Jump to content


Webster Groves Bicycling Laws


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
41 replies to this topic

#1 achin'_bacon

achin'_bacon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 07:28 PM

My wife and I are commuters who ride from Glendale to Barnes Jewish Medical complex pretty much year round. Tonight she was pulled over in Webster Groves with lights and sirens (which scared the crap out of her) and was told "it is illegal to ride on the road" and that she must ride on the sidewalk.  It was about 6:00 pm and she has a blinky in the back/front and an integrated hub front light (not to mention reflectors).  When she questioned the officer, he threatened to write her a ticket.  He took her driver's license, ran it, returned it and told her again to get on the sidewalk and then left.  She was very distraught by the asshole and cried most of the way home.

Does anyone out there have suggestions?

We called and left a message w/ Webster Groves Police Department and researched the law to the best of our ability: http://www.bikestlou...rg/bikelaws.htm which states we have the right to be on the road (except for some obscure  exceptions which i failed to find online).

Thanks!!
Four wheels baaah-aaad
Two wheels goooh-oood!

#2 dogfish

dogfish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 847 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 07:56 PM

sorry for double reply, not sure how that happen,,,,,,,

that is bizarre, as a resident of Webster and bike rider, I am shocked, I tought we were more progressive than that, especially considering both the head of trailnet and stl bike fed live in webster,,,,,,I would call Officer Nelson, webster police, he has been a great supporter of our bike race series that we do in Webster every year. Tell him your story.

#3 John_Kuthe...

John_Kuthe...

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:02 PM

Here's the actual MO state statute:

http://www.moga.mo.g.../3070000188.htm
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#4 KJW628

KJW628

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:04 PM

View Postachin'_bacon, on Dec 3 2007, 07:28 PM, said:

My wife and I are commuters who ride from Glendale to Barnes Jewish Medical complex pretty much year round. Tonight she was pulled over in Webster Groves with lights and sirens (which scared the crap out of her) and was told "it is illegal to ride on the road" and that she must ride on the sidewalk.  It was about 6:00 pm and she has a blinky in the back/front and an integrated hub front light (not to mention reflectors).  When she questioned the officer, he threatened to write her a ticket.  He took her driver's license, ran it, returned it and told her again to get on the sidewalk and then left.  She was very distraught by the asshole and cried most of the way home.

Does anyone out there have suggestions?

We called and left a message w/ Webster Groves Police Department and researched the law to the best of our ability: http://www.bikestlou...rg/bikelaws.htm which states we have the right to be on the road (except for some obscure  exceptions which i failed to find online).

Thanks!!

I love it!  I live in Webster and there are plenty of drivers speeding up and down Elm but they pick on a bicyclist.  I would keep calling the WGPD.  I know cops have a hard job but this is going over the top. By the way, I had the Glendale police yell at me last year for not riding all the wa to the right.  I was going around some potholes and he was the only car around.  That was on Adams near Berry Rd.
In memory of his greatness, "The Fonz"

#5 John_Kuthe...

John_Kuthe...

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:05 PM

View PostJohn_Kuthe..., on Dec 3 2007, 08:02 PM, said:

Here's the actual MO state statute:

http://www.moga.mo.g.../3070000188.htm

And here's the motherlode of MO state statutes:

http://www.moga.mo.g...ES/STATUTES.HTM

Good luck! ;-)
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#6 Peat

Peat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 87 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:12 PM

Wow!  I live in Webster too.  I guess the officer hadn't seen the signs on Bompart that tell the cars to yield to bikes.  The cops should stake out Avery Elementary.  Dang law-breakin' kids are always riding their bikes in the street on the way to school.   :lol:

#7 StephSTL

StephSTL

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 292 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:22 PM

Missouri State Law for Motorists Interacting with Bicyclists
Current as of 7/05
307.188. Rights and duties of bicycle and motorized bicycle riders. Every person riding a bicycle or motorized bicycle upon a street or highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle as provided by chapter 304, RSMo, except as to special regulations in sections 307.180 to 307.193 and except as to those provisions of chapter 304, RSMo, which by their nature can have no application.


From the Missouri Driver Guide (Revised September 2006)
Chapter 7: Sharing the road

SAFETY TIPS FOR MOPED AND BICYCLE RIDERS
1. State law does notrequire you to wear a helmet. However, wearing a
safety-certified helmet can prevent serious head injuries or death.
2. Be sure your bike is in safe condition and has all the equipment
required by law.
3. Make sure motorists see you. Wear bright colored clothes and stay out
of a vehicle’s blind spots. Use proper lights and reflectors when riding
after dark.
62
4. Make sure you signal before you slow down, change lanes, or turn.
Before merging, changing lanes, or turning, scan behind and in front to
ensure that it is safe to make this maneuver. Do so in plenty of time
and in cooperation with other drivers who will be affected by your move.
If it is not safe, continue on a straight course and scan repeatedly and
only move once it is safe. In conditions of heavy traffic, less proficient
bicyclists may find it easier to wait near the curb for a safe gap to
appear.
5. Be careful when passing to the left of a parked or moving vehicle. You
should leave 3 to 4 feet of clearance to avoid suddenly opened car
doors or to allow for a vehicle to swerve.
6. Be extra careful at intersections. Do not assume your right-of-way
when there is a vehicle approaching. Be aware that motor vehicle
drivers may not see you approaching the intersection, or may believe
that you are moving at a slower speed than you are.
7. Keep a steady line and be predictable as a courtesy to other traffic and
to increase your personal safety.
8. For teen and adult bicyclists, studies show that riding on the street with
traffic, not against it (following the same traffic rules that other vehicles
do), is far safer than riding on the sidewalk.


#8 John_Kuthe...

John_Kuthe...

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:35 PM

View PostStephSTL, on Dec 3 2007, 08:22 PM, said:

8. For teen and adult bicyclists, studies show that riding on the street with
traffic, not against it (following the same traffic rules that other vehicles
do), is far safer than riding on the sidewalk.

Of course!! Ever try to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk full of pedestrians? I have. NOT FUN! I get off my bike and walk it now. Euclid just north of the MetroLink Station by BJC, where they are doing all that construction. YUCK!
First job of Govt: Protect people from Govt
Second job of Govt: Protect people from each other
But it must never become the job of Govt to protect people from themselves!

#9 StephSTL

StephSTL

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 292 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:45 PM

More good stuff....
Check out www.webstergroves.org
from there select "City Code" on the left side. You will be linked with all the codes and can select part VII: traffic code.
I read the whole thing and can't find anything that says it's not legal to ride on the street.

There is a code under Equipment, Size and Weight Regulations which states:

Sec. 60.815. Bicycles.
Every bicycle or other vehicle propelled or moved by human power over the streets, whether moving or stopped, parked, or otherwise left standing upon a street, during the period intervening between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, and at all other times when fog or other atmospheric conditions render the operation of such vehicles upon the streets dangerous, shall carry at least one white light, so constructed or mounted and adjusted that it will be visible, under normal atmospheric conditions, for a distance of at least one hundred feet in the direction in which the vehicle is moving. On the rear of each such vehicle during said period there shall be mounted either a red light or a red reflector, directed to the rear. Spot lights may not be used upon any such vehicle at any time.

Now if it wasn't legal to ride on the road, why would they bother with a code telling cyclists what kind of equipment is required while riding on the road (or standing on it for that matter)?

#10 Incstlouis

Incstlouis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 461 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:13 PM

Possibly a new officer on loan from the Minneapolis Airport Authority?  They are rumored to have very bad tempers  especially when it invloves cyclists or politicians from Idaho.

#11 ThomasG

ThomasG

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 166 posts

Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:30 PM

Whatever written correspondence you may send to the Webster Groves (my hometown) police, cc it to your city counil person in Glendale.  Doesn't hurt to get your own city government on your side.

#12 Nik

Nik

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts

Posted 04 December 2007 - 06:02 AM

I think there's little debate that cyclists have a right to the road, and she was exactly where she needed to be. There may actually be laws in Webster that say it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk.  Sounds like a newbie cop trying to flex their muscle.  Isn't it scary that law enforcement doesn't know the laws they are supposed enforce?

I agree with dogfish - Webster Groves is pretty progressive when it comes to this, which is why I think it's an uneducated newbie (or a regular with a tude toward cyclists).

Definitely call the Chief and discuss.  Wouldn't be a bad idea to talk with someone over at the STL Bike Federation or MO Bike Federation.

I am sorry to hear about this.  Tell her to keep on keepin on.

#13 localyokel

localyokel

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:01 AM

I guess the Hub rides and Carrie's women's ride are cancelled next year.  My guess is the cop that did this is new and does not know the law.  I agree is should be illegal to ride on the sidewalk.  What a crock.  I guess at the next Webster crit everyone will be warming up on the sidewalks.
How hard can it be?
Original Music

#14 m1ike

m1ike

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:40 AM

I look forward to the response back from WG.  What a joke.  This cop gives the department a bad rap.  He should be admonished.

#15 Martin Pion

Martin Pion

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:19 AM

There are ignorant and prejudiced cops out there, just as there are members of the general public, and I ran into one myself some years ago near Ferguson in North County, where I live. I was about a quarter-mile from making the left turn into my subdivision, riding in the correct position in the inside lane of a four-lane arterial road, when a traffic cop from the neighboring Calverton Park Village PD pulled me over, with lights and sirens going.   

We got into a somewhat heated dispute and he ended by saying he would book me if he saw me riding again. He claimed he'd pulled me over for my safety: "A speeding motorist could have run you over!" but this proved to be a sham. I later managed to arrange for production of laminated copies of the state statutes and when I next saw this cop offered him a copy. He derisively tossed it aside, saying bicyclists had no business riding on the road!

Local city ordinances are supposed to be in accord with state statutes and you can check that out by going to the web and printing out the following:

http://www.modot.org..._August05.pdf 

[Or go to http://tinyurl.com/2n94rk if the above link doesn't work. If there not in accord ask the city to change them to bring them up-to-date.]

Section 307.190 in the state statutes requires bicyclists to ride to the right, which is still discriminatory, but makes important exceptions. Riding on the sidewalk is actually prohibited in business districts but is rarely, if ever, enforced.

I recommend everyone carries around a copy of the bicycle-related state statutes in case you ever have a similar need. Note that the most discriminating language was removed back in 1995, thanks to the efforts of the Missouri Bicycle Federation, which succeeded in getting the language amended by the Missouri legislature. The MBF and the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation worked together on getting minor improvements enacted in 2005 and continue to work on further improving the bike-related language in the state statutes.

What I failed to do in my encounter but would recommend doing in the current case without delay, is writing to the WG Police Chief [with at least a cc. to the mayor and your own city councillors] describing in detail what happened and enclosing a copy of the latest state statutes [highlighting the pertinent sections]. It's a matter of educating the local police department etc. to avoid a recurrence.

Good luck!

Martin Pion
Conservion - "Think Bicycling!"
314/524-8029