BikeTX petitions against Bartonville ban

bartonville bike ban

First, it was Blackhawk, Colorado’s extreme ban of cycling through the downtown, and now we see Bartonville, TX attempting to regulate cyclists off the roads with ordinance 494-10. While this debacle is pretty unrelated to most of our commuting-ish topics in Denton, the topic is still a black cloud for area cyclists and an embarrassing spectre amidst our national movement towards bike friendliness.

As seen in the DRC recently, the nearby town of Bartonville now requires a “rally permit” for groups of 10 or more cyclists, pedestrians, or even drivers to travel together on Bartonville roads.  According to this DRC article, “police have observed cyclists running stop signs, urinating behind Town Hall and riding more than two abreast and impeding traffic.”  It’s unclear how the enacted ordinance affects any of those complaints.

The ordinance text states that this regulation applies specifically to races and rallies:

  • Race means a contest of speed, as in running, riding, or driving including training with 10 or more participants.
  • Rally: A competition in which motorists, runners or bicyclists traverse public roads and/or right-of-ways under normal traffic regulations but with specified rules as to speed, time, and/or route, including training with 10 or more participants.

In response, the Bike Texas nonprofit is circulating a petition and gained at least 2,000 petitions against the Bartonville ban.   Led by Robin Stallings, the group opposes “all efforts by any government entity in Texas to pass laws or ordinances that selectively prohibit or constrain operation of a bicycle on Texas roadways.”

So how do cyclists deal with Bartonville?  Read on:

Most groups of riders form pods of nine or fewer riders and spread out as they approach Bartonville, he said. Meanwhile, bike groups are working on a long-term strategy to address the problem.

Marc Mumby, president of BikeDFW, said the group has been working to get the word out to cycling groups how important it is to follow the rules and “be nice,” even though it’s likely that the cyclists who cause problems don’t ride with local clubs.

They have been holding “interventions” near the town limits, Mumby said, handing out cards to cyclists to remind them of the rules of the road.

Cyclists can ride two abreast, but they cannot impede traffic. Both town officials and cyclists agree that Bartonville’s roads have blind hills and curves that make it challenging for vehicles to pass.

Bob Pinard of Infinity Cycling Club in Flower Mound said there’s a flaw in the logic of the new rule.

“Most of these problems they’ve described have nothing to do with the size of the group,” Pinard said, adding that riding two abreast makes it safer for everyone on the road.

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2 thoughts on “BikeTX petitions against Bartonville ban

  1. Bill Benefield says:

    I hope the cyclists will come to realize, and soon, that they are bringing these community actions upon themselves. By not following the rules of the roads, places such as Bartonville need to take actions to keep the roads safe. I cycle by commuting to work as well as biking for pleasure, and am one of the cyclists you will see with helmet, lights, bright clothing, and following the laws. Yet I must also endure the wrath of drivers’ insults. Part of this road rage, in my opinion, is due to the biking clubs. Although I have joined DORBA, I have not joined any of the local road biking clubs becuase of how often I see them blast through stop signs. I went on one ride with one of the clubs and was chewed out for trying to stop at the stop signs. I was told not to do this on group rides or it would cause bike crashes. Oddly enough they managed to stop at red lights without crashing. I was ashamed to be part of such a group, and don’t plan to be again any time soon.

  2. stearns says:

    There’s a bike ban in Copper Canyon also now. http://www.coppercanyon-tx.org/vertical … 3B7%7D.PDF

    I agree with Bill, I’ve ridden with some of the clubs that ride in the area and I’d have to say that Corinth Cycling Club is by far the safest group to ride with. I’ve ridden with some of the race training rides and it’s too dangerous, so I don’t ride with them.

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