• Wed September 10 2008
  • Posted Sep 10, 2008
On September 9, 2008, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors discussed a repeal of Resolution 2007-49 which bans RAGBRAI and similar natured events. The Supervisors initially discussed replacing the ordinance with a requirement that other bicycle events have insurance, but took no action on the issue. The final result of the meeting was to table the repeal until more information is obtained. The bicycle liability issue has surfaced in other counties over the summer with discussions taking place in Jackson, Dallas, and Hardin Counties. Hardin County initially passed a bicycle event ordinance, but have started steps to repeal the ordinance after they received more information on the action and expressed that the ordinance was unnecessary. A sample ordinance remains on the Iowa State Association of Counties website, despite reports that they are dropping the issue. The Crawford County Board was asked several questions about their knowledge of bicycle risk management and liability. The county engineer echoed a need for education and awareness of bicycling issues. The Board said they have not received enough information to make an informed decision on liability issues. The Board also expressed disappointment in support provided by the Iowa State Association of Counties. The County Engineer mentioned a recent bicycle crash which occurred in Crawford County. Questions emerged about the potential liability of the county. There were also important points made by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition about protections that already exist in Iowa Code. Bicyclists are required to keep a proper lookout to avoid hazards and counties must have notification of defects and reasonable time for repair. Counties are not required to upgrade roads to current safety standards, as long as they meet standards when the road was built. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition invited a representative from Crawford County to participate in a Bicycle Risk Management Workshop that will take place January 22, 2009 in Des Moines at the Wallace Auditorium from 1-4 PM. The board was receptive to participation and hoped they could learn more from legal, insurance, and transportation officials who will participate on the panel. Even though the Crawford County Board did not take action to repeal their resolution, they did point out the resolution was a simple resolution expressing the opinion of the Board of Supervisors and did not have the enforceability of an ordinance. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition remains in opposition of the Crawford County resolution and feel it's presence is in conflict with the Code of Iowa which allows bicyclists the same rights and duties of vehicle operators. We hope Crawford County quickly finds the assurance they need and repeals the resolution.

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