Location: Lawrence

New Hope For Lifting the De Soto Bike Ban?

The De Soto Bike Ban has been an embarrassment for the city and the state for more than a decade.

In July 2009, the De Soto City Council voted to lift the bicycle ban on 83rd Street. Shortly thereafter, the council changed their minds, and voted to keep the ban in place, but to reconsider the issue after 83rd Street was repaved. Later that year, after repaving was complete, the council reneged on their promise, and voted to reaffirm the bike ban. They reconsidered again in 2010, and once again voted to ban bicycles from 83rd Street east of De Soto.

Two of the council members at the time were Betty Cannon, who voted to keep the ban, and Mitra Templin, who voted to lift the ban. All told, the council voted 3-2 to keep the ban in place.

Now, according to the De Soto Explorer, Councilwomen Templin, Cannon won’t run for re-election:

De Soto City Councilwomen Mitra Templin and Betty Cannon, who have served on the De Soto City Council since 2003, have both said they will not run for re-election in April.

The De Soto Explorer also recently reported that:

Two De Soto men have filed to run in the April election for two of the three open seats De Soto City Council.

De Soto School District 232 Board of Education member Randy Johnson filed earlier this week, as did Bob Garrett, a retired AT&T employee.

It’s not clear whether the three open seats include Templin’s and Cannon’s seats or not, and Johnson’s and Garrett’s positions on the bike ban have not been made public yet. However, Garrett is “active in the American Legion Riders”, so there’s a good chance that he has an understanding of the issue and an empathy for other two-wheels travelers.

But it’s apparent that there will be some new faces on the council, so we’re hopeful that they’ll do the right thing and repeal the bicycle ban once and for all.

(Incidentally, The De Soto Explorer ran an online poll that asked readers to weigh in on the issue: “Would you like to see the bike-ban on 83rd street lifted?” The response was overwhelming: less than 15% of respondents wanted to keep the ban. Is the new city council going to listen this time?)

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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