Tuesday, August 12, 2008

De Soto, KS is a terrible place to raise children

Because it's illegal to ride your bike!

Last night, I was riding my bike on a 2-lane country road where the speed limit typically ranges between 35 and 45 mph. I was about 15 miles into a 25 mile ride when I heard a siren behind me. I turned around and saw lights flashing, but kept going. Sirens again. WTH? So I pulled over. Yup, I got pulled over last night on my bike.

Apparently it is illegal to ride a bike on 83rd street in De Soto. They ran my license, wrote me up, and literally hauled my butt out of town. If you look, you'll see the ticket says I was unlawfully operating an '08 Trek bicycle.

The cops were nice even though I was being a little bit of a smart ass, not beligerent, just trying to make light of the situation. In my defense, from the east there are no signed posted until you're in town but it's illegal to ride 6 miles east of town as well. Ironically enough, where they dropped me off at the adjacent town's border there is a bright yellow sign "Share the Road" with a bicycle on it. Same road, just a few miles down. FYI, the town of Lenexa IS bicycle friendly.

And before you start to lecture, I get it. Road safety, line of sight, blah, blah, blah. We're not talking about a 4-lane road where the speed limit is 65. The bottom line is residents complained about having to slow down to pass cyclists so the city passed an ordinance. Just post more damn signs and an alternate route for us non-motorized vehicles.

The ticket cost me $100. I haven't decided if I'm going to go to the court date or not.


Yetihammer said...

Go to court and speak your mind. This is a silly law. Two weeks ago I rode through DeSoto on 83rd, saw no signs from the East. I was cut off by a truck so closely I had to skid to a halt and go around this truck which stopped in my path, the driver then began screaming obscenities at me like you wouldn't believe, neighbors were looking and it was a scene, I simply rode on. It was essentially assault, without being struck, and I was quite afraid. I had NO idea about this law on 83rd st. To me, if DeSot residents want to regress and devolve while the rest of the world is increasing tolerance, diversity, alternate means of transport, etc., then fine. Go backwards, but POST SIGNS. And certainly, keep the road rage under control. I was nearly hit, intentionally, due to an intolerant ignorant resident. Certainly my first, and last, trip to Desoto, KS - whether on foot, bike or car.

Sam said...

Just an update - I went to court, which was an experience itself, but still had to pay the full $100. The judge seemed sympathetic, but the prosecutor wanted it to go on my driving record!

That didn't happen, and I've been told since I was there last, De Soto has put up $4000 in additional signs. The first sign i should have seen had been hit and was propped up in a ditch, but they fixed it before my court date.

Oh well. It's a good story...

Andy said...

Shortly after my post to your site, I wrote the City of DeSoto. The response I received was written by a council member who claimed to be a cyclist. He said he re-drove the route and noted any sign discrepancies and that they would add signs where needed. Sounds like they did - regardless the reality is this policy was driven by residents who simply aren't willing to share the road. (This was told to me by a co-worker whose mother lives in DeSoto!) The council member who wrote me claimed this was a policy for the safety of cyclists, which is a silly claim, this is a policy for lazy residents. Ironically, it turns out that my incident occurred on a portion of the road that was legal for me to be on, the resident who went ballistic was mis-informed. Imagine that. I no longer eat at Mr.Goodcents because the are headquartered in DeSoto. I used to eat there at least 3 meals a week. That $4,000 could have been spent way more appropriately than no biking signs. What an intolerant town. My wife and I looked at a house in Shawnee and were horrified to learn they are DeSoto schools! The seller told us they were moving ANYWHERE other than the DeSoto school district. Food for thought.....Thanks for the follow up.