Council gives preliminary permission for bike ride
It appears Main Street will rumble once again this fall.
Matt Montgomery of DC Custom Crafted Cycles, approached the Eudora City Council Monday about closing off Main Street from non-motorcycle traffic on Sept. 10.
The closure would make way for Eudora's participation in the 2006 March of Dimes Bikers for Babies ride, which helps raise money for medical costs associated with sick babies.
"I just wanted to get the ball rolling in the Bikers for Babies ride that's coming," Montgomery said. "One thing that's different than last year, we want to get it to be motorcycles only from Seventh to 10th streets."
Last September, the city saw about 4,000 bikes buzz down Main Street despite a storm earlier that morning. If this year's ride has more favorable weather, Montgomery said that could be just a fraction of what the city could expect.
Eudora could see up 12,000 bikes the next time around, Montgomery said.
Montgomery said limiting traffic on the street to the bikes would make the overall environment safer.
There were several close calls last year when other cars shared the road with the bikers, he said.
"We'd just like to have the motorcycles and the security vehicles and the wreckers," Montgomery said. "The time on that would be from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. As far as the removal of barricades, it could earlier."
Originally, Montgomery looked into having Eudora classified as an official stop, but officials with the March of Dimes concluded the town couldn't handle the influx of people about it and as usual they are for it," Montgomery said. "They think it's pretty cool."
In addition to closing off the street, Montgomery asked if the city would re-evaluate the Bikers for Babies banner.
"I probably figure on putting the banner up about three weeks ahead of time. We'll get a little more exposure that way," Montgomery said.
Montgomery said arrangements would be made for the trash and utilities.
On the whole, Police Chief Greg Dahlem seemed comfortable with Montgomery's plan.
"I haven't seen any of the paperwork from Bikers for Babies yet," Dahlem said. "My only concern is if it's going though Eudora, are we going to cause confusion by shutting that street down?"
Bikers might come to the barricades and think they weren't allowed down the street either, Dahlem said.
City Administrator Cheryl Beatty offered a solution.
"I can do something on the barricade at the beginning of each street, signifying that this is for bikes only to enter, and just sign it well," Beatty said.
Montgomery said the Eudora stop helped improve the overall ride.
"Because there are a lot of people on those rides that hate the first leg ----which means the first 15 to 20 miles ---- they thought it was great for us to have what we did so they can stop," Montgomery said. "It let them spread themselves quite a bit."
The path helped the local economy as well, he said.
In about two hours last fall, Casey's made more than $14,000 and Montgomery's own business had many people drift in and out.
The council voted to close the street unanimously.
The recommendation next goes to the county commission before becoming final.
"I think because of what it brings the downtown, I think it would be a nice gesture for them, allowing them to come through," councilman Bill Whitten said. "I say if we can do it, let's shut down the street and let them have the full street."
As it is now, Montgomery predicted about 30 percent of the riders would stop over.
"I just wanted to kind of get everything going on that, and we've talked to