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« My Father | Main | You can't get to Kiawah Island on a bicycle »

Kiawah Island Bike Ban: Part 2

Apparently I made a wrong assumption when I saw the above sign, (See my previous post and the comments.) although I am not clear what assumption I was supposed to make. A sign that has a picture of a bike with a big red circle and a red line over it, still means “No Bikes” in my book.

I am told Kiawah does encourage bicycles; the ban on a stretch of road, that just happens to be the only way to get onto the island, is only temporary (Until a bike path is built.) to protect residents and visitors from themselves.

Another local blogger went to the trouble of finding a copy of the Kiawah bicycle ordinance on their website. In a meeting when the proposal was first put forward, Mayor William G. Wert made the following statement:

"Mayor Wert stated bike traffic has increased on the Kiawah Island Parkway and there have been two incidents wherein bike riders have been sideswiped or bumped by motorists. Mayor Wert stated he had personally seen children with training wheels on the roundabout and Parkway, as well as children being pulled tandem behind bicycles. It is a dangerous situation, he believed, and safety for residents and visitors is paramount. Mayor Wert stated he is asking Ms. Rucker and attorney Rhoad to put together an ordinance for the next council meeting for review, including some fines. Until the bike path is built, the Town will put signs up prohibiting bicycle riding from the main gate out to Freshfields on KIP. The signs will be made and erected this week and the ordinance will provide fines of $100."

End of statement. This is from a town that is "Bike Friendly?" I hope they never get un-friendly.

Banning bicycles from a section of road because cyclists have been hit by cars, is like banning pedestrians from walking downtown after dark, because some of them have been mugged.

Also you can go to just about any town in the USA and see children riding bikes where they should not be. Parents are ignorant if they do not train their kids in road safety, but banning all cyclists because of this is just plain wrong. If this was done everywhere, no one could ride a bike on the road again.

Bike paths are not the complete answer; bike lanes that are part of the road are better. With a separate bike path you get cyclists going in both directions, with runners and pedestrians all using the same path.

People on bike paths still get hit at intersections because inexperienced riders do not look behind them and blow right though the intersection without stopping.

The motorist turning right is supposed to yield but does not see the cyclist because they are on the bike path off to one side. With a bike lane that is part of the road or even no bike lane the cyclist is right in front of the driver and the motorist is aware of them.

A better set up is a bike lane that is part of the road; clearly marked and no more than three feet wide. Any wider and it becomes a receptacle for glass and trash swept from the road by passing traffic, and a separate sidewalk for runners, walkers, and children.

The real answer to road safety is education, education, education; both people who ride bikes, including children, and people who drive cars.

I wonder in Kiawah Island’s case, if a “Share the road” or a “Bikes on Road” warning sign would have been a better approach, instead of a temporary bike ban.

Reader Comments (6)

Bike bans really make me mad. I lived in Texas during the '90s and they had a few suburbs that banned bicycles on certain roads. That sort of thinking made it easy for me to leave Texas.
November 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter rigtenzin
The ban is an absolutely ridiculous solution to the problem of idiot motorists.
November 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter Fritz
This post has been removed by the author.
November 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter Michael
I was looking over the SC law, and it doesn't look like Kiawah has the authority to ban bicycles.

Chapter 5. Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways
Article 27. Bicyclists and Users of Play Vehicles; Rights and Duties Thereof

SECTION 56-5-3410. Applicability of regulations to bicycles.

These regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

SECTION 56-5-3420. Rights and duties of bicyclists generally.

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

SECTION 56-5-3430. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

SECTION 56-5-3440.

SECTION 56-5-30. Chapter applicable and uniform throughout State; local regulations.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable and uniform throughout this State and in all political subdivisions and municipalities therein, and no local authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance, rule or regulation in conflict with the provisions of this chapter unless expressly authorized herein. Local authorities may, however, subject to the limitations prescribed in [COLOR="Red"]Section 56-5-930[/COLOR], adopt additional traffic regulations which are not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.

SECTION 56-5-930. Placing and maintaining traffic-control devices on State highways.

The Department of Transportation may place and maintain such traffic-control devices, conforming to its manual and specifications, upon all state highways as it shall deem necessary to indicate and to carry out the provisions of this chapter or to regulate, warn or guide traffic. No local authority shall place or maintain any traffic-control devices upon any state highway without having first obtained the written approval of the Department of Transportation.

So, no path, bicyclists can use the roadway. And unless Kiawah Island got formal approval from the state, they have no standing for the ban.
November 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter Michael
Amazing the information one can quickly peruse on the Internet.
Our country’s history of road construction began with the bicycle. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s bicycles were the primary vehicles on these roads, and laws were created because they shared these first roads with farm vehicles and horses as well as pedestrians.
To say Kiawah’s mayors condescending words to implement the ‘No Bicycles’ law is archaic is unworthy, more like imbecilic.
This elected official apparently reflects the majority of Kiawah’s residents’ perception that bikes are toys, not vehicles as stated in national laws. How many of these people drive by that sign every day and think nothing of it?
It is riders like Dave that see the dichotomy of the situation. Us and them.
When bicycles are suddenly allowed again, are these same people going to instantly change their view and give them respect, much less share the road with them?
Does one detect protectionism or exclusivity in the air?
November 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter VintageSpin

I know the real reason. Kiawah is a very snooty town with a gate/ gaurds.
You can ride a bike in the bike path next to the gate. For some reason people on bikes are not required to be a guest or need to stop for a pass.
As you ride in, you are greeted with a sign saying "Kiawah Island will arrest all trespassers"
I think they have to let bikes/ people in, but try to keep out the general pubic by posting signs that are misleading.
I love Kiawah. but you can feel you are not wanted unless you live there, and drive a Jag.

February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen
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