Garden City is in an enviable position. They've taken care of all their really big problems, so now they can focus on issues like bicyclists on the walking path.
Here's their new ordinance...
(Garden City Code Title 10, Chapter 1, Section 3) No person in any park shall ... Ride a bicycle on portions of the Garden City Greenbelt system that have been officially designated and signed by the City as "pedestrian only" sections of the greenbelt.
If you do so, you are guilty of a misdemeanor.
The "pedestrian only" section at the heart of the controversy is an unpaved stretch of the Greenbelt that runs between houses and the river, in the Riverside Village subdivision.
I wrote about this before (click HERE to review), but new information is coming to light.
According to a guest opinion on the Idaho Statesman website, written by Garden City resident Gary Segers, Mayor John Evans lives in Riverside Village. Coincidence? (I s'pose it could be argued that Mayor Evans knows of the bicycle crisis firsthand, since he's been personally victimized by the unauthorized bicycling.) Also, Segers states, "... in the early 1980s, Mayor Evans was a principal in the company that developed Riverside Village." Coincidence?
Apparently the Riverside Villagers were given the assurance that the path would be for pedestrians and dog-walkers, and that bicyclists would be forbidden.
Why is it an issue?
Because, as Mr. Segers points out, the only real alternative is State Street (or Highway 44, if you prefer), a 5-lane, 55mph highway. Experienced cyclists can handle it fine... but you really don't want children out there on their training-wheel bikes, etc. If I had young children bicycling on State Street, I'd consider that a bigger issue than the backyard reverie of a dozen or so homeowners who have the extreme misfortune of living along the river (and the pedestrian path).
If Mayor Evans lived in Boise, he'd probably be familiar with the concept of Eminent Domain... where private property is appropriated for use by the public. (Kinda like those folks on Ustick Road, who are losing their front yards so the farther-out people can have a speedier commute on a wider road.) Also, Mayor Evans seems rather myopic. Does he understand the concept of the "Greenbelt"? Theoretically, it will stretch all along the river, even in Garden City. To have one short forbidden patch along the way kinda defeats the purpose, no?
Is there something about bicycles, or bicyclists, that is particularly repulsive to the Riverside Village People? Is it the squeaky chains? (I bet it's the squeaky chains!! I know they annoy me!) Frankly, I'd rather have passing-thru bicyclists on a path in my back yard than passing-thru dogs... know what I mean? Why don't they widen and pave the Riverside Village path, and bring it into conformity, and be done with it? In the immortal words of Mr. Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." (Commie!)