The Charleston City Council has delayed a decision that would strictly limit bicycle parking until city staff can develop a plan to address legitimate gripes about a lack of available bike racks.
The board overwhelmingly approved several amendments to the existing bike ordinance, including new language that would make a city registration optional and limit bike registrations to a three year period. The new amendments would also eliminate a $1 registration fee, but leaves it to the discretion of the City Council to determine what the fee should be.
But several community members came out in opposition to language that would have prohibited parking or securing bikes to public property, including signs and parking meters. The penalty for violating the proposed ordinance could have meant confiscation and a $45 fine to get a bike back.
Dan Kelley with the Holy City Bike Co-Op applauded most of the changes, but said that the parking restrictions were "putting the cart before the horse."
Kelley was joined by residents and fellow enthusiasts and bike community leaders, including Tom Bradford of Charleston Moves and Kristin Walker of Charleston Cycle Chic.
"It's important to have (bike racks) on every block, every corner, and in front of every store," Walker said.
Councilman Mike Seekings, an avid cyclists who helped draft the changes, agreed that parking enforcement should be pulled from the table while city staff continues to develop a comprehensive proposal to address the issue, including fresh zoning requirements that would provide for bike parking in certain development proposals.
"We certainly don't want to discourage the use of bicycles," said Mayor Joe Riley.