B*cycles not allowed - NOT

I ride MUni 3 to 5 times a week at the Mason Mills trails in Decatur, GA, about 3 blocks from my house. I frequently go to other places, but these trails are so convenient that I can get in a quick ride over lunch several times during the week when I don’t have time to drive anywhere else.

Yesterday (May 19, 2005) two large signs were planted at the entrance we use. One of the signs indicates that b*cycles are forbidden on the trails.

The short lead-in to the story
The lady across the street from the entrance to the trails has complained incessantly about us parking on the street and using this entrance, although we would happily accomodate her if she were amenable to any compromise. She’s not. We’ve spoken with several neighbors in the area, and they have a common story: she simply has too much time on her hands. According to one of the neighbors who always chats with me, the lady across the street is responsible for the new signs banning b*cycles, having greeted and welcomed the workman who planted them. She ostentatiously (and repeatedly) copies down our license numbers, takes pictures of us and our vehicles. It’s all just simple innocent harassment that we can easily ignore. The harassment is constant but non-threatening.

But the sign forbidding b*cycles - that requires some action.

I will tell the story in the next post (about 30 seconds from now).

The story
Today around noon I initiated a web search for the Dekalb County Georgia Parks Department. I wanted to contact them to learn how this park was regulated. While surfing the Parks Department Website, I found exactly what I wanted: This gem detailing the governing ordinances for Dekalb County Parks. I did not yet have the pictures, and I didn’t even know for certain that Dekalb County Parks had indeed posted the sign. So I was feeling my way in the dark to some extent. (I took the picture late this afternoon.)

However, it’s clear from the governing codes that bcycles are not forbidden from most Dekalb County parks, and when they are it’s a function of a specific ordinance – none of which apply to Mason Mills. In fact, the only provision for banning bcycles at all in DeKalb County Code is Book Code Section 19-32 Special Prohibitions which bans b*cycles in certain portions of Arabia Mountain.

Armed with this knowledge, I called the Parks Department. I first spoke with a woman who, while helpful enough, needed to get some more information. My pitch, which I repeated frequently over the next couple of hours in the most genial and polite way possible, was this:

“I’m interested in information on the trails at Mason Mills Park, where a sign was posted yesterday banning b*cycles. I have reviewed the governing ordinances on the Dekalb County Parks Department Website, and I can’t detemine which ordinance might have been used to designate this park off-limits to cyclists.”

A couple of times someone asked me if I was a mountain b*ker. I politely explained that, no, I was a unicyclist, and thereby uncertain if any of the ordinances were pertinent to me at all. But what I really wanted to know was what code was being applied…

It took the very helpful staff at the Parks Department several iterations:

a) to know exactly which park and entrance I was referring, and
b) to find someone from the field who knew something about the sign.

This is somewhat understandable since, at that time, I still wasn’t sure that Dekalk County Parks Department were responsible for the sign. Everyone I spoke with asked me if I was sure. I said no, sorry. I’m not sure. (My ignorance, while unintentional, may have been disarming and thereby helful.)

I spoke with three people, including a Deputy Director, each of whom was very cordial and tried to be helpful, before I received a call from the Security Coordinator. The Security Coordinator also, like everyone before, politely asked me if I had read the details on the sign. I apologetically said no yet again. Then he began his explanation.

He indicated that the sign was from Arabia Mountain, the relevant code was Section 19-32 but that it only applied to Arabia Mountain, that the bcycle ban was not in effect in Mason Mills, that the Parks Department did not want to discourage legal use of Dekalb County parks, and that [b]the sign would be altered or changed to remove the languange baning bicycles[/b].

I silently screamed YES! and pumped my arm in victory to my wife who passed by in the hall!

I spoke with him briefly about the problematic neighbor. He most professionally declined to comment on who may or may not have complained, but politely enquired as to why I didn’t use one of the other entrances. I said I lived in the neighborhood only a few blocks away, and it was the most accessible entrance by far for me. He agreed it was most reasonable for me to expect unfettered access.

I thanked him as graciously as I could for getting back to me so promptly, and for giving me his time. He made sure I had his name and phone number, and said that I should call him if I had any additional concerns or issues accessing the park.

The post script
The lady who complained about this access point to the trails has now inadvertantly legitimized this access point by causing the Parks Department to post very large signs announcing it. Her attempt to have us / cyclists banned has had quite the opposite affect. Now more people than ever will use it. (Not necessarily good news to me, but I accept it.) Already yesterday afternoon - just hours after the signs went up - cars were parked across from her driveway by folk accessing the trails. (I had never seen a car there before, except for mine and hitarock’s - the guy I MUni with.)

The moral
Sometimes the easy road is the road to victory. This feels really good!

Good work! Way to fight for justice!

I’ve often wondered how the unicycle works into the law. I figured it would be technically exempt from bans on bicycles, but it wouldn’t functionally be the case. This summer there are some spots I’d like to ride that I know bicycles can’t ride on…I wonder if there’s any room to argue it. If there is room, it’s something silly in the wording of the law, but I’ll go with that!

Justin

Well, I don’t know about other countries, or heck, even the rest of Canada, but our Highway Traffic Act only has a definition for bicycles. As far as I can tell, anyone on a skateboard, rollerblades, or a unicycle is effectively a pedestrian.

So for us, the anti-biking signs don’t mean much :smiley:

Who needs the training wheel anyhow?

Bi…uni…bi…uni, Sign didnt matter to you in hte first place.

Cool Jeffrey,
I really have to get down there. How would she feel if 15-20 of us came rolling through.:smiley: Trying to keep the man down, they can’t keep the man down. You da man Jeffrey.:smiley:

Who is surfing the site as Birdknob? Coincidence?

I think it’s an errant cookie from when I visited this site a long while back - before “officially” registering. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to kill it.

Wow, what a wonderful story with such a happy ending! Thanks for posting it.

Implied is the fact that you will obey the “spirit” of any no-bikes-allowed regulation.

As I do more and more MUni, I am being faced with this decision. Do I interpret “no bikes allowed” to mean “no wheels allowed”? And thus not ride those trails?

I’m deciding that the answer is yes. There are plenty of trails where bikes ARE allowed. Even if nobody saw me ride, and even if I caused no damage, I would still leave tire tracks. This might “inspire” others to ride the trails on their two-wheelers. And hikers might be offended by such apparent or actual disregard for the regulations. And how would the people who maintain the trail feel? (most people don’t buy into the “a unicycle is not a bike” argument – to them, it is “functionally” close enough to a bike – a cycle – to fall into that category)

You are a noble and wise man, munipsycho. I shall try to follow in your tire track. And if anyone ever tries to take away my right to ride a trail, I will re-read this thread and then investigate the matter. Happy riding!

Re: B*cycles not allowed - NOT

“HistoricalGoof” <HistoricalGoof@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com>
wrote in message
news:HistoricalGoof.1pcv03@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com
>
> Good work! Way to fight for justice!
>
> I’ve often wondered how the unicycle works into the law. I figured it
> would be technically exempt from bans on bicycles, but it wouldn’t
> functionally be the case.

Probably needs looking at on an individual basis: if you read Psychos
posted rules they said something like
“B*cycles or other non-motorised vehicles”.
So without the changes he has fought for he would have been stuffed. Well
done indeed, and perhaps an illustration to us all of how to best attack
these things.

Nao

munipsycho

You are hereby nominated as Unicycle Hero Of The Month.

BTW, In my book, “Bke" is only a bad word in instances like "they called my Unicycle a bke” or “b*cyclists that think unicycles are inferior”. Otherwise, nothing wrong with “bike”.

edit: Come to think of it, shouldn’t it be “*icycle”? After all, it is the “b” instead of “un” that makes all the difference. I may start calling my Uni an “UN-bicycle”, sort of like the un-cola.

so what do you do when the sign says “no cycling”?

Re: Re: B*cycles not allowed - NOT

Actually I would disagree…

Rules:
"Bicycles on athletic fields No person shall ride nor walk a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle in or on any athletic field owned or operated by the county for recreation purposes.

Bicycles on Arabia Mountain No person shall ride, walk nor carry a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle in or on Davidson-Arabia Mountain Park except in an area specifically dedicated and identified for such use. "

It gives two situations in which bicycles are not to be used.
Neither of which would apply in Mills Park.

  1. Athletic Fields (Baseball, Soccer, Football, etc…)
  2. Arabia Mountain… Mills Park is not Arabia Mountain.

Arabia mountain, is that some sort of theme park?