City Government

March 15 Bike Protest Set

Civil disobedience is raising its noble head in Garden City Saturday as proponents of
legalized biking plan to stage a Saturday demonstration.

The two wheeler folks are calling for a peaceful protest and urge supporters to either walk or ride bikes along the stretch of Greenbelt which the City Council has declared “pedestrian only,” despite previous agreements with the State of Idaho that called for a bike path.

We called the Garden City Pd for comment on arrest or ticket plans, got referred to City Hall where we were told, “The city’s response will be dictated by the behavior of the group.” When pressed, a spokesperson adamently refused to say if tickets would be issued or arrests would be made…insiders tell us they are hoping the cold rain will dampen the spirits and rain on the bike parade.

Bottom line as of this writing: the bikers are planning a rally at 10 a.m. Saturday across from Garden City Hall at Marigold and Glenwood and we await word from officialdom.

GUARDIAN reader “Gordon” suggested the protest ride several weeks ago when we published the story–weeks ahead of the mainstream media. It will be interesting to see if the cops and politicos in GC are able to restrain themselves and not take the bait to write tickets–thus forcing the issue into the courts.

If they allow the protesters to flaunt the law, it raises the question of equal enforcement for any future tickets–especially since the cops are well aware of the planned violation of the city ordinance.

The whole issue is about keeping the public away from high end residential property that just happens to have been developed by the current mayor.


March 15, about 70 showed up, dismounted and walked. Good show!
Still, I can’t help wonder what would have happened if 70 (or more) showed up and “rode” through .

Would the GC cops have the nerve to arrest 70 or more people at once for doing something that’s legal by state law, but illegal by GC law, even if the mayor told them to? Would they have enough handcuffs, cars for transport, etc., to deal with that many people? Enough jail cells if all the riders refused to accept citations or post bail and demanded jury trials? How long would that tie up the courts, and how mad would the judges get about having to deal with this nonsense?

Anyway, that may be what it takes to get GC to go along with the rest of the world re: greenbelts. And, if it works, maybe the protesters could even take on some of the other shenanigans in that strange municipality — or in the big one that nearly surrounds the little one. Hmmmn … could make for an interesting time.

Congratulations to those who made the ride — er, walk — on Saturday.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I recently had to walk my bike through the Riverside Village area to log the mileage on the Greenbelt between Eagle Road and Glenwood. It was a LONG walk through Riverside Village – about 1.6 miles one-way.

    Since Garden City has made it a pretty nasty offense (is it a misdemeanor?) if you ride on the private walking path, I didn’t want to take any chances.

    But my point is, because it’s such a long walk, I doubt many bicyclists would dismount and use this path on a regular basis.

    My feeling is that until Garden City buys a pedestrian bridge to span the river and divert bicycle traffic away from Riverside Village, the city should allow both bikes and walkers to use the pathway so we have connectivity between Eagle and Boise.

    If you’ve been on that Riverside Village path, there are no “safety” issues because the path isn’t that wide. There’s plenty of room and plenty of line-of-sight around the pathway … it could accommodate bike traffic no problem.

    But in my experience, it is really hard to change what uses are allowed on a trail once one type of use or another has been established.

    Good luck in the protest!

  2. I will be out of town this weekend, so best of luck to all who participate.

  3. motowrencher
    Mar 13, 2008, 4:45 pm

    We are indeed planning on showing up, rain or shine. The question of whether or not bicycles should be allowed through this area is hardly debatable. The State of Idaho said yes in 1980, Garden City Said yes after that. In 1994?(check the date) The courts said yes and most importantly, THE PEOPLE SAID YES. When a small group of elitists and a developer come mayor, can dictate the use of public lands to an entire community, then something is amiss. The ride / walk is designed to display the numbers of citizens of not onlt Garden City but of the whole Treasure Valley, who want the Greenbelt completed and accessible to all.

    More information can be found at

    These folks have accumulated and organized such a huge amount of un-biased evidence, to support this cause, that there should be no further debate!

    We hope to see everyone on Saturday.

  4. A little rain won’t dampen our spirits.

  5. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 13, 2008, 8:44 pm

    Dave sums it all up in his last paragraph:

    “The whole issue is about keeping the public away from high end residential property that just happens to have been developed by the current mayor.”

    Anyone remember the high-end residents of Warm Springs Avenue and the scam involving Parkcenter Avenue and two bridges over the Boise River to divert traffic away from that high-end neighborhood? Sound familiar?

  6. Beware of the Ides of March! Hope you guys win this deal. Pushing bikes is baloney.

  7. It worked for Ghandi, make some salt while you are there.

  8. “It will be interesting to see if the cops and politicos in GC are able to restrain themselves and not take the bait to write tickets”

    Come on Guardian! Do you really think the cops in Garden City want to have any involvement in this? This is an embarrasment to the City, much like the last City Council meeting was. If the Officers have any involvement, it will be because they are mandated to by the Mayor and Chief of Police.

    It is laughable that this is even considered a misdemeanor, and the cops agree! It is a few rich people who think they control what happens on public land, despite the protests of the majority.

    All I ask is that you do not pin this on the Police Department, pin it where the blame solidly deserves: The City Council, and Mayor.

  9. This is most definitely not on the Garden City police dept. They will just be doing their job as directed by “management”. So let’s be sure and be polite tomorrow. We want to make a point and right now public opinion is completely on our side.
    10:00 AM be there!

  10. Misdemeanor! for riding a bike? I can’t believe this would not be just an infraction.

    Although, it was a misdemeanor in Nampa to have your dog at large a couple of years back until they figured out some people were willing to actually go to jail for FIDO.

    Don’t think the courts or Shreriff Rainey would put up with this for very long.

    The courts are so overloaded now that wholesale misdemeanor tickets for riding a bike on the greenbelt would bring the system to a screaching halt if everyone pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial by jury.

    Where is Ghandi?

  11. There was an undercover officer standing in a residential backyard by the path bridge, he kept pulling his jacket open and talking on his radio. After we all made it back through the path and out of the dismount zone he drove away in an unmarked Ford Five Hundred sedan.

  12. That was not a protest. That was capitulation.

    At least motorcyclists had the audacity to ride without helmets back when they used to protest helmet laws.

    Sounds to me like GC won.

  13. There wasn’t a GC police officer within 2 miles of that path Saturday morning. It was obvious that the city did not want this to become a confrontation. As I understand the process, the organizers are going to give city hall a chance to re-consider the situation and if they continue to resist, we will take it to a higher level. Saturday was an “informational” protest. Many had their kids and pets with them. Not a good situation to expose children to if it escalated into a confrontation with law enforcement.

  14. I can see the next big protest headline now: Cyclists Protest Lack of Bike Lanes by Driving Their Cars.

  15. Good job all you cyclists, except for one thing. 100 people standing around for 5 minutes, and not one of you bent over to pick up that pile of garbage on the ground. Somebody else did it.

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