California town removes bike ban

This “no bicycles in street” sign on Fernleaf Avenue in Newport Beach, CA community of Corona del Mar illegally directs bike riders to walk their bikes on the adjacent sidewalk. Update: After action by local cyclists, the city said they’ll remove the sign and replace it with a warning.

Fernleaf Avenue Corona Del Mar Newport Beach CA bikes banned sign

Similar signs were in place since the 70s, removed more recently after construction, and replaced after some neighbors brought the dangerous conditions of this hillside road to the city council’s attention. People who drive on Fernleaf say this road is too narrow, too steep, and has too many blind turns for cyclists to ride safely, so they take up the White Man’s Burden and teach road safety to infantile bike riders, even while violating California state law, which prohibits local governments from banning bikes from the road. Specifically, CVC 21 mandates a uniform traffic code for the entire state.

Newport Beach bike rider Frank Peters mentioned this sign in his column in the local paper and received plenty of anti-bike backlash from his neighbors, who all acknowledge they pilot multi-ton death monsters but put the onus of safety not on those who operate the more dangerous machines, but on their potential victims. In an ideal world, power is tempered with responsibility; in their world, might makes right and hoary folly totters on in her mad careenings, crushing cyclists into the dust.

Sign photo courtesy of Frank Peters with a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. News of this via Frank Peters and his excellent Bike Newport Beach blog.

3 Comments

  • August 17, 2011 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Drum roll… the City decided yesterday to remove the sign and replace it with a warning – it is a steep, but short downhill with a 90 degree turn for poor visibility. My wife hates to ride down it, and blames me for over-advocacy, but this was a simple case of over zealous motorists complaining to a consensus-driven City Council. The decision by Public Works to replace the sign brought immediate howls of protest from the bike-haters. Now if we can just get a little more courtesy going… on the blogs and the roads.

  • August 17, 2011 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Ah! Thanks for that update. I’ll note it.

  • Andy
    August 17, 2011 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Something tells me that if this sign went up in my area, it might just happen to go missing the same day.

    And if the street is so narrow, why not ban the wide vehicles and promote bikes?

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