads since I had my license. You also have the "let's go look at the leaves turn during Autumn" crowd who have no idea how to drive on these roads and don't pay attention to what's in front of them. Or simply the "lets go for a country drive" people. So they could easily hit a cyclist. These roads were not designed for cyclists. It's not like they are like Highway 94 or Chesterfield Airport Road either where motorists can see cyclists from miles away. At least in these rural to semi-rural areas, cyclists should take their leisurely bike to the Katy Trail as that's the reason it was built. Someone would be insane to bike down a highway and so are these people who want to cycle on Highway D/DD/Z/N or any of those rural roads. We shouldn't accommodate their desire to potentially kill themselves. That distinction should be made. No one is at risk of biking down Mexico Road and that isn't the purpose of the bill.
You don't know anything about cycling Doug. The roads that are "extremely windy, hilly and lined with thick trees" are absolutely, by far the best roads to ride a bike on. This is true around the world. And yes, these roads weren't built for cycling. None are. If you think that "cyclists should take their leisurely bike to the Katy Trail as that's the reason it was built," you're crazy. The Katy trail works OK for very recreational riders, but nothing else.

As you say, this area doesn't have a street grid. Thus, the problem is that if you close even one road then cyclists will not be able to get to many others - the connections to various routes will be gone. "Someone would be insane to bike down a highway and so are these people who want to cycle on Highway D/DD/Z/N or any of those rural roads." Again, you don't know anything about cycling. That's not a put-down, it's just an apparent fact.

You seem adamant that your interest is protecting the cyclists who, according to you, could easily get killed at any time. Do you also think that anyone on a motorcycle should be required to wear a helmet by law? What about red light cameras that improve safety? These roads should be accessible to all and those creating problems, whether cyclists, or the drunks and others you mention, should have all applicable laws enforced. Some, if not most cyclists should absolutely stay off these roads and lot of cyclists wouldn't dream of riding out there due to traffic, the hills, etc. But those who want to should be able to.

Put the speed limit at 45, these roads are exponentially more dangerous as speeds go up. The vast, vast, overwhelming majority of fatal accidents on these roads involve a single or multiple vehicles and not bicycles. Cyclists are not a public health concern, even on these roads. It's ridiculous that a County rep doesn't step up and insist on addressing speeding and drunk driving, no...they decide that people on bicycles are the problem! That's just stupid.
They are addressing drunk driving with more frequent sobriety checks on these roads. My dad was stopped a few weeks ago.

You might enjoy cycling on these roads for their aesthetic appeal, but I would challenge you to personally try it yourself. Go from Winghaven Blvd. down DD to the intersection of D then down D to 94. Try that around 8AM or 4:30 PM. With someone suddenly on your ass at 60 miles per hour around a corner hitting the breaks you might change your opinion.

The majority of accidents occur on these roads because they are dangerous at any speed. They don't usually include cyclists because most people are not insane enough to think it's a good idea to "share the road" with people going 60 miles per hour with low visibility and no shoulder! I am all for biking as well as taxing the hell out of cars in our cities, but you can't claim it's safe to cycle on these roads and keep a straight face. Stick to Forest Park or downtown streets where you aren't going to be ran over by a soccer mom in an Expedition.
^That wasn't a sobriety check, your dad got pulled over cause he's black.


Kidding Doug, kidding. It was a hanging curve, I had to swing. :wink:
St. Charles passes bike legislation

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stch ... c3eaa.html

The bill that passed requires any "event, contest, procession or parade" with 25 or more cyclists or any number of riders with a chase or support vehicle, to receive a permit through the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department. Organizers must present a map of the route along with safety plans. If a ride requires road closures, notice is to be published.

The council also approved an amendment to the bill proposed by Councilwoman Cheryl Hibbeler, D-O'Fallon, that requires notice to be given of the ride to the Missouri Department of Transportation. MoDOT officials had said early in the debate that they did not believe the county could ban cyclists from state roads. Whether they would oppose any other measures is unclear.

The maximum fine for violating the ordinance is $1,000
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This one seems reasonable to me.
Me too. Groups of 25 or more cyclists and those with support vehicles pose a different impediment to drivers than a couple people out riding together or a single cyclist.