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Bicycles now allowed on most sidewalks in Gettysburg

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Bicycles now allowed on most sidewalks in Gettysburg

Old 08-10-10, 04:53 PM
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Bicycles now allowed on most sidewalks in Gettysburg

BY SCOT ANDREW PITZER Times Staff Writer

Bicyclists may now ride atop most sidewalks in Gettysburg, following a 6 to 1 vote by Borough Council Monday night, to revise its 50-year-old bicycle law.

As a result of the vote, bicyclists are permitted on sidewalks, in addition to the roadway, except in Lincoln Square and one block stretching in each direction; Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue.

“Riding bicycles on sidewalks is a trend that communities are adopting, for safe bicycling,” said Councilwoman Susan Naugle, citing Biglerville and Chambersburg as examples. “It hasn‘t shown to be a problem in most communities.”

First-year Councilman Graham Weaver cast the lone no vote, citing safety reasons in a new ordinance that was primarily designed for, ironically, bicycle safety.

“I have concerns about this thing,” Weaver said prior to the board’s vote, noting that he witnessed an elderly woman walking down High Street as he was driving his vehicle to Borough Hall for the meeting. “This woman could be injured by bicycles on the sidewalk.”

After Weaver voted against the ordinance, he stated: “I’d like the record to reflect my vote.”

Similarly, Gettysburg resident Stan Clark voiced concern about the new ordinance during the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting.

“We already have horse carriages on the street, and now we’re going to allow bicycles on the sidewalks,” Clark told council. “You’re going to leave yourselves open to big problems.”

Councilwoman Naugle replied that the changes make the bicycle law more family-friendly, by allowing young children to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. Previously, bicycles were not allowed on sidewalks anywhere within borough boundaries.

“It has to do with families and small children, it’s not safe for those families to be on the street,” said Naugle, adding that most experienced bicyclists “ride on the street” anyway.

She pointed out that most bicyclists ride on streets, because the sidewalks are too narrow, and contain obstacles, like trees.

“Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is not the ideal thing to do as a bike-rider,” Naugle said during the board’s first of two regularly-scheduled business meeting Monday. “It (the ordinance) provides an option for using widened-sidewalks as part of the eventual bike path…and options for families with small children.”

Under the new law, bicycles are prohibited on sidewalks within Lincoln Square, and one block stretching out each direction; Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue.

Otherwise, sidewalks are now open to bicyclists, although the new law requires them to dismount in “heavy” pedestrian areas.

“It leaves discretion for law enforcement to determine congestion,” explained Councilman Bob Krummerich, a third-year board member.

Interim Borough Manager Peter Marshall, in one of his final weeks with the borough, noted that bicyclists have the “same privileges as a car” in Pennsylvania along roadways.

https://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/...cc4c03286.html
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Old 08-10-10, 08:11 PM
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"Otherwise, sidewalks are now open to bicyclists, although the new law requires them to dismount in “heavy” pedestrian areas."

...known in the journalism as burying the lead.
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Old 08-10-10, 11:37 PM
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I've been paying a lot of attention to "sidewalk bicycling" where and when I see it around where I live., because It it a bit of a tough call on whether to approve of it or not. The way I see it right now, as long at it is done responsibly, with a thoroughly pedestrian mentality, it's just fine. for Those folks that are to timid to ride on the road and only use a bike as "walking aid" It can be ideal for short trips on suburban/semi urban roads.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:50 AM
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Great, now the cyclist haters will interpret the law to mean cyclists MUST ride on the sidewalk and be even more emboldended to yell at cyclists on the road.
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Old 08-11-10, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by The Human Car
BY SCOT ANDREW PITZER Times Staff Writer

“It leaves discretion for law enforcement to determine congestion,” explained Councilman Bob Krummerich, a third-year board member.


https://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/...cc4c03286.html
*slaps forehead* you can see it now, Popo clapping little Johnny aged five in handcuffs for riding his big wheel on the sidewalk because it was, in his opinion, "congested". You know it's going to happen.
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Old 08-11-10, 09:40 AM
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So sidewalk biking is safer than street, according to the pinhead on that council, eh? Must not have done ANY research.

In MY town, now, it IS safer -- because only about 50 people walk more than a block fro ANYTHING. We DO have a good bus system, but if you don't drive here, "you ain't sh**."

Nah, little Johnny will just get his bigwheel confiscated; MOMMY will get cuffed, strip-searched, and have her "tread depth" checked.....
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Old 08-11-10, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN

Nah, little Johnny will just get his bigwheel confiscated; MOMMY will get cuffed, strip-searched, and have her "tread depth" checked.....
Oh yeah, that's even more likely
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Old 08-11-10, 02:56 PM
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If this law were rolled out as a "walk your bike zone" on the sidewalks on the main square of a big tourist town, I think that's fine. Even better if the signage was "walk your bike or use road." But as it seems with most bicycle laws, they're publicized in a haphazard and ineffectual way. I'm taking my family and our bikes to the Gettysburg area next week...
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Old 08-11-10, 07:21 PM
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From what I remember of Gettysburg it is a real mellow little town and I was rather shocked to see people claiming the streets not safe for families to bike on. I mean an old slow person could j-walk with relative safety there. What happened that caused the change?
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Old 08-12-10, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Great, now the cyclist haters will interpret the law to mean cyclists MUST ride on the sidewalk and be even more emboldened to yell at cyclists on the road.
Yep, the same is true for the FRAP and mandatory bike lane usage laws. Most motorists as well as LEO's aren't going to know what the exceptions say, or that they are not the only exceptions.

As was asked/hinted at in another thread why is it that out of all the various authorized road users that we cyclists are pretty much the only ones who have to justify our presence on the streets? Hell, it wouldn't surprise me in the least little bit that the Amish get more respect on the road then we do.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Limey1212
*slaps forehead* you can see it now, Popo clapping little Johnny aged five in handcuffs for riding his big wheel on the sidewalk because it was, in his opinion, "congested". You know it's going to happen.
Of for "speeding" while riding his big wheel on the sidewalk because again in his opinion it was "congested."
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Old 08-12-10, 06:37 AM
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I will also vote no, sidewalks are for pedestrian not cyclists
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Old 08-12-10, 10:26 AM
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I'd vote "yes" on sidewalk biking but with a 6 MPH speed limit and a yield to everything requirement.
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