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Proposed County Ordinance To Ban Bicycle On Hwy D, Hwy Dd, Hwy Z, Hwy F, Hwy 94


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#1 BradlyKF

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

I was contacted through Facebook by Debbie Dyn Keyes from Shoulders for Saftey.  I had supported them as they were working to get shoulders added to Hwy D, Hwy DD, Hwy Z, Hwy F, Hwy 94.  Now they are supporting a ban on bicycles on those same roads.

Joe Brazil, County Council Member, is introducing a bill on July 12th County Council meeting to ban cycling on these roads.  The meeting is Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at old courthouse in St. Charles.

Bill No. 3620 - Prohibit bicycles on Highway DD, D, F, Z & 94 from Hwy. 40 to County line until shoulders or bicycle lanes are in place.

July 12th Agenda http://council.sccmo...id=23&Itemid=44


Of course it could take a very long time before such changes are made to these roads.

They are planning on having a group attend in support of this ban.  


Please contact the council members to urge them not to support this bill.  Even if you are not in the district we are all users of these roads.

Cheryl Hibbeler
District 1 Map
chibbeler@sccmo.org

Joe Brazil
District 2 Map
jbrazil@sccmo.org

Nancy Matheny
District 3 Map
nmatheny@sccmo.org

Paul Wynn
District 4 Map
pwynn@sccmo.org

Terry Hollander
District 5 Map
thollander@sccmo.org

Jerry Daugherty
District 6 Map
jdaugherty@sccmo.org

John White
District 7 Map
jwwhite@sccmo.org

#2 sjm

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 09:29 PM

Please show up at this meeting, it is extremely important for the whole St Louis area that this be defeated.

#3 apex72

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:54 AM

I sent the letter below to all of the council members (see the email addresses in the post above).  I made a few changes to the letter I sent to the proposal's sponsor.  If anyone would like to use the text as a template for a message of your own, please feel free.



Councilman ______,

I am writing to ask you not to support the proposed bicycle ban being introduced at tomorrow’s meeting.  I do not ride the roads in question regularly, and safety would be a concern that would keep me off of them at certain times of the day.  My concern is that this proposal may set a bad precedent.

The Katy trail and other park facilities are tremendous resources, but they are not a perfect substitute for paved roads as Mr. Brazil suggests.  Not all bikes are suited for a surface such as the Katy trail, and facilities like those do not always connect to other routes that a cyclist may need to access.

As stated above, I would generally stay off a road like 94 between Weldon Springs and Augusta, especially on weekends during winery season.  Mr. Brazil’s news release infers that all cyclists are using the roads in a casual manner.  Some cyclists may in fact be using those roads for transportation purposes.  This proposal is at odds with MO state law regarding bicycles.  I fear legislation like this could create a patchwork of unconnected roads, and would make your county less desirable to active individuals.

If having cyclists on these high speed roads is truly a serious issue, I would suggest creating awareness at certain access points of safer available routes and what those routes would connect to.  I do applaud your county’s excellent parks system and your willingness to allow groups like GORC to build mountain bike trails in the county.  It would be unfortunate if a heavy-handed proposal like this were to pass and cyclists were made to feel unwelcome in Saint Charles County.  

Thank you for your consideration,

Mike Briner

#4 cgilker

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:46 AM

I sent my email this AM. Here is what I sent to the entire Council (council@sccmo.org) and individually to each Council member (chibbeler@sccmo.org; jbrazil@sccmo.org; nmatheny@sccmo.org; pwynn@sccmo.org; thollander@sccmo.org; jdaugherty@sccmo.org; jwwhite@sccmo.org ):


I am writing to tell you that I am against this ban.
It appears to me that Councilman Brazil's arguments for this ban are three (I am quoting from the press release):



1. "We spend millions of dollars a year on parks and trails." "The bicyclists need to stay on the trails that were made for bikes and off the roads in southwest St. Charles County."Is this ban, then, just the first step in a wider bicycling ban? Thanks for the trails, but those were not made just "for bikes" - they are public multi-use trails, built and paid for with public money, just like the roads.


2. "I get more complaints about this single issue than any other issue" If the Council's response to citizen complaints is to ban the activity that causes complaints, I worry, then, about what issue generates the second most complaints. Barking dogs? Ban them. Teenagers? Ban them.  3. "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." Now this I understand. The speed limit for motorized traffic is clearly way too high to safely enable all legal users of the road to share it without hazard. If these roads are not safe for bicyclists, they are clearly also not safe in any of these situations or road uses: automotive breakdowns, garbage removal, street cleaning, farm vehicles.

My light sarcasm notwithstanding, this proposed ban on bicycles is the wrong solution to a serious problem. Before taking such a drastic and controversial action, the council needs to carefully study the issue and meet with affected groups. No other county in Missouri, or in the U.S. for that matter, has enacted such a sweeping ban of bicyclists on the main and only connecting highways. Area bicycle organizations would like the chance to meet with county officials, MoDOT officials, concerned citizens groups, and others, and work out a solution that will actually solve the problem rather than simply scapegoating bicyclists.




Note: this last section paraphrased from Breet Hugh, Director of MoBikeFed




#5 cat4ever

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 01:19 PM

My two centavos (with a fair amount of plagarism).  Hopefully not too negative, but I'm getting a little tired of the growing mentality to fix one's short sited actions at others' expense...


Hello,
  As a resident of St. Charles county, I am writing in regard to the proposed ban on bicycles on some country roads to be brought to this evenings council.  This is purportedly a “safety” issue, but if that is truly the case the law being proposed should be on reducing the speed limit in this area.  This area has experienced growth that was allowed without adequate road facilities planned.  Folks who moved to this area knew the roads they were getting when they moved there, and the folks that were already in this area allowed the housing to be built with full knowledge of the roads facilities at hand.  Now it seems they want to “rectify” the situation by banning the use of their roads for a whole class of legal user of these roads.  This is an unfair law as it penalizes one class of citizen because of the short-sightedness of another.

I also don’t believe this is a solution to the problem at hand.  Because of the extra load of traffic, the speed limit for motorized traffic is clearly way too high to safely enable all legal users of the road to share it without hazard. If these roads are not safe for bicyclists, they are clearly also not safe in any of these situations or road uses: automotive breakdowns, garbage removal, street cleaning, farm vehicles, postal service, pedestrians, folks who choose to drive these roads at a safe speed instead of the maximum limit (or above).  In fact, in many studies it has been shown the presence of bicycles actually increases the safety of roads as it requires drivers to both slow down and to remain in a more attentive state, rather than let the mind wander and be lulled into using the road as a fun, curvy fast ride home.

http://www.scienceda...3112034.htm  
                                                
    “…and it's not simply because there are fewer cars on the roads, but because motorists seem to change their behaviour and drive more safely when they see more cyclists and pedestrians around.”


In the end, the proposed ban on bicycles is the wrong solution to a serious problem. Before taking such a drastic and controversial action, the council needs to carefully study the issue and meet with affected groups. No other county in Missouri, or in the U.S. for that matter, has enacted such a sweeping ban of bicyclists on the main and only connecting highways. Area bicycle organizations would like the chance to meet with county officials, MoDOT officials, concerned citizens groups, and others, and work out a solution that will actually solve the problem rather than simply scapegoating bicyclists.

In the short term, the real, fair, low-cost and immediate solution to the problem would be to reduce the speed limit on these roads to one that is deemed safe use by all legal users of the roads, as well as adding signage and enforcement of the new limits.

Respectfully,
Jeff Schmitz

#6 Beeg

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 06:33 AM

For those that missed the meeting last night it was NOT PRETTY. There were at least as much public support present as there was opposition. Missouri State Rep. Scott Dieckhaus came and spoke in SUPPORT of the bill. During the council comments District 6 Councilman Jerry Daugherty announced his plans to add the roads in his district as well: B,C,Y,94, etc. The snow-ball effect is already starting. No more Monday night ride if this goes. None of the council members spoke out against the proposed bill.

The question of whether or not the County has the right to pass and ordinance affecting State roads and it appears that it “might”. The fact that St. Charles s one of 3 ‘Charter’ Counties in the state gives it the right to govern itself with more control than others counties.

Thi bill is officially tabled but I would bet it will come back up in four weeks. Joe Brazil mentioned he will miss the next council meeting for a vacation.
-BJ Keane
Quantum Mesa Cycles
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#7 robertm

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 07:37 AM

This just shows how completely backwards St. Charles is.  I feel bad for any cyclist living there who is about to get the shaft.
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#8 Boetjie

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 07:56 AM

View Postrobertm, on 13 July 2010 - 07:37 AM, said:

This just shows how completely backwards St. Charles is.  I feel bad for any cyclist living there who is about to get the shaft.

Disappointing but not surprising.  Time to take my tax dollars across the river.

#9 billh

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:14 AM

View PostBeeg, on 13 July 2010 - 06:33 AM, said:

For those that missed the meeting last night it was NOT PRETTY. There were at least as much public support present as there was opposition. Missouri State Rep. Scott Dieckhaus came and spoke in SUPPORT of the bill. During the council comments District 6 Councilman Jerry Daugherty announced his plans to add the roads in his district as well: B,C,Y,94, etc. The snow-ball effect is already starting. No more Monday night ride if this goes. None of the council members spoke out against the proposed bill.

The question of whether or not the County has the right to pass and ordinance affecting State roads and it appears that it “might”. The fact that St. Charles s one of 3 ‘Charter’ Counties in the state gives it the right to govern itself with more control than others counties.

Thi bill is officially tabled but I would bet it will come back up in four weeks. Joe Brazil mentioned he will miss the next council meeting for a vacation.

I was at the meeting for the public comments, then left around 8:30pm.  The public comments opened with parents from the SOS group displaying photographs of their 16 year old daughter with her face half torn off.  The photographs, evidently taken in the ER were projected on the big screen on the side of the council chambers and were incredibly gory.  Their story was that the daughter had swerved to avoid a cyclist on Hwy D and ran into a tree.  That set the tone for the public comments.  In trying to understand the perspective of the residents, they really feel like cyclists are risking the lives of them and their loved ones.  The one guy is teaching his children to run over and potentially kill cyclists instead of swerving off the road.  (One wonders why parents couldn't teach their children to drive at safe speeds instead of killing other humans).  On the speed limit issue, the county executive mentioned the council had tried to lower the speed limit in the past, even 5 mph, but the efforts failed.  So in their mind, they have exhausted that route.  

Exiting I-70 onto Hwy 94, there is a sign that states "The citizens of St Charles welcome you".  The few citizens that spoke at the meeting would change the sign to read "If you get in our way, we will kill you".  I can't imagine this bill will be good for tourism, but it's evident most Council members see their community as bedroom, commuter cities with fast transportation and "safety" trumping tourism business.  Notably absent from the comments was any business that benefits from bicycle tourism, although the BikeFed rep Patty Vineyard mentioned Adventure Cycling routes would be adversely affected by the ban (Councilman Brazil picked up this point later by saying the bill allowed for a permit process where cycling groups could have their routes approved by some County entity).  

After listening to the council discussion on tape here (from the other thread in the road forum) . . .

link

sounds like it will boil down to residents safety vs cyclists rights.  The residents see cyclists as selfish and self-entitled and don't understand how they can put their recreational "needs" above safety and transportation needs of residents.  Interesting that during the council comments on the tape, one council member (a woman) brought up the analogy of smoker rights and that Brazil had backed minority smoker rights over second-hand smoke safety issues in the past and that this contradicted minority cyclist rights over road safety issues.  Sounds like a potential ally.  

The Council's response to the jurisdiction issue (hwys in question are owned by State of Missouri and the County has no authority to enact a ban) is that St Charles is a charter county and has more rights over its roads.  First I heard of the "charter county" argument.  I imagine if the ban passes, this will have to be challenged in court.  

I thought all the cyclists made good points, except for the one guy who wanted to pave the Katie Trail (several argued the difference between road cycling and trail cycling in response to the council suggestion cyclists ride the Katie instead of the hwys in question).
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one"  JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

#10 btreece

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:50 AM

The council member who made the smoking analogy was Cheryl Hibbeler and, yes, she could be an ally.

#11 Beeg

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:21 PM

View Postbillh, on 13 July 2010 - 08:14 AM, said:



The Council's response to the jurisdiction issue (hwys in question are owned by State of Missouri and the County has no authority to enact a ban) is that St Charles is a charter county and has more rights over its roads.  First I heard of the "charter county" argument.  I imagine if the ban passes, this will have to be challenged in court.  

I thought all the cyclists made good points, except for the one guy who wanted to pave the Katie Trail (several argued the difference between road cycling and trail cycling in response to the council suggestion cyclists ride the Katie instead of the hwys in question).

Good summary billh.

One thing everyone in the room agreed on is that the big problem is limited sight distances on these roads.  There are exactly 2 ways to prevent accidents caused by limited sight distance:  improve stopping sight distance by making the roads flatter and straighter, or require travel to take place at LOWER SPEEDS.  Topogrophy and economics prevent the first option but one thing that kept popping in my mind after hearing the council members and Steve Elhmann discuss the issue is that they have NOT exhausted their ability to lower the speed limit.  As Steve Ehlmann pointed out, the County has 'worked with modot' to lower speed limits over the past 7 years with limited success.  But now we are hearing that the County is a CHARTER County and that they have the authority to govern the roads within their boundaries as they choose.  They are willing to circumnavigate the State's authority by attempting to ban cyclists so why hasn't the County wielded this "Charter" sword for the purpose of lowering the speed limit on these roads?  Why work with MoDOT if the County really has this power?  It is simple; this is being described as a matter of resident SAFETY because nobody wants to say that they are proposing a law to strip someones rights for the purpose of CONVENIENCE.  Lowering the speed limit is 100%, without a doubt, the logical way to make these roads safer BUT this will INCONVENIENCE the same local residents that are pushing for the legislation.  Lowering the speed limit saves pretty 16 year old girls without stripping the rights of other citizens, but because it will INCONVENIENCE someone to travel 10 mph slower it is not being considered.  Here is the math:  If an average resident travels on one of the roads in question for 15 miles (most of them probably much less) at 55 mph it takes 16.4 minutes to make the trip, if they do the same trip at 45 mph it only takes 20 minutes.  So for less than 4 minutes per trip we could save lives and make the roads exponentially safer without stripping someones rights.  It is so simple.  I wish these council members and residents would stop calling this a matter of public SAFETY and start marketing the legislation for what it really is: a matter of MOTORIST CONVENIENCE.
-BJ Keane
Quantum Mesa Cycles
Damn nice guy

#12 cleeland

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:33 PM

View PostBeeg, on 13 July 2010 - 12:21 PM, said:

Here is the math:  If an average resident travels on one of the roads in question for 15 miles (most of them probably much less) at 55 mph it takes 16.4 minutes to make the trip, if they do the same trip at 45 mph it only takes 20 minutes.  So for less than 4 minutes per trip we could save lives and make the roads exponentially safer without stripping someones rights.  It is so simple.  I wish these council members and residents would stop calling this a matter of public SAFETY and start marketing the legislation for what it really is: a matter of MOTORIST CONVENIENCE.
+1000

This should be read at the next meeting--except strip out any pro-cyclist language.
Winner in absentia: '09 Moonlight Ramble

#13 eddyvelo

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:53 PM

Boycott and Poach

#14 cbritri

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:35 PM

Certainly more cyclist have been injuried on these roads by motorist than the other way around.  I know some one was killed maybe 3 years ago.  Any one want to show pictures of cyclist hit by cars?  I know that is not really the point, but I think that picture was a cheap stunt.

I guess I don't see what shoulders will do.  I don't usually ride on shoulders.  They are not maintained and usually are covered with rocks, glass, sticks...

What would the punishment be for continuing to ride on these roads?  You can hardly ride in St Charles Co without getting on a Hwy.

#15 live2beoutside

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:27 AM

View Postcleeland, on 13 July 2010 - 12:33 PM, said:

View PostBeeg, on 13 July 2010 - 12:21 PM, said:

Here is the math:  If an average resident travels on one of the roads in question for 15 miles (most of them probably much less) at 55 mph it takes 16.4 minutes to make the trip, if they do the same trip at 45 mph it only takes 20 minutes.  So for less than 4 minutes per trip we could save lives and make the roads exponentially safer without stripping someones rights.  It is so simple.  I wish these council members and residents would stop calling this a matter of public SAFETY and start marketing the legislation for what it really is: a matter of MOTORIST CONVENIENCE.
+1000

This should be read at the next meeting--except strip out any pro-cyclist language.

Amen !!
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