City Council Proposed Bike Ordinances Don’t Make Sense

Posted: April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting (PDF) has a number of items of local interest – we pulled this from the http://www.fanofthefan.com website:

Ord. No. 2013-84 (Patron: Mr. Agelasto) – To amend and reordain ch. 102, art. VI, div. 1 of the City Code by adding therein new sections numbered 102-246—102-248, for the purposes of making it unlawful for any person to paa motorcycle in such a manner that such motorcycle is attached to a tree on City-owned property, making it unlawful to attach any moped to a tree, post, sign or other property on City-owned property and authorizing police officers to impound any such illegally parked motorcycle or illegally attached moped.
Ord. No. 2013-85 (Patron: Mr. Agelasto) – To repeal City Code §§ 102-461, 102-462, 102-463, 102-464, 102-465, 102-466, 102-467 and 102-468, concerning the registration and reporting of bicycles, for the purpose of removing registration requirements for bicycles and the authority to impound bicycles not properly registered.
Ord. No. 2013-88 (Patron: Mr. Agelasto) – To amend and reordain City Code § 102-439, concerning the impoundment of bicycles, for the purposes of removing references to the registration of bicycles and authorizing police officers to impound unclaimed bicycles, and to amend and reordain ch. 102, art. IX, div. 1 of the City Code by adding therein new sections numbered 102-441—102-442, for the purposes of making it unlawful for any person to attach a bicycle to a tree, post, sign or other property on City-owned property and authorizing police officers to impound any such illegally attached bicycles.
Res. No. 2013-R104 (Patron: Mr. Agelasto) – To encourage citizens of the City of Richmond to register their bicycles with the National Bike Registry and to request that the Chief Administrative Officer cause the Administration, as part of its bicycle initiatives, to encourage bicycle owners to register their bicycles with the National Bike Registry and provide the information necessary for bicycle owners to do so.
Parker Agelasto seems to be the man behind a lot of this and his email is: parker.agelasto@richmondgov.com

So as far as we can tell, this 3rd section above which we bolded, means that the City/cops can enforce (or selectively enforce how they do) the rule about no parking/locking bikes on any City property, by impounding bikes which are on or locked to City signs/posts/trees/etc.

Even if this law refers only to bikes left for 72 hours, which it seems like it does not, 72 hours is WAY too short of a time period to wait. People might go out of town, get sick, etc. and leave a bike somewhere for a few days- people definitely leave cars parked on the street for this long or longer. Additionally, there is no way to standardize HOW the cops tell if a bike has been there for 72 hours- what about people who regularly leave a bike near their home or school or job? It might appear to someone that the bike has been left there simply because they lock up at the same spot on a daily or nightly basis.

How the hell can they pass a law about where you can’t park bikes or mopeds or motorcycles before the city has made any effort to create places where you can legally park/lock up bikes/mopeds/motorcycles?
Totally Bass Ackwards.
We need bike racks on every block – especially if you aren’t going to be able to park to signs or trees. Richmond wants to pretend like it a bike friendly city without actually doing the work necessary to be bike friendly. Friendly is bike racks,  friendly is educating drivers of cars about bikes, friendly is passing out bike lights, friendly is actually promoting bike culture, not punishing it.

Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Cars have plenty of options for parking, plenty of places to park etc. In fact parking signs are one of the only options for cyclists to lock their bikes to- bikes are an afterthought in City policy. Bikes should have options for parking/locking wherever the City provides it for cars.

Come on Richmond, do something right for once. You provide the bike racks first, and then see how people stop needing to lock to trees or signs.

Legislating behavior doesn’t work, and it especially doesn’t work if there aren’t viable alternative behavioral options. True Story.

If you are able to attend the City Council Meeting next Monday evening (April 22nd) at 6:00 pm at City Hall, please do to make sure this doesn’t pass. There is a public comment period at the beginning of the session.

If you think bikes locked on City signs/posts/trees/etc. are a nuisance, just wait til you see how much of a nuisance us cyclists can be if this law passes without a massive implementation of bike racks around the city first.

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