Do Bicycles Belong In The Streets Or On The Sidewalks? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Do Bicycles Belong In The Streets Or On The Sidewalks?

Play associated audio
http://flic.kr/p/4SrPEp

Since the 1960s, an Alexandria ordinance has forbidden cyclists riding on sidewalks. Now city leaders are changing the rules. Bicycles are to be allowed on every sidewalk except a few blocks in the heart of Old Town, where signs will be posted.

Mayor Bill Euille explains the new rules this way: "When appropriate, ride in the street. When not appropriate, jump on the sidewalk as long as it's not in the restricted areas."

Councilman Paul Smedberg says the debate has been polarized. "We have people who believe that sidewalks are emphasis on walk, for walking," he says.

Dino Drudi, a resident in the Parker Gray neighborhood of Alexandria, says elected officials made a mistake by changing the rules for sidewalks, especially the narrow sidewalks of Old Town where people and cycles will soon compete for space. He says the sidewalk in front of his house isn't big enough for the both of them.

"Bicyclists don't follow rules," he says. "They don't stop at stop signs. So the city council put all these rules in about what bicyclists are supposed to do. Does anybody expect that they are really going to enforce them?"

Council members are also taking steps to get rid of an outdated and unenforced requirement that all bicycle owners register their wheels with the city and pay a 25-cent registration fee. Police Chief Earl Cook says his department hasn't enforced the ordinance in years.

"When the law doesn't become useful and practical, then we should not enforce it," he explains.

Council members are expected to ditch the outmoded registration requirement later this year.

NPR

Lowly Worm Is Back! Richard Scarry Jr. Brings Dad's Manuscript To Life

The younger Scarry, also an illustrator, found a draft of Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! in his dad's Swiss chalet. He says all that was missing was the final art, "so that's what I did."
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Former Gov Defends Relationship With Jonnie Williams

On the stand today, the former Virginia governor defended his relationship with the businessman at the heart of the trial, saying it was appropriate.
NPR

New Camouflage Material Is A Color-Change Artist

Researchers say they've produced octopus-inspired materials that can sense color and change accordingly. NPR's Scott Simon talks to John Rogers, professor of engineering at the University of Illinois.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.