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  1. #1
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    Would you organize a protest ride?

    Would you organize a protest ride to protest against an unfair law or ordinance that was newly created either banning cyclists from the roadways or requiring an insurance policy that exempts and does not hold governing officials responsible or loable for a cyclists injuries because of a defective roadway? Even if it means you would be breaking a law or ordinance?

    Before you answer read this please, including the article about the ban being lifted and the insurance policy now being in place:
    http://bicycleadvocacyandsafety.blog...raded-for.html

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Bicycles were not banned in that county. The ordinance specified that the roads were designed for cars, but that bicycles might run into problems on pavement designed for cars. Realistically, municipalities cannot keep every road or street in a condition good enough for bicycles to ride risk free. It would cost them too much.
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    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Wonder how solo Crawford county cyclists feel about the ban.. Besides the cones, how about a permanent sign warning of the danger. Does not Iowa get around to fixing the problem with the center seam.. Is the center seam issue prevalent through out all of Iowa.. That is certainly unacceptable... Insurance is not for pay outs. Getting insurance is not a solution. Once there's a loss, don't depend upon getting insurance at affordable rates...
    Banning cycling through out all of Iowa is no solution.. Under those conditions , I'd be organizing a protest ride.. Can't the seam be filled in some how.. ?..
    Lucky many of us don't live in Iowa . About time they fix the problem, if it is fixable. Are all Crawford county roads unusable for cyclists , can't they just ban the affected roads...
    Looks like out of state cyclists won't be considering the Ragabi or other Iowa cycling events and will be going else where... Shame , Ragbai is a ride many of us had considered , but appears cyclists are unwelcome in Iowa. So, yes, if Iowa won't fix the problem in the long term; i'd be doing a real protest ride...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
    Wonder how solo Crawford county cyclists feel about the ban.. Besides the cones, how about a permanent sign warning of the danger. Does not Iowa get around to fixing the problem with the center seam.. Is the center seam issue prevalent through out all of Iowa.. That is certainly unacceptable... Insurance is not for pay outs. Getting insurance is not a solution. Once there's a loss, don't depend upon getting insurance at affordable rates...
    Banning cycling through out all of Iowa is no solution.. Under those conditions , I'd be organizing a protest ride.. Can't the seam be filled in some how.. ?..
    Lucky many of us don't live in Iowa . About time they fix the problem, if it is fixable. Are all Crawford county roads unusable for cyclists , can't they just ban the affected roads...
    Looks like out of state cyclists won't be considering the Ragabi or other Iowa cycling events and will be going else where... Shame , Ragbai is a ride many of us had considered , but appears cyclists are unwelcome in Iowa. So, yes, if Iowa won't fix the problem in the long term; i'd be doing a real protest ride...

    All cyclists in Iowa hate it, that's how we feel about it. We also hate the requirement to have an insurance policy. What needs to be done is to go back to the way it was before the accident happened where Ullrich was killed. No ban and no insurance requirement. What also needs to be done is to improve the roadways. Yes they can fix them, yes they can fill the seam in and it would still function as an expansion seam, they just won't. I do not buy for one second that the responsible governing bodies of public roadways are not able to maintain them to the standards they are supposed to. The problem is no one bothers to enforce the standards and as a result things fall by the wayside.

    Crawford County is very anti-cyclist. Cyclists are welcome in Iowa, just not in Crawford County. In Dallas, Jackson and one other county that I can not remember the name of it is borderline. These 3 others had at one time either considered a ban or insurance requirement or had actually passed one, then repealed it. Iowa only has 99 counties. The state can not force the county's to do things. The way they govern their public roadways is up to the individual county.

    The thing is the county was partially liable and responsible for this. They knew about it ahead of time from the report that RAGRBAI gave them on the road conditions, they choose not to act on it. Then when people did get hurt they send a deputy with signs and cones who then left his post. The reason is not known, but one that thing that is known it was NOT to respond to an emergency call.

    This was the first time ever that I know of that a county got sued over a cyclists death because of a bad roadway. Yet at least 3 times a year all counties have some sort of suits filed against them by motorists and at least once a month the state of Iowa has a suit filed against it by motorists for bad roadway conditions that cause accidents/injury, etc.

    Banning cyclists from one roadway will lead to more and more bans and restrictions. If that starts where does it end? That is what this whole thing is about really. If one county does this where does it stop? We almost had 4 total that jumped on the band wagon. If it was not for ISAC backing down there would have been a lot more. ISAC stands for Iowa State Association of Counties.

    This is not the only nor the least of RAGBRAI's problems. Right now its future is in question and jeapordy. The host Brian Duffy was recently fired from the Des Moines Register. He was a columnist for the DMR. There is talk of the ride either ending all together or some other organization taking it over. This is mainly due to the economy. People can not understand how this can be when RAGBRAI is pretty self sustaining. I don't understand it either but what ever happens, happens. Of course a lot of this is rumor and speculation, so right now there is a lot that is unknown.

  5. #5
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Personally I feel that what should have been a fight to get a proper response to notification of a hazardous condition was somehow changed to a fight that all Iowa roads must be hazard free for cyclists and the later can clearly not be supported. Also as someone who is involved with bike events I don't understand why someone from RAGBRAI was not stationed at the hazard or at least used some orange spray paint on the hazard.

    I don't intend to be unsympathetic to the tragedy or to cyclists in Iowa but I see something that does not seem right on both sides of the discussion. What to do now that things have wandered so far off course I have no idea, both sides have a valid bee in the bonnet.

    I wish all concerned the best in resolving this issue.
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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Personally I feel that what should have been a fight to get a proper response to notification of a hazardous condition was somehow changed to a fight that all Iowa roads must be hazard free for cyclists and the later can clearly not be supported. Also as someone who is involved with bike events I don't understand why someone from RAGBRAI was not stationed at the hazard or at least used some orange spray paint on the hazard.

    I don't intend to be unsympathetic to the tragedy or to cyclists in Iowa but I see something that does not seem right on both sides of the discussion. What to do now that things have wandered so far off course I have no idea, both sides have a valid bee in the bonnet.

    I wish all concerned the best in resolving this issue.
    A deputy was stationed there with cones marking the spot after other riders went down before the fatal crash. The deputy then left and took the cones before all riders had gone by.
    Expansion joints are usually filled in with a compressable medium, and tar. I believe this was on or just after a downgrade and the person was trying to pass other riders.
    This was not a ban on cyclists, it was a ban on organized events. They tried to get a law passed at the state level that changed cycling to a "permissable" use, like in Illinois. Individual cyclists were not affected by this.
    It would be interesting to find out if any of the cyclists that crashed at that spot were riding MTB's with wider tires.
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 12-30-08 at 10:50 AM.
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  7. #7
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
    A deputy was stationed there with cones marking the spot after other riders went down before the fatal crash. The deputy then left and took the cones before all riders had gone by.
    Right it was the taking up of cones and the deputy leaving before the ride was over that was the problem and not the surface of the roadway and that point seems to be missed by the government. What should have been dealt with is what should have been appropriate response to avoid law suites like leave the cones and come back for them later after the ride.
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  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
    Wonder how solo Crawford county cyclists feel about the ban.. Besides the cones, how about a permanent sign warning of the danger. Does not Iowa get around to fixing the problem with the center seam.. Is the center seam issue prevalent through out all of Iowa.. That is certainly unacceptable... Insurance is not for pay outs. Getting insurance is not a solution. Once there's a loss, don't depend upon getting insurance at affordable rates...
    Banning cycling through out all of Iowa is no solution.. Under those conditions , I'd be organizing a protest ride.. Can't the seam be filled in some how.. ?..
    Lucky many of us don't live in Iowa . About time they fix the problem, if it is fixable. Are all Crawford county roads unusable for cyclists , can't they just ban the affected roads...
    Looks like out of state cyclists won't be considering the Ragabi or other Iowa cycling events and will be going else where... Shame , Ragbai is a ride many of us had considered , but appears cyclists are unwelcome in Iowa. So, yes, if Iowa won't fix the problem in the long term; i'd be doing a real protest ride...
    Your over the top rhetoric is a perfect match for the OP's "story". Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Right it was the taking up of cones and the deputy leaving before the ride was over that was the problem and not the surface of the roadway and that point seems to be missed by the government. What should have been dealt with is what should have been appropriate response to avoid law suites like leave the cones and come back for them later after the ride.
    Actually it was both the road hazard and the deputy leaving his post. The county knew about the problem with the centerline seam ahead of time and neglected to act on filling it in. Then, as already stated, when riders started having accidents and injuries the county trys to fix it by doing the equilivant of putting a band-aid on a broken leg, by assigning a deputy who then left his post, thus resulting in more accidents and the death of one rider. Now they are scrambling to make corrections to their neglect by protecting themselves from future suits and not accepting any responsibility at all for their stupidity and bad actions.

  10. #10
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Square & Compas View Post
    Actually it was both the road hazard and the deputy leaving his post. The county knew about the problem with the centerline seam ahead of time and neglected to act on filling it in. Then, as already stated, when riders started having accidents and injuries the county trys to fix it by doing the equilivant of putting a band-aid on a broken leg, by assigning a deputy who then left his post, thus resulting in more accidents and the death of one rider. Now they are scrambling to make corrections to their neglect by protecting themselves from future suits and not accepting any responsibility at all for their stupidity and bad actions.
    Bold: It is knowing and the negligence in action that is the sole problem and the duty of the government it is not the duty of government to insure all travel ways are 100% free of all hazards all the time. If a pothole suddenly appears and causes damages to any vehicle the agency in charge of the road is not liable. It's only after giving notice and no reasonable warning or fix happens (or ceases to happen in this case) is when the agency in charge of the road is liable.

    Red: My assertion is that by trying to make more of this then just a failure to fix/warn a specific hazard is why government is acting they way they are.

    Speculating and reading between the lines: If Iowa cyclists are using this to make a case against all cement/seamed roadways then I can understand government reacting the way it has.

    It seems to me there is too much ado over what a $25 bag of cold patch could fix.
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  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Attack Crawford County politicians from within.

    The real solution is for RAGBRAI to route the ride, over the next several years, through the counties adjoining Crawford County. Then send letters each year to Crawford County businesses; noting how much money the other county businesses made.

    The power of the dollar will speak much louder to Crawford County politicians when their businesses are pissed at them for the money they lost.

    Note that the other counties wised up real fast and dropped any obstructions they had put up.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-30-08 at 06:36 PM.

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    Somebody should read the original story on the BikeIowa site.

    It says the Crawford County ban was lifted. It says nothing at all about Crawford County requiring rides to be insured. RAGBRAI voluntarily decided to acquire insurance in order to resolve Crawford County concerns. The "Bicycle Advocacy and Safety" blog invented the Crawford County insurance "requirement" out of thin-- really thin-- air...And then proposes a protest against a policy that doesn't exist.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Attack Crawford County politicians from within.

    The real solution is for RAGBRAI to route the ride, over the next several years, through the counties adjoining Crawford County. Then send letters each year to Crawford County businesses; noting how much money the other county businesses made.

    The power of the dollar will speak much louder to Crawford County politicians when their businesses are pissed at them for the money they lost.

    Note that the other counties wised up real fast and dropped any obstructions they had put up.
    I do not know if RAGBRAI has any sort of idea how much money is made by the communities and businesses when RAGBRAI rolls through. I do not think the communities and counties report such info to RAGBRAI. It may not be up to RAGBRAI to submit such a report but the communities and counties surrounding Crawford to do so. When comes to route planning for RAGBRAI competition is pretty high when communities want the ride to come through their town.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    Somebody should read the original story on the BikeIowa site.

    It says the Crawford County ban was lifted. It says nothing at all about Crawford County requiring rides to be insured. RAGBRAI voluntarily decided to acquire insurance in order to resolve Crawford County concerns. The "Bicycle Advocacy and Safety" blog invented the Crawford County insurance "requirement" out of thin-- really thin-- air...And then proposes a protest against a policy that doesn't exist.
    You're right. But you need to track the history of this to understand the good possibility of such an ordinance. That is why Crawford County is going to get a phone call tomorrow to clarify this matter. If there is no requirement then I stand corrected and will never be so happy to be wrong about something. Because it will mean cyclists rights to the roadways in Crawford County are back to the way they were before the ban.

    Keep something else in mind too. We do not know how much of the story the media left out and did not print. We all know how bad the media is at doing this. Not publishing all of the information. It is called media bias.

    There is one part of the story that leads me to believe there is still some sort of requirement for cyclists to use the roadways in Crawford County. This part:
    Because not all participants sign waivers, RAGBRAI will also purchase a $2 million insurance policy. Since the insurance policy covers participants not already covered by the waiver, Crawford County's concerns are satisfied.

    Muhlbauer commented, "That's what we really wanted."
    Its the comment by Muhlbauer that bugs me the most. Another thing that really bothers me is the part about RAGBRAI compromising with the county by agreeing, on their own, to purchase additional insurance. This was after RAGBRAI stated they would not go where they are not wanted. First they passivley resisted against this, then they compromise. Talk about backing down and giving Crawford County what they wanted. This has really put a bad taste in my mouth about RAGBRAI.

    I still think, even though RAGBRAI gave Crawford County what they wanted, there are still some sort of restrictions on cyclists who want to use Crawford County roadways to ride on. I will find out tomorrow.

  15. #15
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    It is over, at least for now. I called the county engineers office and talked with Paul Assman. I asked if it is required that cyclists, whether solo, on a club ride or any type of organized ride if there is a requirement for an insurance policy. He said no, there is no law, ordinance, requirement or resoltution for an insurance policy.
    http://bicycleadvocacyandsafety.blog...t-for-now.html
    I was wrong in stating there would be or there possibly could be a requirement., I have nevbr been so glad ot be wrong about something bicycle related. I do not regret questioning it though and would do it again.

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    That's simple:

    Every ride is a protest ride with me.

    I'll stop my bike right in the middle of the road, get off and offer to throw down with a moterrorist if they get pissy.

    Cops don't give a damn what we do out there.

    If you blow through a sign or signal, they don't see it.

    If you get ran over, same thing.

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