CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) - Carmel's City Council approved new rules for bike use within city limits.
The Monday night vote followed months of discussion and revision. Council member Ron Carter, the sponsor of the ordinance, said "I think what we came out with was a very good ordinance."
The new rules will be of special interest to people who use the Monon Trail.
For example, the ordinance sets a 20 mph speed limit for any trail user. Also, anyone riding on a Carmel trail, greenway or sidewalk must give a signal to anyone they approach from behind.
Riders can ride only two abreast on any trails or paths in the city.
The new rules also apply to people who walk dogs on the trail. They must be kept on a no-retractable lease that's no more than six feet long.
City Attorney Doug Haney said the fine for the first violation is $10. It's $25 for the second.
"We really give you two times," Haney said, "where it's a minimal fine to sort of just get you familiar with: you cant do this any more."
Later, the fine could reach $100 plus court costs.
Click here to read the full ordinance.
Council member Luci Snyder used the discussion to go beyond the new ordinance. She wanted to remind people that, in Indiana, "bicycles are vehicles and they must adhere to all the rules of the road. They stop at stop signs. They stop at stop lights, if the light is red. They do not and are not allowed to barrel on through, if the light is red."
So, while we might feel like we're being nice by stopping and waving a rider across the street, she said that endangers trail users.
"Pedestrians must yield to vehicular traffic at those points where a trail intersects or crosses a roadway." Snyder said, if you approach the Monon in your car, "you have the right away. Do not stop. Don't wave people on. The only exception is if someone is already crossing that street."
That advice is not new, however. Snyder was emphasizing guidelines that have been in place for years.
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