This sign on the right, located at 83rd Street and Kill Creek Road in De Soto, Kansas, will hopefully soon be nothing but a bad memory.
According to the De Soto Explorer:
The De Soto City Council agreed last Thursday that the ban of bicycles on 83rd Street from Kill Creek Road to the east city limits should be lifted.
The ban on the stretch of road was put in place in the late 1990s because the road was thought to be too narrow and hilly to be safe for bike riders.
However, the council agreed the ban should be lifted after Councilwoman Mitra Templin first asked if 82nd Street could be made a bike route. In the discussion that followed, Templin and other council members noted there had never been a vehicle-bicycle accident on the section of 83rd Street.
It was agreed city staff should bring back an ordinance lifting the ban. [read more]
The ban apparently grew out of a confrontation between motorists and cyclists in the 1990’s. Though this was before my time, we discussed the issue a bit with Johnson County Bicycle Club advocacy chair Dale Crawford in Kansas Cyclist Podcast: Episode 2 (the segment starts at about 1:15:00 into the podcast).
Basically, it sounds like some cyclists managed to antagonize a few members of the city council, who took their revenge by banning bicycles from that road. Those people are now long gone, and so the current council saw fit to lift the ban. Congratulations to them for doing the right thing, finally.
Note that the ban is technically still in place, pending the passage of a new ordinance. The picture above was taken on June 29th.
As far as I know, this is the only such road in the state of Kansas where bicycles are prohibited (other than interstate highways and a few non-interstate limited-access highways), but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there are others. If you know of any please leave a comment!
Read more from kcbike.info.
Update, 07-03-2009 @ 4:30pm: Whoops, not so fast there, buster. I just found this via the De Soto Explorer Twitter feed: “DS City Council votes 3-2 not to rescind bicycle ban on 83rd St. Will reconsider once repaving finished in early fall.” Darn.
Post tags: De Soto Bike Ban