AMA EFFORTS OVERTURN CHICAGO BIKE BAN
6/7/2005 News from AMA Newsroom.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that the City of Chicago has significantly changed its recently announced ban on motorcycles in parades, in response to AMA inquiries.
The ban came to light when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's Office of Special Events sent a letter to various parade organizers, stating, in part: "effective immediately, the City Parade Regulations have been amended to include a ban on machinery potentially dangerous to spectators and staff working parades." That machinery included "motorcycles, (pocket) mini motorcycles, mini motor bikes, motor scooters and three- and four-wheel all-terrain vehicles."
The news outraged motorcyclists planning to ride in Chicago parades this summer. They contacted the AMA, which, in turn, contacted Chicago city officials.
At first, Chicago city officials refused to return the AMA's repeated calls about the bike ban. A day later, however, Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for the Mayor's Office of Special Events, called to say that the city had modified the ban.
Gatziolis said the now-rescinded ban had been a response to a motorcyclist who nearly struck a parade spectator. City officials felt that rather than waiting for someone to get hurt, they should address the safety issue, she said.
The City of Chicago soon will send a new letter to parade organizers, once again allowing motorcycles in parades. Under the new regulations Gatziolis outlined, each parade will be permitted up to two groups of no more than 50 motorcycles each.
"When we first heard of these rules, we couldn't believe the city would make such a sweeping and discriminatory move," said Sean Maher, AMA Director of State Affairs. "We're glad to see Chicago back away from the idea of a total ban on motorcycles so quickly. We'll continue to monitor the situation."