In recent months, BikeTexas members informed Texas Bicycle Coalition of two bicycle bans in north Texas. Texas Bicycle Coalition has been working with the Office of General Counsel of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding these issues.
The bike bans are posted on FM 455 in Anna in Collin County and on Keller-Smithfield Road, just off FM 1709, in Keller in Tarrant County.
Coalition staff is encouraged by the TxDOT general counsel’s opinion that there appears to be little basis in the transportation code for bicycle bans by municipalities. In fact, a 1989 opinion (Opinion No. JM-1109) from the Attorney General of Texas determined that municipalities do not have the authority to prohibit bicycles from operating on a state roadway, except within specific special circumstances including limited-access or controlled-access highways.
Both bike bans are on state-maintained roads. TxDOT is aware of the bans and upper management is considering the options.
It is very important to Texas Bicycle Coalition leadership and members that this issue be quickly resolved so no precedent is set. The Coalition has consulted with private attorneys and may consider legal action on behalf of Texas cyclists if these cities do not repeal the bike bans.