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Parkersburg’s ban on motorized bicycles begins today

PARKERSBURG — The city of Parkersburg’s recently approved ban on the use of gas-powered, motorized bicycles takes effect today.

An ordinance prohibiting use of the bikes on municipal streets and property passed 5-4 on final reading before Parkersburg City Council on Aug. 25. Violators can be fined $25 to $100.

Several people at the meeting spoke against the ordinance, with some saying the bikes are a vital means of transportation to work. Council members who voted for the ban say more people use them in an unsafe manner than those who abide by city ordinances regulating the vehicles.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said the bikes can still be ridden, as long as the engine isn’t engaged and only pedals are used.

“Possession of it is not illegal,” he said.

If an individual is cited, they can still leave the scene on the bike using pedal power, Martin said.

“If we encounter that same individual, multiple times, we’re obviously going to tow it, same as any illegal vehicle,” the chief said.

Parkersburg resident Calvin Kirby said he was under the impression the ban was already in effect. He said he and some fellow riders, who he considers family, paid someone to transport their bikes outside the city limits on a truck Sunday, then rode them up to Mountwood Park for a cookout.

“We’re going to go hit the country again” soon, Kirby said.

Kirby plans to be at Tuesday’s city council meeting and others going forward, calling for the ban to be reversed.

“I’m going to keep bringing it up every time,” he said. “I think the public needs to hear.”

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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