Cyclist with multiple sclerosis tried for "pushing bicycle"

The case against bicyclist Ed Chasteen, who has MS, proceeded in Lawson municipal court Monday evening.

Chasteen was charged with "pushing a bicycle" in an area where that was not allowed.

"No other city in the U.S. has a law against pushing your bicycle on a sidewalk," said Missouri Bicycle Federation President Brent Hugh. "We applaud the intention of Lawson's leaders to revise and modernize this outdated law."

Lawson's mayor, chief of police, and the officer who wrote Chasteen's ticket all testified against Chasteen. Chasteen's attorney asked questions during the trial indicating that Lawson's previous city prosecutor had refused to file the case as unprosecutable. Although the judge refused to allow the questions, a different prosecutor was, indeed, handling the case.

Chasteen's attorney argued that the law is unconstitutionally vague, includes an inappropriate penalty designed for parents of children, and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The judge will consider the case and issue a verdict within 10 days.

Ed's friends and supporters packed the courtroom. Representatives from the Greater Kansas City Bicycle Federation and the Missouri Bicycle Federation were there.

Local media reports erroneously indicated that Lawson's mayor is against any changes to the "no bicycle zone" law. Lawson City Manager John Tracy indicates that, in fact, an update to the law is on the agenda for this spring. Lawson is looking at bicycle law in nearby cities as a model.

However, at least some Lawson residents oppose any change in the "no bicycle" restriction.

Chasteen is from nearby Liberty, MO.

Chasteen's group bicycles to Lawson for breakfast about once every 5 weeks.

Lawson is on Adventure Cycling's "Lewis and Clark Trail", a popular bicycle touring route reaching from Hartford, IL, to Astoria, OR.

Background on the Lawson "no bicycle zone" issue.

You can contact Lawson officials:
John Tracy, City Manager
City of Lawson
PO Box 185
Lawson, MO 64062
Phone: 816-580-3217
Fax: 816-296-4013

George Green, Mayor
City of Lawson
PO Box 185
Lawson, MO 64062

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