The Royal Oak City Commission worked past 11 p.m. to get through its agenda at Monday night’s regular meeting.
Commissioners support new ordinance that addresses bikes on downtown sidewalks
On first reading, commissioners voted to support a new streets and sidewalk ordinance that prohibits riding bicycles on downtown sidewalks.
The new ordinance addresses complaints received from pedestrians reporting "near-misses" with cyclists by assessing fines of up to $100 for riding a bicycle on a downtown sidewalk. Cyclists are to walk their bikes in the Central Business District.
The spirit of the ordinance is meant to educate the public and not to punish cyclists, said Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Capello. On second reading, commissioners hope to address signage, pavement markings or other educational materials to increase awareness of the rules and fines.
"I think signs will solve 90 percent of the problem," said City Manager Don Johnson.
City OKs 'Do Not Knock' Registry
By a 4-3 vote, commissioners approved a new peddling ordinance, which requires any person attempting to sell goods or services door-to-door in Royal Oak to obtain a peddler's license and carry a 'Do Not Knock' registry.
Residents will be able to have their addresses placed on registry by filling out a request form from the City Clerk.
Commissioner Kyle DuBuc called the ordinance an "empty promise," as any number of people, including politicians, activists and persons representing religious organizations or charities, may still knock on doors. The ordinance only prohibits peddlers.
Mayor Pro Tem admitted the ordinance may be a placebo. "Still, it will give some residents peace of mind," she said.
No action taken on Gran Fondo
While most expressed enthusiasm for a June 30 professional bike race down Woodward Avenue from Detroit to Pontiac and back, commissioners were less excited about the community bike ride piece of the Gran Fondo or 'Big Ride' proposed by the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3).
City Manager Don Johnson and Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue outlined their safety concerns regarding the event.
"We see this as a very high risk/low reward event,” said Johnson. “We think Royal Oak has little to gain from a successful event and much to lose should an accident occur, which the likelihood of an accident occurring is relatively high and the potential for any bicycle-motor vehicle accident to be deadly is very high.”
Commissioners and the mayor want more time to mull over safety and financial concerns.
"I'm supportive of the event contingent on my police chief supporting it," said Mayor Jim Ellison, who is a member of the WA3 board.
Ellison suggested to holdover the decision until O'Donohue has had a chance to meet with other police chiefs on Dec. 10.
"I think you would rather have us wait on a decision, than pass a no decision tonight," Ellison told event organizers Heather Carmona and Dale Hughes.
Gran Fondo: 'Big Ride' or Big Headache for Royal Oak?