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|Trouble Brewing at Huntersville Business Park
|From Jim Mead, President of the Rocky River Road Club:
Following this past Tuesdays ride at the Huntersville Business Park, Steve Dallas (see Steve's note below) from the RRRC and Neal Boyd with Charlotte Sports Cycling had the pleasure of talking to an officer with the Huntersville PD, who had been directed to issue citations to cyclists. We owe Steve and Neal a big thanks for their diplomacy, which helped diffuse the situation somewhat.
However, I talked to both the officer and his Captain this morning and it is clear that the days of cyclists taking up 1/2 of the road and riding w/o lights are over!
The following expectations were conveyed to me this morning:
1) ALL CYCLISTS MUST HAVE A REAR FLASHER AND A FRONT HEADLIGHT.
2) CYCLISTS MAY NOT OCCUPY MORE THAN A SINGLE LANE OF THE ROAD AT ANY TIME. The HPD considers Reece Blvd a 4 lane rd, so we get 1 lane.
3) ALL CYCLISTS MUST GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION.
The reality of the situation is that this training ride is in violation of a Huntersville and a state ordinance, both of which carry a $100 fine if you are cited.
The Captain said we should expect to see the HPD at tomorrow's ride (2/17). Hopefully we can meet their expectations and continue to use the HBP as a winter training venue.
Please make every effort to pass this message on to anyone who attends the HBP training rides.
President - RRRC
From Steve Dallas:
Jim, this is basically a summary of what we discussed last night on the phone after the ride:
Detective Andrew Dempski of the Huntersville Police discussed the riding situation in the business park with me and Neal Boyd. The observations and expectations as I understand them are as follows:
1. Overall, the group is too big and the riders are too many abreast, taking up too much of the road. The concern is for rider safety and motorists.
2. The cyclists should ALL have lights. I am not sure as to whether both front and rear lights are mandatory, but we can check with the Huntersville and/or State requirements. In any case, lights are cheap and available.
3. The riders should all be going the same direction. Even though we thought it might be safer for "dropped" riders to ride counter-clockwise, this creates problems for motorists since they have to both pass cyclists, and dodge the ones coming head on.
Although I cannot cite the specific ordinance, there was a potential last night that citations could have been written for "contest of speed", violating event and parade ordinances, and riding without lights.
There were no direct complaints from property owners or tenants, so I guess rider behavior in parking lots is not an issue this year, but the actual riding is the issue. I assured Detective Dempski that our club would do everything we could to cooperate, and I know Neal Boyd will do the same, so that we can keep riding.
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