1916 Kalispell Ordinance: Watch Your Feet
I recently found an online directory of Kalispell City ordinances and thought it’d be intriguing to see what some of the ordinances of the past were. If I can find enough interesting material, I hope to share at least one ordinance from each year. This series has reached 1916, and this ordinance is about your feet. Well, not yours. Read on.
Ordinance #334 was approved on August 7, 1916. This ordinance was put in place to tell people where they can stand and/or walk.
Specifically, this ordinance stated that: “No person on foot shall pass over, or stand on, that portion of the intersection of any street or avenue with any other street or avenue lying within the square formed by an extention (sic) of the curb lines.
So what does that mean? The way I read this is that no person could stand in any intersection in Kalispell nor could they walk through an intersection.
I wonder what was the impetus for this ordinance? Perhaps people were meeting in intersections and standing there chit-chatting and blocking the horses, buggies and 8mph cars? Or perhaps too many people were getting run over as they stood in the intersection?
I didn’t find anything to clarify the motivation when searching newspapers from the 1916 time period, but I did find this article:
If you read it, it seems that people at the time couldn’t figure out how to know who could go first at an intersection. Imagine having to figure out which was the longitudinal street while at the same time avoiding the chatting people who were in the way at the same time cruising at 8mph? Be “sure..to drive slowly” must have meant slowing down to 2mph! Too funny.
Anyway, the 1916 ordinance went on to say that any person violating this rule was considered as having obstructed traffic and they would be fined for the first time up to $10. If they did it again, they’d be fined at least $5 (with no maximum indicated) or thrown in jail for up to ten days or fined and thrown in jail.
They meant it! Don’t walk in the intersection!
As always if you have any real estate related questions, feel free to give me a call on 406-270-3667 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.