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Not Everyone Wants Bicyclists on Wildwood Roads

PATCH POLL -- CAST YOUR VOTE at end of article -- A group referred to as Wildwood Safety Association offers a petition that requests Wildwood to stop promoting bicycling events on two-lane Wildwood roads.

Although bicyclists love the challenging, scenic roads that Wildwood offers — especially for training purposes — not all of the city's residents welcome bicyclists on its hilly, winding roads due to safety concerns.

According to an online petition offered by a group referenced as the Wildwood Safety Association, originators of the petition would like to steer bicyclists away from two-lane roads on which it is difficult, if not impossible, to see oncoming traffic in both lanes.

Some of Wildwood's busy and more rural roads also are frequented by joggers, dog walkers, drivers with horse trailers, large hauling truck drivers as well as motorists stopping suddenly or swerving to miss squirrels and deer, which all leaves little room for error when maneuvering naturally tight roadways.

Gary Crews, Wildwood's superintendent of parks, said he was aware of this petition but that the safety association is not associated with the city.

"We all use public roads, and state laws say bicyclists can use the highways," said Crews. "Cyclists are a minor percentage of traffic issues when you look at the whole picture."

The online petition reads as follows:

This Petition is requesting the City of Wildwood, Missouri to stop promoting bicycling (or cycling events) on any two-lane Wildwood roads. We petition that no City funds be budgeted for, or City employees' time used for, promotion of bicycling or cycling events on two-lane Wildwood roads.

It is time to recognize that citizens forced to drive the winding, two-lane roads of Wildwood are vulnerable to harm (many times a day) from other vehicles passing bicyclists on blind curves. We believe the City is inappropriately promoting an increase of bike traffic on two-lane roads, increasing the risk for serious harm to Wildwood residents.

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY THAT WILDWOOD SHOULD STOP, PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION.

WILDWOOD SAFETY ASSOCIATION

Editor's Note:  No direct sponsor information is available from the online petition, although Eureka-Wildwood Patch did send an email through the automated software.

marlan thompson September 29, 2011 at 12:24 AM
it is too congestive........the bike folkes need to be resricticed to certain areas....away from the roadways....
Matt September 29, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Congested. Folks. Kind of like saying certain folk should sit in the back of the bus. Or not sit at a certain lunch counter. Sounds like the cyclists are getting kind of uppity, if you know what I mean. Did you read the article? It clearly stated that cyclists "are a minor percentage of traffic issues when you look at the whole picture." Maybe motorist should drive in a safer manner and not assume they own the entire road. It's called sharing. Most people learned it in kindergarten. Did you?
dennis September 30, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Maybe bike riders should start paying personel proper taxes for their bike. Take a test to ride on the roads. Purchase a license plate. Remember to drive or ride on the roads is a privlage not a right. So let's vote on it. It would be a great way for Wildwood to make some extra money.
chet October 03, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Dennis, I am tyring to offer all of this feedback in a diplomatic fashion. First, your ignorant. I do pay personal property taxes to live in Missouri, and that, along with state income taxes goes a long way to paying, and paving the same roads that each of us have a right to SHARE. I made just over $500K last year, so my bet is that I probably paid more than you did- perhaps we should institute a time share for time (driving or cycling) on the road based on how much you pay into it... I'm guessing you won't vote for that. Most of us cyclist are as concerned with you getting around us while on any road, and just as all of us face unpleasant and rude people behind the wheel, I am sure you will face a selfish cyclist. On behalf of the people I ride with, we simply ask, and remind you that we don't have side curtain airbags, or a 5,000 lb SUV surrounding us. We do have spouses, children and people that count on us to come home... Chet.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) October 03, 2011 at 05:01 PM
To Patch readers regarding this topic, from previously covering questions/issues about bicycling in Wildwood and rugged terrain in other cities, I was reminded from bicyclists who compete that they require challenging terrain for training. Most bike trails are designed to accommodate the average bicyclist, not necessarily those in training. They also have explained that they need long distances to ride to build up their stamina, hence two of the major attractions of Wildwood's topography. They are able to park their vehicles, make a round-trip among beautiful scenery and get back in planned ways before nightfall. For me personally, that helped to explain why so many bicyclists are seen in Wildwood. Bicyclists sometimes also are quick to point out they deliberately stay, congregate and eat in Wildwood and other West County establishments, as a way of giving back to those communities. Hope that helps to factor in. Thanks for continuing to share your views: the bottom line is that we all want to be safe.
Scott October 03, 2011 at 05:14 PM
I appreciate that Wildwood has signage on the roads that read "Share the Road" for bicyclists. In a country with a 33+% obesity rate, I say the more bikers the better. Sure you have to pay attention if you are in a car or on a bike, but if people simply obey the rules of the road and the speed limits there is plenty of room for everybody. And I will add that bicyclists are very aware of auto and bike safety and they do their best to warn autos if the road is clear to pass. That way everyone is safer. I swore I wouldn't ride on roads for 46 years. But I've been riding in Wildwood for just over 13 months now and it is one of my favorite things to do. For the most part the drivers are very courteous and the exercise and scenery are beautiful. If everyone will simply remember the golden rule and do unto others as they would do to you, we'd all get along a lot better. Life is to short as it is. Let's all be a little nicer.

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