Council votes to nix ‘wheeled devices' in much of city
Published: May 6, 2008
By Nicholas Grube
Triplicate staff writer
BMX bikers and cyclists lost a little ground Monday.
The Crescent City Council approved an amendment to the municipal code that essentially restricts bicycles, skateboards and any other wheeled devices from operating within much of the city's limits.
"This is to cut down on vandalism and to cut down on the hazardous conditions for pedestrians who walk down the street," Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack said.
By doing tricks, such as grinding on hand rails or around the edges of the city fountain downtown, Plack said bikers, like skateboarders, do damage to city property.
He also said when these individuals are riding near the downtown shops or around other commercial properties, a number of conflicts arise with pedestrians on the sidewalks or with motorists in parking lots.
"This is not just riding down the street," Plack said. "This is for the individuals who do not respect other people in the area."
The ordinance is an update to a previous one that only restricted roller skating and skateboarding in commercially zoned areas and open space areas in the city. The new wording will add bicycles, scooters and other wheeled devices to the ordinance.
"All this does is enhance it to a more up-to-date version," Plack said, adding that the ordinance will allow law enforcement to restrict these types of wheeled devices throughout the city's limits. "This enables us to be able to enforce the law."
Bicycles can still ride on the streets under the California Vehicle Code, Plack said.
It takes 30 days for the new ordinance to take effect, and new signs will be posted in areas where riding wheeled devices, such as skateboards and bicycles, are prohibited.
"This is a long time coming," Council Member Richard Enea said of the ordinance.
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