City Council to revisit 83rd Street bike ban issue
Armed with a petition with more than 300 signatures, a large group of De Soto citizens spoke before the De Soto City Council last night requesting that the bicycle ban on 83rd Street be reinstated.
The ban, which was lifted in September, had been in effect for more than a decade and has been the subject of debate ever since. The discussion was not on the meeting agenda but several citizens used the Call to the Public portion of the meeting to voice their continued concerns.
"I've lived in this town for 11 years and I've never been too involved before but this is an issue that I feel can't be ignored," said Mike Vukas, who spearheaded the petition to reinstate the ban. "This a matter of public safety. I would like it if accidents never happened and this is an easy way to avoid some accidents."
Vukas was joined by his fellow citizens in asking the council to reconsider their previous action and listen to what the people of De Soto want.
"You [the council members] were elected to support and represent the people of De Soto and I don't feel you've done that by lifting this ban," said Tim Maniez. "We don't want to make political threats and we don't want to drag this out but the next step is a recall election and nobody wants that so please reconsider."
After hearing from the public and defending their previous actions, the council voted unanimously to have staff bring a new ordinance to counteract the lifting of the ban for the next council meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1.
"I'm opposed to regulations and the government telling people what to do but I'm willing to revisit the issue if this many people are concerned about it," said Councilman Randy Johnson.
Councilwoman Lori Murdock also defended the ban lift and added background to the decision for the audience who questioned where it came from.
"Lifting the ban was discussed at multiple meetings before it was voted on, I brought it to the council after several De Soto residents asked me to address it," she said of the decision. "This is not a personal decision for me, I was acting how I believed people in De Soto wished, it wasn't until after we lifted the ban that I heard complaints."
Murdock stated she plans to use the time before the December meeting to speak with people who signed the petition to hear their concerns and to speak again with those who asked her to have the ban lifted to guide her next vote.