Image by Flickr user faungg Bike behaving badly.
Update July 20: The Charleston City Paper reports that in the face of concern and opposition the measure has failed.
Andra Watkins also writes that the Charleston Civic Design Center will develop a new strategy.
First reporting: Earlier we mentioned a report that the City of Charleston was looking to refine its bicycle registration policy, well at the same city council meeting the proposal would also ban parking bikes on anything but a bike rack.
Read more stories on this subject in our bike topic page.The present code (Section 19-121, manner of parking) has more vague language requiring that one must not park their bike in a way that blocks the public right of way. The proposed ordinance would delete that, and replace it with a much lengthier Section 19-123.
That section outlines that parking must not be done on street signs, lights, trees and so on as they create a walking hazard and "diminishes the aesthetics of the surrounding area." The ordinance also says the city is "working diligently to install bike racks ... in areas of heavy bicycle traffic. "
Offenders would be subject to a fine, "booting" of the bike with a city lock, or seizure of the bike and $45 reclamation fee.
If you want to get involved, the city council meeting is today, July 20, at 5 p.m. at 80 Broad Street.
Here's the full text of the proposed section change, or you can check out the whole PDF.
"Sec. 19-123. Manner of parking.
1. The parking of human powered, pedal cycles ("Bicycles") by securing or otherwise locking them onto street trees, street lights, stop signs and other legal encroachments in the public right-of-ways can cause safety hazards to pedestrians and motorists using the public-right-of-ways; and
2. The parking Bicycles by securing or otherwise locking them onto street trees, street lights, stop signs and other legal encroachments in the public right-ofways can block or greatly impair the means of ingress and egress to public and private property; and
3. The parking Bicycles by securing or otherwise locking them onto street trees, street lights, stop signs and other legal encroachments in the public right-ofways can cause a disorderly appearance that diminishes the aesthetics of the surrounding area; and
4. The City supports and encourages the use of bicycle racks as a safe and secure manner of bicycle parking and to this end is working diligently to install bicycle racks on public property to provide adequate space for bicycle parking in known areas of heavy bicycle traffic; and
(b) Parking Prohibited:
1. Bicycles shall not be secured or otherwise locked to street trees, street lights, stop signs, boat docks, or other legal encroachments and public property located in the public right-of-ways.
2. City police or parking enforcement officers on Bicycles ("Enforcement Officer") shall be exempt from the above-described restriction when in the course and scope of their duties they determine in good faith that parking their bicycle in such a manner is necessary to perform their official duties.
1. Owners or operators of Bicycles parked in violation of Paragraph (b) shall be subject to the following infractions:
1. A parking citation for parking in a prohibited zone; or
11. A Code Enforcement Officer may confiscate the Bicycle by removal to their headquarters or by adding a City lock to the illegally parked Bicycle.
(A) A confiscated Bicycle shall be released upon proof of ownership and the payment of a $45 fine.
(B) Bicycles remaining in City custody without identification of ownership and the payment of the fine as set forth in Paragraph (c)(A) after a period of 30 days, shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall be disposed of in accordance with Section 124(c).
(d) The City
shall bear no responsibility to a Bicycle owner or operator for damage to a confiscated Bicycle in its enforcement of this section."