Currently in Sioux City there is a city ordinance that basically says of there is a trail that runs parrellal with a city street cyclists are to use the trail & not the street. I for one think this is an unfair ordinance not to mention impractical. For one it is never enforced, that is beside the point. One one street in particular it is actually safer to ride in the street. Here is what I mean:
The street is called Chris Larsen Road. It is parrellal with the Lewis & Clarck rec. trail. Both of these run parrellal with the Missouri River. Creatively enough this are is called the Sioux City River Front. Along the trail & Chris Larsen Road is the Argosy Casino. A very busy place. Traffic in & out all the time. Thankfully Chris Larsen Road is 25 mph for a speed limit. Along this part of the trail is shade trees & bushes. The people who visit the casino access the driveway/parking lot via Chris Larsen Road. Which means there is an intersection where each one of the driveways & the trail meet.
Because drivers are in a hurry to waste their money, or pissed off because they lost their money at the casino and because of the trees, etc it is hard for motorists to see people on the trail. In effect they either are not paying attention or the have a hard time seeing the trail users.
Thus it is a dangerous area for the cyclists who use the trail in this area. That is why I never do, which means I am breaking the law. I'd rather break the law & be safer then obey it & have an increased risk of being hit by a motorist.
Remember I said the cops do not enforce this ordinance. In fact I have ridden with an off duty officer on the street in this very section of Chris Larsen Road. I have encountered officers patrolling this area in their cruisers or on their bikes & have never been cited for it.
Never mind the fact that this ordinance is not enforced. I don't think that is really a reason to remove the ordinance. Let's just concentrate on the safety aspect of it.
From my own personal experience and the experiences of several other cyclists I have spoken with & ridden with about this, this is the only research I have to go on right now, it is safer to ride bike in the street then on the trail in this area.
So opposers & supporters of this new idea of mine please speak up. Keep it clean, keep it nice & I promise to as well.