It's Official – bicycle riding illegal in Ross Twp!
Well, Commissioner Chris is an attorney…
From the P-G, 3/31 article about the Ross Twp police dept buying two bicycles…
“It occurs to me that Ross Township is an unfriendly environment for bicycles,” said Commissioner Chris Rand Eyster. “There’s really no space to ride a bicycle legally, so what effect can it have?”
Based on a quick look at a map of Ross Township, it would appear that bicycle riding is legal on all roads in Ross Township with the exception of I-279.
If I can’t legally ride in Ross, I’m going to have a heckuva detour anytime I go pretty much anywhere.
I really hope this man does not really believe what he said, that he merely has a misunderstanding.
That, and I wonder why McCandless got rid of those two bikes. Is cycling in McCandless “illegal”, too?
It’s official that guy is an idiot, but aside from that I don’t see any suggestion that it’s actually illegal. Try not to give people any ideas, lest we end up with this
the article states “…that the idea of a bicycle patrol was brought up by some of the township’s new police officers”
I take this as very good news! (asshat commmissioner not included)
It took me a while to get to this, but, I knew this Chris Eyster years ago and he was a bright, reasonable person. It may be that his statement comes simply from typical suburbanite misinformation and lack of education on the subject. This might be a good opportunity for some constituents to do some educating. Or he may have turned evil, I don’t know for sure.
As I recall, he used to enjoy a bit of the ganja, though that’s purely hearsay.
What would be awesome would be if Bike Pgh had some kind of pamphlet they could give to municipalities whose police departments are thinking of starting or expanding a bicycle patrol. Something along the lines of:
– laws pertaining toward bicycles that maybe apply more directly to bike cops
– information on the flexibility of a bike patrol and excellent applications (near schools, traffic, malls, events, etc)
– information on the reasonable limitations of a bike patrol (speed, what NOT to do to get around traffic, etc) and possible work arounds.
Maybe it’s outside Bike Pgh’s scope, and I’m not saying tell cops how to do their job, but bike patrols are awesome and it seems to me to be in the best interest of all cyclists to make it easier for PDs to start/expand their programs, if possible and reasonable.
Is there anything out there like this?
The IPMBA and the LEBA provide training and materials for bike patrols. Nobody should be a bike patrol officer without going through at least one of their courses – even if “just patrolling the mall.”
sweet, they look WAY better equipped to do it, I had no idea they existed.
the article makes me think that Ross Twp might not know they exist either.
Am I alone in suspecting that a focus on bicycle officers as outreach to kids will reinforce a perception that bikes are just for children and not a lifelong mode of transportation?
ieverhart – that’s a good point. however children from all backgrounds (in a district) gather in a single place 5 days a week for many hours – grownups are harder to get to. It depends on what that outreach is. If it’s “ride on the sidewalk, don’t go into the street, stay out of the way of cars if there are no sidewalks, ride facing traffic”, then it’s a recipe for suburban disaster. If it’s how to be safe on a bike, with info on using it for real transportation to the older ones, it could be the beginning of an awesome future.
outreach to grownups, who work too long hours and are too busy, is more difficult.
My brother (who never has had a drivers license) lives in Colorado and sent me this link:
This is a story in the Trib about a group of police officers ridding bicycles from NJ to DC raising money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial & Museum. One of the officers featured is from Ross Township.
@ieverhart: I think the point there isn’t primarily to promote cycling, but for the officers to be more accessible. I know my kids are drawn to officers on foot, on a bicycle or on a motorcycle. So I think it’s more about pro-police department PR than bicycle promotion.
Are we talking about police commissioners (of which I would suspect there is only one for all of Ross Twp) or township commissioners (of which there might be several)?
If I can get to a meeting (heck, I hardly ever get to McC Twp meetings), I will see if I can speak, and help to clear things up. FWIW, nobody has given me a hard time riding along Babcock or Perry, or Northway Mall, recently.
Stu, or anyone really, if you were going to pursue this, I might suggest trying to contact this Eyster informally, and outside of a public meeting, and gently point out the error of his statement where it’s not confrontational or challenging, then he can decide if he wants to revise or adjust his previous statements.
Is this even a big deal? The guy sounds misinformed at worst. He’s not the first knucklehead to talk out of his rear at a public meeting.
If a road has been constructed using federal or state funds, it is legal for use by a bicycle UNLESS a) it is an interstate highway or b) it is specifically posted that bicycles are prohibited. Privately owned and maintained roads within subdivisions or individual plans may be restricted, but that would probably be in the property agreement.
I suspect the individual in question might have meant to say there is “no where in Ross to SAFELY ride a bike” (which in my experience is not far from the truth).
This PA bike law page says the general rule is no bikes on freeways. Freeways roughly means limited-access divided highways without at-grade crossings, but the page mentions “state-designated freeways”, so I guess there’s an official list someplace. (Specific signage can override that general rule, either permitting or prohibiting bikes anywhere.)
Whether the law refers to freeways or to only interstate highways seems to matter for, say, Route 28 north of the 40th Street Bridge. All interstate highways are freeways*, but not all freeways are interstate highways.
Dang! I knew someone was going to catch me on that! I should have inserted a caveat that mine were general statements. Steven is right about freeways.
i also cringed a bit when i read that they wanted to ride bicycles to reach out to kids. but then, this statement makes me believe that maybe they get it:
“A bicycle-riding officer could also patrol certain residential neighborhoods where there have been burglaries to “get a little bit closer to the neighborhood,” the chief said, adding that the idea of a bicycle patrol was brought up by some of the township’s new police officers.”
i like that they understand that bikes help you get closer to the neighborhood.
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