Print Council to ‘share the road’ with cyclists
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 12:00

A cyclist on Main Street takes advantage of the cooler morning temperatures to enjoy a ride Saturday, Aug. 6. Camp Verde Town Council decided to pursue the installation of signs advising motorists and cyclists to share the road at the meeting on Aug. 3.The Camp Verde Town Council wants to bring more attention to bicyclists on the roads, as well as establishing areas where tour buses can park inside city limits.

The council voted unanimously at its Aug. 3 meeting to direct town employees to look into putting up more signs asking drivers to remember to “share the road” with bicycles and signs designating downtown areas for tour buses.

Councilman Bruce George put forward the suggestion, pointing out that it has been a project of his since back when he used to serve on the town’s now-defunct Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I see articles in the newspaper all the time about bicycles in Cottonwood and Sedona and how they are bike-friendly,” George said. “I think we could be bike-friendly too.... You can have a sign ordered without too much cost.”

George said the signs would give drivers a “little nudge” reminding them to be aware they share the roads and highways with bicycles. The signs could also guide both local cyclists and people just passing through town.

Councilwoman Robin Whatley said she thinks there’s a real need for more signs on Camp Verde’s established bicycle path along Montezuma Castle Highway, aka Pecan Lane.

“We have kids riding bicycles to school and home,” Whatley said. “It’s a perfect spot for one or two that at least lets the public know.”

Town Manager Russ Martin said that the town could likely put up share the road signs on any section of road without a bike lane.

Mayor Bob Burnside said perhaps the signs should include reminders that in a rural area like this one, drivers could also have to share the road with horses.

Councilwoman Carol German disagreed, arguing that while bicycles have a legal right to use the roads as wheeled machines, there’s no law that gives horses the right-of-way.

“I agree with share the road [signs],” said German, herself a bicyclist. “When a car is coming behind you, you feel like you have to get off the road, but there’s no place to get off the road.”

As for signs designating tour bus parking, the council considered possibly marking areas behind the Camp Verde Visitor Center or in the town-owned parking on Hollamon Street south of Main Street.

“It could let tour bus drivers know where to go,” George said. “Even RV drivers.”

“As for the tour bus parking, I’m completely in favor of that,” Councilman Alan Buchanan said, adding that they could have areas cordoned off for the buses.

Martin said that while finances would make it difficult to consider putting more actual bike lanes in town, he would ask the town’s public works department to look into the signage issue. Martin added he had some concern over the tour bus parking signs, as they might prevent other people from parking in those areas.

“It’s not an expense issue but it could be an enforcement issue,” Martin said.

Martin said he would check into the legal issues and return to the council in the near future with some suggestions about how the new signs could be put up.{jcomments on}