Last month, on Monday, April 8, 2013, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation (MBF) held its annual awards ceremony in Jefferson City, the state capital. Recipients were recognized for their contributions towards improving conditions for cyclists and pedestrians in the state.
Included among the honorees this year was the City of Ferguson, North St. Louis County, and two residents, primarily for their part in helping enact legislation in 2012 repealing a local law, known as the “Far to the Right” law, and replacing it with language allowing a cyclist to choose whether to control or share the travel lane.
The full citation, reproduced below, was read during the award to recipients in attendance from Ferguson, pictured below together with Dr. Brent Hugh, Executive Director of the MBF.
The “Far to the Right” ordinance was based on state legislation originally enacted in 1995 which requires cyclists to ride as far right as safe, with some exceptions, including “when the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle.”
This language is not only ambivalent but also considered by cyclists as highly discriminatory, and its repeal by the City of Ferguson is now prompting the MBF to pursue its repeal at the state level, as well as consideration for similar action by other local municipalities.
- Martin Pion, Gerry Noll, Elizabeth Simons, and the City of Ferguson
In 2012 the City of Ferguson passed a groundbreaking new bicycle law clarifying the ability of bicyclists to have full use of the right lane. This new law may be a model showing the way for other Missouri communities and for the state to improve their bicycle laws.
Martin is a long-time bicycle transportation advocate and educator. He started the process after nearly being ticketted for controlling the curb lane while bicycling on a four-lane road in Ferguson.
Gerry, a local cyclist, cycling instructor, and bike shop owner, brought business support to the initiative.
Elizabeth is Program Manager for Live Well Ferguson, a collaboration between the city and Trailnet that helps Ferguson residents lead healthier lifestyles through active living and improved dietary habits. Live Well Ferguson has taken on many projects, like the “full use of right lane” law, that impact policy, enhance the built environment and create healthy social networks.
City Manager John Shaw, Assistant City Manager Pam Hylton, and Police Chief Tom Jackson, all cyclists, were instrumental in helping to draft the law.
Mayor James W. Knowles III signed the ordinance, which was sponsored by city council members Mike Salant, Tim Larson, and Dwayne T. James. The ordinance passed the city council by a vote of 5-1.
Below is a sample of the award received by recipients.