Bike Policy at Fair is Absurd

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Dear Kentucky State Fair Board,

The next time you try telling the public that you’re progressive and modern, that something at the Fair is environmentally friendly or green, I’ll be reminding you about your bicycle policy that you had the nerve to publish:

bicycles are not to be admitted to the grounds but should be chained to the side fences or left at the gate (but not where they might obstruct pedestrians or vehicular traffic). All bicycle owners are to be told that in no way will the Fairgrounds or the Gate personnel be responsible for their bicycles.”

This is what the Fair provides for bike parking

Not only are you encouraging those lines of cars around Ring Road, you’re telling cyclists that if they do chain their bikes to the outer fence, they’re likely to be stolen. It’s laughable that Fair policy indicates that organizers believe that bikes on Ring Road are a safety hazard for pedestrians and (get this) cars.

Bike-Friendly City? Hardly. I know Mayor Fischer will pass this one off on the state, but the Fair is being held in his city, and he should show some leadership and step into this controversy. The C-J’s James Bruggers found plenty of other Fairs that have policies encouraging folks to ride to the Fair. On WHAS-TV last night, reporter Johnny Archer let Fair spokesperson Amanda Storment off easy, allowing her to say this: “We’ve got a lot of people that we have to be concerned with and the thing that we can do, the Kentucky State Fair, is to provide the best entertainment, for the most people, in the safest manner possible.”

That’s it? She gets away with saying it’s a safety issue? Does she have any evidence that bikes are dangerous? Who came up with the policy?

I guess Storment and Fair officials haven’t been to any downtown events, where bike valet parking has become the norm. Bicycles are legal on any street, except insterstates) in the city, but are too dangerous for Ring Road? Or is it really about getting $8 a vehicle for parking?

It shouldn’t be too surprising that an event that publicizes unhealthy ideas like Fried Kool-Aid and Fried Derby Pie would discourage a healthy way to travel that cuts down on cars.