Royal Oak could put brakes on bikes

New ordinance could keep bicyclists off sidewalks in downtown Royal Oak

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Many people use bicycles to get around Royal Oak, but the city may be putting the brakes on bikes with a new ordinance.

Complaints are breathing new life into a ban on bicycles in the city's downtown.

"This isn't really about banning bicycles. Technically they are already banned, said City Manager Don Johnson.

In 1927, bicycles weren't allowed on any sidewalk anywhere in Royal Oak, but the new ordinance will restrict bike riding only in the heart of downtown.

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"Our sidewalks are crowded, particularly in the summer, and if you're familiar with Royal Oak you know how many sidewalk cafes we have," said Johnson.

It's a law Martha Mitchell agrees with.

"Not on the sidewalks in downtown because there is just too many people walking around," said Mitchell.

But not everyone agrees. Some fear the ordinance reaches too far.

"I think the City Council is foolish for making a law like that. Hopefully it won't get passed," said bicyclist Steven Black.

The ordinance should be passed by the end of the month. The city also will be putting up new signage downtown, reminding cyclists to walk, not ride, their bikes.

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