I have, this evening, sent another email inquiry to the stewards of the city of Manor Texas. I am making the email public because I am perceiving a certain amount of unresponsiveness from the city Fathers about this. I have asked some old questions that have gone unanswered, and I have added some new ones that are a bit more pointed.
The statements attributed to the city manager are alarming, and there is an unseemly odor to these proceedings. I hope that these questions will be answered to everyones satisfaction quickly and completely. Perhaps a little sunshine will help us all to see more clearly.
Dear Judge Haisler, the Austin American-Statesman has published an article about the bicycle ban in Manor. In it, the reporter quotes Phil Tate as saying:
"Enforcement will begin at the end of the month at the earliest, Manor City Manager Phil Tate said. Violating the ordinance will be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $200, according to the ordinance.
The two-lane road is narrow, has heavy traffic and is in bad shape with huge cracks, Tate said.
The "City Council has found that prohibiting the use of bicycles on Brenham Street east of FM 973 to the City limits is necessary to protect the public from harm," the ordinance says.
"It's a poor place to be riding bicycles," Tate said. There are several other roads where bicyclists can ride, he said.
Tate said there are no immediate plans to repave or rebuild the road."
Naturally this is alarming to to those who are fond of the "public" part of public road.
1) Did this reporter correctly quote the good city manager?
2) If not, would you please clarify the situation for me? What he is reported to have said is at odds with our previous correspondence.
3) Is it the city's position that some roads are "too narrow and have too much traffic" on them to safely accommodate all legal vehicles?
4) Because pedestrians are not prohibited from this section of the road, do you anticipate that the shoulder-less road will accommodate cyclists walking through that section?
5) If the road surface conditions are as bad as some eyewitnesses have reported, why has the city seen fit to continue to allow motorcycles and other two wheeled vehicles access to this section of the road?
6) Is it the city's opinion that this road beyond their jurisdiction is also dangerous for cyclists, and have they alerted any other jurisdictions of such existing conditions?
7) What is causing the road outside your jurisdiction to be constituted a dangerous condition? (Is it a surface hazard as well or are cyclists simply annoying the local motorists by impeding their progress?)
An anonymous commenter left this message on my blog:
"I have some insight as to the condition of this stretch of road. On Aug 30 while riding with friends, I hit a large crack in the road about a yard long, 4 inches wide and about a foot deep. No shoulder. There were lots of these cracks or crevices. I suffered many injuries -- broken hand, torn hamstring, ripped face and mouth, etc.... (I was wearing a helmet, which got cracked.) It is extremely unsafe for bikes."
This new information has spawned a more questions.
8) To your knowledge, is the described road condition by Anonymous the reason for restricting bicycle use on that road?
9) Is Anonymous the only person who has been injured by this road hazard?
10) Is his description of the hazard accurate?
11) Is this particular road condition also a hazard for motorcyclists?
12) What steps are being planned or implemented to fix the problem.
13) What is the tentative time-line for those repairs and the estimated time of completion?
14) If road conditions present such a clear and present public danger to warrant the banishment of an entire class of vehicle, why are you waiting seven weeks from passing the ordinance to enforce it?
There my dear reader, we await a response. Are there any questions you have that have not been addressed in light of the information we have?