The people of Garden City have spoken.
But what they intended by rejecting Initiative A while passing Initiative B is up in the air not a surprise, given that the battle over the citys Nature Path has raged for years.
Initiative A asked voters whether they wanted to repeal a section of city code that allows officials to restrict the use of bicycles on designated sections of the Greenbelt.
More than 56.8 percent of voters said no to repealing that section of code, which could have lifted the ban on bicycles on the 1.5-mile pedestrian-only path.
But 52.4 percent of voters approved Initiative B, which permits all forms of nonmotorized transportation on the Greenbelt system unless restrictions are ratified by the public in a referendum vote.
So are all uses permitted on the Nature Path immediately, or are bicycles still banned?
Whether or not people understood all the minutiae of these initiatives, the point is they rejected the appeal of the ban (on bicycles), Garden City Mayor John Evans said Wednesday.
Not only did they endorse the status quo, but they dont want the status quo changed unless they change it, he said, referring to the passage of Initiative B.
Attorney TJ Angstman, who drafted the initiatives for Citizens for an Open Greenbelt, said Initiative B represents what voters really want: open access for all nonmotorized transportation, including bicycles.
If thats the case, it seems to make little sense that voters sent Initiative A to defeat.
Theyre saying the city has the power to propose areas of the Greenbelt that will be pedestrian-only, and if approved at a referendum, then they will become law, Angstman said. Thats what I think the people said.
Angstman said he had heard some voters were confused by the summaries of the initiatives on the ballots. In a press release Wednesday, Citizens for an Open Greenbelt called for removing signs banning bicycles from the Nature Path.
But Evans said the signs will stay.
The voters said, Leave it alone. There isnt another way to interpret no, he said. It cannot mean overturn this thing you just told us to leave alone.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413