Flagstaff modernizes their city bike codes

The Flagstaff City Council gave final approval to Ordinance No. 2011-26, which makes a number of revisions to Title 9, Chapter 5 of the Flagstaff City Code, which regulates the operation of bicycles.
The changes include the following…

  1. Modifies definitions and regulations to (for the most part) match Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 
  2. Modifies the language of the “ride right” rule to match ARS; adds exceptions for situations when cyclists should leave the right side of the roadway for safety 
  3. Removes requirement for bicyclists to ride in a bike lane and replaces it with the “ride right” rule 
  4. Removes the “sidepath law” which requires bicyclists to ride on a path adjacent to the road when one is provided 
  5. Eliminates mandatory bicycle registration; adds a provision requiring the Police Department to provide for voluntary registration 
  6. Requires bicyclists on sidewalks and paths to yield to pedestrians and provide an audible warning when overtaking pedestrians 
  7. Removes several sections that were confusing, contradicted the normal rules of the road, and discriminated against bicyclists 

These revisions were discussed by the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee for several years, and are a significant step forward for bicyclists in Flagstaff

You can view the actual ordinace mark-ups at the link above; The Flagstaff city bike page has some more details about the proposals. There’s a really great document the Martin prepared that shows side-by-side in colors the old code, new code, and explanation.  FlagstaffCityCodeBicyclesRevisions.pdf

You can view Flagstaff’s City Code in full online. Bicycle-related codes are in Title 9 Traffic; then 9-05 Bicycles. It usually takes some time until the updates get reflected there.

Here, for posterity, is a copy of the bad codes; all seem to have been passed in 1973 (Ord. 903, 11-9-73), and includes mandatory bike lane use as well as mandatory sidepath use (9-05-001-0005 and 9-05-001-0016 which prohibits leaving a bike lane), plus the “right-hooking cyclists in bike lanes is okay” rule 9-05-001-0015.

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1 Comment

  1. Why is/was ‘Safely’ omitted from new city code?The new code copies ARS 28-815A 1 through 4 verbatim, except for some reason (typo?) the word safely was omitted.Here are the two sections, first the long-existing ARS 28-815A; and the new (Dec 2011) Flagstaff code Section 9-05-001-006A. Not the omission of the word “safely” in subsection 4 of the new city code.§28-815. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths; prohibition of motor vehicle traffic on bike pathsA. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:1. If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
    2. If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    3. If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards.4. If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
    Section 9-05-001-0005 Riding on Roadways and Bicycle LanesA. A person riding a bicycle on the roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
    1. If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
    2. If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    3. If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, snow and ice, or surface hazards.
    4. If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel side by side within the lane.
    5. When proceeding straight, through an area where a right-turn is permitted, in order to avoid conflicts with right-turning vehicles.
    B. When parking is allowed along the roadway, then the “right side of the roadway” shall be deemed to be to the left of any parked vehicles or parking lane, including the area occupied by open car doors, or to the right of any parked vehicles or parking lane on the left side of one-way streets.

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