Cyclists Geared Up Against Permit Ordinance

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Friday, Sep 3, 2010  |  Updated 10:40 PM CDT
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A Bicycle Permit Built for 10

AP

Bartonville requires groups of 10 or more to get a $50 rally permit to use the town's streets.

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A Bicycle Permit Built for 10

A Bartonville ordinance requires groups of 10 or more to apply for a rally permit.
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North Texas bicyclists aren't happy with a Bartonville ordinance that requires groups of 10 or more to apply for a rally permit.

One Flower Mound cyclist said people come to Bartonville from Grapevine, Carrollton and other nearby communities.

The town says it passed the ordinance requiring the $50 permit because of complaints from residents.

"The large groups were coming in, and they were not abiding the state law," Mayor Rob Robertson said. "They were riding three and four abreast, they wouldn't move over for traffic, they were blowing the stop signs and, basically, the back of City Hall turned into a restroom facility for them."

Robertson said the chief of police felt that he needed something more stringent to deal with it.

"If we're following the rules, what difference does it make if there's nine people or 20 people?" one cyclist said.

Another cyclist said the town shouldn't punish all cyclists because of the actions of a few bad ones.

The roads in the small town 10 miles from Lewisville are very narrow, contributing to the problem. A car behind cyclists who don't move to the side of the road can only pass them by using the oncoming traffic lane.

Bicycle groups across the state have collected more than 2,000 signatures for a petition voicing outrage over the ordinance in hopes of discouraging other cities and towns from adopting similar measures.

"There's been people that's been ticketed -- that aren't even with a group -- because they're a few feet behind a group," said one cyclist. "They get ticketed, which I don't think is fair."

The petition isn't the only backlash from cyclists.

"They're even boycotting my business, as some of them do business with me, even though I didn't support [the ordinance]," Robertson said.

When the ordinance was proposed, Robertson said it would be too difficult to enforce. He said he now hopes the town and cyclists can come to an agreement.

"If they will get an organization together and come to the cities and say, 'How can we work together?' I know that I would be receptive to that," he said.

So far, only one group has applied for the rally permit.  About 100 cyclists are supposed to ride through Bartonville in a few weeks for a race.

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