Stop Ticketing people for Walking Hand in Hand in Belle Meade, TN
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The officials in Belle Meade have effectively made it illegal for a couples to walk hand-in-hand, side-by-side down the road. Yes, you read that right. Current city law only allows people to walk, jog, or bike in single file - alone. Officers are being forced to ticket people for walking and biking side-by-side with their loved ones.
Mayor James V. Hunt Sr. has told his officers to provide "no mercy" for violators.
The current law hurts the community and criminalizes people who want to walk side-by-side with their family members, friends, and neighbors.
WHY DO THEY DO THIS?
We're told that this law exists for the safety of walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. In fact, the law was designed to be more restrictive than state law and attempts to keep people out of the community. Pedestrian and bicycle advocates agree that this law discourages people from walking, jogging, and riding bikes.
The current law has been in place since advocates tried to make space for walkers and bikers in 2000. In response, the council even went so far as to ban baby strollers from the street! A petition at the time also made the claim that pedestrian infrastructure would "ruin the character of Belle Meade."
In 2011, the law was amended to finally allow people to use strollers again, but the law has not been amended to allow people to walk and bike side-by-side.
Curious about the current city code? Read it here.
Here's a brief recap of current rules:
"Every person running, walking, jogging, or otherwise traveling by foot upon a street or roadway other than Belle Meade Boulevard shall travel single file facing approaching vehicular traffic no more than eighteen (18) inches from the left edge of the pavement."
"Every person operating a bicycle upon a street or roadway, within the City of Belle Meade, shall ride single file... "
HERE'S WHAT WE WANT
The Mayor and City Council of Belle Meade should change the code and stop ticketing people for walking and biking side-by-side down Belle Meade Blvd.
Furthermore, they should follow the guidance of traffic engineers and redesign the road to support people who want to walk and ride bikes with their neighbors. Let's re-stripe the road to provide a separate place for walkers, bikers, and joggers, giving vehicles their own dedicated lane.
Want to join our fight? Sign this petition!
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Austin Bauman needs your help with “Stop Ticketing People for Walking Hand in Hand in Belle Meade, TN. The officials in Belle Meade have made it illegal for a couples to walk hand, side by side down the road. The current city law only allows people to walk, jog, or bike in single file ...”. Join Austin and 32 supporters today.