ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - An Ormond Beach father got results in his city this week after mysterious signs appeared that said he could no longer ride his bike with his 6-year-old daughter in Fortunado Park.
Joe Miller and his daughter have been riding their bikes to her elementary school for the past two years. The pair have never had a problem until last Friday, when Miller said a group of walkers stopped them and pointed at the signs.
"The individual put his hands on my handlebars and said, 'We have signs, you can't ride on the sidewalk, you can't be here. She needs to ride through the parking lot or she needs to ride on Granada Boulevard,'" Miller said.
Miller snapped pictures of the "No Bike" signs and posted to social media. He also called the Ormond Beach Police Department and the city of Ormond Beach to figure out who posted the signs and why.
"It was a little upsetting. Obviously, people who want to somewhat privatize the park for themselves and exclude some of the most important people in our community from using and enjoying the park and having safe passage to school," Miller said.
Miller learned it was the Leisure Services department that posted the signs.
"Because this was such a short trail and it didn't look like it was a commuter trail, we just for some reason, didn't anticipate this being a big issue. Taking a second look at it now, it probably should have been more of a softer approach," Leisure Service Director Robert Carolin said.
Carolin said an elderly resident addressed the Leisure Service Advisory Board in June to complain about bicyclists not being courteous while passing. So the city bought signs from Amazon and installed them on July 3.
Carolin said the signs weren't city official and could not be enforced. Once Carolin received a couple of phone calls from concerned bicyclists, he said the city immediately replaced the signs with ones that read, "Caution. Slow your wheels. Yield to pedestrians."
"This is a great example of what a city can do to really listen to its residents and try to do everything they can to be as proactive, and be able to allow all areas of our public lands to be accessible to everyone," Carolin said.
Miller said he thanks the Ormond Beach Police Department for being so helpful and is happy that the city is moving in the right direction. He's also proud that he taught his daughter a valuable lesson.
"She got to see how to do what's right, to stand up for what's right, to understand the difference between right and wrong," Miller said.
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