City Seeks to Outlaw Bicyclists and Pedestrians


Written by Brian Merchant, a Treehugger blogger

In what is not an alternative draft of the screenplay for Footloose but an actual news item, a town in Wisconsin has moved to solve its bicycle and pedestrian safety issues by making a simple law: No more walking and biking. It looks like the city of Hull may just become the least green city in the entire world.

From the Stevens Point Journal (via Grist):

A town public safety committee, which examined general safety on town roads this summer, came up with a draft ordinance in September that requires biking, running or walking groups to register their travel plans with the town or bans them from using roads outright.The ordinance is in response to what town officials say is a growing problem with road safety, but local groups are concerned about the impact on biking and running in the town.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, right? But, um: “According to data from Portage County’s Planning, Zoning and Land Conservation Department, in the past 10 years, the almost 32-square-mile town has had five pedestrian-car crashes, and one bike-car crash. The town hasn’t had a crash involving a bike or pedestrian since 2008,” the Journal reports.

So why would a town that hasn’t had an accident with bikes or pedestrians in three years suddenly seek to eliminate them? One can only assume the town is being run by the modern-day equivalent of the witch from Hansel and Gretel, who is secretly orchestrating a plot to fatten up, and then eat, all of the city’s residents. It’s quite simply the only explanation.

This post was originally published by Treehugger.


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Photo from The Prudent Cyclist via flickr creative commons


Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado5 years ago

A strange sight of a city with no pedestrians and people on bikes. A ghost city perhaps?

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran6 years ago


Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper6 years ago

Yeah Annmari L., 'cos we know that drivers never break the rules, right? I mean I've never heard of a driver speeding, driving drunk, running stop signs or red lights. That never happens. Cyclists are clearly to blame for virtually all humankind's ills. Including vehicle pollution - I mean we wouldn't have to drive cars if cyclists weren't so obnoxious - am I right or am I right?

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L6 years ago

My first reaction was Great, go for it! because I do loathe bikers and pedestrians being as I am, a professional driver. Both those groups disregard any and all traffic rules and instead insist that it is us motor vehicle drivers that are responsible for their headless actions: running red lights, biking the wrong direction on one-way streets, crossing double lines, walking across when the red light is on, etc.
But then I realized it was a comedian turning local politics into absurdium and started laughing. Though, I wouldn't have minded some harsh regulations towards the walking/biking terrorists! Hah!!

Diane H F.
Diane H F6 years ago

Note: My point, if unclear, is that this is one very significant reason to reduce our dependence on motor vehicles. The more we use alternatives, the less we fill the air with deadly carcinogens.
This,. of course, is only one of many reasons protect and encourage alternatives to motor vehicle use as much as possible.

Diane H F.
Diane H F6 years ago

People need to understand that (according to the AMA, etc.) exposure to traffic fumes is far more dangerous to your health than exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. This is because the most carcinogenic type of smoke is the kind that contains oil particles (engines that burn gas/oil). Under 18% of US adults smoke, and most people have no exposure to tobacco smoke whatsoever. By contrast, the great majority to heavy exposure to traffic fumes every day. Unless we address the actual leading cause of breathing-related disease, there isn't a chance that we'll be able to reduce it.

Stephan B.
Stephan B6 years ago

Why would I suspect persons of interest with the city should be persons of interest with the DA's office? I pray there are conflicts of interest; I don't want to imagine this many, even in a town this small, could be so stupid, Draconian.

Sergio Rudini Stinco
Gustav R6 years ago

So amazingly stupid law!!!

Michael O.
Michael O6 years ago

Wow, what a stupid law! How can anyone justify outlawing something as fundamental as walking? What's next - breathing, sleeping and eating?

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago

So stupid.