You might remember the bike ban proposal for some roads in St. Charles County, Missouri. County Councillor Joe Brazil wanted to ban bikes from some rural roads. After months of often contentious discussion, the county council voted 6-0 against the ban last month.
Last night, however, St Charles County approved new rules for “organized bike rides”, which they define as “event, contest, procession or parade” with 25 or more cyclists or any number of riders with a chase or support vehicle.
The new regulation is clearly targeted to group and club rides. Organizers are required to obtain a permit through the county sheriff, and must present a map and safety plans. Noticed must also be passed to MoDOT. The fine for violating this ordinance is $1000.
Meanwhile, in Black Hawk Colorado, lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the tickets of three cyclists who rode illegally through that town. The defendants’ attorney claims that Black Hawk’s bike ban conflicts with state law. The city filed a brief in response arguing that cities do have the right to enact legislation that supersedes state law. Black Hawk argues against the cyclists’ equal protection argument as well. The defendants file their own brief in response with nine pages of case law.
This isn’t a slam dunk for either side. A hearing will be held on October 20. I’m a little surprised Black Hawk is pursuing this — they risk losing their bike ban if the court judges against them. They can almost as effectively discourage cycling through town by ticketing cyclists, and dropping the tickets for anybody who opts for a court hearing so the local law stays on the books. Any lawyers in the house who care to comment on that?