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Old 06-05-2005, 05:45 AM
Sparky_Bill Sparky_Bill is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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One Bad Apple Could Spoil It For All

Chicago officials back away from parade bike ban after AMA efforts

The city of Chicago has significantly changed its recently announced ban on motorcycles in parades in response to AMA inquiries on the issue.
The issue came to light after the office of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley 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 ban outraged AMA members set to take part in Chicago parades this summer. They contacted the AMA, which, in turn, contacted Chicago city officials.
At first, officials refused to directly answer AMA questions related to the bike ban. However, a day later, Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for the mayor's Office of Special Events, called to say the city had modified the ban.
Gatziolis said the initial ban was a response to a motorcyclist in a parade who began a stunt and almost careened into a spectator. City officials felt that rather than waiting for someone to get hurt, they should address the safety issue, she said.
"This is a pedestrian environment, and this is a safety issue," she said.

However, she said, a new letter will now be going out to parade organizers, which modifies that regulation to allow motorcycles in parades.

Under the new regulations Gatziolis outlined Friday, each parade will be allowed up to two groups of no more than 50 motorcycles each.
The Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade set for December 4, a popular fund-raiser that annually draws tens of thousands of riders, will not be affected by the rules, Gatziolis said. Technically, the Toys For Tots run is a "motorcade," not a "parade," she said.

"When we first heard of these rules, we couldn't believe the city would make such a sweeping and discriminatory move,'' said AMA Director of State Affairs Sean Maher. "We're heartened to see them back away from the idea of a total ban on motorcycles so quickly. We'll continue to monitor the situation as it evolves."
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