New Bicycle Ordinances

Flagstaff City Council

The Flagstaff City Council will be reviewing these new bicycle ordinances at their meeting scheduled for December 6th at Flagstaff City Hall.

The proposed revisions have been discussed and reviewed extensively by the Bicycle Advisory Committee for the past several years.

On June 3, 2010, the Flagstaff's Bicycle Advisory Committee unanimously approved a motion to recommend the proposed revisions to Title 9, Chapter 05, of the Flagstaff City Code to the Traffic Commission.

On July 7, 2010, the proposed revisions were reviewed by the City’s Transportation Commission and recommended to the City Council.

City Council Meetings start at 5:30 pm. At this point we are not sure at what time the Council will be reviewing the bicycle ordinance revisions during the evening.

Guiding principles
The draft revisions are based on four guiding principles
  • Bicycles are already defined as vehicles and are subject to the same rules of the road as other vehicles (see Section 9-05-001-0003). Therefore it is not necessary to create a new or different set of rules for bicycles. Regulation should be limited to items that result from the unique characteristics of bicycles that make them different from motor vehicles.
  • Bicyclists are safest when they follow the rules of the road and behave like drivers of vehicles. Regulations should therefore not contradict the normal rules of the road, or discriminate against bicyclists and in favor of motor vehicles, or in favor of bicycles in a way that makes them less safe.
  • Regulations for bicycles should reflect safe cycling practices according to the principles of vehicular cycling, so education and enforcement of the code encourages safe riding.
  • Regulations should be reasonable and not excessively restrictive. Regulations that are excessively restrictive, or perceived as not reasonable, will not be followed.

A number of provisions in the existing City Code do not meet these principles; some provisions are not enforced, others are unclear or counter to the normal rules of the road, and some mandate unsafe riding. The proposed revisions are intended to correct these issues.
Summary of proposed revisions
  • Consolidates definitions into a single section; adds definitions for terms that are used in the codes; revises language to match ARS definitions
  • Consolidates rules for riding on bicycles, such as carrying articles, clinging to vehicles, etc. into a single section

  • Modifies the language of the “ride right” rule to match ARS; adds exceptions for situations when cyclists should leave the right side of the roadway for safety

  • Removes requirement for bicyclists to ride in a bike lane and replaces it with new “ride right” rule

  • Removes requirement for bicyclists to ride on a path adjacent to the road when provided, which can be less safe than riding in the road

  • Removes the requirement for bicycle registration; adds a provision requiring the Police Department to provide for voluntary registration

  • Requires bicyclists on sidewalks and paths to yield to pedestrians and provide an audible warning when overtaking pedestrians
  • Removes several sections (old -0014, -0015, and -0016) that contradict the normal rules of the road

The draft revisions include annotation to provide background or explanation for the all of the proposed revisions.

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