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City extends a courtesy 3 feet for bicyclists but no ordinance

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

The Frankfort City Council went back to old business at their meeting Monday, prodded by Council member Wanda Mitchell to make a decision regarding a request by Larry Price on behalf of bicyclists and pedestrians for three feet when they’re on city roadways.

The request coattails the Clinton County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan that Price has been spearheading since it was developed. 

Bicyclists and pedestrians hoped to see an ordinance enacted to require motorists to give three feet of clearance to people riding bikes or walking on Frankfort streets.

However, council member Eric Woods noted that enforcement of the ordinance would be impossible, and he said he could not back an ordinance that the city had no practical means of enforcing. 

While Woods and other council members agreed that they would like to see motorists generously share the city’s roadways with their pedaling and bi-pedaling counterparts, the officials believed that the city’s influence should be put toward public service messages instead of making law.

It was also agreed that the three-foot leeway idea would be requested as a courtesy of drivers and not a mandate.

To that end, Street Superintendent Jason Forsythe told the council that a few of the city’s trucks and plows now sported the “3 FT. PLEASE” signs distributed by the pro-bike and pedestrian coalition, demonstrating the city’s support of the idea and getting the word out around town.