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City councilman suggests cyclists should be 'run off the road'

City councilmember suggests cyclists should be 'run off the road' (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Inflammatory comments by an elected official have the cycling community up in arms.

A video recording, from a Centerville City Council meeting on July 19, shows a lengthy discussion about bike lanes and cyclists. At one point Centerville Mayor Paul Cutler was discussing interactions between drivers and cyclists.

"I think a number of people are not sure how to handle bikers that are aggressive..." he said, at which point he's interrupted by council member Bill Ince, who's recorded saying, "run them off the road."

The comment was seemingly made tongue in cheek and was followed by some laughter, but members of the community are upset.

"It is unfortunate when you have a city official, who has an opportunity to promote bike safety and encourage bike safety and adds to the hostility," said Mark Oligschlaeger, a 17-year Centerville resident and avid cyclist. "I hope to use as an opportunity to start a discussion with Bill and hopefully we can better understand one-another."

2News spoke to Ince, who was asked if he "has a problem with bicyclists", to which he replied, "no I don't have a problem with bicyclists per-se. I have a problem with bicyclists that don't observe the laws and ride out in traffic, interfering with traffic frequently."

At first, Ince denied making the comment about running cyclists off the road, but after we showed him the video he issued a recorded apology and said he "made a mistake" and does not advocate for that kind of behavior.

At the heart of the issue, the planning commission has recommended more bike lanes in Centerville. Some council members like Ince have voiced their opposition.

"What I should have said, is that two percent of the traffic is on bicycles, 98 percent is in cars. We need to recognize that," he said.

Tami Fillmore has been a councilwoman for three years she says Ince's comments are a setback for the community.

"There's been a push in Centerville to increase our friendliness to active transportation, which would include running and biking," she said. "I am baffled on what the reasons are."

Centerville City Council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Some of the issues detailed in this report are on the agenda.

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