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Rye Selectmen Pass Single-File Rule

Sam Evans-Brown

Selectmen in the Seacoast town of Rye have voted to require cyclists to ride single file on all roads in the town. The ordinance passed despite opposition from the community, and it also requires pedestrians to walk single file on Rye roads.

Similar rules are in place in Newington and Newcastle. Supporters of single file ordinances say that the narrow, winding roads on the seacoast don’t have space for two cyclists abreast.

The rule became a flashpoint after Rye’s chief of police put up a traffic sign that read, “Roads are for riding not chatting. Ride single file.”

Rye selectmen say the push to get bikes to ride single file is for the safety of the burgeoning Seacoast cycling community.

But bike-riders feel the ordinance targets them unfairly. They say it would be better to crack down on distracted driving instead.

The rule comes into effect immediately, but will be voted on again during the town-meeting next March.

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