On the Town of Hull web site, Chairman John Holdridge writes about embracing the 21st century.
That might include keeping bicyclists and pedestrians off the town roads, via an ordinance drafted by a task force on public safety.
The Stevens Point Journal reports that the proposed law would require biking, running or walking groups to register their travel plans with the town or bans them from using roads outright. The Public Safety Task Force has an opportunity to take another look at the ordinance at its next meeting on Oct. 20.
The town, north of Stevens Point in Portage County, has about 82 miles of roads and about 5,300 people.
Few accidents involving bicyclists and cars have been reported in recent years, but Holdridge told the paper that town officials get a lot of complaints about groups of people running down the middle of the road at night or taking up most of the road during the day, or bikers riding on the wrong side of the road.
Kevin Luecke, a planner and advocate with the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, told the Stevens Point paper that parts of the proposed ordinance violate state law, which says bicycles are considered vehicles and must follow the same rules of the road.
Similar proposals have popped up around the country, with mixed results. An ordinance banning bicycles in Black Hawk, Colo., took effect in January 2010, and is now being fought in the state courts.
In St. Charles County, Missouri, a similar initiative was dropped. A petition drive to enact a bike-ban ordinance in Iowa also failed to gain much traction.
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, said Wednesday that restrictions limiting bike use on most roads are unnecessary and drastic, if not illegal.
“Usually, this is a response to a genuine concern for safety that needs to be addressed in another way,” Clarke said. “People on bikes can and should be able to use the public right-of-way.”