Sometimes, cities try to deal with real or imagined bike problems by taking drastic measures. The Austin American-Statesman reported last week on an ordinance passed in Manor, Texas, that bans bikes from a stretch of road in the small city.
Manor is just east of Austin. The road in question is called Blake-Manor Road, and runs out of town to the southeast, giving bikers access to rural roads in the area. But it’s in bad shape, narrow, with large cracks and heavy traffic.
The Manor City Manager says the road is a “poor place” to ride bikes. He says there are other places for bikers to ride.
The city has no plans to repair the road.
The ordinance passed after a cyclist filed a $250,000 claim with the city after being hurt in a bicycle accident on the road. The city denied the claim, since the accident happened outside the city’s jurisdiction.
Predictably, cyclists are claiming discrimination. They think the road should be fixed.
But in the meantime, enforcement of the cycling ban is expected to begin soon, and bikers could be in for a $200 fine if they ride the stretch in question.
Manor is on the opposite end of Austin from where I live, so I’m not familiar with the road in question, and I’m running this item simply to point out that sometimes, dealing with cyclists can take a drastic turn.
Have you run into situations in your locales where cyclists are prohibited from using public streets or roadways? How was it resolved?
Dave Moulton says
You might take it up with your State DOT, question the legality.
I did when a local town placed a similar ban. In this case it was a private road owned by the city, not under state juridiction.
Kansas banned road: http://www.kansascyclist.com/news/2009/07/de-soto-83rd-street-bicycle-ban-to-be-lifted/
When cyclists asked for an alternate bike route the city thought it would be cheaper to lift the ban. I don’t know if they have followed through on lifting it yet.
The road is apparently not dangerous for motorcycles, so the ban is not about the safety of cyclists.
If it were about safety, why delay the ban’s enforcement 90 days from enactment? The city says all ordinances are required to do so to make the public aware- but emergency powers can override such nonsense- which was not evoked.
If the injured cyclist was not hurt in their jurisdiction, why the ban in the part of the road that is in their jurisdiction? None of this passes the smell test, and the city of Manor is lying to us.
It would appear to me that this is all about the convenience of motorists.
Where is the TBC on this? Trying to get redundant laws passed I assume- While cyclist’s liberties are under direct assault! Good God! We need better advocates!
They did not ban pedestrians from the road, so I would suggest that those who live in the area make a point by walking their bicycles through the prohibited section.
Has there been any movement on this? I just discovered this situation during a bike ride from Elgin. I wanted to take Blake Manor Rd. down to Parsons and circle back to Littig Rd. There’s no other way to do this without Blake Manor Rd., not a reasonable one. I’ve read elsewhere that the ban is “temporary.” It’s not looking very temporary at this point is it? Maybe it’s time for some more pressure on the city of Manor? They have a new city manager…
I spoke to the current city manager and he says the bike ban is a Travis County restriction, that the city of Manor doesn’t have authority over that section.