St. Louis area county bike ban proposal

Councilman Joe Brazil in St. Charles County in Missouri would like cyclists banned from several county highways. His measure comes up for vote Monday night.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit bicycles on highways DD, D, F and Z and Highway 94 from its intersection with Highway 40 west to the county line. The ordinance would apply to highways that lack shoulders or bicycle lanes. Councillor Brazil represents the county’s 2nd district, which encompasses the southwestern part of St. Charles County. Brazil is apparently a well liked and influential politician who lives on State Highway F in rural Boone Township.

Brazil suggests that because millions are spent on parks and trails that cyclists should stay on the path instead of using the public roads.

More info:

Possible Speaking Points?

  • Brazil, as St Charles County Chair Republican Liberty Caucus, purports to advance the ideals of individual rights and limited government. His proposed additional regulation creates more government regulation, restricts the common law right to free travel, imposes a government requirement for automobile travel on county roads, and removes individual freedom to choose their mode of travel. Brazil’s government regulation flies in the face of his supposed Libertarian ideals.
  • Councilman Brazil claims, “increasing use of bicycles causes a safety hazard on the roads without shoulders.” Below is the Google Streetview image of State Highway F in front of Brazil’s home. If safety on approaching slow vehicles is truly a concern, suggest an amendment to Brazil’s proposal to include slow farm equipment, equestrians, Amish buggies, and school buses in his ban.



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  • Brazil says he is addressing a common constituent complaint. “I get more complaints about this single issue than any other issue,” he says. Since Brazil is acting on constituent feedback, it’s time for St. Charles County cyclists to flood their representative inboxes with complaints about dangerous traffic on county roads and demand controls on the motor vehicles creating the hazards. Anybody driving 55 mph on a 2 lane road when the corn is more than knee high is driving too fast for safety.
  • Brazil is popular in his district, but seems to have aspirations for higher office at the state level. St. Charles County cyclists likely are Republicans who share many of the same values as Brazil, but they’ll remember this for a good many primary seasons.

As an aside, this illustrates the value of Bikes Belong’s People For Bikes drive. The intent is for Bike Belong lobbyists to look up a ZIP code (say, for St. Charles County District 2) to let politicians know just how many cyclists and registered voters they’re likely to upset with anti-cycling measures. If you haven’t done so yet, add your name to the People for Bikes pledge.

12 Comments

  • July 12, 2010 - 6:40 am | Permalink

    It's reasonably odd now (to us keenies anyway) but in 50 years time such attempts at banning bikes will be seen as incredibly funny, a bit like the way many European towns wanted the first automobiles banned.

  • July 12, 2010 - 7:25 am | Permalink

    Hurm, I'm thinking those are rural roads – St. Charles Co is close enough to St. Louis it isn't exactly rural but it's far enough maybe they are. In any case – yeah, sure, you betcha a rural 50+ miles/hr road with no shoulder isn't exactly the right place for a bicyclist. But the attitude that bicycling is only for recreation in a park is … completely asinine. Bicycling can be great transportation, and installing a shoulder on the road would be a great step forward not just for bicyclists but the safety of the cars. I mean – are they going to also ban cars from breaking down and pulling off to the side of the road?

  • Jack
    July 12, 2010 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    St Charles County is a combination rural and suburban with river casinos (as its main business) and hundreds of strip malls. The Katy trail runs east-west through the area but the routes targeted are important north-south routes.

    The first VinoFondo was held in the area and the mass of cyclists probably got locals upset. The area is dependent on promoting tourism (locals/visitors often drive drunk between the many wineries at speeds greater than the posted 55 mph) upset. Brazil: the “increasing use of bicycles – especially in organized groups – causes a safety hazard on the roads without shoulders.”

    Most locals believe that cycling is only for recreation and the idea that people can commute by bike is an alien concept marketed by socialists. To have safe STR requires slower speed limits, but what politician wants to promote safety at the risk of alienating the majority?

  • sour
    July 12, 2010 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Given that we as taxpayers spend millions on parking lots for the use of private automobiles, I think that motorists should use their cars there rather than bringing them out onto the public roads where they kill thousands of people!

  • July 12, 2010 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting about this important issue! The more people who know about this, the better the chances we have to stopping the ban.

  • July 12, 2010 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wow! I realise that for many people, the bicycle is a hated symbol of freedom. But why, oh why, Joe Brazil, do you hate America!? Why do you want us to give all our money to the likes of Venezuala, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.?

  • July 12, 2010 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I couldn't resist the hyperbole.

  • July 12, 2010 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting local response: http://tinyurl.com/2dz4ky8

  • Rfruend
    July 12, 2010 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    any person that ride a the roads he is talk about is to dum to save. people with them would not let
    frinds and family do so

  • Eric Bunch
    July 14, 2010 - 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Check out the new Facebook page opposing the St. Charles Bike Ban:

    http://www.facebook.com/saintcharlesbikeban

  • July 14, 2010 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Very good; thanks Eric!

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