Lenexa cyclists upset after new city ordinance calls bikes a 'Nu - KCTV5

Lenexa cyclists upset after new city ordinance calls bikes a 'Nuisance'

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A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center. (KCTV5) A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center. (KCTV5)
LENEXA, KS (KCTV) -

Lenexa leaders say they are trying to make the city more bike friendly, but they ran into a roadblock.

A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center.

The ordinance fired up avid cyclists in the area as it calls bikes a “nuisance.”

City officials do admit this wasn’t the best wording. They say it was all about safety.

"The ordinance basically says you can ride on the sidewalks, you can ride anywhere in Lenexa City Center, but just right here on our campus we ask that people walk their bikes through," Lenexa Director of Communications Denise Rendina said. "What we are just trying to do it in this little area, we consider a very pedestrian area, we are trying to limit the amount of bikes that are right on here and other wheels, it's not just bikes."

Cyclist Matt Garret says the use of the word nuisance does not come as a surprise. 

"Calling the bikes a nuisance, you know, words matter and that falls into the overall scope of how cyclists are treated within the city," Garrett said.

Officials say they noticed kids riding their bikes to the top of the parking structure and racing around it. They say they were scared there would be an accident.

"Sitting in our offices, it gave us a little bit of pause in our heart because we were scared about safety," Rendina said.

Cyclists have been pushing for months to make the city more bike friendly. The group iBike Lenexa says they have had both good and frustrating meetings with city officials.

Matt Elder rides four to five times per week and is one of many who thinks the city needs to make room for bicyclists.

"There is a rhythm and a reason to forbid these things. They need to do a better job of making everything in this part of the country more bike friendly, more transportation friendly,"Elder said.

Garrett says the city is making progress, but not fast enough.

"Words matter, and when you call cyclists a nuisance or you call bikes a nuisance that means something in the community, especially when there is no forward progress on cycling safety," he said.

Garrett says bike riders are meeting with city officials to make Lenexa more bike friendly. He says an immediate fix would be implementing posted bike routes around the city and letting cyclists know safe places to ride. 

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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