06 September 2010

Bike Riding Illegal in Sag Harbor, NY


Sag Harbor, NY. Photo by Danielle Lobosco from Wikipedia.

Maybe we should be compiling a list of cities and towns that are bicycle-unfriendly. After the internet storm that followed the town of Blackhawk, Colorado's decision to ban bicycles, there are probably loads of towns with similar bylaws.

The bicycle activist and photographer known as BicyclesOnly on Twitter and Flickr was visiting Sag Harbor, New York (pop. 2313) and, according to this tweet:

#bikenyc riding is illegal on Main & Bay Sts. in dntwn #SagHarbor. Cop told us to dismount, sez law is 4 "safety reasons," wldn't give deets

Copenhagenize's friend and lawyer Kelly spotted this and decided to check it out. Was it really illegal to ride a bicycle on the street in the resort community of Sag Harbor, NY or was it just one cop having a bad bicycle day?

As it turns out, riding a bicycle IS illegal in the town. On Main and Bay streets, anyway. Imagine that. Here in 2010. Kelly looked up the code to find the prohibition. The law, passed in 1986, reads as follows:

50-7.B. It shall be unlawful for any person to roller skate, to use a skateboard or similar device or to ride a bicycle or any other wheeled vehicle propelled by gravity or by the use of the rider's feet between the curblines (that portion of streets normally devoted to the parking and operation of motor vehicles) of Main Street from the southerly line of Spring Street, as projected, to the southerly line of Bay Street.

Spooky use of the word "devoted".
(n) devotion, devotedness (feelings of ardent love)

Nevermind riding a bicycle, you're not even allowed to WALK a bicycle along Main Street.

50.7.D. It shall be unlawful for any person to walk a bicycle or any other wheeled vehicle propelled by gravity or by the use of a rider's feet between the curblines of Main Street from the southerly line of Spring Street, as projected, to the southerly line of Bay Street. This prohibition shall not apply to walking a bicycle or other such vehicle directly across the street (crossing directly from one side to the other side of the street).


Here's the website for Sag Harbor. http://www.sagharborny.gov/. Shouldn't we let them know that their bylaws are rather antiquated and deserve to be listed over at Dumb Laws?

Thanks to Kelly for the help.