Ahead of the Curve? Missouri County wants to ban bikes from roads

St Charles County, Missouri, lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban bicycles from certain two-lane highways in the county.  The effort is spearheaded by Councilman Joe Brazil, who claims this is the number one complaint he gets from his constituents. 

“There’s no shoulders.  There’s limited sight distance.  The speed limit’s 55 mph.  It’s very dangerous to be riding bicycles on these roads.  And you’re putting motorists in danger,”  Brazil was quoted in local TV coverage.  The bill is also supported by the parents of a teenaged motorist who was seriously injured when she swerved to avoid hitting a bicyclist.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials say the county doesn’t have the authority to ban bikes from state highways.  County council remains undeterred and plans to revisit the proposal in August.  Read more of the story.

Is St Charles County an anomaly or ahead of the curve?  Sadly, the casino town of Black Hawk, Colorado, has banned bike riding on almost every street in town and police started issuing tickets in June.  Here’s a report from the Denver PostBicycle Colorado is challenging the ban. This sort of knee-jerk reaction is in marked contrast to US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s support of complete streets and biking as transportation. 

Let’s ensure that forward and sensible minds prevail.  Speak up for bicycling in your community.  Thank your local officials when they support bicycling.  Contact the Washington Bikes when cycling is threatened in your community.

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