On another web site, someone commented that the communities in Southeast Oakland County have ridiculous bike rules unlike the west side.
The reason we didn’t list any weird west side rules is because we hadn’t looked there.
So, in order to be balanced, here are some more true or false questions:
- You cannot sell ice cream from your bike in West Bloomfield
- It’s illegal to drive into Kensington Metropark with your bicycle on a rack.
- Plymouth police can impound residents’ unlicensed bicycles and it costs $3 to get them back.
- It is illegal to use a child trailer on your bike in Northville.
Again, all are unbelievably true.
1. West Bloomfield prohibits ice cream sales from bicycle because it’s “a necessary police measure for the prevention of traffic accidents and personal injuries in the streets of the township.” Selling ice cream from a truck is no problem because they’re less likely to cause accidents and personal injuries. R-i-g-h-t!
West Bloomfield also prohibits the sale of ice cream that is “unsound, unwholesome, defective, faulty or deteriorated.”
2. We’ve discussed this really wacky Milford Township ordinance before. They also require you to wear a bicycle helmet, but only on the Kensington bike paths that are paved and 10 feet wide.
3. Plymouth also has a mandatory sidepath ordinance which needs to be taken off the books. Cyclists shouldn’t be forced to use sidewalks, especially when they are the less safe option.
4. Northville prohibts attaching wagons or other vehicles to bikes. They probably meant to prohibit kids from attaching Red Flyers to their Schwinns, but the ordinance is overly broad.
In the prior entry, Jeremiah Staes noted that many of these are probably unenforceable. In other words, even if a police officer wrote a ticket, it’s likely a judge would dismiss it. That doesn’t mean bicycle advocates shouldn’t try to get these fixed or better yet removed from the books.
Staes also made an insightful comment that this shows how Michigan’s strong Home Rule is a detriment. Ideally each city, village, and township couldn’t tweak the laws with respect to cycling. Unfortunately state law allows it. The county government has not shown leadership on issue and the result is a hodge podge mess.
And this applies not only to each cities ordinances but their policies on accomodating bicycles. If we could get just a couple local governments to accomodate bicycles each year, it’ll still take decades to get everyone straightened out. But again, Oakland County has been unwilling to lead on this issue which makes the bicycle advocacy effort just that much more difficult.