Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What To Do About Manor

The City of Manor (Near Austin) has seen fit to ban bicycles on a road through their city. There is no reasonable alternative road for the destinations provided by that road- hence it’s popularity by local motorists and cyclists alike.

They claim the ban is for the safety of cyclists due to surface hazards present on the road, and it is only a temporary situation. I believe that the excuses used to ban bicycles are being employed to camouflage the real purpose of the ban.

If the real reason were for the protection of cyclists, then motorcycles would also be banned, they would have petitioned to lower the posted speed limits, and they would have moved to fix the road. The City of Manor has done none of these things.

It seems to me that Manor residents are upset that they had to share that road with slow vehicles, most (If not all) of whom were from out of town. In short, the public roads in Manor have ceased to be public.

The hard questions that are put to city officials are stonewalled or given the run-around. When questioned about road repair timelines, it has become apparent that the term “temporary” can only be understood as being accurate in a way a geologist could use it.

If Texas cyclists had an advocacy organization that was interested in preserving the liberties of their constituents, it would have been engaged with resolving this encroachment on them by now. But since no advocacy group has seen fit to take up the cause, I must sadly conclude that such an organization has yet to be formed.


  1. An interesting counterpoint here. I do not believe that Manor has the authority under Texas law to ban motorcycles, NOR to ban electric bicycles which are defined differently than regular bicycles and for which cities have different levels of authority. This might create a business opportunity for those that wanted to produce a "bare minimum motor that qualifies under the statute" for those that are interested in continuing to ride such roads, such as those that need to go where only that road goes. Bicylists don't have an NAACP of their own at the present time and I don't think recreational cyclists would have any major motivation to fight hard. They'll just go somewhere else, which may well have been Manor's objective in the first place.

  2. Here in Missoula Montana, our city had to recently get rid of local ordinance that banned cyclists from using sidewalks when a local lawyer pointed out that state law allowed for cyclists to use, which superceded our local law.

    I'm guessing there would be a Texas law allowing cyclists to use roadways in some fashion so that the local ban is unconstitutional.

  3. I have posted an update to this story:

    1. Daniel, your links don't seem to work the way you suggest - and definitely comments on it do not.